Fluvastatin (Oral)

Fluvastatin is used alongside a healthy diet to treat patients with high levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood stream.

Overview

Fluvastatin is a treatment that helps to lower the level of triglycerides and cholesterol in the blood. Patients with high levels of these fats in the blood stream can develop serious medical problems as fat begins to clog the arteries and the blood vessels in the patient.

Fluvastatin is a HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, also known as a statin, that works to block an enzyme needed for the body to produce cholesterol. By making the body incapable of producing cholesterol, this fat is instead excreted from the body and is unable to clog the arteries and blood vessels of the patient.

Fluvastatin can also be used in the prevention of heart and blood vessel problems in certain patients who are at risk from such problems.

This medication will only be effective if used in conjunction with a correct and healthy balanced diet. Patients should follow the dietary advice given to them by the doctor when this medication is prescribed.

Fluvastatin is available either as Lescol or Lescol XL as capsules or as extended release tablets.

Condition treated

  • Cholesterol, high
  • Triglycerides, high

Type Of Medicine

  • HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor

Side Effects

In addition to the required effects of the use of Fluvastatin this medication can also cause some unwanted effects to occur. While not all side effects may occur, when they do they may require that you seek medical attention.

You should check with your doctor immediately if Fluvastatin causes any of the following side effects to occur:

Occurring more commonly:

  • Chills
  • Diarrhea
  • Feverishness
  • General feeling of illness
  • General feeling of discomfort
  • Joint pain
  • Loss of hunger
  • Muscle aches
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Runny nose
  • Shivering
  • Soreness of the throat
  • Sweating
  • Troubled sleep
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Unusual weakness
  • Vomiting

Occurring less commonly:

  • Bladder pain
  • Bloody urine
  • Cloudy urine
  • Cough that produces mucus
  • Darkened coloration of urine
  • Difficulty with breathing
  • Difficulty with moving
  • Difficulty with swallowing
  • Difficulty, burning or pain with urination
  • Dizziness
  • Hives
  • Increased frequency of urge to urinate
  • Increased heartbeat
  • Itching
  • Lower back pain
  • Muscle cramping
  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Muscular pain, tenderness, wasting or weakness
  • Pain, swelling or redness of the joints
  • Puffy or swollen eyelids or around eyes, face, lips and/or tongue
  • Side pain
  • Skin rash
  • Tightness across the chest

Other side effects may also occur that would not usually require you to seek the attention of a healthcare professional. If the following side effects are ongoing or do become bothersome, however, then you can seek advice on how to alleviate them:

Occurring more commonly:

Occurring less commonly:

  • Bloated feeling
  • Excess build up of air or gas in the stomach or intestinal tract
  • Full feeling
  • Inability to sleep
  • Pain or tenderness around cheekbones or eyes
  • Passing of gas

Fluvastatin may also cause other unwanted side effects to occur that have not been listed here. In these cases you should contact your doctor for advice on how to respond.

Dosage

This medication should be taken only as prescribed by your doctor. You should not take more of it, take it more frequently than prescribed nor take it for longer than you have been instructed. To do so will increase the risk of side effects occurring and increase the severity of side effects.

This medication will always be prescribed along with advice on how to improve your cholesterol and triglyceride levels naturally. This will include a diet that is low in fat, low in sugar and low in cholesterol. You should closely follow this diet that you are given.

You should take the capsule at the same time each evening. If you are taking the capsule twice daily then you should take it in the morning and evening. This will help to form a habit and stop you from forgetting to take it. The extended release tablet may be taken at any time in the day but you should take it at the same time every day.

You should not crush, break, dissolve or chew the extended release tablet before taking it. Swallow it whole to ensure the correct dose is delivered. Parts of the extended release tablet may appear in your stools but this is nothing to worry about.

The dose of this medication will differ for each and every patient. The amount given will vary depending on the condition of the patient, the level of cholesterol being treated, the age of the patient and a range of other factors. You should use this medication only as you have been directed. The following information is a guideline only and should not be used to change your dose:

When treating high cholesterol with capsules:

  • Adults should be treated with a starting dose of 20-40mg taken once daily in the evening. Your doctor may increase your dose up to 40mg taken twice daily in the morning and evening.
  • Children between the ages of 10-16 should be treated with 20mg taken once daily in the evening. This dose may be increased by the doctor but should not exceed 40mg taken twice daily in the morning and evening.
  • Children below the age of 10 must have their dose determined by the prescribing doctor.

When treating high cholesterol with extended release tablets:

  • Adults should be treated with 80mg taken once daily.
  • Children aged between 10-16 should be treated with 80mg taken once daily.
  • Children below the age of 10 must have their dose determined by the prescribing doctor in each case.

If a dose of this medication is missed then you should take it as soon as you are able to. If you are then approaching the time when your next dose is due, however, then you should skip the dose completely and return to the original schedule. Never take a double dose of the medication. If more than 12 hours have passed since missing the dose then you should not take the missed dose.

Interactions

Fluvastatin can interact with a range of different medications and should not be taken with any other medications unless approved by your doctor. You must inform your doctor of all other treatments that you are taking before you begin use of Fluvastatin. This includes all vitamin supplements, herbal remedies, over the counter treatments and other prescribed medications. Be particularly clear if you are taking any of the following:

Fluvastatin is not recommended for use with the following medication and your doctor may decide against this prescription:

  • Posaconazole

The use of Fluvastatin with the following medications is not normally recommended but may be the best treatment for you. If you are prescribed with both then the dose or frequency of use of one or the other may be changed by the doctor:

  • Quinupristin
  • Pixantrone
  • Phenytoin
  • Gemfibrozil
  • Fosphenytoin
  • Fluconazole
  • Fenofibric Acid
  • Fenofibrate
  • Entacapone
  • Darunavir
  • Daptomycin
  • Danazol
  • Dalfopristin
  • Clofibrate
  • Ciprofibrate
  • Ceritinib
  • Bezafibrate
  • Atazanavir

The use of Fluvastatin with the following medications can increase the occurrence of certain side effects and is not normally recommended. Patients may be treated with both with adjusted doses or dosing schedules:

  • Warfarin
  • Pectin
  • Oat Bran
  • Mifepristone
  • Glyburide
  • Eltrombopag
  • Colchicine

Other drug interactions may also exist that have not been listed herein. Ensure that your doctor is aware of everything that you are taking before beginning use.

Other medical problems that are not being treated by this medication can also impact on its use. Certain conditions may intensify the effect of medications or may be worsened by their use. Patients should inform the doctor of all medical conditions from which they suffer. This is especially important in the following situations

Fluvastatin must be used with caution in patients with the following conditions as they may be worsened by use:

Muscle and kidney problems may develop in patients with the following conditions:

  • Convulsions that are not controlled
  • Severe electrolyte disorder
  • Severe endocrine disorder
  • Hypotension
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Severe kidney disease
  • Major surgery
  • Severe metabolic disorder
  • Sepsis

Fluvastatin should not be used to treat patients with the following conditions:

  • Active liver disease
  • Increased levels of liver enzymes

Other medical conditions not listed herein could also impact the use of Fluvastatin. Ensure your doctor knows of all of your conditions both past and present.

Warnings

Before beginning use of any medication patients should consider the risks of use in relation to the benefits of use. You should make this decision in conjunction with your doctor having ensured that all of the following has been taken into account:

Allergie: You must inform your doctor if you have ever reacted badly to any medication in the past. Allergies to medication, dyes, preservatives and other substances may prohibit the use of this treatment.

Pediatric: Use has been demonstrated to be effective and safe in children aged 10-16 but has not been established below the age of 10.

Fluvastatin can cause severe harm to fetuses during pregnancy. Female teenage patients who are sexually active should be counseled on the use of contraceptives to prevent pregnancy from occurring.

Geriatric: There are no known limitations to the use of Fluvastatin in elderly patients. Elderly patients are, however, more likely to have age-related kidney or muscle problems that may limit the use of this treatment.

Pregnancy: Demonstrable harm can be caused to the fetus if Fluvastatin is used in the treatment of pregnant women. You must inform your doctor if you are pregnant before beginning use of this treatment. If you may become pregnant during use then you must inform your doctor. Female patients should use effective contraceptives to prevent pregnancy from occurring and you should inform your doctor straight away if you believe you have become pregnant.

Breastfeeding: There is a demonstrable harmful effect on nursing infants when the mother is using this treatment. Alternative medications should be prescribed to nursing mothers or they should stop nursing their child.

Your doctor will need to see you regularly when you are taking this medication. This will allow the doctor to ensure that you are seeing an effective lowering of cholesterol and triglyceride and determine if you should continue to use the medication. You will likely need to give blood samples during visits to check for the occurrence of unwanted side effects.

Myopathy or immune-mediated necrotizing myopathy can occur from the use of this medication. You should contact your doctor if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Muscle pains without cause
  • Muscle weakness
  • Tenderness of the muscles

Severe kidney and liver problems may develop when you are using Fluvastatin. Both conditions can be very serious and you must be alert to the symptoms of both during use. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Darkened urine
  • Diarrhea
  • Feverishness
  • Muscle cramping
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Tiredness
  • Unusual weakness
  • Headache
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Lightened coloration of stools
  • Yellowing of skin
  • Yellowing of eyes

You must inform any healthcare professional that you interact with that you are taking Fluvastatin. You may be required to stop use temporarily before you are able to have certain treatments or procedures carried out.

You may be required to stop use of this medication if you undergo a major surgery, suffer a major injury or develop other serious health conditions.

You should not take any other treatments in conjunction with Fluvastatin unless they have been approved by your doctor.

Storage

You should keep this medication at room temperature and away from moisture, direct light and heat.

Prevent the medication from freezing at all times.

All medications should be kept out of the reach of children at all times.

You should not keep medication that is outdated or unneeded for any longer than necessary. Ask your healthcare professional how you can best dispose of any unused medication.

Summary

Fluvastatin is used to help lower the level of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood of patients. Commonly it is used in patients with high levels of cholesterol but may also be used to prevent heart or blood vessel problems from developing in certain situations of increased risk.

Fluvastatin is a medication that works by blocking an enzyme in the body. This enzyme enables the body to produce cholesterol and by blocking its effective production Fluvastatin can cause more fats to be excreted from the body instead of being absorbed into the blood.

Fluvastatin is prescribed for the treatment of high levels of cholesterol along with a dietary plan and an exercise plan that should be followed at all times. Failure to follow this exercise plan will lead to spikes in cholesterol that will put the patient at risk of serious medical conditions. For the treatment to be effective you must follow the advice of your doctor and must also ensure that you take the medication regularly and as ordered.

Patients should endeavor to bring their cholesterol levels down naturally. Failing to do so will mean they have to keep taking Fluvastatin indefinitely and this will put them at increased risk of side effects occurring.

This medication should not be used in pregnant women and caution should be used in patients who are likely to become pregnant. This medication is known to cause fetal malformations when used in pregnant women. The medication can also be passed on through breastmilk and is known to cause problems in infants who are nursing from a mother who is using the medication.

Fluvastatin can cause a wide range of medical conditions to develop. The risk of developing these will increase with prolonged use and higher doses. The patient should ensure that they understand the risk of these potential conditions before beginning use and should take into account any other medical conditions they have that might increase the risk.