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What Factors Affect Lovastatin Dosage?

By Madeleine A.
Updated May 17, 2024
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Factors that affect a lovastatin dosage include what the medicine is being used to treat, as well as a patient's age, the medications he is taking, and his existing medical conditions. Lovastatin is used to treat high cholesterol. The standard lovastatin dosage is 10 mg to 80 mg daily for adults and 10 mg to 20 mg daily for children. In addition to treating high cholesterol, lovastatin is also used to prevent heart disease and slow the progression of hardening or narrowing of the arteries in those with heart disease.

In addition to lowering total cholesterol levels, a standard lovastatin dosage can also help lower the level of triglyerides. These blood lipids may also be a risk factor in the development of coronary artery disease. Although lovastatin and other cholesterol-lowering medications can help reduce cholesterol and triglyeride levels, they can sometimes cause side effects.

Even when taking a low lovastatin dosage, side effects such as stomach upset, jaundice, and muscle pain can occur. Jaundice is a condition which causes a yellowing of the skin and eyes, and dark urine. In addition, jaundice may be indicative of liver disease, and when it occurs, a doctor should be notified as soon as possible. This condition is typically reversible when the medication is stopped.

A severe condition known as rhabdomyolysis may be related to taking cholesterol-lowering medications. This condition can cause severe muscle breakdown, and when it occurs, lovastatin should be immediately discontinued. In addition to these side effects, any lovastatin dosage can cause elevations in liver enzymes, which may occasionally signify liver damage. Generally, blood tests are monitored on a regular basis during lovastatin therapy so that the doctor can monitor its effects on the liver and other organs.

Rarely, lovastatin can cause an allergic reaction. Although typically mild, a severe reactions can occur. These may include wheezing, hives, and itching. Patients may also suffer swelling of the mouth, throat, or tongue. If difficulty breathing, wheezing, or chest pain occur, emergency medical attention needs to be sought. If delayed, the patient may be at risk for respiratory or cardiac arrest, and shock.

When side effects of lovastatin are intolerable, or if liver enzymes are consistently elevated, the doctor may discontinue treatment and recommend alternative treatments. These may include maintaining a health diet, exercising, quitting smoking, and losing weight. The doctor may also recommend ways for the patient to manage stress and may adjust current medications that can raise cholesterol levels, such as birth control pills.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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