Fluvastatin is a generic medication commonly marketed under the brand name Lescol®. A doctor may prescribe it for the treatment of high cholesterol after patients have unsuccessfully tried exercise and diet by themselves. This enzyme blocker, commonly called a statin, helps inhibit the production of cholesterol in the body. Fluvastatin is a 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitor.
Adults may typically be prescribed 20 to 40 milligrams (mg) once daily, to be taken before bedtime. This dosage may be increased if needed to no more than 80 mg daily. Those taking the capsule, rather than the extended-release tablet, may split the total dosage into two daily doses. Fluvastatin may be taken with or without food. When other cholesterol-lowering medications are taken along with this drug, the doctor may instruct the patient to take them at least two hours before the dose of fluvastatin.
Patients taking this drug to lower their cholesterol must also follow lifestyle changes. Fluvastatin is not intended to be a substitute for cholesterol-lowering choices, like following a low-fat diet. Patients must also follow a regular exercise plan as directed by their doctors.
Some side effects may occur with the use of fluvastatin, which should be reported to the prescribing physician if they are bothersome or persistent. These may include mild stomach upset, headache, or heartburn. Patients have also experienced insomnia, a cough, and sinus pain. The consumption of alcohol may worsen some side effects.
Less commonly, more serious side effects can occur, which require a doctor's immediate care. Dark urine, yellowing of the skin or eyes, and persistent nausea have been reported, along with severe fatigue. Some patients may suffer from an allergic reaction to their medication. Possible signs of an allergic reaction can include facial swelling, severe dizziness, and difficulty breathing.
Rhabdomyolysis is a possible complication of fluvastatin. It means that the muscle fibers are breaking down, which releases a substance called myoglobin into the blood. This can potentially damage the kidneys. Possible symptoms of rhabdomyolysis can include changes in the amount of urine, fever, and muscle weakness, pain, or tenderness.
Before taking fluvastatin, patients must disclose their other medical conditions. The drug can cause birth defects and should never be used by women who are nursing or pregnant, or those who may become pregnant. This drug may be contraindicated for use by those who have liver disease, diabetes, or thyroid disease.
Other drugs may interact with this cholesterol-lowering medicine. Patients should disclose all of their medications and supplements, including blood thinners, cyclosporine, and phenytoin. Other high cholesterol drugs, some diabetes medications, and drugs taken for ulcers may also interact with it.