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lovastatin (cont.)

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking lovastatin (Altoprev, Mevacor)?

You should not take lovastatin if you are allergic to it, if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, or if you have liver disease.

If you have any of these other conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests:

  • history of liver disease;
  • history of kidney disease;
  • diabetes;
  • a thyroid disorder; or
  • if you drink more than 2 alcoholic beverages daily.

In rare cases, lovastatin can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. This condition may be more likely to occur in older adults and in people who have kidney disease or poorly controlled hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use. Certain other drugs can increase your risk of serious muscle problems, and it is very important that your doctor knows if you are using any of them:

FDA pregnancy category X. This medication can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not take lovastatin if you are pregnant.Stop taking this medication and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Use effective birth control to avoid pregnancy while you are taking lovastatin.

Lovastatin may pass into breast milk and could harm a nursing baby. Do not breast-feed while you are taking lovastatin.

How should I take lovastatin (Altoprev, Mevacor)?

Take exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

Lovastatin is usually taken at bedtime or with an evening meal. If you take lovastatin several times daily, take it with meals. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results.

Do not crush, chew, or break an extended-release tablet. Swallow it whole. Breaking or opening the pill may cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.

You may need to stop using lovastatin for a short time if you have surgery or a medical emergency.

To be sure this medicine is helping your condition and is not causing harmful effects, your blood will need to be tested often. Your liver function may also need to be tested. Visit your doctor regularly.

Lovastatin is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.

You may need to take lovastatin on a long-term basis for the treatment of high cholesterol.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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