Altocor

Lovastatin lowers cholesterol. It works better if taken at night. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with lovastatin.

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Pharmacist Anyssa S. Garza, PharmD overviews the uses and common side effects of Lovastatin
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Pharmacist Anyssa S. Garza, PharmD overviews the uses and common side effects of Lovastatin
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Pharmacist Beth Bolt, RPh summarizes the uses, common side effects, and warnings for the Statins class of medications
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Pharmacist Beth Bolt, RPh summarizes the uses, common side effects, and warnings for the Statins class of medications

Altocor Overview

Updated: 

Lovastatin is a prescription medication used to treat high cholesterol levels and to prevent heart disease. Lovastatin belongs to a group of drugs called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, also known as statins. It works by decreasing the amount of cholesterol made in the body.

This medication comes as a tablet and an extended release tablet to take by mouth. The regular tablet usually is taken once or twice a day with meals. The extended release tablet usually is taken once a day at bedtime.

Common side effects include constipation, memory loss, confusion, and and dizziness or blurred vision. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how lovastatin affects you.

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  • Coronary Artery Disease
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Altocor Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Altocor

Lovastatin is a prescription medication used to treat high cholesterol levels.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Altocor Drug Class

Altocor is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Altocor

Serious side effects have been reported with lovastatin. See "Drug Precautions" section.

Common side effects of lovastatin include:

  • constipation
  • memory loss or forgetfulness
  • confusion
  • muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness
  • fever
  • nausea
  • blurred vision
  • itching
  • rash

This is not a complete list of lovastatin side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Altocor Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone)
  • cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • clarithromycin (Biaxin)
  • colchicine (Colcrys)
  • danazol (Danocrine)
  • cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune)
  • spironolactone (Aldactone)
  • erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin)
  • oral contraceptives (birth control pills)
  • spironolactone (Aldactone)
  • telithromycin (Ketek)
  • verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin)
  • warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)
  • antifungal medications such as itraconazole (Sporanox), posaconazole (Noxafil), and ketoconazole (Nizoral)
  • HIV protease inhibitors such as amprenavir (Agenerase), atazanavir (Reyataz), and darunavir (Prezista)
  • other cholesterol-lowering medications such as fenofibrate (Tricor), gemfibrozil (Lopid), and niacin (nicotinic acid, Niacor, Niaspan)

This is not a complete list of lovastatin side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Altocor Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with lovastatin including:

  • Myopathy and rhabdomyolysis (muscle damage and dysfunction): Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have some or all of the following symptoms:
    • muscle pain
    • muscle tenderness
    • muscle weakness. Lovastatin therapy should be discontinued immediately if myopathy is diagnosed or suspected.
  • Liver problems: Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have some or all of the following symptoms of liver problems:
    • feeling tired or weak
    • loss of appetite
    • upper belly pain
    • dark, amber colored urine
    • yellow tinting of the skin or eyes
  • Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia: Use of lovastatin for this rare genetic disorder (increased cholesterol levels) is not sufficient enough for treatment. More aggressive therapies are typically required.

Lovastatin can cause dizziness or blurred vision. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how lovastatin affects you.

Do not take lovastatin if you:

  • take medications that stop the function of the CYP3A4 enzyme (e.g. itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole, clarithromycin, telithromycin, HIV protease inhibitors, boceprevir, telaprevir, and nefazodone)
  • use erythromycin
  • are allergic to lovastatin or any ingredient found in this medication
  • active liver disease, which may include unexplained high levels of markers of liver function
  • are pregnant or are breast feeding

Altocor Food Interactions

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with lovastatin and lead to potentially dangerous effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.

 

Inform MD

Before taking lovastatin, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • have muscle aches or weakness
  • have liver problems
  • drink alcohol on a daily basis
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Altocor and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Lovastatin falls into category X. This drug should not be used during pregnancy as it has the potential to cause miscarriage or severe birth defects.

Lovastatin may harm your unborn baby.

Altocor and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

You should not take lovastatin if you are breastfeeding. It may be excreted in your breast milk and may harm your nursing child.

Altocor Usage

Take lovastatin exactly as prescribed.

Lovastatin comes as a tablet and an extended-release (long-acting) tablet to take by mouth. The regular tablet usually is taken once or twice a day with meals. The extended-release tablet usually is taken once a day at bedtime

Swallow tablets whole, do not crush, chew, or split tablets.

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of lovastatin at the same time.

Altocor Dosage

Take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The dose your doctor recommends may be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • your weight
  • your height
  • your age
  • your gender

The recommended dosing range of lovastatin regular release tablets is 10 to 80 mg/day in single or two divided doses. The maximum recommended dose is 80 mg/day. 

The recommended dosing range of lovastatin extended release tablets is 20 to 60 mg/day in single or two divided doses. The maximum recommended dose is 80 mg/day. 

Altocor Overdose

If you take too much lovastatin, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

 

Other Requirements

  • Store lovastatin at room temperature.
  • Protect from light and store in a well-closed, light-resistant container.
  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.