Fluvastatin is used together with diet, weight loss, and exercise to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke and to decrease the chance that heart surgery will be needed in people who have heart disease or who are at risk of developing heart disease. Fluvastatin is also used to decrease the amount of fatty substances such as low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol ('bad cholesterol') and triglycerides in the blood and to increase the amount of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol ('good cholesterol') in the blood. Fluvastatin may also be used to decrease the amount of cholesterol and other fatty substances in the blood in children and teenagers 10 to 17 years of age who have familial heterozygous hypercholesterolemia (an inherited condition in which cholesterol cannot be removed from the body normally). Fluvastatin is in a class of medications called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins). It works by slowing the production of cholesterol in the body to decrease the amount of cholesterol that may build up on the walls of the arteries and block blood flow to the heart, brain, and other parts of the body.
Accumulation of cholesterol and fats along the walls of your arteries (a process known as atherosclerosis) decreases blood flow and, therefore, the oxygen supply to your heart, brain, and other parts of your body. Lowering your blood level of cholesterol and fats with fluvastatin has been shown to prevent heart disease, angina (chest pain), strokes, and heart attacks.
Fluvastatin comes as a capsule and an extended-release (long-acting) tablet to take by mouth. The capsule is usually taken with or without food once a day at bedtime or twice a day. The extended-release tablet is usually taken once a day with or without food. Take fluvastatin at around the same time(s) every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take fluvastatin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the extended-release tablets whole; do not split, chew, or crush them.
Your doctor may start you on a low dose of fluvastatin and gradually increase your dose, not more than once every 4 weeks.
Continue to take fluvastatin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking fluvastatin without talking to your doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it has been more than 12 hours since your last dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
Fluvastatin may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
memory loss or forgetfulness
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical help :
muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness
lack of energy
yellowing of the skin or eyes
pain in the upper right part of the stomach
dark colored urine
unusual bleeding or bruising
loss of appetite
difficulty breathing or swallowing
swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
Before taking fluvastatin,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to fluvastatin, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in fluvastatin capsules or extended release tablets. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients..
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin; cimetidine (Tagamet); colchicine (Colcrys); cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune); diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren); digoxin (Lanoxin); erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin); fluconazole (Diflucan), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase, Micronase); ketoconazole (Nizoral); omeprazole (Prilosec); other cholesterol-lowering medications such as cholestyramine (Questran), fenofibrate (Tricor), gemfibrozil (Lopid), and niacin (nicotinic acid, Niacor, Niaspan); phenytoin (Dilantin); ranitidine (Zantac); rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane); and spironolactone (Aldactone). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications may also interact with fluvastatin, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
- tell your doctor if you have liver disease. Your doctor will order laboratory tests to see how well your liver is working even if you do not think you have liver disease.Your doctor will probably tell you not to take fluvastatin if you have liver disease or if the tests show that you may be developing liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you drink more than 2 alcoholic beverages per day, if you are 65 years of age or older, and if you have ever had liver disease or have or ever had muscle aches or weakness, diabetes, low blood pressure, seizures, or thyroid or kidney disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant. You should not become pregnant while you are taking fluvastatin. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that you can use during your treatment. If you become pregnant while taking fluvastatin, stop taking fluvastatin and call your doctor immediately. Fluvastatin may harm the fetus.
- do not breast-feed while you are taking this medication.
- if you are having surgery, including dental surgery, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking fluvastatin. If you are hospitalized due to infection or serious injury, tell the doctor who treats you that you are taking fluvastatin.
- ask your doctor about the safe use of alcoholic beverages while you are taking fluvastatin. Alcohol can increase the risk of serious side effects.
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