Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Alcohol: The combination of alcohol use while taking lovastatin can increase the risk of harm to the liver. People who drink large quantities of alcohol should be closely monitored by their doctor while they are taking this medication.
Diabetes: Lovastatin may cause an increase in blood sugar levels (may cause a loss of blood glucose control) and glucose tolerance may change.People with diabetes may find it necessary to monitor their blood sugar more frequently while using this medication.
If you have diabetes or are at risk for developing diabetes, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of thismedication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Kidney function: People with severely reduced kidney function should be closely monitored by their doctors if they take this medication
Liver effects: Laboratory test results show that signs of harmful liver effects occur in about 1.6% of adults who take lovastatin for one year or more. When the medication is stopped, the laboratory tests usually slowly return to normal. If you take lovastatin, your doctor will likely monitor your liver function with blood tests.
If you have liver problems, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. Your doctor may want to test your liver function regularly with blood tests while you are taking this medication.
If you experience symptoms of liver problems such as fatigue, feeling unwell, loss of appetite, nausea, yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, pale stools, abdominal pain or swelling, and itchy skin, contact your doctor immediately.
Muscle effects: In rare cases, serious muscle damage has been associated with the use of statin medications (i.e., cholesterol-lowering medications whose names end in "statin," such as atorvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin, or simvastatin), especially at higher doses. Before taking this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you:
- are over 70 years of age
- are taking other cholesterol-lowering medications, such as fibrates (e.g., gemfibrozil, fenofibrate) or niacin
- are taking other medications, including prescription, non-prescription, and natural health products, as drug interactions are possible
- do excessive physical exercise
- drink 3 or more alcoholic beverages daily
- have a family history of muscular disorders
- have diabetes
- have had any past problems with the muscles (e.g., pain, tenderness) after using a statin
- have kidney or liver problems
- have thyroid problems
- have undergone surgery or other tissue injury
Report any unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, weakness or cramps, or any brown or discoloured urine to your doctor immediately, particularly if you are also experiencing malaise (a general feeling of being unwell) or fever.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, stop taking it immediately and call your doctor.
Breast-feeding: It is not known if lovastatin passes into breast milk.
If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking this medication, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children.
If you are older than 70 years of age, your doctor will likely monitor you closely for muscle-related side effects.