Niacin/Lovastatin Generic Name:
Niacin/Lovastatin (NYE-a-sin/LOE-va-STAT-in)Brand Name:
Niacin/Lovastatin is used for:
Improving cholesterol levels and lowering very high serum triglyceride levels, in combination with diet and exercise. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.
Niacin/Lovastatin is a vitamin (niacin) and HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor (lovastatin) combination. Lovastatin works by blocking an enzyme (HMG-CoA reductase) that is necessary for the production of cholesterol. Exactly how niacin works is not totally understood. It is thought to work in the liver by blocking the production of low-density lipids (bad cholesterol) and increasing the production of high-density lipids (good cholesterol).
Do NOT use Niacin/Lovastatin if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Niacin/Lovastatin
- you are pregnant or breast-feeding
- you have active liver or peptic ulcer disease, abnormal liver tests, or a history of bleeding arteries
- you are taking clofibrate, gemfibrozil, an HIV protease inhibitor (eg, ritonavir), an azole antifungal (eg, itraconazole), a macrolide antibiotic (eg, clarithromycin), a ketolide (eg, telithromycin), or mibefradil
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using Niacin/Lovastatin :
Some medical conditions may interact with Niacin/Lovastatin . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have a history of alcohol abuse; yellowing of the skin or eyes; kidney, endocrine, metabolic, liver, or peptic ulcer disease; gout; diabetes; muscle disease; electrolyte disturbance; or uncontrolled seizures
- if you are scheduled to have surgery; are receiving medicine that will help you not reject an organ transplant; have a severe infection or trauma; or are critically ill
- if you have low blood pressure, heart disease, recurring chest pain, or a serious bleeding condition, or have had a recent heart attack
Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Niacin/Lovastatin . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Bosentan, carbamazepine, or rifampin because the effectiveness of Niacin/Lovastatin may be decreased
- Amiodarone, azole antifungals (eg, itraconazole), fibrates(eg, clofibrate), cyclosporine, danazol, diltiazem, gemfibrozil, HIV protease inhibitors (eg, ritonavir), imatinib, ketolides (eg, telithromycin), macrolide antibiotics (eg, clarithromycin), nefazodone, streptogramins (eg, quinupristin), verapamil, or voriconazole because serious side effects, such as muscle weakness and wasting, may occur
- Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin) because the risk of their side effects may be increased by Niacin/Lovastatin
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Niacin/Lovastatin may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
How to use Niacin/Lovastatin :
Use Niacin/Lovastatin as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.
- If you take 1 dose daily, take Niacin/Lovastatin by mouth at bedtime with a low-fat snack (eg, low-fat yogurt, banana, crackers with a glass of milk) to minimize flushing and upset stomach, unless directed otherwise by your doctor.
- Take Niacin/Lovastatin 1 hour before or 4 to 6 hours after taking cholestyramine.
- Swallow Niacin/Lovastatin whole. Do not break, crush, or chew before swallowing.
- Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice at the same time you take Niacin/Lovastatin .
- Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice may increase the amount of Niacin/Lovastatin in your blood, which may increase your risk for serious side effects. The risk may be greater with large amounts of grapefruit or grapefruit juice. Avoid large amounts of grapefruit or grapefruit juice (eg, more than one quart daily) while you are using Niacin/Lovastatin . Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have questions about including grapefruit or grapefruit juice in your diet while you are taking Niacin/Lovastatin .
- Avoid drinking alcohol or hot drinks before taking Niacin/Lovastatin to reduce the risk of an uncomfortable side effect caused by niacin (flushing). Taking non-enteric-coated aspirin or an aspirin-like medicine (such as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug [NSAID] such as ibuprofen or naproxen) 30 minutes before taking Niacin/Lovastatin may help reduce the risk of this side effect.
- It may take several weeks for Niacin/Lovastatin to work. Do not stop using Niacin/Lovastatin without checking with your doctor.
- If you miss a dose of Niacin/Lovastatin , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Niacin/Lovastatin .
Important safety information:
- Niacin/Lovastatin may cause dizziness. These effects may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use Niacin/Lovastatin with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
- Flushing occurs with Niacin/Lovastatin and may last for several hours. Flushing usually subsides after several weeks of consistent use. Talk with your doctor if flushing becomes bothersome. If flushing at night awakens you, get up slowly, especially if you feel dizzy or faint, or you are taking blood thinners.
- Daily use of alcohol may increase your chance for serious side effects. Limit alcoholic beverages.
- For best results, Niacin/Lovastatin should be used alone with exercise, a low-cholesterol/low-fat diet, and a weight loss program if you are overweight. Follow the diet and exercise program given to you by your health care provider.
- Niacin/Lovastatin is only recommended if you have taken either lovastatin or long-acting niacin alone before and may need to further reduce your cholesterol and/or triglyceride levels. Tell your doctor if you have not taken either lovastatin or long-acting niacin before starting treatment with Niacin/Lovastatin . Also tell your doctor if you have been taking a short-acting form of niacin before you begin taking Niacin/Lovastatin . It is recommended that you take long-acting niacin for several weeks before using Niacin/Lovastatin so your body can adjust to its effects.
- Certain medical conditions, including low blood pressure; severe infection; uncontrolled seizures; or serious metabolic, endocrine, or electrolyte problems, may increase your risk for side effects that can result in kidney problems while taking Niacin/Lovastatin . Contact your doctor if you develop one of these conditions.
- If you stop taking Niacin/Lovastatin for an extended period, contact your doctor before you start taking it again. Your dose may need to be adjusted.
- Tell your doctor or dentist that you take Niacin/Lovastatin before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
- It is recommended that women of childbearing age use effective birth control measures while taking this drug since lovastatin may cause fetal harm.
- Diabetes patients - Niacin/Lovastatin may affect your blood sugar. Check blood sugar levels closely. Ask your doctor before you change the dose of your diabetes medicine.
- Lab tests, including liver function tests, blood sugar, and blood cholesterol tests, may be performed while you use Niacin/Lovastatin . These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
- Niacin/Lovastatin should not be used in CHILDREN; safety and effectiveness in children have not been confirmed.
- PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Do not use Niacin/Lovastatin if you are pregnant. Avoid becoming pregnant while you are taking it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. Niacin/Lovastatin is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Niacin/Lovastatin .
Possible side effects of Niacin/Lovastatin :
All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:
Back pain; chills; constipation; diarrhea; fainting; flu syndrome; flushing (itching, redness, tingling, warmth); gas; headache; increased heartbeat; indigestion; infection (fever, sore throat); itching; muscle aches; nausea; pain; pounding in the chest; rash; shortness of breath; stomach upset; sweating; swelling; vomiting; weakness.Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:
Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); black, tarry, or bloody stools; change in amount of urine; change in taste; chest pain; dark urine; dizziness; increased thirst; joint pain; muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness (especially if associated with fever and a general feeling of discomfort); numbness or persistent tingling of the skin; stomach pain; swelling of the hands, legs, or feet; unusual tiredness/fatigue; vomit that looks like coffee grounds; yellowing eyes or skin.
This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
If OVERDOSE is suspected:
Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include irregular heartbeat; severe flushing/sweating; severe vomiting.Proper storage of Niacin/Lovastatin :
Store Niacin/Lovastatin at room temperature, between 68 and 77 degrees F (20 and 25 degrees C), in a tightly closed container. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Niacin/Lovastatin out of the reach of children and away from pets.
- If you have any questions about Niacin/Lovastatin , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
- Niacin/Lovastatin is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
- If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Niacin/Lovastatin . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.