High LDL cholesterol is usually first treated with exercise, weight loss in obese individuals, and a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fats. When these measures fail, cholesterol-lowering medications such as mevacor can be added. The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) has published treatment guidelines for use of these medications. These treatment guidelines take into account the level of LDL cholesterol as well as the presence of other risk factors such as diabetes, hypertension, cigarette smoking, low HDL cholesterol level, and family history of early coronary heart disease. The effectiveness of the medication in lowering cholesterol is dose- related. Blood cholesterol determinations are performed in regular intervals during treatment so that dosage adjustments can be made. A reduction in LDL cholesterol level can be seen two weeks after starting therapy.
How to take
May be taken on an empty or full stomach. The medication seems to be most effective when given with the evening meal.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Mevacor is a cholesterol-lowering medicine. It inhibits the production of cholesterol by the liver. It lowers overall blood cholesterol as well as blood LDL cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol is believed to be the "bad" cholesterol that is primarily responsible for the development of coronary artery disease. Lowering LDL cholesterol levels retards progression and may even reverse coronary artery disease.
If you miss a dose of this medicine and you are taking 1 dose daily, take the missed dose if you remember the same day. Skip the missed dose if you do not remember until the next day. Do not take 2 doses at once.
Tablets should be stored at room temperature in a tightly closed container.
Do not take this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to it or are allergic to any ingredient in this product. Laboratory and/or medical tests, including liver function tests and blood cholesterol levels, may be performed to monitor your progress or to check for side effects. Keep all doctor and laboratory appointments while you are using this medicine. Before having any kind of surgery, tell your doctor that you are taking this medicine. Eating grapefruit or drinking grapefruit juice while you are taking this medicine may increase the amount of this medicine in your blood, which may increase your risk for serious side effects. Talk with your doctor before including grapefruit or grapefruit juice in your diet while you are taking this medicine. Before you begin taking any new medicine, either prescription or over-the-counter, check with your doctor or pharmacist. For women: do not use this medicine if you are pregnant. If you suspect that you could be pregnant, contact your doctor immediately. It is recommended that women of childbearing age use effective birth control measures while taking this medicine since lovastatin may cause fetal harm. It is unknown if this medicine is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking this medicine.
Possible Side Effects
Side effects are rare. Minor side effects include constipation, diarrhea, gas, heartburn, headache, insomnia. Major side effects include abdominal pain or cramps, blurred vision, dizziness, itching, muscle pain or cramps, rash, yellowing of the skin or eyes.
For best results, this medicine should be used along with exercise, a low-cholesterol/low-fat diet, and a weight loss program if you are overweight. Follow the dietary plan provided by your doctor. Do not share this medicine with others for whom it was not prescribed. Do not use this medicine for other health conditions. Keep this medicine out of the reach of children and pets. If using this medicine for an extended period of time, obtain refills before your supply runs out.