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What is this medication?

Lovastatin, Altoprev
Antilipemic Agent, HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitor

Lovastatin, Altoprev is indicated for treatment of hyperlipidemia.

How does this medication work? 

Lovastatin acts by competitively inhibiting 3-hydroxyl-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase, the enzyme that catalyzes the rate-limiting step in cholesterol biosynthesis.  Lovastatin also has shown to possess pleiotropic properties including improved endothelial function, reduced inflammation at the site of the coronary plaque, inhibition of platelet aggregation, and anticoagulant effects.

How should I take this medication?

Usual (Oral):
Immediate Release: Initial: 20 mg once daily with evening meal, then adjust at 4-week intervals; maximum dose: 80 mg daily.
Extended Release: Initial: 20, 40, or 60 mg once daily at bedtime, then adjust at 4-week intervals; maximum dose: 60 mg daily.

How to Take: Administer IR tablet with the evening meal. Administer ER tablet at bedtime; do not cut, crush, or chew.

What should I watch for while using this medication? 

Before using Lovastatin, Altoprev make sure your physician is aware of any allergies or medications you currently take, pre-existing medical conditions and activities you perform. Lovastatin, Altoprev has been associated with hepatotoxicity and requires periodic monitoring of liver enzymes. Rhabdomyolysis with acute renal failure secondary to myoglobinuria and/or myopathy has been reported; patients should be monitored closely. Lovastatin, Altoprev, like the other statins should be used with caution in patients with hepatic and/or renal impairment.

What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of medication, try to take it as soon as possible.  However, if it is almost time for your next dose, take only that scheduled dose.  Do not take double or extra doses.

How should I store this medication?

Keep out of the reach of children at all times.  Store at room temperature, 59 to 86° F (15 to 30° C).  Protect from light.  Keep the container tightly closed.  Properly dispose of any unused medication after the expiration date.

What are the possible side effects of using this medication?

Increased creatine phosphokinase, headache, dizziness, flatulence, constipation, abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, dyspepsia, myalgia, weakness

Note this is not a complete list of side effects, only the most common.