Fluvastatin is a drug used to help lower cholesterol levels. It is a generic treatment made by Actavis, containing the same ingredient as Lescol.
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Fluvastatin 20mg is the recommended starting dose in most cases. These capsules may be taken once or twice a day, as advised by your doctor.
Fluvastatin 40mg are issued in cases where the lower dose has not sufficed in reducing cholesterol levels.
The extended-release capsules contain 80mg, which is the maximum daily dose. These are taken once daily, in instances where smaller doses have not been effective.
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Fluvastatin belongs to the statin category of drugs, and is employed in the treatment of high cholesterol. It is available in varying strengths as a standard tablet, or as a slow-release tablet containing the maximum dose. A course will typically begin with a lower strength and reviewed periodically by a doctor. The dose may then be adjusted according to its effectiveness. Fluvastatin, which is manufactured by Actavis, is a generic version of the drug known as Lescol.
- Effective at reducing cholesterol
- Sold as a standard or extended release pill
- Performs same function as the branded version
High cholesterol itself does not produce any visible symptoms, but it can lead to more serious problems, such as heart disease. There are several reasons why someone may have raised cholesterol levels, or be prone to them. Diet and lifestyle often play a major role. Those who consume a high amount of saturated fats are at increased risk, as are those who don’t exercise. Excessive or frequent alcohol consumption, and smoking, are other contributing factors.
However, sometimes high cholesterol can be a consequence of a medical condition, such as diabetes. It can also be more likely to occur in someone if they have a history of it in their family.
Although in everyday conversation, the term ‘cholesterol’ is usually associated with poor health, what many people don’t realise is that it is a nutrient which the body needs. Cholesterol helps to form stable and healthy cell tissue. It is found in a number of foods, but it is mostly produced in the body by the liver. These fat are then carried around the body by proteins via the bloodstream.
In instances where cholesterol levels are high, however, the presence of these fats can put extra pressure on the arteries, by gathering in these passages and clogging them up. This can then lead to a restriction of blood flow, and potentially result in heart problems (such as a heart attack) or stroke.
The active constituent of Fluvastatin is a compound of the same name. It inhibits the function of an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase. This enzyme is found in the liver, and is responsible for the production of cholesterol. By limiting its action, this drug works to lower the levels of cholesterol in the body, helping to offset the risk of associated illness.
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How to use Fluvastatin
It is essential to follow the directions your doctor provides when using this product, in order to ensure that it is effective. You should also familiarise yourself with the patient information leaflet prior to use, as the guidelines supplied will help you to lower the risk of side effects.
- Take as specified by your practitioner.
- This will in the majority of cases be a starting dose of 20mg (one capsule) per day.
- Your doctor may choose to adjust this dose after a period of four weeks or more, depending on how well you respond to the treatment.
- Always take your tablet at the same time(s) each day. Those applying one daily dose should do so during the evening or around bedtime. If applying twice a day, do so in the morning and at night.
- Fluvastatin tablets can be taken with or without food, and should be swallowed whole with water.
- The maximum daily dose is 80mg.
- The extended-release capsules only need to be taken once a day.
- Never exceed the dose prescribed.
- If you forget to take it, you can do so when you remember provided that your next dose is not due within the next four hours. Otherwise, you should skip the dose you have missed and carry on the course as normal.
- These capsules should be used as part of a programme including diet and exercise to help lower cholesterol.
The above is only a summary of the directions you will need to follow when taking this medication. More detailed instructions can be found in the accompanying leaflet.
Fluvastatin side effects
It is essential to be aware of the possible side effects associated with this drug, so that you can act appropriately in the event that they occur. Notify your doctor immediately if you experience anything which could indicate the following: muscle degradation, such as muscular pain, tenderness or weakness; hepatitis; decreased platelets such as bruising easily; an allergic reaction; pancreatitis; blood vessel inflammation; or lupus-like symptoms, such as fatigue, fever or loss of appetite.
Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Headache, stomach pain, feeling sick, or sleeping difficulties.
Very rare (1 in 10,000 or less):
Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet, disturbed or decreased sensibility.
Other possible side effects:
Memory loss, sexual difficulties, depression, coughing, palpitations, fever, or diabetes.
The above is not a complete account of the side effects associated with this product. For more detailed information, please consult the leaflet supplied, or speak to our pharmacist.
Taking it with other medicines
Let our doctor know if you are currently taking any other treatments when filling in our medical assessment. Fluvastatin may interact with the following: ciclosporin; fibrates such as gemfibrozil; nicotinic or bile acid sequestrants; fluconazole; rifampicin; phenytoin; anticoagulants such as warfarin; glibenclamide; or colchicines.
Conditions to look out for
The presence of some conditions may mean that Fluvastatin is unsuitable for you. Do not use it if you have: liver problems; or an allergy to soya or peanuts.
Our doctor also needs to know if you have any of the following conditions, as they may choose to issue this drug with special precautions or not issue it at all in such cases: liver or kidney disease; muscle problems; thyroid disease; or respiratory problems. It may also not be suitable for those who regularly consume alcohol in considerable amounts.
Q&A: our Fluvastatin discussion forum
Can I still drink alcohol?
It is not recommended that you drink alcohol in large amounts when taking this treatment, as it may be detrimental to its effectiveness.
Will I still be able to drive?
Yes. Your capacity to drive is not likely to be affected. But you should not drive while taking this medication if you notice any side effects which may make doing so unsafe or dangerous, and tell your doctor as soon as possible.
Can I take the medicine while pregnant?
This drug should not be taken by anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding.
How should I store it?
Keep it in a secure place out of the reach of children. Do not store above 25°C.
Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?
Fluvastatin contains the following components: fluvastatin sodium, mannitol, talc, magnesium stearate, gelatin, titanium dioxide (E171), yellow iron oxide (E172), red iron oxide (E172), shellac, soya, lecithin, antifoam DC 1510, iron oxide black (E172), and propylene glycol.
Do not use it if you are allergic to or unable to tolerate any of the above ingredients.
Is it available over-the-counter?
As a prescription-only treatment, you can only buy Fluvastatin in the UK if you have consulted with a doctor first. Our simple online service provides this facility, so that you can get the item you need delivered to your door without having to make an appointment with a general practitioner.
Is it right for me?
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