Lovastatin is commonly used for the treatment of conditions related to heart disease, such as high cholesterol and high triglycerides. It has been approved for use in both adults and children ages 10 to 17 for high cholesterol treatment. As a type of statin, the medication works by blocking a particular enzyme that controls the rate of cholesterol production in the body.
Lovastatin (Mevacor®) is a prescription medication used for treating a number of conditions related to heart disease, including high cholesterol. It is part of a class of drugs called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, which are more popularly known as statins.
This article refers to immediate-release lovastatin. For more information about extended-release lovastatin, see Altoprev.
As with any medicine, side effects are possible with lovastatin. However, not everyone who takes it will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate the medication well. If side effects occur, in most cases, they are minor, meaning they require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider. If side effects do occur, most people do not need to stop taking the medicine.
In clinical studies, common side effects included but were not limited to:
- Increased liver enzymes (see Mevacor and Liver Problems)
- Muscle pain, known medically as myalgia (see Mevacor and Muscle Pain)
- Abdominal pain (stomach pain).
Other rare side effects, occurring in less than 1 percent of people, include but are not limited to:
- Muscle aches (see Mevacor and Muscle Aches)
- Serious breakdown of muscle (known as rhabdomyolysis)
- Joint pain (see Mevacor and Joint Pain)
- Memory loss (see Mevacor and Memory Loss)
- Depression (see Mevacor and Depression).
Weight gain is not a known side effect of lovastatin (see Mevacor and Weight Gain).
Keep in mind that if you experience unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness (especially if you also have a fever or feel ill), it is important to contact your healthcare provider right away. This could be a sign of a serious, life-threatening muscle problem.
(Click Lovastatin Side Effects to learn more, including other serious side effects you should report to your healthcare provider.)