Advicor combines niacin and lovastatin, and is commonly used for the treatment of high cholesterol and high triglycerides. The drug works by controlling the rate of cholesterol production in the body and decreasing the release of triglycerides. Regular use can result in a decrease of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, and an increase of HDL cholesterol. Side effects include flushing, infection, or weakness.
As mentioned, Advicor combines extended-release niacin and lovastatin. Lovastatin is part of a class of drugs called statins. It works by blocking a particular enzyme (HMG-CoA reductase) that controls the rate of cholesterol production in the body. This causes the liver to make less cholesterol. It also increases the liver's ability to collect and get rid of LDL cholesterol.
Niacin, or nicotinic acid, is also used as a cholesterol-lowering medicine. How niacin works is not completely understood. It probably works in several ways to improve cholesterol levels. Niacin is thought to work by increasing HDL cholesterol ("good" cholesterol) levels by preventing the liver from removing HDL from the bloodstream. In addition, niacin seems to decrease the liver's production of LDL and VLDL, two types of "bad" cholesterol. Niacin also helps decrease the release of fatty acids (from body fat) into the bloodstream.
Because of the effects of lovastatin and niacin, Advicor can help decrease the following forms of cholesterol and fats:
Written by/reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last reviewed by: KristiMonson, PharmD;
List of references (click here):
Advicor [package insert]. North Chicago, IL: Abbott Laboratories;2012 April.
Food and Drug Administration, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. Electronic orange book: approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. FDA Web site. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/cder/ob/. Accessed December 3, 2013.
Briggs GG, Freeman RK, Yaffe SJ. Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation. 7th ed. Philadelphia (PA): Lippincott Williams & Wilkins;2005.
National Library of Medicine (US). Drugs and Lactation Database (LactMED). NLM Web site. Available at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/htmlgen?LACT. Accessed December 12, 2008.
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