"Feb. 28, 2012 -- Memory loss, confusion, high blood sugar, and type 2 diabetes are possible side effects of the popular cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins, the FDA warns.
Brand name and generic versions of statin drugs must c"...
The following serious adverse reactions are discussed in greater detail in other sections of the label:
- Rhabdomyolysis and myopathy [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
- Liver enzyme abnormalities [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS]
Clinical Trial Adverse Reactions
Because clinical trials are conducted under widely varying conditions, adverse reaction rates observed in the clinical trials of a drug cannot be directly compared to rates in the clinical trials of another drug and may not reflect the rates observed in practice.
In controlled clinical trials with Altoprev®, (467 patients with mean exposure to study drug of approximately 11.6 weeks), 3.2% of patients were discontinued due to adverse reactions. This was similar to the discontinuation rate in the placebo (2/34, 5.9%) and lovastatin immediate-release (3.3%) treatment groups.
Pooled results from clinical trials with Altoprev® show that the most frequently reported adverse reactions in the Altoprev® group were infection, headache and accidental injury. Similar incidences of these adverse reactions were seen in the lovastatin and placebo groups. In controlled clinical trials, clinical adverse reactions reported in > 5% of patients in any treatment group are shown in Table 2 below.
Table 2 : Pooled Controlled Studies TESS by Body
System and COSTART Term, Most Common ( ≥ 5% in Any Group)
|Randomized Patients, n=||Treatment|
|Body System||COSTART Term|
|Body as a Whole||Infection||3 (9)||52 (11)||52 (16)|
|Accidental Injury||3 (9)||26 (6)||12 (4)|
|Asthenia||2 (6)||12 (3)||6 (2)|
|Headache||2 (6)||34 (7)||26 (8)|
|Back Pain||1 (3)||23 (5)||18 (5)|
|Flu Syndrome||1 (3)||24 (5)||18 (5)|
|Pain||0||14 (3)||17 (5)|
|Digestive||Diarrhea||2 (6)||15 (3)||8 (2)|
|Musculoskeletal||Arthralgia||2 (6)||24 (5)||20 (6)|
|Myalgia||5 (15)||14 (3)||11 (3)|
|Nervous||Dizziness||2 (6)||10 (2)||5 (2)|
|Respiratory||Sinusitis||1 (3)||17 (4)||20 (6)|
|Urogenital||Urinary Tract Infection||2 (6)||8 (2)||9 (3)|
Air Force/Texas Coronary Atherosclerosis Prevention Study (AFCAPS/TexCAPS)
In AFCAPS/TexCAPS [see CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY] involving 6,605 participants treated with 20-40 mg/day of lovastatin immediate-release (n=3,304) or placebo (n=3,301), the safety and tolerability profile of the group treated with lovastatin immediate-release was comparable to that of the group treated with placebo during a median of 5.1 years of follow-up.
In AFCAPS/TexCAPS, the number of participants with consecutive elevations of either alanine aminotransferase (ALT) or aspartate aminotransferase (AST) ( > 3 times the upper limit of normal), over a median of 5.1 years of follow-up, was not significantly different between the lovastatin immediate-release and placebo groups [18 (0.6%) vs. 11 (0.3%)]. The starting dose of lovastatin immediate-release was 20 mg/day; 50% of the lovastatin immediate-release treated participants were titrated to 40 mg/day at Week 18. Of the 18 participants on lovastatin immediate-release with consecutive elevations of either ALT or AST, 11 (0.7%) elevations occurred in participants taking 20 mg/day, while 7 (0.4%) elevations occurred in participants titrated to 40 mg/day. Elevated transaminases resulted in discontinuation of 6 (0.2%) participants from therapy in the lovastatin immediate-release group (n=3,304) and 4 (0.1%) in the placebo group (n=3,301).
The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of Altoprev® and/or are class effects of HMG CoA reductase inhibitors (statins). Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.
Skeletal: muscle cramps, myalgia, myopathy, rhabdomyolysis, arthralgias.
There have been rare reports of immune-mediated necrotizing myopathy associated with statin use [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Neurological: dysfunction of certain cranial nerves (including alteration of taste, impairment of extra-ocular movement, facial paresis), tremor, dizziness, vertigo, paresthesia, peripheral neuropathy, peripheral nerve palsy, psychic disturbances, anxiety, insomnia, depression.
There have been rare postmarketing reports of cognitive impairment (e.g., memory loss, forgetfulness, amnesia, memory impairment, confusion) associated with statin use. These cognitive issues have been reported for all statins. The reports are generally nonserious, and reversible upon statin discontinuation, with variable times to symptom onset (1 day to years) and symptom resolution (median of 3 weeks).
Hypersensitivity Reactions: An apparent hypersensitivity syndrome has been reported rarely which has included one or more of the following features: anaphylaxis, angioedema, lupus erythematous-like syndrome, polymyalgia rheumatica, dermatomyositis, vasculitis, purpura, thrombocytopenia, leukopenia, hemolytic anemia, positive ANA, ESR increase, eosinophilia, arthritis, arthralgia, urticaria, asthenia, photosensitivity, fever, chills, flushing, malaise, dyspnea, toxic epidermal necrolysis, erythema multiforme, including Stevens-Johnson syndrome.
Gastrointestinal: pancreatitis, hepatitis, including chronic active hepatitis, cholestatic jaundice, fatty change in liver; and rarely, cirrhosis, fulminant hepatic necrosis, and hepatoma; anorexia, vomiting, fatal and non-fatal hepatic failure.
Eye: progression of cataracts (lens opacities), ophthalmoplegia.
Read the Altoprev (lovastatin extended-release tablets) Side Effects Center for a complete guide to possible side effects
Drug interaction studies have not been performed with Altoprev®. The types, frequencies and magnitude of drug interactions that may be encountered when Altoprev® is administered with other drugs may differ from the drug interactions encountered with the lovastatin immediate-release formulation. In addition, as the drug exposure with Altoprev® 60 mg is greater than that with lovastatin immediate-release 80 mg (maximum recommended dose), the severity and magnitude of drug interactions that may be encountered with Altoprev® 60 mg are not known. It is therefore recommended that the following precautions and recommendations for the concomitant administration of lovastatin immediate-release with other drugs be interpreted with caution, and that the monitoring of the pharmacologic effects of Altoprev® and/or other concomitantly administered drugs be undertaken where appropriate.
Strong CYP 3A Inhibitors
Lovastatin is metabolized by CYP3A4 but has no CYP3A inhibitory activity; therefore it is not expected to affect the plasma concentrations of other drugs metabolized by CYP3A. Strong inhibitors of CYP3A (e.g., itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole, voriconazole, clarithromycin, telithromycin, HIV protease inhibitors, boceprevir, telaprevir, and nefazodone), increase the risk of myopathy by reducing the elimination of lovastatin. The use of lovastatin with strong CYP3A inhibitors is contraindicated. [see CONTRAINDICATIONS, WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
Interactions With Lipid-Lowering Drugs That Can Cause Myopathy When Given Alone
Gemfibrozil – Avoid the concomitant use of Altoprev with gemfibrozil [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Other fibrates -Use caution when prescribing Altoprev with other fibrates. [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Niacin (nicotinic acid) ( ≥ 1 g/day)
Avoid the concomitant use of Altoprev with cyclosporine [see WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS].
Danazol, Diltiazem, Dronedarone Or Verapamil
Do not exceed 20 mg of Altoprev daily in patients receiving concomitant therapy with danazol, diltiazem, dronedarone, or verapamil.. [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION, WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS, and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
In a small clinical trial in which lovastatin was administered to warfarin treated patients, no effect on prothrombin time was detected. However, another HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor has been found to produce a less than two second increase in prothrombin time in healthy volunteers receiving low doses of warfarin. Also, bleeding and/or increased prothrombin time has been reported in a few patients taking coumarin anticoagulants concomitantly with lovastatin. In patients taking anticoagulants, prothrombin time should be determined before starting Altoprev and frequently enough during early therapy to ensure that no significant alteration of prothrombin time occurs. Once a stable prothrombin time has been documented, prothrombin times can be monitored at the intervals usually recommended for patients on coumarin anticoagulants. If the dose of Altoprev is changed, the same procedure should be repeated. Lovastatin therapy has not been associated with bleeding or with changes in prothrombin time in patients not taking anticoagulants.
Cases of myopathy, including rhabdomyolysis have been reported with lovastatin coadministered with colchicine. Exercise caution when prescribing Altoprev with colchicine.
The risk of myopathy, including rhabdomyolysis, may be increased by concomitant administration of ranolazine. Exercise caution when prescribing Altoprev with ranolazine. Dose adjustment of Altoprev may be necessary during coadministration with ranolazine.
Read the Altoprev Drug Interactions Center for a complete guide to possible interactions
Last reviewed on RxList: 5/23/2014
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