"What is Livalo (pitavastatin)?
Livalo (pitavastatin) is a cholesterol-lowering drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration in August 2009. Livalo is an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor or "statin."
- Patient Information:
Details with Side Effects
Skeletal Muscle Effects
Cases of myopathy and rhabdomyolysis with acute renal failure secondary to myoglobinuria have been reported with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, including LIVALO. These risks can occur at any dose level, but increase in a dose-dependent manner.
LIVALO should be prescribed with caution in patients with predisposing factors for myopathy. These factors include advanced age ( > 65 years), renal impairment, and inadequately treated hypothyroidism. The risk of myopathy may also be increased with concurrent administration of fibrates or lipid-modifying doses of niacin. LIVALO should be administered with caution in patients with impaired renal function, in elderly patients, or when used concomitantly with fibrates or lipid-modifying doses of niacin [see DRUG INTERACTIONS, Use In Specific Populations and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
LIVALO therapy should be discontinued if markedly elevated creatine kinase (CK) levels occur or myopathy is diagnosed or suspected. LIVALO therapy should also be temporarily withheld in any patient with an acute, serious condition suggestive of myopathy or predisposing to the development of renal failure secondary to rhabdomyolysis (e.g., sepsis, hypotension, dehydration, major surgery, trauma, severe metabolic, endocrine, and electrolyte disorders, or uncontrolled seizures). All patients should be advised to promptly report unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, particularly if accompanied by malaise or fever.
Liver Enzyme Abnormalities
Increases in serum transaminases (aspartate aminotransferase [AST]/serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase, or alanine aminotransferase [ALT]/serum glutamic-pyruvic transaminase) have been reported with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, including LIVALO. In most cases, the elevations were transient and resolved or improved on continued therapy or after a brief interruption in therapy.
In placebo-controlled Phase 2 studies, ALT > 3 times the upper limit of normal was not observed in the placebo, LIVALO 1 mg, or LIVALO 2 mg groups. One out of 202 patients (0.5%) administered LIVALO 4 mg had ALT > 3 times the upper limit of normal.
It is recommended that liver enzyme tests be performed before the initiation of LIVALO and if signs or symptoms of liver injury occur.
There have been rare postmarketing reports of fatal and non-fatal hepatic failure in patients taking statins, including pitavastatin. If serious liver injury with clinical symptoms and/or hyperbilirubinemia or jaundice occurs during treatment with LIVALO, promptly interrupt therapy. If an alternate etiology is not found do not restart LIVALO.
As with other HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, LIVALO should be used with caution in patients who consume substantial quantities of alcohol. Active liver disease, which may include unexplained persistent transaminase elevations, is a contraindication to the use of LIVALO [see CONTRAINDICATIONS].
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility
In a 92-week carcinogenicity study in mice given pitavastatin, at the maximum tolerated dose of 75 mg/kg/day with systemic maximum exposures (AUC) 26 times the clinical maximum exposure at 4 mg/day, there was an absence of drug-related tumors.
In a 92-week carcinogenicity study in rats given pitavastatin at 1, 5, 25 mg/kg/day by oral gavage there was a significant increase in the incidence of thyroid follicular cell tumors at 25 mg/kg/day, which represents 295 times human systemic exposures based on AUC at the 4 mg/day maximum human dose.
In a 26-week transgenic mouse (Tg rasH2) carcinogenicity study where animals were given pitavastatin at 30, 75, and 150 mg/kg/day by oral gavage, no clinically significant tumors were observed.
Pitavastatin was not mutagenic in the Ames test with Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli with and without metabolic activation, the micronucleus test following a single administration in mice and multiple administrations in rats, the unscheduled DNA synthesis test in rats, and a Comet assay in mice. In the chromosomal aberration test, clastogenicity was observed at the highest doses tested which also elicited high levels of cytotoxicity.
Pitavastatin had no adverse effects on male and female rat fertility at oral doses of 10 and 30 mg/kg/day, respectively, at systemic exposures 56-and 354-times clinical exposure at 4 mg/day based on AUC.
Pitavastatin treatment in rabbits resulted in mortality in males and females given 1 mg/kg/day (30-times clinical systemic exposure at 4 mg/day based on AUC) and higher during a fertility study. Although the cause of death was not determined, rabbits had gross signs of renal toxicity (kidneys whitened) indicative of possible ischemia. Lower doses (15-times human systemic exposure) did not show significant toxicity in adult males and females. However, decreased implantations, increased resorptions, and decreased viability of fetuses were observed.
Use In Specific Populations
Teratogenic effects: Pregnancy Category X
LIVALO is contraindicated in women who are or may become pregnant. Serum cholesterol and TG increase during normal pregnancy, and cholesterol products are essential for fetal development. Atherosclerosis is a chronic process and discontinuation of lipid-lowering drugs during pregnancy should have little impact on long-term outcomes of primary hyperlipidemia therapy [see CONTRAINDICATIONS].
There are no adequate and well-controlled studies of LIVALO in pregnant women, although, there have been rare reports of congenital anomalies following intrauterine exposure to HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. In a review of about 100 prospectively followed pregnancies in women exposed to other HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, the incidences of congenital anomalies, spontaneous abortions, and fetal deaths/stillbirths did not exceed the rate expected in the general population. However, this study was only able to exclude a three-to-four-fold increased risk of congenital anomalies over background incidence. In 89% of these cases, drug treatment started before pregnancy and stopped during the first trimester when pregnancy was identified.
Reproductive toxicity studies have shown that pitavastatin crosses the placenta in rats and is found in fetal tissues at ≤ 36% of maternal plasma concentrations following a single dose of 1 mg/kg/day during gestation.
Embryo-fetal developmental studies were conducted in pregnant rats treated with 3, 10, 30 mg/kg/day pitavastatin by oral gavage during organogenesis. No adverse effects were observed at 3 mg/kg/day, systemic exposures 22 times human systemic exposure at 4 mg/day based on AUC.
Embryo-fetal developmental studies were conducted in pregnant rabbits treated with 0.1, 0.3, 1 mg/kg/day pitavastatin by oral gavage during the period of fetal organogenesis. Maternal toxicity consisting of reduced body weight and abortion was observed at all doses tested (4 times human systemic exposure at 4 mg/day based on AUC).
In perinatal/postnatal studies in pregnant rats given oral gavage doses of pitavastatin at 0.1, 0.3, 1, 3, 10, 30 mg/kg/day from organogenesis through weaning, maternal toxicity consisting of mortality at ≥ 0.3 mg/kg/day and impaired lactation at all doses contributed to the decreased survival of neonates in all dose groups (0.1 mg/kg/day represents approximately 1 time human systemic exposure at 4 mg/day dose based on AUC).
LIVALO may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. If the patient becomes pregnant while taking LIVALO, the patient should be apprised of the potential risks to the fetus and the lack of known clinical benefit with continued use during pregnancy.
It is not known whether pitavastatin is excreted in human milk, however, it has been shown that a small amount of another drug in this class passes into human milk. Rat studies have shown that pitavastatin is excreted into breast milk. Because another drug in this class passes into human milk and HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors have a potential to cause serious adverse reactions in nursing infants, women who require LIVALO treatment should be advised not to nurse their infants or to discontinue LIVALO [see CONTRAINDICATIONS].
Safety and effectiveness of LIVALO in pediatric patients have not been established.
Of the 2,800 patients randomized to LIVALO 1 mg to 4 mg in controlled clinical studies, 1,209 (43%) were 65 years and older. No significant differences in efficacy or safety were observed between elderly patients and younger patients. However, greater sensitivity of some older individuals cannot be ruled out.
Patients with moderate and severe renal impairment (glomerular filtration rate 30 – 59 mL/min/1.73 m2 and 15 – 29 mL/min/1.73 m2 not receiving hemodialysis, respectively) as well as end-stage renal disease receiving hemodialysis should receive a starting dose of LIVALO 1 mg once daily and a maximum dose of LIVALO 2 mg once daily [see DOSAGE AND ADMINISTRATION and CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY].
LIVALO is contraindicated in patients with active liver disease which may include unexplained persistent elevations of hepatic transaminase levels.
Last reviewed on RxList: 3/13/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
Additional Livalo Information
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Tips to keep it under control.