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MEVACOR® (lovastatin) is a cholesterol lowering agent isolated from a strain of Aspergillus terreus. After oral ingestion, lovastatin, which is an inactive lactone, is hydrolyzed to the corresponding α- hydroxyacid form. This is a principal metabolite and an inhibitor of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutarylcoenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase. This enzyme catalyzes the conversion of HMG-CoA to mevalonate, which is an early and rate limiting step in the biosynthesis of cholesterol.
Lovastatin is [1S-[1α(R*),3α,7α,8α(2S*,4S*), 8aα]]-1,2,3,7, 8,8a-hexahydro-3,7-dimethyl-8-[2-(tetrahydro-4-hydroxy-6-oxo-2H-pyran-2-yl)ethyl]-1-naphthalenyl 2-methylbutanoate. The empiricalformula of lovastatin is C24H36O5 and its molecular weight is 404.55. Its structural formula is:
Lovastatin is a white, nonhygroscopic crystalline powder that is insoluble in water and sparingly soluble in ethanol, methanol, and acetonitrile.
Tablets MEVACOR are supplied as 20 mg and 40 mg tablets for oral administration. In addition to the active ingredient lovastatin, each tablet contains the following inactive ingredients: cellulose, lactose, magnesium stearate, and starch. Butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) is added as a preservative. Tablets MEVACOR 20 mg also contain FD&C Blue 2 aluminum lake. Tablets MEVACOR 40 mg also contain D&C Yellow 10 aluminum lake and FD&C Blue 2 aluminum lake.
What are the possible side effects of lovastatin (Altoprev, Mevacor)?
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop taking lovastatin and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness;
- fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine;
- chest pain;
- confusion, memory problems;
- swelling, weight gain, urinating less than usual or not at all;
- high blood sugar (increased thirst, increased urination,...
What are the precautions when taking lovastatin (Mevacor)?
Before taking lovastatin, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: liver disease, kidney disease, alcohol use.
Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products).
Limit alcoholic beverages. Daily use of alcohol may increase your risk for liver problems, especially when combined with lovastatin. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Older adults may be...
Last reviewed on RxList: 12/7/2012
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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