Fluvastatin is a medication taken to lower high cholesterol. It belongs to a group of medications known as statins. It can also be prescribed to prevent heart disease in some people.
- Fluvastatin belongs to a group of medications called statins
- Fluvastatin helps to lower levels of cholesterol in the blood
- In people who are in a high risk category, fluvastatin is also prescribed to help prevent other conditions including heart attacks and strokes
- Fluvastatin usually is either taken once or twice daily
- Fluvastatin is available as a capsule preparation
- It is important to read the patient leaflet for a full list of side effects and cautions.
How Does Fluvastatin Work?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance. Fluvastatin works by reducing the amount of cholesterol that is produced and retained within the body’s blood vessels.
Reducing the amount of cholesterol produced helps to prevent cholesterol from building up in the walls of the arteries. This is important because having cholesterol in the arteries increases the risk of the arteries becoming blocked. When arteries become blocked, it can result in a stroke, heart attack, or damage to another organ in the body such as the kidneys.
Fluvastatin can therefore reduce the risk of high cholesterol, and some of its complications.
How is Fluvastatin Taken?
Fluvastatin can be prescribed once or twice a day. If you are only prescribed it once daily, it is common to take fluvastatin in the evening.
The capsules can be taken with or without food as they are unlikely to make you feel sick. If you experience any nausea (feeling sick), it might be worth taking fluvastatin with food to see if this helps.
The capsules should be taken whole with a glass of water.
Dosage of Fluvastatin
Fluvastatin is available in two strength capsules, 20mg and 40mg.
Your dose of fluvastatin will depend on how high your cholesterol is, and how much the level needs to be reduced by.
Daily doses of fluvastatin can vary from 20mg to 80mg. If you require 80mg, this will likely be split into two doses of 40mg taken in the morning and evening.
Are there any Side Effects?
Like all medications, fluvastatin can have some side effects. The most common side effects include:
- Nausea (feeling sick)
- Abdominal pain
- Disturbed sleep
- Changes to some blood test results – your doctor should monitor this.
These side effects are likely to settle down, but if they persist or become troublesome you should speak to your doctor for further advice.
Rarely, more serious side effects can occur. These include:
- Muscle pain and weakness – this could be a sign of muscle or kidney damage
- Yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, with dark urine (pee) or pale stools (poo) – this could be a sign of liver problems
- Cough and breathlessness – this could be a sign of a lung problem
- Skin rashes on the palms of the hands or soles of the feet
- Severe abdominal (tummy) pain – this could be a sign of a problem with the pancreas.
You should speak to your doctor straight away if any of these side effects occur.
Serious allergic reactions happen very rarely. If you have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) including breathlessness, lip swelling or tongue swelling, call 999 immediately.
Fluvastatin may not be suitable for everyone. You should tell your prescriber if you:
- Have liver or kidney disease
- Have lung disease
- Have diabetes
- Have an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Drink a large amount of alcohol or have alcohol dependence
- Have low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Have a muscle disorder, including fibromyalgia
- Have had muscular problems when taking fluvastatin or another statin in the past
- Have ever had an allergic reaction to fluvastatin or any other medication
- Are pregnant, trying to conceive, or breastfeeding.
Some medications can interact with fluvastatin. You may be advised that fluvastatin will not suit you if you already take:
- Fusidic acid
- Medications for diabetes