Side Effects of Pitavastin (Livalo)
Pitavastatin, available under the brand Livalo, is a commonly prescribed statin. Statins are used to reduce blood cholesterol levels, such as high blood cholesterol levels that can result in heart disease. As such the use of statins reduces the risk of heart disease in individuals.
Common Side Effects
The FDA reports Livalo is associated with a number of side effects. These common adverse effects occur in more than 1% of patients taking the medication:
- Back pain
- Myalgia (pain in muscles)
- Pain in extremities (hands and feet)
The FDA also lists the less common side effects of Livalo: high bilirubin (a molecule the liver is involved in metabolizing), muscle spasms, stomach pain, dyspepsia (indigestion), nausea, fatigue, malaise (general discomfort feeling), and headache. Other less than common side effects are:
- Memory loss
- Memory impairment
- Acute renal failure (failure of the kidneys)
- Erectile dysfunction
About Pharmacogenetic Testing
Livalo is metabolized by the cytochrome P450 superfamily of enzymes, namely isoforms CYP2C9 and CYP3A4. Polymorphisms in these enzymes may result in variable metabolism of the drug and altered probability of developing side effects. One other transporter molecule, encoded by SLCO1B1, has been associated with statin therapy. Polymorphisms that cause low functioning proteins to be produced can reduce statin clearance and increase statin concentration – potentially leading to increased risk of developing adverse effects.
Know Your Risk with the Rxight® Genetic Test
Identifying these polymorphisms in individuals can aid doctors’ decision making when prescribing Livalo. Doctors will be able to alter the dosage to potentially reduce the risk of developing side effects. MD Labs provides the Rxight® test, which sequences a number of genes, including SLCO1B1, CYP3A4 and CYP2C9. The Rxight® test identifies how an individual is likely to react to hundreds of medications including Livalo.
Contributors to this Article:
Michael Sapko, MD, PhD; and Deborah Kallick, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry
Read more about Rxight® Genetic Testing Labs