Side Effects of Lovastatin (Mevacor)
Lovastatin, available under the brand Mevacor, is a cholesterol-lowering medication. Mevacor belongs to a class of drugs called statins, which reduce blood cholesterol levels by blocking an enzyme in the liver that creates cholesterol from ingested fats. While statins are effective at reducing blood cholesterol, many people are unable to tolerate the drugs because of the adverse reactions.
Serious Side Effects
According to the FDA, The two most concerning types of severe Mevacor side effects are involved with the muscles and liver. While statins can cause muscle pain, they can also cause severe muscle injury. In causes of rhabdomyolysis (severe muscle injury), contents from damaged muscle cells flood the bloodstream and travel to the kidney where they may cause acute renal failure.
While it is rare, there have been reports of statins causing serious liver damage and even liver failure. In some cases, this liver failure has been fatal.
Common Side Effects
The most common side effect of Mevacor, as reported by the FDA, is an abnormally elevated level of an enzyme in the blood called creatine phosphokinase. This side effect may or may not cause specific symptoms, can lead to other problems. Creatine phosphokinase is found in heart, brain, and muscles cells. When those cells are injured, the enzyme leaks into the blood. If creatine phosphokinase levels are high in the blood, it means that there has been injury to cells. If creatine phosphokinase levels get too high, the patient may need to stop taking Mevacor.
Other common Mevacor side effects include:
- Abdominal pain
- Blurred vision
- Dyspepsia (indigestion, heart burn)
- Muscle cramps
- Myalgia (muscle pain)
- Skin rash
Patients generally find muscle pain to be one of the most troubling Mevacor side effects. It is one of the most common reasons that patients stop taking Mevacor and other statins.
About Pharmacogenetic Testing
Prescribing medications is a real trial and error process. It can take months to find out if the medication is effective and that includes the risk of unpleasant side effects. What pharmacogenetics testing accomplishes, is examining the genes that interact with the medication. Thus, the patient can make a more informed decision about what drug to take and avoid adverse reactions.
Know Your Risk with the Rxight® Genetic Test
Rxight® testing can now provide people with their personal genetic profile of liver enzyme metabolism, including CYP3A4, which metabolizes Mevacor. This information may be helpful in determining your particular risk of developing Mevacor side effects. Rxight® can help determine your particular enzyme activity. If you are concerned about the medications side effects, Rxight® testing can provide information that can decrease your personal risks of adverse drug reactions.
Contributors to this Article:
Michael Sapko, MD, PhD; and Deborah Kallick, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry
Read more about Rxight® Drug Sensitivity Testing