Fluvastatin | Side Effects, Dosage, Uses & More
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Generic Name:

fluvastatin, Oral capsule

All Brands

  • Lescol (Discontinued)
A discontinued drug is a drug that has been taken off the market due to safety issues, shortage of raw materials, or low market demand.
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for fluvastatin

Oral capsule
1

Fluvastatin is used to decrease the amount of cholesterol and other fatty substances in your blood.

2

This drug comes in the form of an immediate-release capsule and an extended-release tablet you take by mouth.

3

Fluvastatin extended-release tablets are available as the brand-name drug Lescol XL. The extended-release tablets and immediate-release capsules are available as generic drugs.

4

The more common side effects of this drug include stomach pain, nausea, heartburn, diarrhea, sinus infection, headaches, and muscle pain.

5
IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Muscle problems

This drug may cause you to have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness with a fever. This may be an early sign of a rare muscle problem that could lead to serious kidney injury. If you’re a senior or have thyroid or kidney problems, you have a higher risk for having muscle problems caused by this drug.

Liver problems

This drug may increase your risk of liver disease. Your doctor should check how well your liver is working before you start and during treatment with this medication. Use this drug with caution if you drink a lot of alcohol or have a history of liver disease. If you drink alcohol, talk to your doctor before taking this drug.

Endocrine problems

If you have diabetes, this drug may increase your hemoglobin A1c level. This level shows how well your diabetes has been controlled over the past 3 months.

What is fluvastatin?

This drug is a prescription drug. It’s available as an oral extended-release tablet. 

This drug is available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name version. Talk to your doctor to see if the generic version will work for you.

This drug may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

Why it's used

This drug is used to decrease the amount of cholesterol and other fatty substances in your blood. 

Reducing your cholesterol level can lower your risk of stroke and heart attack. It can also decrease your chance of needing heart surgery if you have heart disease or are at risk for heart disease. 

This drug is also used to treat children ages 10–17 years with familial heterozygous hypercholesterolemia. This is an inherited condition in which cholesterol cannot be removed from the body normally.

How it works

This drug belongs to a class of drugs called statins. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions. 

This drug works by blocking enzymes in your liver that make cholesterol. This lowers your low-density lipoprotein or LDL (bad) cholesterol and raises your high-density lipoprotein or HDL (good) cholesterol. 

This drug should be used with diet, exercise, and weight loss to lower your cholesterol levels. 

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SECTION 2 of 5

fluvastatin Side Effects

Oral capsule

More Common Side Effects

Some of the more common side effects that can occur with use of fluvastatin include:

  • stomach problems. Symptoms include:

    • upset stomach
    • stomach pain
    • diarrhea
  • muscle problems. Symptoms include:

    • muscle pain
  • sinus infections

  • central nervous system problems. Symptoms include:

    • tiredness
    • trouble sleeping
    • memory loss
    • confusion
  • flu-like symptoms. Symptoms include:

    • fever
    • cough
    • sore throat
    • headache
    • muscle pain
    • runny or stuffy nose

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious Side Effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • worsening muscle problems. Symptoms include:

    • muscle pain
    • muscle tenderness
    • muscle weakness
  • liver problems. Symptoms include:

    • dark-colored urine
    • yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
  • stomach problems. Symptoms include:

    • pain in the upper right part of your stomach
    • nausea
    • loss of appetite
  • central nervous system problems. Symptoms include:

    • lack of energy
    • weakness
    • extreme tiredness
  • skin problems. Symptoms include:

    • skin rash
    • hives
    • itching
  • breathing problems. Symptoms include:

    • trouble breathing or swallowing
  • bleeding problems. Symptoms include:

    • unusual bleeding or bruising
  • flu-like symptoms. Symptoms include:

    • fever
    • body aches
    • tiredness
    • cough
  • swelling of your face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs

  • hoarseness

Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

This drug doesn’t cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

fluvastatin May Interact with Other Medications

Oral capsule

Fluvastatin can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well. 

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Alcohol interaction

The use of drinks that contain alcohol can increase your risk of liver problems from fluvastatin. If you drink alcohol, talk to your doctor. 

Medications that might interact with this drug

Immunosuppressant drugs

Taking medications that weaken your immune system (immunosupressants) increase the levels of fluvastatin in your body. This raises your risk of side effects. Your fluvastatin dose shouldn’t be higher than 20 mg taken twice per day if you’re also taking an immunosuppressant.

These drugs include:

  • cyclosporine

Antifungal drugs

Taking certain antifungals can increase the levels of fluvastatin in your body. This raises your risk of side effects. Your fluvastatin dose shouldn’t be higher than 20 mg taken twice per day when you’re also taking an antifungal drug.

These drugs include:

  • fluconazole

Cholesterol drugs

Taking other cholesterol medications with fluvastatin may increase your risk for muscle pain and weakness. Fluvastatin should be taken with caution when used with fibrates.

These drugs include:

  • gemfibrozil. You shouldn’t take this drug with fluvastatin.
  • Niacin. Your doctor may lower your dose of fluvastatin if you’re taking these drugs together.

Gout drugs

Taking certain medications for gout with fluvastatin may increase your risk for muscle pain and weakness.

These drugs include:

  • colchicine

Diabetes drugs

Fluvastatin increases the levels of certain diabetes drugs in your body. This may cause you to have low blood sugar.

These drugs include:

  • glyburide

Seizure drugs

Fluvastatin increases the levels of certain seizure medicines in your body. This raises your risk side effects caused by the seizure drug. Your doctor should monitor your blood levels of your seizure medicine when you start fluvastatin and when you change your dose. 

These drugs include:

  • phenytoin

Blood thinner drugs

Fluvastatin may increase your risk of bleeding if taken with certain blood thinner medications. Your doctor should check your risk of bleeding when you first start taking fluvastatin and when changing doses.

These drugs include:

  • warfarin

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Drug warnings
liver problems
People with liver problems

If you have liver disease, this drug can make your condition worse. You shouldn’t take this drug if you have liver problems.

diabetes
People with diabetes

This drug may increase your blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c levels (how well your diabetes has been controlled over the past 3 months). Your doctor may increase the dose of your diabetes drug while you’re taking this drug.

Pregnant women
Pregnant women

This drug is a category X pregnancy drug. Category X drugs should never be used during pregnancy. 

breast-feeding
Women who are breast-feeding

This drug passes into breast milk and may cause side effects in a child who is breast-fed. 

Talk to your doctor if you breast-feed your baby. You may need to decide whether to stop breast-feeding or stop taking this medication.

seniors
For seniors

Seniors may have a higher risk of experiencing muscle problems caused by this drug.

children
For children

This medication hasn’t been studied in children younger than 10 years. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 10 years.

allergies
Allergies

This drug can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include: 

  • trouble breathing or swallowing
  • swelling of your face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • skin rash
  • hives
  • itching 

Call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room if you develop these symptoms. 

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

SECTION 4 of 5

How to Take fluvastatin (Dosage)

Oral capsule

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

High cholesterol and mixed dyslipidemia

Brand: Lescol XL

Form: Oral extended-release tablet
Strengths: 80 mg

Generic: fluvastatin

Form: Oral immediate-release tablet
Strengths: 20 mg, 40 mg
Form: Oral extended-release tablet
Strengths: 80 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

The usual dose is 20–80 mg taken by mouth once per day. The maximum dose is 80 mg taken once per day.

Your starting dose depends on your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level:

  • If your LDL level has to be reduced by more than 25%:
    • immediate-release capsule: 40 mg taken once in the evening or 40 mg taken twice per day. Don’t take two capsules at one time.
    • extended-release tablet: 80 mg taken once per day
  • If your LDL level has to be reduced by less than 25%:
    • immediate-release capsule: 20 mg taken once per day
Child dosage (age 17 years)

The usual dose is 20–80 mg taken by mouth once per day. The maximum dose is 80 mg taken once per day.

Your starting dose depends on your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level:

  • If your LDL level has to be reduced by more than 25%:
    • immediate-release capsule: 40 mg taken once in the evening or 40 mg taken twice per day. Don’t take two capsules at one time.
    • extended-release tablet: 80 mg taken once per day
  • If your LDL level has to be reduced by less than 25%:
    • immediate-release capsule: 20 mg taken once per day
Child dosage (ages 10–16 years)

The starting dose is 20 mg taken by mouth once per day. The maximum dose is 80 mg taken once per day. Your doctor should change your dose every 6 weeks if needed, up to a maximum of 40 mg taken twice per day (immediate-release capsules) or 80 mg taken once per day (extended-release tablets).

Child dosage (ages 0–9 years)

This medication hasn’t been studied in children younger than 10 years. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 10 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This increases your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose or a different medication schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Familial heterozygous hypercholesterolemia

Brand: Lescol XL

Form: Oral extended-release tablet
Strengths: 80 mg

Generic: fluvastatin

Form: Oral immediate-release tablet
Strengths: 20 mg, 40 mg
Form: Oral extended-release tablet
Strengths: 80 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

The usual dose is 20–80 mg taken by mouth once per day. The maximum dose is 80 mg taken once per day.

Your starting dose depends on your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level:

  • If your LDL level has to be reduced by more than 25%:
    • immediate-release capsule: 40 mg taken once in the evening or 40 mg taken twice per day. Don’t take two capsules at one time.
    • extended-release tablet: 80 mg taken once per day
  • If your LDL level has to be reduced by less than 25%:
    • immediate-release capsule: 20 mg taken once per day
Child dosage (age 17 years)

The usual dose is 20–80 mg taken by mouth once per day. The maximum dose is 80 mg taken once per day.

Your starting dose depends on your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level:

  • If your LDL level has to be reduced by more than 25%:
    • immediate-release capsule: 40 mg taken once in the evening or 40 mg taken twice per day. Don’t take two capsules at one time.
    • extended-release tablet: 80 mg taken once per day
  • If your LDL level has to be reduced by less than 25%:
    • immediate-release capsule: 20 mg taken once per day
Child dosage (ages 10–16 years)

The starting dose is 20 mg taken by mouth once per day. The maximum dose is 80 mg taken once per day. Your doctor should change your dose every 6 weeks if needed, up to a maximum of 40 mg taken twice per day (immediate-release capsules) or 80 mg taken once per day (extended-release tablets).

Child dosage (ages 0–9 years)

This medication hasn’t been studied in children younger than 10 years. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 10 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This increases your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose or a different medication schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Secondary prevention of heart disease

Brand: Lescol XL

Form: Oral extended-release tablet
Strengths: 80 mg

Generic: fluvastatin

Form: Oral immediate-release tablet
Strengths: 20 mg, 40 mg
Form: Oral extended-release tablet
Strengths: 80 mg
Adult dosage (ages 18–64 years)

The usual dose is 20–80 mg taken by mouth once per day. The maximum dose is 80 mg taken once per day.

Your starting dose depends on your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level:

  • If your LDL level has to be reduced by more than 25%:
    • immediate-release capsule: 40 mg taken once in the evening or 40 mg taken twice per day. Don’t take two capsules at one time.
    • extended-release tablet: 80 mg taken once per day
  • If your LDL level has to be reduced by less than 25%:
    • immediate-release capsule: 20 mg taken once per day
Child dosage (age 17 years)

The usual dose is 20–80 mg taken by mouth once per day. The maximum dose is 80 mg taken once per day.

Your starting dose depends on your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level:

  • If your LDL level has to be reduced by more than 25%:
    • immediate-release capsule: 40 mg taken once in the evening or 40 mg taken twice per day. Don’t take two capsules at one time.
    • extended-release tablet: 80 mg taken once per day
  • If your LDL level has to be reduced by less than 25%:
    • immediate-release capsule: 20 mg taken once per day
Child dosage (ages 10–16 years)

The starting dose is 20 mg taken by mouth once per day. The maximum dose is 80 mg taken once per day. Your doctor should change your dose every 6 weeks if needed, up to a maximum of 40 mg taken twice per day (immediate-release capsules) or 80 mg taken once per day (extended-release tablets).

Child dosage (ages 0–9 years)

This medication hasn’t been studied in children younger than 10 years. It shouldn’t be used in people younger than 10 years.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This increases your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lowered dose or a different medication schedule. This can help keep levels of this drug from building up too much in your body.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Healthline Pharmacist Editorial Team

This drug comes with risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug or don’t take it at all

You won’t see a full benefit for this medication. You’ll increase your risk of experiencing heart disease, heart attack, or stroke.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. You may have the following symptoms:

  • severe stomach pain
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • muscle pain and weakness

If you think you’ve taken too much of the drug, act right away. Call your doctor or local poison control center, or go to the nearest emergency room.

What to do if you miss a dose

Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

You won’t be able to feel this drug working. Your doctor will do a blood test to check your cholesterol levels. If your cholesterol is lower, this means that the drug is working.

This drug is used for long-term treatment.

Important considerations for taking this drug
take with or without food
You can take this drug with or without food
Don’t open the tablets
Don’t open the immediate-release capsules or break, crush, or chew the extended-release tablets
storage
Store this drug at room temperature
See Details
medication is refillable
A prescription for this medication is refillable
See Details
Travel
Travel
See Details
Clinical monitoring
Clinical monitoring
See Details
diet
Your diet
See Details
not usually stocked
Not every pharmacy stocks this drug. When filling your prescription, be sure to call ahead
prior authorization needed
Insurance
See Details

Store this drug at room temperature

Keep it at 77°F (25°C). You can store it briefly between 59°F to 86°F (15°C to 30°C). Keep it away from high temperatures.

Protect the medication from light.

Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

A prescription for this medication is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

You and your doctor should monitor certain health issues. This can help make sure you stay safe while you take this drug. Your doctor may do blood tests to check the following: 

  • Cholesterol levels. This will tell if the drug is working for you.
  • Liver function. Your doctor may monitor your liver function to help decide if this drug is safe for you to take or check for side effects.
  • Blood sugar levels and hemoglobin A1c levels. Your doctor may do these tests to check if this drug is affecting your diabetes.

Your diet

Your doctor may suggest that you eat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet.

Insurance

Many insurance companies require a prior authorization for this drug. This means your doctor will need to get approval from your insurance company before your insurance company will pay for the prescription.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

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How Much Does fluvastatin Cost?

Oral capsule

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Lowest price for fluvastatin

Walmart $37.04
Sams Club $37.04
Walgreens $62.85
These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for fluvastatin on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for fluvastatin on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

Show Sources

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on October 13, 2015

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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