What is the most important information I should know about pitavastatin?
You should not take pitavastatin if you have liver disease (including abnormal liver enzyme tests), or if you also take cyclosporine.
Do not take pitavastatin if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Pitavastatin can cause the breakdown of muscle tissue, which can lead to kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, or dark urine.
What is pitavastatin?
Pitavastatin is used together with diet to lower blood levels of "bad" cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL), to increase levels of "good" cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL), and to lower triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood).
Pitavastatin is used to treat high cholesterol in adults. Lowering your cholesterol may help prevent heart disease and hardening of the arteries, conditions that can lead to heart attack, stroke, and vascular disease.
The Livalo brand of pitavastatin is also used to treat an inherited form of high cholesterol in children at least 8 years old.
Pitavastatin may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking pitavastatin?
You should not use pitavastatin if you are allergic to it, or if you have:
- liver disease (including abnormal liver enzyme tests);
- if you are pregnant or breastfeeding; or
- if you are taking cyclosporine.
Do not use if you are pregnant. This medicine can harm an unborn baby. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy. Stop taking this medicine and tell your doctor at once if you become pregnant.
Do not breastfeed while you are taking pitavastatin.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had:
- kidney disease;
- liver disease;
- a thyroid disorder; or
- if you drink large amounts of alcohol.
Pitavastatin can cause the breakdown of muscle tissue, which can lead to kidney failure. This happens more often in older adults or people who have kidney disease or poorly controlled hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).
Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.
How should I take pitavastatin?
Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
You may take pitavastatin with or without food, but take it at the same time each day.
You will need frequent blood tests.
You may need to stop using pitavastatin for a short time if you have:
- uncontrolled seizures;
- an electrolyte imbalance (such as high or low potassium levels in your blood);
- severely low blood pressure;
- a severe infection or illness;
- dehydration; or
- surgery or a medical emergency.
Pitavastatin is only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your diet, medication, and exercise routines very closely.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking pitavastatin?
Avoid eating foods high in fat or cholesterol, or pitavastatin will not be as effective.
Drinking alcohol can raise triglyceride levels and may increase your risk of liver damage.
What are the possible side effects of pitavastatin?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
In rare cases, pitavastatin can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. Call your doctor right away if you have unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, or dark colored urine.
Also call your doctor at once if you have:
- confusion, memory problems;
- muscle weakness in your hips, shoulders, neck, and back;
- trouble lifting your arms, trouble climbing or standing;
- kidney problems --vomiting, pain in your side or lower back, little or no urinating, swelling, rapid weight gain; or
- liver problems --loss of appetite, stomach pain (upper right side), tiredness, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Common side effects may include:
- muscle pain;
- pain in your arms or legs;
- back pain; or
- diarrhea, constipation.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect pitavastatin?
Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use. Like pitavastatin, certain other drugs can increase your risk of serious muscle problems, especially:
- fenofibric acid;
- fenofibrate; or
- medicines that contain niacin (Advicor, Niaspan, Niacor, Simcor, Slo-Niacin, and others).
This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect pitavastatin, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.
Where can I get more information?
Your pharmacist can provide more information about pitavastatin.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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