Fluvastatin : All you need to know
Are you a victim of high cholesterol? Have you had anomalous cholesterol levels? Chances are that the doctor may put you on a statin along with a low-fat diet. Fluvastatin is one of the statins the doctor may prescribe.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is essential for life. It is biosynthesized in the body. A class of organic molecules known as lipids; is a waxy substance required for the synthesis of hormones, some acids, and vitamins (Vitamin D) in the body. Cholesterol is also present in the food we eat. Eating food with fats and oil adds up to the total cholesterol levels in the blood. HDL and LDL are the basic components of Cholesterol. HDL cholesterol is called “good” cholesterol. A healthy HDL-cholesterol level protects the heart against heart attack and stroke. Since LDL causes fat to build up on the walls of the arteries it is the bad kind of cholesterol, a low LDL level is great for your heart. The American Heart Association defines the levels as desirable, intermediate, and very high. Cholesterol levels can be affected by food, genes, weight, lifestyle, and existing medical conditions.
Below are the standard levels. It is vital to maintain cholesterol levels at optimal.
The levels of HDL (High-Density Lipoproteins) should be
• Over 60 mg/dL (optimal levels)
• 40 to 60 mg/dL (good levels)
• Below 40 mg/dL (low levels)
The levels of LDL (Low-density Lipoproteins) should be
• Under 100 mg/dL (optimal levels)
• 100 to 129 mg/dL (borderline high levels)
• 130 to 159 mg/dL (mildly high)
• 160 to 189 mg/dL (high)
• 190 mg/dL or above (very high)
Why is it necessary to maintain normal Cholesterol levels?
Elevated cholesterol negatively impacts your health. When cholesterol increases, it is accumulated. This accumulated cholesterol is deposited on the walls of the arteries and, that is dangerous. As it narrows the arteries, it also increases the chances of blockages. The deposits also reduce the blood flow, which could lead to heart attack, stroke, or angina. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and effective statins can help keep cholesterol levels in check.
Has your doctor prescribed Fluvastatin?
Let us understand Fluvastatin
Fluvastatin is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines. Fluvastatin is a statin that slows the build-up of fatty deposits in the blood vessels. It helps to lower the levels of LDL and increase the levels of HDL. Fluvastatin is used in adjunct with a low-fat diet and exercise. It also helps to lower triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood). By improving the levels of desired cholesterol in the blood, the risk of cardiovascular attacks is reduced. It reduces the risk of major cardiac events, especially in the elderly. The doctor decides the dose based on the initial level of LDL and the result of the therapy.
When is Fluvastatin prescribed?
Fluvastatin is used to maintain healthy cholesterol levels in the blood. When the cholesterol is not within the desirable limits despite following diet and exercise, doctors add a statin to stabilize the levels. Fluvastatin may be prescribed for one or more of the following conditions.
• Mixed dyslipidaemia (when the levels of cholesterol are abnormal)
• Hypercholesterolemia (increased cholesterol)
• Prevention of coronary heart diseases like a heart attack or angina
• To lower LDL and increase the HDL
• To lower triglycerides
• To lower total cholesterol
Warnings and precautions
Fluvastatin in contraindicated in some cases. Certain precautions are a must before you start the therapy with Fluvastatin. The first step is to talk with your doctor and discuss your medical history in detail. Inform him of any surgeries you have had and all the medicines you are consuming. Inform the doctor if you take herbal supplements or any additional vitamins. Discuss your family history, as elevated cholesterol levels can be hereditary.
Tell the doctor if you have had
• Hepatic impairment
• Renal impairment
• If you are pregnant or in the process of planning
• If you are breast-feeding
The doctor can study your case and decide on the dose or suggest an alternative therapy altogether.
How to administer Fluvastatin?
The dosage of Fluvastatin is based on your cholesterol levels, your response to treatment, age, and other medications you may be taking. Remember to take this medicine as directed. Never alter the dose in any way. Never stop taking it suddenly. Altering doses leads to unwanted side effects. Take this medication by mouth as directed by your doctor. If you are using the tablet form of this medication, you may take this medication with or without food, as told by the doctor. If you are using the liquid form of this medication, you should take it on an empty stomach.
Fluvastatin has to be taken once a day preferably in the evening after dinner. Set an alarm to remind you so that you take it at the same time every day. If you forget a dose, see when the next dose is due, if it is less than 12 hours away skip the missed dose. If it is more than 12 hours away simply take it as usual when you remember.
Dosages and Brands
Fluvastatin is available in immediate-release form as capsules of 20 milligrams (mg) and 40 milligrams (mg). In the extended-release form as 80 milligrams(mg) tablets.
Although Fluvastatin is as effective as the other statins it is not as popular as the others. There are only a few brands available in the market.
Fluvastatin is sold under the following brand names
• Lescol (Novartis India)
• Fluvalip (Nectazen Pharmaceuticals)
Like the other statins, Fluvastatin also shows similar side effects or adverse reactions. The advantage of Fluvastatin is that there are fewer drug interactions.
Some common side-effects you may experience are
• Stomach upset
• A general feeling of discomfort
Some severe but not common side effects may include
• Muscle pain or tenderness
• Nausea or vomiting that does not stop
• On rare occasions, a condition known as rhabdomyolysis
• Joint pain
• Unusual tiredness or weakness
Some allergic reactions may include urticaria, swelling of body parts, and itching.
Remember that the doctors prescribe Fluvastatin as the advantages are way more than the side
effects. Most side effects get better with time and do not need medical attention. If you experience severe side effects consult the doctor immediately.
So, how to know if Fluvastatin is the drug for you?
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What is MEDNAwise?
MEDNAwise is pharmacogenetic testing that can predict your genetic response to 70+ drugs used in various medical specialties. It also tells you if Fluvastatin is the drug for you. MEDNAwise helps doctors to find the right drugs for the patient at the right time for treatment and prevention. It tells you about your genetic risks and allows the doctors to plan and personalize your medications.
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