Fluvastatin is a medication commonly used for the treatment of high cholesterol and high triglycerides. For people with heart disease, it can also decrease the chances of requiring a heart procedure (such as angioplasty or open heart surgery) and reduce the rate of cholesterol buildup on the arteries. The drug works by blocking a particular enzyme that controls the rate of cholesterol production in the body.
Fluvastatin sodium (Lescol®) and fluvastatin extended-release (Lescol® XL) are statin medications used for treating a number of conditions related to heart disease, including high cholesterol and high triglycerides. The extended-release form is a long-acting version of fluvastatin. In this article, when we refer to fluvastatin, we are referring to both fluvastatin sodium and fluvastatin extended-release, unless otherwise specified.
As with any medicine, side effects can occur with fluvastatin, but not everyone who takes it will experience side effects. In fact, most people tolerate the medication well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor, meaning they require no treatment or are easily treated by you or a healthcare professional.
The most common side effects thought to be related to fluvastatin include:
- Muscle pain (see Lescol and Muscle Pain)
- Joint pain (see Lescol and Joint Pain)
- Increased liver enzymes (see Lescol and Liver Problems).
Other, less common side effects include but are not limited to:
- Serious breakdown of muscle (known as rhabdomyolysis)
- Memory loss (see Lescol and Memory Loss)
- Depression (see Lescol and Depression).
Weight gain is not a known side effect of fluvastatin (see Lescol and Weight Gain).
Keep in mind that if you experience unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, especially if you also have a fever or you feel ill, it is important to contact your healthcare provider immediately. This could be a sign of a serious, life-threatening muscle problem.
(Click Side Effects of Fluvastatin to learn more, including additional serious side effects you should report to your healthcare provider.)