Niacin Extended-Release/Lovastatin Dosage
The recommended starting dose of niacin extended-release/lovastatin for most people with high cholesterol is 500 mg/20 mg once a day. If needed, your healthcare provider may gradually increase your dosage up to a maximum of 2000 mg/40 mg. It's best to take your dose of this medication at bedtime with a low-fat snack.
The dosage of niacin extended-release/lovastatin (Advicor®) your healthcare provider recommends will vary, depending on a number of factors, including:
- Your age
- The medical condition being treated
- Other medical conditions you may have
- Other medications you may be currently taking (see Drug Interactions With Niacin Extended-Release/Lovastatin)
- Your cholesterol goal
- How you respond to the medication.
As is always the case, do not adjust your dose unless specifically your healthcare provider specifically tells you to do so.
The recommended starting dose of niacin extended-release/lovastatin for most people with high cholesterol is 500 mg/20 mg once a day, taken at bedtime with a low-fat snack.
Your healthcare provider may increase your dose if necessary. This must be done slowly to minimize flushing due to the niacin component of the medication. The dose should be increased no more rapidly than by 500 mg (based on the niacin component) every four weeks. If you stop taking this medication for seven days or longer, you will need to be restarted on the lowest dosage (500 mg/20 mg a day) and slowly increased again.
The dosage can also be decreased if side effects of niacin extended-release/lovastatin occur. The maximum recommended daily dosage is niacin extended-release/lovastatin 2000 mg/40 mg. Lower doses may be recommended in some people, including people with severe kidney disease or people who take certain other medications (see Drug Interactions With Niacin Extended-Release/Lovastatin).
There is no way to take less than 20 mg of the lovastatin component while taking niacin extended-release/lovastatin, since the tablets cannot be split. Therefore, if a lower lovastatin dosage is recommended in your particular situation, this medication is not a good choice for you.
In order to minimize flushing, your healthcare provider may recommend taking aspirin or other similar nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen. This works best if you take the aspirin or NSAID about 30 minutes before your niacin extended-release/lovastatin dose. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider first, since there may be a reason why you should not take aspirin or an NSAID.
It is important to remember that lowering cholesterol begins with lifestyle changes (such as weight loss, low cholesterol diet, and exercise). Niacin extended-release/lovastatin is for use if lifestyle changes do not lower cholesterol to a desirable level. However, even for those who are taking cholesterol medication, lifestyle changes are still important for maintaining a good cholesterol level.