Take this medicine only as directed by your doctor. Do not take more or less of it and do not take it more often or for a longer time than your doctor ordered. Also, this medicine works best if there is a constant amount in the blood. To help keep this amount constant, do not miss any doses and take the medicine at the same time each day.
In addition to this medicine, your doctor may change your diet to one that is low in fat, sugar, and cholesterol. Carefully follow your doctor's orders about any special diet.
Swallow the extended-release tablet whole. Do not break, crush, or chew it.
It is best to take this medicine at bedtime, with a low-fat meal or snack. Do not take it on an empty stomach.
If you are taking danazol (Danocrine®), diltiazem (Cardizem®), or verapamil (Calan®, Isoptin®, Verelan®) together with lovastatin, your lovastatin dose should not be higher than 20 milligrams (mg) per day, unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Do not use more than 40 mg per day of lovastatin together with amiodarone (Cordarone®). When used together with higher doses of lovastatin, these medicines may increase your risk of muscle injury and could result in kidney problems.
Tell your doctor if you regularly drink grapefruit juice. Drinking large amounts of grapefruit juice (more than 1 quart each day) while taking this medicine may increase your risk of muscle injury and could result in kidney problems.
Do not drink large amounts of alcohol with lovastatin. This could cause liver injury.
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
- For oral dosage form (extended-release tablets):
- For high cholesterol:
- Adults—At first, 500 milligrams (mg) of niacin extended-release and 20 mg of lovastatin (combined in one tablet) once a day, at bedtime. Your doctor may gradually increase your dose every 4 weeks until your cholesterol is controlled. However, the dose is usually not more than 2000 mg of niacin extended-release and 40 mg of lovastatin per day.
- Children—Use is not recommended.
- For high cholesterol:
If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
If you have not taken this medicine for more than 7 days, check with your doctor. You may need to have your dose reduced before you can start taking this medicine again.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.