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cerivastatin (Baycol): Drug Side Effects and Dosing

What is cerivastatin, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Cerivastatin is a drug that lowers cholesterol in the blood by blocking the enzyme in the liver that is responsible for producing cholesterol. It lowers total cholesterol
as well as the LDL subfraction of cholesterol in the blood. LDL cholesterol is believed to be
the “bad” cholesterol that is primarily responsible for the development of
coronary artery disease. Lowering LDL cholesterol levels retards and may even reverse coronary artery disease. Cerivastatin is in the same class of drugs (HMGCoA reductase inhibitors) as atorvastatin
(Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor), pravastatin
(Pravachol), lovastatin
(Mevacor), and fluvastatin (Lescol). Cerivastatin was
approved by the FDA in 1997.

What brand names are available for cerivastatin?


Is cerivastatin available as a generic drug?


Do I need a prescription for cerivastatin?


What are the side effects of cerivastatin?

Cerivastatin generally is well-tolerated, and side
effects are rare. Minor side effects include constipation, diarrhea,
fatigue, gas, heartburn, nasal congestion, and headache. Cerivastatin
should be used with caution in patients with alcoholic or other liver
diseases. Persistently abnormal liver tests during treatment are rare but
may require discontinuation of the medication. Rare cases of muscle damage due to
inflammation (myositis) have been reported with other drugs
in the same class as cerivastatin, and is presumed also to occur with cerivastatin as well. (Muscle inflammation causes the
release of muscle protein, myoglobin, into the blood where it is carried to the kidneys and leads to kidney failure.)

What is the dosage for cerivastatin?

Cerivastatin usually is taken once daily at bedtime. It
may be taken with or without food.

Which drugs or supplements interact with cerivastatin?

With other drugs in the same class as cerivastatin, the risk of
muscle damage (see below) is increased when they are
given at the same time as other medications such as cyclosporine (Sandimmune; Neoral), gemfibrozil
(Lopid), erythromycin, itraconazole
(Sporanox) and
nicotinic acid. It is assumed that cerivastatin will interact similarly.

Is cerivastatin safe to take if I’m pregnant or breastfeeding?

It is not known if cerivastatin causes
harm to the fetus if taken during pregnancy. Cerivastatin may be used
in pregnancy if the physician feels that its benefits outweigh its
potential risks.

It is not known if cerivastatin is secreted in
breast milk. Therefore, the physician and patient must weigh the benefits against the potential risks of treating nursing mothers.

What else should I know about cerivastatin?

What preparations of cerivastatin are available?

Tablets, 0.3mg, 0.4mg, and 0.8mg.

How should I keep cerivastatin stored?

Tablets should be stored at room temperature,
15-30°C (59-86°F).


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