What is this medication for?
Lovastatin - niacin is a combination of 2 medications: lovastatin and extended release niacin. Lovastatin belongs to the family of medications known as HMG CoA reductase inhibitors (also known as "statins"). It works by blocking an enzyme that is needed to make cholesterol in the body. By lowering cholesterol production by the body, levels of cholesterol in the blood decrease. Niacin, also known as nicotinic acid, is a vitamin (vitamin B3). The way it works is not clear but it is known that niacin decreases the amount of cholesterol made by the body.
This combination medication is used to lower high cholesterol levels when exercise and diet alone have not worked. It lowers LDL cholesterol ("bad cholesterol") and triglycerides and increases HDL cholesterol ("good cholesterol"). It is also used to reduce the risk of heart diseases and to prevent recurrence of heart attack. This combination medication is prescribed when your doctor feels it is appropriate for you to be taking both medications, and you have taken niacin or lovastatin as separate medications without any problems.
Your doctor may have suggested this medication for conditions other than those listed here. As well, some forms of this medication may not be used for all of the conditions discussed here. If you are not sure why you are taking this medication, speak to your doctor. Do not stop taking this medication without consulting your doctor.
Do not give this medication to anyone else, even if they have the same symptoms as you do. It can be harmful for people to take this medication if their doctor has not prescribed it.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Advicor® is available as:
- 500 mg niacin extended release and 20 mg lovastatin
- 750 mg niacin extended release and 20 mg lovastatin
- 1,000 mg niacin extended release and 20 mg lovastatin
- 1,000 mg niacin extended release and 40 mg lovastatin
Some medications may have other generic brands available. Always ask your doctor or pharmacist about the safety of switching between brands of the same medication.
How should I use this medication?
Before starting lovastatin - niacin, you should follow a cholesterol-lowering diet. If appropriate, a program of weight control and physical exercise should also be followed.
The usual recommended adult dose is one tablet taken once a day at bedtime with a low-fat snack. The dose is individualized and is based on the strength of lovastatin or niacin you have been taking. This combination product provides a fixed dose of lovastatin and niacin once you and your doctor have determined a stable dose of each individual medication that's the most appropriate for you. Swallow the tablet whole; do not break, chew, or crush it.
Many things can affect the dose of medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
It is important to take this medication exactly as prescribed by your doctor. If you miss a dose, skip the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one. If you are not sure what to do after missing a dose, contact your doctor or pharmacist for advice. If you stop taking the medication for 7 days or more, contact your doctor.
Store this medication at room temperature and keep it out of the reach of children.
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Who should NOT take this medication?
Do not take this medication if you:
- are allergic to lovastatin, niacin, or any ingredients of the medication
- are breast-feeding
- are pregnant
- have active liver disease or unexplained increases in liver function tests
- have an active stomach ulcer or active bleeding from arteries in the body