Livalo is available in tablet form and can be taken by mouth once a day, with or without food. Keep the medication at room temperature between 15°C and 30°C, or 59° to 86° F.
- Moderate-intensity: 2–4 mg daily
Can reduce LDL by approximately 30%–49%
- Low-intensity: 1 mg daily
Can reduce LDL by no more than 30%
A 2 mg dose is generally the initial dose you may be prescribed, a maintenance dose may range from 1-4 mg, but the maximum dose for Livalo is 4 mg. In clinical studies doses of more than 4 mg (daily) were linked to an increased risk for severe myopathy (a skeletal muscle disorder that causes muscle weakness, stiffness, and spasms). Therefore, Livalo should only be used once a day at a maximum dose of 4 mg.
Your dosage is determined by your age, medical history, treatment response, and any additional drugs you may be taking. Your doctor will examine your cholesterol levels, 4 weeks after you start taking the medication. Depending on how high your level is, they could possibly increase your dose.
Follow your doctor's instructions and all guidelines provided on the medication label. For the greatest outcomes, your provider might periodically adjust your dosage. Never use more or less of this medication than is advised, or for an extended period of time, unless approved by your doctor.
What should I know about Livalo before taking it?
If you’re allergic to pitavastatin, or have any of the following conditions, you shouldn't take Livalo.
- Hepatitis (inflammation in your liver), including abnormal liver enzyme testing
- Kidney disease
- If you are nursing or pregnant
- When taking cyclosporine
- Regularly consume a large amount of alcohol.
What are the side effects of Livalo?
Although Livalo is safe and effective for many individuals, it does cause an extensive amount of adverse effects that may not always be well tolerated by everyone taking them, including the following:
- Myopathy (skeletal muscle disorder)
- Risk factors for myopathy include individuals older than 65 years, uncontrolled hypothyroidism, and/or renal impairment.
- Common signs and symptoms of myopathy include dark brown urine, severe muscle weakness or pain, fever, tiredness, little urination, swelling in your hands or feet, and feeling tired or confused.
- Myalgias (muscle pain and/or soreness)
- Arthralgia (joint pain)
- Cognitive impairment
- Cold-like symptoms, including sore throat, stuffy nose, and/or sneezing
- Abdominal pain
Do not abruptly discontinue taking this medication if you believe you are encountering any negative side effects. Consult your doctor to determine whether a dose adjustment or switching to a different drug could be beneficial in your case.
Serious side effects
- Difficulty raising your arms and/or difficulty rising or standing
- Muscle aches in your hips, shoulders, neck, and back
- Hepatic (liver) issues, such as upper abdominal pain, weakness, fatigue, decreased appetite, dark urine, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
- Kidney issues, such as little to no urination, ankle or foot swelling, fatigue, or shortness of breath.
If you’re experiencing any of the serious side effects listed above, immediately call your doctor and stop taking this medication.
Who’s at a greater risk of developing statin side effects?
Your risk of adverse effects with statins may rise due to certain risk factors. You could be more susceptible to negative side effects if you:
- are female
- are older than 80
- have kidney and/or liver issues
- have particular ailments such as hypothyroidism or neuromuscular diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- consume an excessive amount of alcohol. Daily use of alcohol may increase your risk for liver problems, particularly when combined with Livalo.