Generic Name: Pitavastatin
Class: Cholesterol controller (Statin)
Availability: Prescription only
Molecular Formula: C25H24FNO4
Substance UNII: M5681Q5F9P
What is Livalo?
Livalo is a prescription-only HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, also known as a statin. It is the brand name for the drug pitavastatin.
What is Livalo Used For?
Livalo is used in conjunction with a healthy diet to control cholesterol levels in adults. Specifically, the drug helps lower high levels of “bad” cholesterol, which is called low-density lipoprotein (LDL). By lowering LDL levels, it may help reduce the risk of developing heart disease, as well as other conditions, such as strokes or heart attacks.
Livalo will also help raise the levels of “good” cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein (HDL), in people who have abnormally high levels of fat (lipids) in their blood; this condition is called either mixed dyslipidemia and primary hyperlipidemia.
Livalo may be prescribed to children who are 8 years of age or older that have heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH). HeFH is a genetic disorder where the body has elevated plasma concentrations of LDL.
How Does Livalo Work?
According to the FDA, Livalo is a statin designed to block the body’s liver from creating certain enzymes (specialized proteins) that make cholesterol (fat). By controlling high levels of cholesterol, this drug reduces the chances of blood vessels becoming blocked by fat. Vessel blockage could lead to more serious conditions, such as heart attacks or strokes.
Livalo is an oral medication that is considered an adjunctive therapy, or an add-on secondary treatment used with other main therapies. It is normally given to adults who cannot control the amount of cholesterol in their bodies when using other methods by themselves, such as dieting and nonmedical treatments.
How Long Does It Take for Livalo to Work?
The length of time it takes for Livalo to work will depend on the dosage. Some people may take anywhere from 1mg up to 4mg once daily; the recommended starting dosage is 2mg.
Your medical provider will set the dosage, number of times that it may be taken, and how long it should be taken based on medical history, drug interactions, the body’s response to the drug, and other indicators. It takes about 1 hour for pitavastatin to reach peak concentrations in the blood (plasma).
Do Not Use Livalo If:
There are many instances where taking Livalo may not be the right choice for everyone. According to the FDA, the following people should not use Livalo:
- People who have known hypersensitivity reactions, such as rash, itchy skin (pruritus), or hives (urticaria), to pitavastatin
- People that have known hypersensitivity to any of the inactive ingredients that are in Livalo
- During concomitant (at-the-same-time) use of cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral, Gengraf)
- People who are taking gemfibrozil (Lopid)
- Those who are pregnant or breastfeeding
- People who have an active liver disease
Please understand that this is not a complete list of contraindications. There may possibly be other situations and medical conditions where using this drug is not advisable.