Livalo (pitavastatin) is not recommended for those who are pregnant, who are considering becoming pregnant, or individuals who are breastfeeding. (contraindicated) The reason for not using Livalo is that it is a HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor that lowers cholesterol levels. This means that it decreases the body’s ability for it to synthesize cholesterol and other possible biological active substances that are found in cholesterol. The lessening of cholesterol and biological active substances may cause fetal harm.
How can this drug cause such harm? Experts believe there are a few reasons why. For starters, it is known that fetuses require cholesterol for brain development. Not having enough cholesterol could therefore impede fetal development. In addition, cholesterol levels will normally increase in women so that they can create estrogen and progesterone to help with fetal development and the pregnancy.
It is not known whether this medication will cause birth defects or miscarriages. However, since it does not add any known benefits to the fetus during pregnancy, and it may cause risks during pregnancy by lowering cholesterol levels, the FDA has rated statins as Pregnancy Category X. These drugs have risks that outweigh the benefits.
Livalo and Breastfeeding
Since there is the potential risk of adverse reactions happening to infants, this medication is not recommended for those who are breastfeeding. (contraindicated)
There are no current studies regarding whether this drug will be passed from the parent to the baby during breastfeeding. However, studies have revealed that statins can be transferred via breast milk.
Who should not take Livalo?
Livalo should not be taken by pregnant individuals, those who plan to become pregnant in the near future, or are breastfeeding. Children between the ages of 8 years to 16 years may take this drug for treatment of “bad” cholesterol levels caused by genetic conditions.
Are statins contraindicated in pregnancy?
Yes. The FDA has rated statins as Pregnancy Category X drugs. This classification means that studies show that there is a possibility of birth defects through the use of statins. Since statins lower the amount of bad cholesterol (LDL) that is produced in the liver—and pregnant parents as well as fetuses require cholesterol—experts advise against taking them during this time.