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GlaxoSmithKline Obtains Exclusive U.S. OTC Marketing Rights to MEVACOR(R) (lovastatin) from Merck & Co., Inc.
Date:11/26/2007

of the patients who have developed rhabdomyolysis on therapy with lovastatin have had complicated medical histories, including renal insufficiency usually as a consequence of long-standing diabetes mellitus. Such patients merit closer monitoring. Therapy with lovastatin should be temporarily stopped a few days prior to elective major surgery and when any major medical or surgical condition supervenes.

The risk of myopathy/rhabdomyolysis is increased by concomitant use of lovastatin with the following:

Potent inhibitors of CYP3A4: Lovastatin, like several other inhibitors of HMG-CoA reductase, is a substrate of cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4). When lovastatin is used with a potent inhibitor of CYP3A4, elevated plasma levels of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitory activity can increase the risk of myopathy and rhabdomyolysis, particularly with higher doses of lovastatin.

The use of lovastatin concomitantly with the potent CYP3A4 inhibitors itraconazole, ketoconazole, erythromycin, clarithromycin, telithromycin, HIV protease inhibitors, nefazodone, or large quantities of grapefruit juice (>1 quart daily) should be avoided. Concomitant use of other medicines labeled as having a potent inhibitory effect on CYP3A4 should be avoided unless the benefits of combined therapy outweigh the increased risk. If treatment with itraconazole, ketoconazole, erythromycin, clarithromycin or telithromycin is unavoidable, therapy with lovastatin should be suspended during the course of treatment.

Gemfibrozil, particularly with higher doses of lovastatin: The dose of lovastatin should not exceed 20 mg daily in patients receiving concomitant medication with gemfibrozil. The combined use of lovastatin with gemfibrozil should be avoided, unless the benefits are likely to outweigh the increased risks of this drug combination.

Other lipid-lowering drugs (other fibrates or Greater Than or Equal To 1 g/day of niacin): The dose of lovastatin should not exceed 20 mg daily i
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SOURCE GlaxoSmithKline
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