Lescol is a medicine that is commonly used for the treatment of high levels of cholesterol within the bloodstream, thus reducing the risk of associated illnesses of the cardiovascular system. Belonging to a class of pharmaceutical compounds called statins, this medicine works by interfering with the way liver produces and expels fats. Available in both standard and extended-release capsule forms, Lescol is a branded medicine developed and marketed by the Novartis pharmaceutical company and Sadoz in the UK.

What’s on this page?

High cholesterol: A quick overview

Cholesterol is a substance that is presented in numerous dietary elements, but it is mainly produced by the liver. Despite its ‘bad reputation’ cholesterol is actually necessary for the optimal functioning of the cells and bodily functions, but in abnormally high amounts, it won’t be able to be absorbed where it is needed and will instead start to accumulate in the blood vessels, causing them to narrow. Within human body, cholesterol travels through the arteries after the lipids get joined with proteins to form a compound called lipoprotein.

Medical experts differentiate between two types of lipoproteins – high density (HDL) and low density (LDL), colloquially known as good and bad cholesterol. While LDLs play a role in transporting the lipids to the various parts of the organism where they are used by cells that need them, HDL transfer them back to the liver where they get broken down and later excreted – hence the layman’s terms for this compounds.

A high level of LDLs is what causes the condition that is known as high cholesterol. Once this substance starts to accumulate in the arteries, it will narrow them, making it harder for the blood to go through and causing the heart to work harder in order to pump the blood throughout the body efficiently. This is the main mechanism that contributes to the increased risk of heart attack, angina, stroke or other serious cardiovascular conditions and complications.

What causes high cholesterol?

Medical experts largely agree that a significant percentage of people affected are genetically predisposed to this condition while others might develop high cholesterol because of an underlying medical problem such as diabetes. However, even those who might have predisposition for developing the condition can live perfectly healthy life provided they are careful about their potentially harmful lifestyle practices and habits. Likewise, even those who might not have genetic predispositions might get affected if they consume unhealthy diets rich in saturated fats, smoke, drink large amounts of alcohol or are physically inactive.

High cholesterol treatment and management

In some milder cases, the doctor might recommend introducing some changes to your daily routine in order to curb your harmful practices and habits. These may include reducing fat and alcohol intake or breaking your sedentary habits with some light exercise. However, if these measures fail to produce the desired results, or if the accumulation of cholesterol in the blood vessels has reached certain measurable limit, then prescription medicines will be recommend. Most commonly, they will belong to a type of pharmaceutical compounds called statins which includes well-known medications such as Simvastatin, Pravastatin or Lipitor.

How does Lescol help with high cholesterol?

The high success rates of Lescol are all thanks to its active ingredient fluvastatin. This pharmaceutical agent belonging to statins group of medical compounds works by interfering with the way the liver produces and releases lipids. More specifically, it inhibits the activity of a specialised liver enzyme which is tasked with turning out lipids from the liver, sending it through the bloodstream in the form of lipoproteins. Once this activity is inhibited, the levels of cholesterol in the body will begin to drop, easing the pressure on the arteries.

How is Lescol used?

At this place, we have compiled some notes and tips that you should keep in mind when using Lescol. However, it is important to note that the text presented here is not intended to be used as a guideline, but more as a kind of illustration so you can get a general idea of what you should expect from Lescol treatment. For a more detailed guideline, please refer to the official patient information leaflet that is issued within every pack of the medicine. And of course, your prescriber will give you precise instructions that you should always keep in mind.

  • Use as prescribed
  • Lescol should be used alongside dietary and exercise programme for optimal results
  • The usual starting dose is one 20mg tablet daily
  • Your doctor might review and adjust your dose, usually after four weeks (if needed)
  • Larger daily doses can be split into two separate administrations
  • Lescol prolonged-release (Lescol XL) tablets should be taken once daily
  • Take the capsules whole with water
  • Never exceed the prescribed amount
  • If you miss a dose, do not try to compensate – simply continue with the treatment as usual

What are Lescol side effects?

While not everyone using this medicine will experience side effects, it is still important to get familiar with what can go wrong prior to commencing treatment. This way, you will be able to easily tell if you are experiencing serious side effects that might require immediate medical attention or just uncomfortable problems that will pass in some time.

You should seek medical advice immediately if you notice any signs of symptoms of:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Muscle pain, tenderness or weakness
  • Hepatitis
  • Jaundice
  • Low blood platelet count
  • Blood vessels inflammation
  • Lupus
  • Severe stomach pain

Other side effects, grouped by their frequency of occurrence include:

Frequency of occurrence Side effects
Common (1 in 10 users) Insomnia, headache, stomach discomfort and pain, abnormal muscle or liver blood test values
Very rare (1 in 10.000 users) Tingling, numbness in the hands or feet, altered sensitivity
Unknown Impotence, loss of memory, depression, cough, shortness of breath, fever

Please, keep in mind that this isn’t a full list of side effects. For a more comprehensive guide, please refer to the official patient information leaflet.

Is Lescol safe for me? Lescol contraindications

As is the case with all prescription medicines, Lescol is not suitable for everyone and there are some situations when the use of this medicine will be contraindicated. One of the common scenarios is the possibility of adverse interactions with other medicines you might be taking at the same time. Medications that might be a cause for concern include:

  • Ciclosporin
  • Fibrates
  • Nicotinic or bile acid sequestrants
  • Fluconazole
  • Rifampicin
  • Phenytoin
  • Anticoagulants

In addition to this, there are certain medical conditions that might make Fluvastatin use contraindicated. These include:

  • Liver disease
  • Allergy to soya or peanuts
  • Kidney disease
  • Muscle problem
  • Thyroid gland problems
  • Respiratory problems
  • Alcoholism

Finally, this medicine should not be used by women who are pregnant, are trying to become pregnant or are currently breastfeeding.