Caution: On August 8, 2001, Bayer Pharmaceutical Division voluntarily withdrew Baycol (cerivastatin) from the US market because of reports of sometimes fatal rhabdomyolysis, a severe muscle adverse reaction from this cholesterol-lowering (lipid-lowering) product. Bayer is taking similar action in other countries except Japan.
Cerivastatin is used to lower elevated blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels when low-fat diets and lifestyle changes are ineffective. It is in a family of drugs known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors.
Some sources have reported that taking niacin (vitamin B3) together with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors may result in serious muscle damage.1 However, niacin has also been used in combination with statin drugs without ill effects, and has been found to enhance the cholesterol-lowering effect of these drugs.2 , 3 Persons taking cerivastatin or any other HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor should consult with their doctor before taking niacin.
1. Sifton DW, et. Physicians’ Desk Reference. Montvale, NJ: Medical Economics Company, Inc., 2000, 675–7.
2. Davignon J, Roederer G, Montigny M, et al. Comparative efficacy and safety of pravastatin, nicotinic acid and the two combined in patients with hypercholesterolemia. Am J Cardiol 1994;73:339–45.
3. Jacobson TA, Jokubaitis LA, Amorosa LF. Fluvastatin and niacin in hypercholesterolemia: a preliminary report on gender differences in efficacy. Am J Med 1994;96(suppl 6A):64S–8S.
Last Review: 05-01-2013
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