Almost two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, people have adjusted to the “new normal,” finding ways to safely continue to work, socialize and manage their health. But while many have managed to keep their health routines at the top of their priority list, a national survey conducted in late 2021 by research vendor SurveyHealthcareGlobus and commissioned by Kowa Pharmaceuticals of America, Inc.* revealed that nearly 30% of respondents felt as though they could have done more to prioritize and better their health, especially when it comes to their heart.1
In fact, because of the pandemic, over a fourth (26%) of respondents reported they were not exercising as much as they should and admitted that they needed to get back on track when it came to managing their high cholesterol.1 In recognition of American Heart Month and the start of the new year, there couldn’t be a better time to re-evaluate your heart health management routine and create a plan for success!
It is commonly known that high cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease, affecting nearly 94 million Americans.2 But unlike other conditions, high cholesterol often has no signs or symptoms until it is too late — when a stroke or heart attack can occur, due to cholesterol plaque blocking blood flow to the brain or heart. Make an appointment and talk to a doctor about cholesterol levels — the first steps to better heart health are awareness and knowledge.
High cholesterol can be managed with an individualized treatment plan created by a doctor, including a heart-healthy diet and 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity exercise or activity 3-4 times per week. If healthy lifestyle changes aren’t effectively getting cholesterol under control, a doctor may also prescribe medication, such as a statin. Statins work by reducing the cholesterol levels made by the liver and by helping lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol or LDL-C) that’s already in the blood.3
In combination with a heart-healthy lifestyle (mindful diet and regular exercise), statins can act as a critical part of achieving lower cholesterol levels. However, 50% or more of people discontinue statins within one year of treatment initiation, and more do so over longer periods of time.4 Adhering to statin regimen is important. Some helpful tips and tricks to remember to stay on track include taking it at the same time each day, setting alarms and using family or friends to help stay accountable.
Before you stop taking prescribed medication, talk to your doctor about different options. There are several statins available, and they are not the same — what works for one patient’s unique needs may differ for another. Based on clinical trial data, LIVALO® (pitavastatin) demonstrated up to a mean of 45% LDL-C reduction in adults with PH or MD. Additionally, ~3% of patients taking LIVALO 4mg experienced myalgia (muscle aches) in short-term trials out to 12 weeks and 1 in 200 patients discontinued LIVALO 4mg due to myalgia (0.5%) out to 72 weeks of treatment. Discontinuation rates were less than 4% across the full dose range of LIVALO 1mg, 2mg, and 4mg. LIVALO has not been studied to evaluate its effect on reducing heart-related disease or death. Common side effects include back pain, myalgia, pain in arms or legs, constipation, and diarrhea. Ask your doctor if LIVALO may be right for you.
In the midst of an ever-changing health crisis, it is important to focus on the aspects of health that can be controlled, like managing high cholesterol. So long as we are aware of our levels, know the treatment options, communicate our individual needs to our doctors through honest conversations about our experience with treatment, and stick to our heart-health regimen, we can work towards a healthier lifestyle.
Important Safety Information for LIVALO® (pitavastatin) tablets
What is LIVALO?
- LIVALO is a cholesterol-lowering medication called a “statin” for adults with high cholesterol that, along with a heart-healthy diet, helps to lower total cholesterol, “bad” cholesterol (LDL-C), triglycerides, and Apo B and to raise “good” cholesterol (HDL-C).
- LIVALO has not been studied to evaluate its effect on reducing heart-related disease or death.
Who should NOT take LIVALO?
LIVALO is not right for everyone. Do not take LIVALO if:
- You have a known allergy to LIVALO or any of its ingredients.
- You have active liver problems, including some abnormal liver test results.
- You are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant, as it may harm the baby.
- You are currently taking cyclosporine or gemfibrozil.
What is the most important information I should know and talk to my doctor about?
- Call your healthcare provider or get help right away if you experience any symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as rash, itching, or hives.
- Muscle problems may be an early sign of rare, serious conditions. Tell your doctor right away if you have any unexplained muscle pain, weakness, or tenderness, particularly if accompanied by malaise or fever, or if these muscle signs or symptoms persist after discontinuing LIVALO.
- Serious liver problems have been reported rarely in patients taking statins, including LIVALO. Your doctor should do liver tests before you start, and if you have symptoms of liver problems while you are taking LIVALO. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you feel more tired than usual, have a loss of appetite, upper belly pain, dark-colored urine, or yellowing of the skin or eyes.
- Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications you take including nonprescription medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.
- Increases in blood sugar levels have been reported with statins, including LIVALO.
- Tell your doctor about your alcohol use.
- Tell your healthcare provider of a known or suspected pregnancy.
What are the most common side effects of LIVALO?
The most common side effects of LIVALO in clinical studies were:
This is not a complete list of side effects. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA.
Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
How should I store and take LIVALO?
- Store LIVALO tablets at room temperature, in a dry place, protected from light, and keep out of the reach of children.
- Take LIVALO orally once daily with or without food at the same time each day.
- Swallow the tablet whole. Do not split, crush, dissolve, or chew.
- The maximum recommended dosage is LIVALO 4 mg once daily.
- If you take too much LIVALO or you or someone else takes an overdose, call your doctor and/or local Poison Control Center.
Other important information I should know about LIVALO.
- LIVALO is available by prescription only.
© Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. (2021) – LIV-RA-0142 PI of 09/2020
* National survey conducted in October/November 2021 by research vendor SurveyHealthcareGlobus and commissioned by Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. of 1,000 people with high cholesterol
1. Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc & Survey Healthcare Globus. Back on Track Survey Results. October-November 2021.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. High Cholesterol Facts. https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/facts.htm. Accessed December 2021.
3. American Heart Association. Cholesterol Medications. http://www.heart.org/en/healthtopics/cholesterol/preventionandtreatmentofhighcholesterolhyperlipidemia/cholesterolmedications. Accessed January 12, 2021
4. Maningat, Patricia et al. “How do we improve patient compliance and adherence to long-term statin therapy?.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3534845/#R30. Accessed December 2021.