Pitavastatin lowers cholesterol. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with pitavastatin.

Pitavastatin Overview

Reviewed: August 30, 2013

Pitavastatin is a prescription medication used to treat and prevent disease of the heart and blood vessels by lowering cholesterol and triglycerides. It belongs to a class of drugs called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, also known as statins. Statins work by blocking the production of cholesterol in the body. 

Pitavastatin comes in tablet form and is usually taken once a day, with or without food.

Common side effects include muscle pain, back pain, diarrhea, and constipation.

How was your experience with Pitavastatin?

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What are you taking Pitavastatin for?

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  • Other

How long have you been taking it?

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  • Less than a week
  • A couple weeks
  • A month or so
  • A few months
  • A year or so
  • Two years or more

How well did Pitavastatin work for you?

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Pitavastatin Cautionary Labels


Uses of Pitavastatin

Pitavastatin is used to treat high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and disease of the heart and blood vessels. 

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Pitavastatin Brand Names

Pitavastatin may be found in some form under the following brand names:

Pitavastatin Drug Class

Pitavastatin is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Pitavastatin

Serious side effects have been reported with pitavastatin. See the Drug Precautions section.

Common side effects include:

  • muscle pain
  • backache
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • pain in the extremities

This is not a complete list of pitavastatin side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Pitavastatin Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medications you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take:

  • cyclosporine (Sandimmune, Neoral, Gengraf)
  • erythromycin (EES, Erythrocin)
  • rifampin (Rifadin, Rimactane)
  • gemfibrozil (Lopid) 
  • fenobrate (Tricor, Trilipix, Antara, Fenoglide)
  • niacin (Niaspan)
  • warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven)

This is not a complete list of drug interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.


Pitavastatin Precautions

Serious side effects have been reported with pitavastatin including the following:

  • myopathy/rhabdomyolysis. This is a condition in which muscle tissue breaks down, releasing proteins into the blood that can damage other organs, especially the kidney. The risk increases with higher doses. Tell your healthcare provider right away about any unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness.
  • changes in liver enzymes. Your doctor will probably order a blood test to measure liver function before you start taking pitavastatin. 

Do not take pitavastatin if you:

  • are allergic to pitavastatin
  • have liver disease
  • are pregnant or nursing
  • are taking cyclosporine




Pitavastatin Food Interactions

Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with pitavastatin and lead to potentially dangerous side effects. Discuss the use of grapefruit products with your doctor.


Inform MD

Before taking pitavastatin, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you:

  • are allergic to any medications including pitavastatin
  • have liver disease
  • have severe kidney disease
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Tell your doctor about all the medications you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements.

Pitavastatin and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Pitavastatin falls into category X. It has been shown that women taking pitavastatin during pregnancy may have babies born with problems. There are no situations where the benefits of the medication for the mother outweigh the risks of harm to the baby. These medicines should never be used by pregnant women.

Pitavastatin and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

It is not known whether pitavastatin can pass into human milk. However, it has been shown that a small amount of another drug in this class passes into human milk. Rat studies have shown that pitavastatin passes into breast milk. Since pitavastatin has the potential to cause serious adverse reactions in nursing infants, this medication is contraindicated in nursing mothers.

Pitavastatin Usage

Take pitavastatin exactly as prescribed.

Pitavastatin comes in tablet form and is usually given once a day. Pitavastatin can be taken with or without food.

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of pitavastatin at the same time.

Pitavastatin Dosage

Take pitavastatin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

The pitavastatin dose your doctor recommends will be based on the following:

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you may have such as kidney or liver disease
  • how you respond to this medication
  • other medications you may be taking

The recommended dose of pitavastatin for the treatment of high cholesterol or high triglycerides is 1 mg to 4 mg once daily.

Pitavastatin Overdose

If you take too much pitavastatin, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.

Other Requirements

  • Store pitavastatin at room temperature between 59˚ and 86 ˚F.
  • Protect from light. 
  • Keep pitavastatin and all medicines out of the reach of children.