Lomitapide is used along with diet changes (restriction of cholesterol and fat intake) and other treatments to reduce the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (‘bad cholesterol’), total cholesterol, and other fatty substances in the blood in people that have homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH; an inherited condition in which cholesterol cannot be removed from the body normally). Lomitapide should not be used to decrease cholesterol levels in people who do not have HoFH. Lomitapide is in a class of medications called cholesterol-lowering medications. It works by slowing the production of cholesterol in the body to decrease the amount of cholesterol that may build up on the walls of the arteries and block blood flow to the heart, brain, and other parts of the body.
Accumulation of cholesterol and fats along the walls of your arteries (a process known as atherosclerosis) decreases blood flow and, therefore, the oxygen supply to your heart, brain, and other parts of your body. Lowering your blood level of cholesterol and fats may help prevent heart disease, angina (chest pain), strokes, and heart attacks.
Side Effects Of Lomitapide
Lomitapide may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stomach pain
- upset stomach
- weight loss
- sore throat
- runny nose
- back pain
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of these symptoms or those listed in the WARNING section, stop taking lomitapide and call your doctor immediately or get emergency medical treatment:
- severe diarrhea
- decreased urine output
Lomitapide may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
Warnings & Precautions
Before taking lomitapide:
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to lomitapide, any other medications, or any of the ingredients in lomitapide capsules. Ask your pharmacist or check the Medication Guide for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor if you are taking antifungal medications such as fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), posaconazole (Noxafil), and voriconazole (Vfend); boceprevir (Victrelis); aprepitant (Emend); ciprofloxacin (Cipro); clarithromycin (Biaxin); crizotinib (Xalkori); diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac); erythromycin (E.E.S., E-Mycin, Erythrocin); HIV protease inhibitors such as amprenavir (Agenerase), atazanavir (Reyataz), darunavir (Prezista), fosamprenavir (Lexiva), indinavir (Crixivan), lopinavir (in Kaletra), nelfinavir (Viracept), saquinavir (Invirase), ritonavir (Norvir, in Kaletra), ritonavir and tipranavir (Aptivus), and teleprevir (Incivek); imatinib (Gleevec); nefazodone; telithromycin (Ketek); and verapamil (Calan, Covera, Isoptin, Verelan). Your doctor will probably tell you not to take lomitapide if you are taking one or more of these medications.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what other prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention the medications listed in the WARNING section and any of the following: aliskiren (Tekturna); alprazolam (Xanax); ambrisentan (Letairis); amiodarone (Cordarone, Pacerone); amlodipine (Norvasc, in Caduet); bicalutamide (Casodex); cilostazol (Pletal); certain oral medications for diabetes such as saxagliptin (Onglyza in Kombiglyze) and sitagliptin (Januvia, in Janumet); cimetidine (Tagament); colchicine (Colcrys); dabigatran (Pradaxa); digoxin (Lanoxin); everolimus (Afinitor, Zortress); fexofenadine (Allegra); fluoxetine (Prozac); fluvoxamine (Luvox); isoniazid (INH, Nydrazid); lapatinib (Tykerb); maraviroc (Selzentry); medications that suppress the immune system such as cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune), sirolimus (Rapamune) and tacrolimus (Prograf); nilotinib (Tasigna); oral contraceptives (birth control pills); other cholesterol lowering medications such as atorvastatin (Lipitor, in Caduet, in Liptruzet), lovastatin (Mevacor), and simvastatin (Zocor, in Simcor, in Vytorin); pazopanib (Votrient); ranitidine (Zantac); ranolazine (Ranexa); ticagrelor (Brilinta); tolvaptan (Samsca); topotecan (Hycamtin); warfarin (Coumadin); and zileuton (Zyflo). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects. Many other medications may also interact with lomitapide, so be sure to tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, even those that do not appear on this list.
- tell your doctor what herbal products you are taking, especially ginkgo or goldenseal.
- if you are taking cholestyramine (Questran), colesevelam (WellChol), or colestipol (Colestid), take it 4 hours before or 4 hours after lomitapide.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had galactose intolerance or glucose-galactose malabsorption (inherited conditions where the body is not able to tolerate lactose), ongoing stomach or intestinal problems, or pancreas or kidney disease.
- Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. If you are a female who can become pregnant, you will need to take a pregnancy test before you begin taking lomitapide. If you can become pregnant, you should use effective birth control while taking lomitapide. Talk to your doctor about birth control methods that will work for you. If you become pregnant while taking lomitapide, stop taking the medication and call your doctor immediately. Lomitapide can harm the fetus.
- tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You should not breast-feed while you are taking lomitapide.
Lomitapide comes as a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day. Lomitapide should be taken without food on an empty stomach, at least 2 hours after your evening meal. Drink a full glass of water with each dose of lomitapide.
Take lomitapide at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take lomitapide exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the capsules whole; do not split, chew, dissolve, or crush them.
You will need to take a vitamin supplement during your treatment with lomitapide Be sure to follow the recommendations made by your doctor carefully.
Continue to take lomitapide even if you feel well. Do not stop taking lomitapide without talking to your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
All information has been provided courtesy of MedLinePlus from the National Library of Medicine and from the FDA.