A commonly prescribed drug for lowering blood cholesterol may affect people’s ability to drive or perform other everyday tasks. Lovastatin, sold by Merck and Co. under the name Mevacor and also as mevinolin, could affect attention and reaction speed. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh told at a meeting of the American Heart Association (AHA) in Orlando, Florida, on November 11 that patients whose cholesterol had been lowered with Lovastatin paid less attention and had delayed psychomotor reflexes.

The researchers said patients who had been given Lovastatin showed decreased attention and psychomotor speed, compared with those who had not received the drug. Those who had the greatest decreases in cholesterol levels suffered the greatest impairment.