Pravachol with the generic name pravastatin is a prescription cholesterol-lowering medication indicated to treat high cholesterol and other lipid disorders. The active ingredient in Pravachol is pravastatin, which helps reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by treating high cholesterol levels. Pravastatin belongs to a group of drugs called HMG CoA reductase inhibitors, or statins. It works by blocking an enzyme that is responsible for making cholesterol in the body.
Pravachol is a medication used in combination with a proper diet to lower the levels of “bad” cholesterol and fats, such as low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and triglycerides in the blood, and to increase the levels of “good” cholesterol (HDL). Pravastatin helps reduce the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular diseases by lowering unhealthy levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
Uses and Dosage
Pravachol is a medication that is available in tablet form for oral administration. It can be taken with or without food, according to a doctor’s prescription, typically once a day. Take this medication regularly to get the most benefit from it. Remember to take it at the same time each day. Keep taking this medication even if you feel well. Most people with high cholesterol or triglycerides do not feel sick.
The recommended dosage of Pravastatin can vary depending on the individual’s condition and medical history.
- The recommended starting dose for adults taking Pravastatin is 40 mg once daily. The 80 mg dose should be used only for patients not reaching their LDL-C goal with 40 mg dose.
- For patients with renal impairment, the recommended starting dose is 10 mg once daily. Your doctor should be consulted prior to taking any medication or adjusting dosage.
- The recommended starting dose for Adolescents (ages 14 to 18 years) is 40 mg once daily, while for Children (ages 8 to 13 years, inclusive), it is 20 mg once daily.
Common Side Effects of Pravachol (Pravastatin):
- Abdominal pain
- Decreased libido/sexual dysfunction
- Memory loss
- Persisting cough
Serious Side Effects of Pravachol (Pravastatin)
- Muscle pain, muscle weakness, cramping, or tenderness; darkened urine, general fatigue (seek immediate help)
- Liver problems: Pain in the upper stomach area (dyspepsia), nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, yellowing skin, shortness of breath
- Severe chest pain
- Increased blood sugar: excessive thirst and/or urination
- Blurred vision
Allergic Reaction of Pravachol (Pravastatin):
- Difficulty breathing
- Reactions on the skin including rashes
- Shortness of breath (seek immediate help)
- Swelling in the face
Form and Strength
Pravachol (Pravastatin) is available in the following forms and strengths:
- 10 mg
- 40 mg
- 10 mg
- 40 mg
- If you also take certain other drugs to lower your cholesterol (bile acid-binding resins such as cholestyramine or colestipol), take pravastatin at least 1 hour before or at least 4 hours after taking these medications. Pravachol can react with pravastatin, preventing its full absorption.
- Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice while taking this medication because it can raise the amount of medication in your body and increase the risk of side effects.
- Talk to your doctor immediately about other options if you become pregnant or would like to become pregnant as pravastatin can cause birth defects.
- To reduce the risk of liver problems, limit alcoholic beverages while taking Pravastatin. Daily consumption of alcohol may increase the risk of liver damage, especially when combined with Pravastatin.
- Pravastatin is associated with the breakdown of muscle tissue, which in severe cases, can lead to kidney failure. If you experience unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, along with symptoms such as fever, unusual tiredness, or dark urine, contact your doctor immediately.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How effective is Pravastatin at lowering cholesterol levels?
Pravastatin is typically highly effective at lowering cholesterol levels in the blood and has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients with elevated cholesterol levels.
Can I take Pravastatin if I have liver problems?
If you have liver problems, you should talk to your doctor before taking Pravastatin, as the medication can sometimes cause liver damage.
Can I take Pravastatin if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?
Pravastatin should not be taken during pregnancy or while breastfeeding, as it can harm the unborn baby or be passed through breast milk to the nursing infant.
What other medications should I avoid while taking Pravastatin?
You should talk to your doctor before taking any other medications while on Pravastatin, as it can interact with certain medications, such as antibiotics, antifungals, and cholesterol-lowering medications.
How long does it typically take for Pravastatin to start working?
Pravastatin usually begins to lower cholesterol levels within a few weeks of beginning treatment, but it may take several weeks or months to reach maximum effectiveness.
Can I stop taking Pravastatin if I no longer have elevated cholesterol levels?
You should not stop taking Pravastatin without talking to your doctor, as the medication is often used as an ongoing treatment to maintain lower cholesterol levels over time.