Pravastatin

Pravastatin lowers cholesterol. Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with pravastatin.

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Pharmacist Teresa Brucker, PharmD overviews the uses and common side effects of Pravastatin
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Pharmacist Teresa Brucker, PharmD overviews the uses and common side effects of Pravastatin
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Pravastatin Overview

Reviewed: May 20, 2013
Updated: 

Pravastatin is a prescription medication used to treat high cholesterol levels. Pravastatin belongs to a group of drugs called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, also known as statins. These work by blocking cholesterol production in the body.

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

Common side effects of pravastatin include muscle pain, headache, nausea, and vomiting.

 

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  • Coronary Artery Disease
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Pravastatin Cautionary Labels

precautionsprecautionsprecautions

Uses of Pravastatin

Pravastatin is a prescription medication used to treat high cholesterol levels in order to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke.

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

Pravastatin Brand Names

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

Pravastatin Drug Class

Pravastatin is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Pravastatin

Serious side effects have been reported with pravastatin.  See the “Drug Precautions” section.

Common side effects of pravastatin include the following:

  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • headache
  • upper airway infection
  • muscle pain

This is not a complete list of pravastatin 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.

Pravastatin Interactions

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

  • erythromycin (Erythrocin)
  • clarithromycin (Biaxin)
  • cyclosporine (Restasis, Sandimmune, Neoral)
  • other immunosuppressive drugs such as medications used by cancer patients, transplant patients, or patients with inflammatory diseases like arthritis
  • other cholesterol-lowering drugs such as fenofibrate (Tricor), gemfibrozil (Lopid), and niacin (Niaspan, nicotinic acid)

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

Pravastatin Precautions

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

  • a decline in liver function. Tell your healthcare provider about any signs or symptoms of liver damage, which include the following:
    • loss of appetite or start losing weight (anorexia)
    • nausea or vomiting
    • feel tired
    • stomach pain or tenderness
    • dark urine or light colored stools
    • yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
    • fever or rash
  • rhabdomyolysis (breakdown of muscle tissue). Tell your healthcare provider right away if you have some or all of the following symptoms of rhabdomyolysis:
    • muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness
    • uneasiness or general discomfort
    • fever
    • dark colored urine

Do not take pravastatin if you:

  • are allergic to pravastatin or any of its ingredients
  • have active liver disease
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

Pravastatin Food Interactions

Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of pravastatin, there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet when receiving pravastatin.

 

Inform MD

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

  • are allergic to pravastatin or any of the ingredients in pravastatin tablets
  • have or have had liver disease
  • drink more than two alcoholic beverages per day
  • have low blood pressure
  • have or have had seizures, thyroid disease, or kidney disease
  • are scheduled to have surgery, including dental surgery
  • are pregnant or breastfeeding

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

Pravastatin 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.

Pravastatin falls into category X. It has been shown that women taking pravastatin during pregnancy may have babies 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.

Pravastatin and Lactation

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

Many HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors have been detected in human breast milk. Because of the possibility for adverse reactions in nursing infants from pravastatin, a choice should be made whether to stop nursing or to stop use of this medication. The importance of the drug to the mother should be considered.

Pravastatin Usage

Take pravastatin exactly as prescribed.

Pravastatin comes in tablet form and is given once a day, with or without food.

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is 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 pravastatin at the same time.

Pravastatin Dosage

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

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

  • the condition being treated
  • other medical conditions you have
  • other medications you are taking
  • how you respond to this medication
  • your age

The recommended dose range of pravastatin for the treatment of high cholesterol:

  • For adults above age 18: 10 to 80 mg once a day.
  • For teenagers ages 14 to 18 years old: 10 to 40 mg once a day.
  • For children ages 8 to 13 years old: 10 to 20 mg once a day.

Pravastatin Overdose

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

 

Other Requirements

  • Store pravastatin at room temperature between 20° to 25°C (68° to 77°F).
  • Protect from moisture and light.
  • Keep pravastatin and all medicines out of the reach of children.