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Pravastatin

Pronunciation

Generic Name: pravastatin (PRAV-a-STAT-in)
Brand Name: Pravachol

Pravastatin is used for:

Lowering high cholesterol and triglycerides in certain patients. It also increases high-density lipoprotein (HDL) ("good") cholesterol levels. It is used along with an appropriate diet. It is also used in certain patients to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death due to coronary heart disease. It is also used to slow blood vessel blockage and to reduce the need for medical procedures to open blocked blood vessels. It may also be used for other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Pravastatin is an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, also known as a "statin." It works by reducing the production of certain fatty substances in the body, including cholesterol.

Do NOT use pravastatin if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in pravastatin
  • you have liver problems or unexplained abnormal liver function tests
  • you are pregnant, may become pregnant, or breast-feeding
  • you are taking gemfibrozil

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

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Before using pravastatin:

Some medical conditions may interact with pravastatin. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have low blood pressure, a serious infection, kidney problems, an underactive thyroid, diabetes, muscle pain or tenderness, or a history of seizures
  • if you have metabolism, hormonal, or electrolyte problems
  • if you drink alcohol, have jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes), or have a history of liver problems or alcohol abuse
  • if you have recently had major surgery or a serious injury
  • if you have a certain type of high cholesterol (homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia)

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with pravastatin. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Colchicine, daptomycin, darunavir, fibrates (eg, gemfibrozil, fenofibrate), immunosuppressants (eg, cyclosporine), macrolides (eg, erythromycin, clarithromycin), or niacin because they may increase the risk of muscle or kidney problems
  • Efavirenz because it may decrease pravastatin's effectiveness
  • Cimetidine, ketoconazole, or spironolactone because the risk of their side effects may be increased by pravastatin

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if pravastatin may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use pravastatin:

Use pravastatin as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Take pravastatin by mouth with or without food.
  • If you take cholestyramine or colestipol, take them at least 4 hours before or 1 hour after pravastatin.
  • Continue to take pravastatin even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • If you miss a dose of pravastatin, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use pravastatin.

Important safety information:

  • Pravastatin may cause dizziness. This effect may be worse if you take it with alcohol or certain medicines. Use pravastatin with caution. Do not drive or perform other possibly unsafe tasks until you know how you react to it.
  • Pravastatin may cause liver problems. Rarely, severe and sometimes fatal liver failure has been reported in patients taking pravastatin. Your risk of developing liver problems may be greater if you drink alcohol daily or in large amounts with pravastatin, or if you have a history of liver problems. Check with your doctor before drinking alcohol while you are taking pravastatin. Tell your doctor right away if you experience symptoms of liver problems (eg, yellowing of the skin or eyes; dark urine; pale stools; severe or persistent nausea, loss of appetite, or stomach pain; unusual tiredness).
  • Follow the diet and exercise program given to you by your health care provider.
  • Tell your doctor or dentist that you take pravastatin before you receive any medical or dental care, emergency care, or surgery.
  • Women who may become pregnant should use effective birth control while taking pravastatin. Check with your doctor if you have questions about using birth control.
  • Do NOT take more than the recommended dose without checking with your doctor.
  • Muscle problems (myopathy) may occur with pravastatin. The risk of muscle problems may be greater in people 65 years old and older, or in people who have kidney problems or low thyroid function. It may also be greater in those who take it with certain other medicines (eg, niacin). Report any unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness to your doctor right away, especially if you also have a fever or general body discomfort. Tell your doctor if you have muscle problems that persist even after your doctor has told you to stop taking pravastatin.
  • Lab tests, including blood cholesterol levels and liver function tests, may be performed while you use pravastatin. These tests may be used to monitor your condition or check for side effects. Be sure to keep all doctor and lab appointments.
  • Use pravastatin with caution in the ELDERLY; they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially muscle problems.
  • Pravastatin should be used with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 8 years old and in those who have not reached puberty; safety and effectiveness in these children have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: Do not use pravastatin if you are pregnant. It may cause harm to the fetus. Avoid becoming pregnant while you are taking it. If you think you may be pregnant, contact your doctor right away. Pravastatin is found in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while you are taking pravastatin.

Possible side effects of pravastatin:

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; headache; heartburn; nausea; tiredness; upper respiratory infection; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue; unusual hoarseness); change in the amount of urine produced; chest pain; confusion; fever, chills, or persistent sore throat; flu-like symptoms; memory problems (eg, forgetfulness, memory loss); muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness (with or without fever or fatigue); red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin; severe or persistent nausea or vomiting; severe stomach or back pain (with or without nausea or vomiting); shortness of breath; symptoms of liver problems (eg, yellowing of the skin or eyes, dark urine, pale stools, loss of appetite, unusual tiredness); unusual bruising or bleeding; vision changes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, contact your health care provider. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. To report side effects to the appropriate agency, please read the Guide to Reporting Problems to FDA.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center, or emergency room immediately.

Proper storage of pravastatin:

Store pravastatin at 77 degrees F (25 degrees C). Brief storage at temperatures between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) is permitted. Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep pravastatin out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about pravastatin, please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Pravastatin is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to dispose of unused medicine.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take pravastatin or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about pravastatin. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to pravastatin. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using pravastatin.

Issue Date: September 3, 2014
Database Edition 14.3.1.003
Copyright © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

Disclaimer: This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only your health care provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for you. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from your health care provider. You must talk with your healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.

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