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Pravachol Side Effects

Generic name: pravastatin

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Dec 4, 2023.

Note: This document contains side effect information about pravastatin. Some dosage forms listed on this page may not apply to the brand name Pravachol.

Applies to pravastatin: oral tablet.

Serious side effects of Pravachol

Along with its needed effects, pravastatin (the active ingredient contained in Pravachol) may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur while taking pravastatin:

More common

Less common

Other side effects of Pravachol

Some side effects of pravastatin may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

More common

Less common

For Healthcare Professionals

Applies to pravastatin: oral tablet.


The most frequently reported side effects were musculoskeletal pain, nausea/vomiting, upper respiratory tract infection, diarrhea, and headache.[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Musculoskeletal pain (up to 24.9%), musculoskeletal traumatism (10.2%)

Common (1% to 10%): Myalgia, muscle cramp, arthralgia

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Muscle weakness

Postmarketing reports: Myopathy, rhabdomyolysis, immune-mediated necrotizing myopathy, lupus erythematosus-like syndrome, polymyalgia rheumatica, arthritis, myositis, polymyositis, tendon disorder[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Nausea/vomiting (up to 10.5%)

Common (1% to 10%): Diarrhea, flatulence, dyspepsia/heartburn, abdominal distension, constipation

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Abdominal pain

Postmarketing reports: Pancreatitis[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Chest pain (up to 10%)

Common (1% to 10%): Fatigue, influenza, creatinine phosphokinase increased, edema, fever, weight gain, weight loss, viral infection

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Edema, weakness, hearing loss, tinnitus

Frequency not reported: Head/neck edema, vertigo

Postmarketing reports: Chills, asthenia[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): ALT increased, GGT increased, AST increased

Postmarketing reports: Hepatitis, chronic active hepatitis, cholestatic jaundice, fatty change in liver, cirrhosis, fulminant hepatic necrosis, fatal hepatic failure, nonfatal hepatic failure, liver function test abnormalities[Ref]

Nervous system

Common (1% to 10%): Headache, dizziness, paresthesia

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Numbness

Frequency not reported: Memory impairment, neuropathy/peripheral neuropathy, taste disturbance

Postmarketing reports: Intraocular movement impaired, facial paresis, peripheral nerve palsy, cognitive impairment, forgetfulness, amnesia[Ref]


Very common (10% or more): Upper respiratory tract infection (up to 21.2%)

Common (1% to 10%): Pharyngitis, rhinitis, cough, pulmonary infection, sinus abnormality/sinusitis, tracheobronchitis, dyspnea

Frequency not reported: Interstitial lung disease[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Rash, dermatitis

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Pruritus, urticaria, scalp/hair abnormality, alopecia

Postmarketing reports: Skin discoloration, skin nodules, dry mucous membranes, changes to hair/nails, angioedema, dermatomyositis, purpura, photosensitivity, toxic epidermal necrolysis, erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Angina pectoris

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Disturbance of rhythm, hypertension, myocardial infarction

Frequency not reported: Flushing

Postmarketing reports: Vasculitis[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Blurred vision, diplopia

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Eye inflammation, lens opacity[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Sleep disturbance, anxiety/nervousness, depression

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Insomnia

Frequency not reported: Libido change[Ref]


Common (1% to 10%): Urinary tract infection

Uncommon (0.1% to 1%): Dysuria, urinary frequency, nocturia, sexual dysfunction[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Thyroid function abnormalities, gynecomastia[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Hemolytic anemia, erythrocyte sedimentation rate increased, transient asymptomatic eosinophilia[Ref]


Frequency not reported: Allergic/hypersensitivity reaction

Postmarketing reports: Anaphylaxis, positive antinuclear antibodies[Ref]


Postmarketing reports: Hepatoma[Ref]

Frequently asked questions


1. Product Information. Pravachol (pravastatin). Bristol-Myers Squibb. 2001.

2. Cerner Multum, Inc. UK Summary of Product Characteristics.

3. Cerner Multum, Inc. Australian Product Information.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Some side effects may not be reported. You may report them to the FDA.