What is pravastatin?
Pravastatin is a cholesterol-lowering medication that blocks the production of cholesterol (a type of fat) in the body.
Pravastatin reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and total cholesterol in the blood. Lowering your cholesterol can help prevent heart disease and hardening of the arteries, conditions that can lead to heart attack, stroke, and vascular disease.
Pravastatin is used to treat high cholesterol. Pravastatin is also used to lower the risk of stroke, heart attack, or other heart complications in people with coronary heart disease.
Pravastatin may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.
Do not use this medication if you are allergic to pravastatin, if you are pregnant or breast-feeding, or if you have liver disease.
Before taking pravastatin, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
- underactive thyroid;
- kidney disease;
- a muscle disorder; or
- if you are a heavy drinker (3 or more alcoholic beverages per day).
If you have any of these conditions, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take pravastatin.
FDA pregnancy category X. This medication can cause birth defects. Do not use pravastatin if you are pregnant. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment. Use an effective form of birth control while you are using this medication.
Pravastatin passes into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not take pravastatin without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
Avoid eating foods that are high in fat or cholesterol. Pravastatin will not be as effective in lowering your cholesterol if you do not follow a cholesterol-lowering diet plan.
Avoid drinking alcohol while taking pravastatin. Alcohol can raise triglyceride levels, and may also damage your liver while you are taking pravastatin.
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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.
An overdose of pravastatin is not expected to produce life-threatening symptoms.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take only the next regularly scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using pravastatin and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- chest pain;
- muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness with fever or flu symptoms and dark colored urine; or
- nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Less serious side effects include:
- mild stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea;
- heartburn, gas, bloating, upset stomach;
- tired feeling;
- headache, dizziness;
- stuffy nose, cold or flu symptoms;
- skin rash; or
- general pain.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Before taking pravastatin, talk to your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:
- cholestyramine (Questran) or colestipol (Colestid);
- drugs that weaken your immune system such as cancer medicine or steroids, cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune, Gengraf), sirolimus (Rapamune), tacrolimus (Prograf), and others;
- erythromycin (E-Mycin, E.E.S., Ery-Tab, others) or clarithromycin (Biaxin);
- niacin (Nicolar, Nicobid, Nicotinex, others);
- gemfibrozil (Lopid), clofibrate (Atromid-S), or fenofibrate (Tricor); or
- an antifungal medication such as itraconazole (Sporanox), fluconazole (Diflucan), or ketoconazole (Nizoral).
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with pravastatin. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.
Pravachol and pravastatin
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Copyright 1996-2004 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version 2.05. Revision date 8/23/04