Pravachol is an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor used in combination with a proper diet to lower cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
This drug may help prevent or slow down atherosclerosis that is caused by fats clogging the blood vessels.
It may also be used to prevent certain types of heart and blood vessel problems in patients with risk factors for heart problems.
This drug blocks an enzyme for cholesterol synthesis. This drug requires a prescription.
2 What to Know Before Using
Before using Pravachol, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. Inform your healthcare provider for any allergic reactions to these drugs or any other drugs, foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals.
Carefully read the label of non-prescription drugs for any possible allergic reaction or contraindications.
Studies in children 8 to 18 years of age have not demonstrated any pediatric-specific problems that would limit the utility of pravastatin while safety and efficacy have not been established in children younger than 8 years of age.
Teenage girls taking pravastatin should be educated on appropriate birth control methods to prevent pregnancy. Studies in the elderly have not demonstrated any geriatric-specific problems that would limit the utility of pravastatin.
Adjustments in the dose of the elderly may be required since they are more likely to have age-related muscle problems.
Fetal abnormalities have been reported in studies of pregnant women and animals. This drug is contraindicated in women who are or may become pregnant because the risk clearly outweighs any possible benefit.
Infant risk is still undetermined when using this drug during breastfeeding. Discuss with your healthcare professional about the potential risks and benefits before of taking this drug while breastfeeding.
Drugs should not be taken together to prevent any interactions but in necessary cases inquire your healthcare provider regarding the adjustments in dosage or any other necessary precautions to prevent any unwanted side effects.
Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking any other drugs such as:
Intake of specific food or using alcohol or tobacco with this drug is associated with an increased risk of certain side effects. Your healthcare professional can give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Inform your healthcare provider for any other medical problems such as:
To use Pravachol properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. Take this drug exactly as directed on the label or as prescribed by your healthcare professional. Your diet will be changed that is low in fat, sugar, and cholesterol.
You can take this drug with or without food. Take another drug to lower your cholesterol at least 4 hours before or 1 hour after taking pravastatin. The dose of this drug will be variable for different patients.
The directions on the label or the prescription by your healthcare professional should be followed. The dosage of this drug you take depends on the medical problem for which you are using this drug.
Adults with high cholesterol are initially given 40 milligrams once a day. Your healthcare professional may adjust your dose if necessary.
Teenagers 14 to 18 years of age are given 40 mg once a day. Children 8 to 13 years of age are given 20 mg once a day. Use and dose in children younger than 8 years of age must be determined by your healthcare professional.
A missed dose should be taken as soon as possible. However, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule if it is almost time for your next dose.
Store the drug in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing. Keep out of the reach of children.
Dispose any outdated or expired drugs and ask your healthcare professional for the proper disposal of the drugs.
4 Precautions to Take
Before using Pravachol, there are some precautions you must take. Regular visits should be made to your healthcare provider to track your progress and to monitor the effectiveness of the drug. Unwanted effects can be screened using blood tests.
This drug has teratogenic potential and it is recommended to use an effective form of birth control to keep from getting pregnant.
Inform your healthcare professional immediately if you think you have become pregnant while using the drug. Make sure any health care professional or dentist who treats you knows that you are using this drug.
You may need to stop using this drug if you have a major surgery, a major injury, or you develop other serious health problems.
Call your healthcare professional immediately if you have symptoms of myopathy or immune-mediated necrotizing myopathies such as unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness.
Check with your healthcare professional immediately if you have symptoms of rhabdomyolysis such as dark-colored urine, diarrhea, a fever, muscle cramps or spasms, muscle pain or stiffness, or feel very tired or weak.
Check with your healthcare professional immediately if you have symptoms of liver damage such as a headache, stomach pain, vomiting, dark-colored urine, loss of appetite, weight loss, general feeling of tiredness or weakness, light-colored stools, upper right stomach pain, or yellow eyes or skin.
Do not drink large amounts of alcohol while taking pravastatin to prevent any liver damage. Check with your healthcare professional before you take any other prescription or nonprescription drugs, and herbal or vitamin supplements.
5 Potential Side Effects
As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Pravachol. Side effects may vary for each individual and prompt medical attention should be given if they occur.
Seek advice from your healthcare professional immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms such as:
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine, the side effects will slowly disappear. Ask your healthcare professional about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.
If any of the following side effects persists or are inconvenient, or if you notice any other effects, or if you have any questions about them, consult with your health care professional. Report any side effects to the FDA hotline at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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