Pravastatin (Pravachol®) is a high cholesterol treatment that lowers the amount of cholesterol in your blood. This lessens your risk of having a stroke or heart attack. Taking pravastatin may help you manage your high cholesterol. But it’s still important to exercise and eat healthy foods.
PRAVASTATIN (PRA va sta tin) treats high cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. It works by decreasing bad cholesterol and fats (such as LDL, triglycerides), and increasing good cholesterol (HDL) in your blood. It belongs to a group of medications called statins. Changes to diet and exercise are often combined with this medication.
This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.
COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Pravachol
They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
Take this medication by mouth. Take it as directed on the prescription label at the same time every day. You can take it with or without food. If it upsets your stomach, take it with food. Keep taking it unless your care team tells you to stop.
Talk to your care team about the use of this medication in children. While it may be prescribed for children as young as 8 for selected conditions, precautions do apply.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.
This medication may interact with the following:
This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.
Visit your health care provider for regular checks on your progress. Tell your health care provider if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse.
Your health care provider may tell you to stop taking this medication if you develop muscle problems. If your muscle problems do not go away after stopping this medication, contact your health care provider.
Do not become pregnant while taking this medication. Women should inform their health care provider if they wish to become pregnant or think they might be pregnant. There is potential for serious harm to an unborn child. Talk to your health care provider for more information. Do not breast-feed an infant while taking this medication.
This medication may increase blood sugar. Ask your health care provider if changes in diet or medications are needed if you have diabetes.
If you are going to need surgery or other procedure, tell your health care provider that you are using this medication.
Taking this medication is only part of a total heart healthy program. Your health care provider may give you a special diet to follow. Avoid alcohol. Avoid smoking. Ask your health care provider how much you should exercise.
Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:
Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):
This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
Keep out of the reach of children and pets.
Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Protect from light and moisture. Keep the container tightly closed. Get rid of any unused medication after the expiration date.
To get rid of medications that are no longer needed or expired:
NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.
You should take pravastatin at bedtime for the best results. That way, it’s in your system at night — when your liver produces most of your cholesterol. Statins interfere with the cholesterol-making process. Take pravastatin at the same time every night.
Some people reported hair and nail changes when taking pravastatin. But they didn’t provide more specific information than that. These reports weren’t part of a clinical trial or study. Hair loss may be a side effect of statins as a drug class, but it’s not common.
Pravastatin doesn’t make you gain weight. But a study found that people who take statins eat more calories and fat than people who don’t take statins. They may believe a statin will balance out the higher number of calories.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Many people find it hard to lower their cholesterol just by changing their diet and exercising more. You’re not alone in this struggle. Sometimes you need medication like pravastatin to manage high cholesterol. Pravastatin will work best if you exercise regularly and eat healthy foods.
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Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.