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Pravastatin Sodium Oral tablet

It lowers the level of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood

Generic Name: pravastatin  |  Brand Name: Pravachol

Brand Names: Pravachol

There is an FDA Alert for this drug. Click here to view it.

Special Alerts:

[Posted 09/30/2008] An FDA analysis provides new evidence that the use of statins does not increase incidence of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disease often referred to as “Lou Gehrig's Disease.” The FDA analysis, undertaken after the agency received a higher than expected number of reports of ALS in patients on statins, is based on data from 41 long-term controlled clinical trials. The results showed no increased incidence of the disease in patients treated with a statin compared with placebo.

The FDA is anticipating the completion of a case-control or epidemiological study of ALS and statin use. Results from this study should be available within 6-9 months. FDA is also examining the feasibility of conducting additional epidemiologic studies to examine the incidence and clinical course of ALS in patients taking statins.

Based on currently available information, health care professionals should not change their prescribing practices for statins and patients should not change their use of statins. For more information visit the FDA website at: [Web] and [Web].

What is this medicine?

PRAVASTATIN (PRA va stat in) is known as a HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor or 'statin'. It lowers the level of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. This drug may also reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, or other health problems in patients with risk factors for heart disease. Diet and lifestyle changes are often used with this drug.

What should I tell my health care provider before I take this medicine?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:
  • frequently drink alcoholic beverages
  • kidney disease
  • liver disease
  • muscle aches or weakness
  • other medical condition
  • an unusual or allergic reaction to pravastatin, other medicines, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • breast-feeding

How should I use this medicine?

Take pravastatin tablets by mouth. Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. Pravastatin can be taken at anytime of the day, with or without food. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.

Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed. Pravastatin has been used in children as young as 8 years of age.

What if I miss a dose?

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.

What may interact with this medicine?

Do not take this medicine with any of the following medications:
  • herbal medicines such as red yeast rice

This medicine may also interact with the following medications:

  • alcohol
  • antiviral medicines for HIV or AIDS
  • certain medicines for fungal infections like ketoconazole and itraconazole
  • colchicine
  • cyclosporine
  • other medicines for high cholesterol
  • some antibiotics like clarithromycin, erythromycin, and telithromycin

What should I watch for while using this medicine?

Visit your doctor or health care professional for regular check-ups. You may need regular tests to make sure your liver is working properly.

Tell your doctor or health care professional right away if you get any unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, especially if you also have a fever and tiredness. Your doctor or health care professional may tell you to stop taking this medicine if you develop muscle problems. If your muscle problems do not go away after stopping this medicine, contact your health care professional.

This drug is only part of a total heart-health program. Your doctor or a dietician can suggest a low-cholesterol and low-fat diet to help. Avoid alcohol and smoking, and keep a proper exercise schedule.

Do not use this drug if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Serious side effects to an unborn child or to an infant are possible. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

This medicine may affect blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, check with your doctor or health care professional before you change your diet or the dose of your diabetic medicine.

If you are going to have surgery tell your health care professional that you are taking this drug.


Last Updated: November 06, 2012
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