Pravastatin Side Effects

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Pravastatin sodium is the active ingredient and generic equivalent of the prescription cholesterol medication Pravachol®. Pravachol® was developed by the drug company Bristol-Myers-Squibb and approved by the FDA in 1991.[1] Doctors prescribe pravastatin in conjunction with changes in diet, and exercise to reduce the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad" cholesterol) and other fatty substances such as triglycerides in the blood, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. Weight loss may also be recommended.[2]

As with all medications, pravastatin can cause side effects. These include heartburn, headache, muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, and lack of energy. Pravastatin is an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, or statin. Statins inhibit an enzyme involved with the production of cholesterol in the liver.[2]


Cholesterol test.jpg
Flickr: juhansonin
Chemical name for Pravachol®[1]
Manufacturer Bristol-Meyers-Squibb and others[1]
Generic available? Yes
Uses Treats high cholesterol[1]
Common side effects Heartburn, headache, muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, lack of energy[1]
Who should not take pravastatin Those allergic to allergic to pravastatin or any of its inactive ingredients; women who are pregnant or breastfeeding[1]
Disclaimer The information provided by is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Do not take any action based on the information on this page without consulting a physician.
Author Hugh Shiebler


Common Pravastatin Side Effects

Drinking alcoholic beverages can can increase the risk of serious side effects from pravastatin. The more common side effects of pravastatin include headache and heartburn.

More severe side effects include difficulty breathing or swallowing; fever; nausea; flu-like symptoms; swelling of the face, eyes, throat, tongue, face, lips, ankles, feet, hands, or the lower legs; hoarseness, dark-colored urine; loss of appetite; muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness; extreme tiredness; chest pain; itching, hives or rash; low energy, unusual bruising or bleeding; pains in the upper part of the stomach; and a yellowing of the skin or eyes.[2] Rarely, patients may experience cognitive impairment, including forgetfulness, memory loss, and confusion; some patients have an increased risk of raised blood sugar levels which may lead to the development of Type 2 diabetes.[3]

About Drug Side Effects

Common adverse reactions of drugs like pravastatin

Pravastatin Allergic Reactions

Various brands of pravastatin contain different inactive ingredients, any one of which could lead to a reaction. In the case of brand-name Pravachol®, the inactive ingredients are magnesium oxide, croscarmellose sodium, povidone, lactose, magnesium stearate, cellulose, microcrystalline, and yellow ferric oxide. Signs of a serious allergic reaction to pravastatin are rash or hives, difficulty breathing, and swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat. These symptoms can be dangerous.[1]

Pravastatin Precautions and Warnings

  • Studies have shown that between 10% and 15% of patients who take statins experience muscle pain as a side effect of their treatment. New research shows that users of pravastatin and other statins with prolonged muscle pain may also experience muscle damage, even when the blood test that is used to find muscle injury turns up normal.[4]
  • In rare cases, pravastatin can cause liver damage. Signs of this include jaundice, urine that is dark in color, and upset stomach that does not go away.
  • Pravastatin may not be suitable for patients with diseases of the liver or kidneys, or those who drink large amounts of alcohol.
  • Side effects of pravastatin are more likely to affect senior citizens.
  • Pravastatin is not for pregnant or nursing women, as it may cause harm to fetuses in the womb as well as breastfeeding infants.[1]


Also See: Pravastatin Coupons, Statin Side Effects, Advicor, Advicor Side Effects, Crestor Side Effects, Lipitor, Lipitor Side Effects, Simvastatin, Simvastatin Side Effects, Tricor Side Effects, Vytorin, Vytorin Side Effects, Zocor Side Effects, Statins Diabetes



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