Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Cardiovascular

Pravachol 

(pravastatin)

Prescription onlyLower-cost generic availableClass: Cardiovascular
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Lowers cholesterol.

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Our bottom line

Pravachol (pravastatin) can improve cholesterol, but it's not as strong as other statin medicines. It does cause fewer side effects and is safer for your kidneys and liver.

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Upsides

  • Compared to other statins, Pravachol (pravastatin) has fewer interactions with medicines.
  • Pravachol (pravastatin) is less likely to cause muscle and kidney damage than other statin medicines.
  • If you have liver problems, Pravachol (pravastatin) is the safest statin to use.
  • It's available as a generic.
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Downsides

  • Pravachol (pravastatin) isn't as strong as other statins in lowering your cholesterol.
  • You'll still need to eat a low fat diet and exercise regularly to get the full benefit of Pravachol (pravastatin).
How it works

Pravachol (pravastatin) is cholesterol-lowering medicine called a statin. It lowers the amount of cholesterol your body makes, which helps lower "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and raise "good" cholesterol (HDL).

What to expect when you take Pravachol (pravastatin) for High cholesterol

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Side effect rates for Pravachol (pravastatin)

1313 From clinical trials of pravastatin / High cholesterol (any dose)
  • Muscle, joint or ligament/tendon pain
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Upper respiratory infection
  • Headache
  • Chest pain
  • Rash
  • Muscle damage
  • Stuffy nose
  • Dizziness

Risks and Warnings for Pravachol (pravastatin)

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    • Higher risk if:
    • Kidney disease
    • An underactive thyroid
    • Over age 65
    • Female gender
    • Taking other medicines to lower your cholesterol

    Rarely, people taking medicines like Pravachol (pravastatin) have muscle damage that can sometimes lead to kidney damage. This is more likely if you have kidney disease, an underactive thyroid, if you're older, or a female. Talk to your doctor right away if you have unexplained suddenly severe muscle pain, weakness, or fever.

Common concerns from people taking Pravachol (pravastatin)

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Pregnancy
Kidneys and liver
  • Pravachol (pravastatin) is less likely to cause muscle and kidney damage than other statin medicines.
  • If you have liver problems, Pravachol (pravastatin) is the safest statin to use.