Pravastatin is a generic brand of Lipostat, the cholesterol lowering medication.
Why have I been prescribed Pravastatin?
Pravastatin is used in 3 situations:
In the treatment of high levels of cholesterol and fats in the blood:
Pravastatin is used to lower high levels of “bad” cholesterol and to raise the levels of “good” cholesterol in the blood when changes to diet and exercise have failed to adequately do this.
In the prevention of heart and blood vessel diseases:
• If you have high levels of cholesterol in your blood and risk factors favouring these diseases (if you smoke, are overweight, if you have high blood sugar levels or high blood pressure, if you take little exercise), Pravastatin is used to reduce the risk of you having heart and blood vessel diseases and to lower your risk of dying from these diseases.
• If you have already had a stroke or if you have pains in the chest (unstable angina), and even if you have normal cholesterol levels, Pravastatin is used to reduce the risk of you having another heart attack or stroke in the future, and to lower your risk of dying from these diseases.
After organ transplants:
If you have had an organ transplant and receive medication to prevent your body rejecting the transplant, Lipostat is used to reduce increased levels of fats in the blood.
How does it work?
The drug in Pravastatin belongs to a family of drugs called statins. It prevents the production of cholesterol by the liver and consequently reduces the levels of cholesterol and other fats (triglycerides) in your body.
When and how do I take it?
Pravastatin can be taken with or without food, with half a glass of water in the evening.
What’s the dose?
- In the treatment of high levels of cholesterol and fats in the blood: the usual dose is 10-40 mg once a day, preferably in the evening.
- In the prevention of heart and blood vessel diseases: the usual dose is 40 mg once a day, preferably in the evening.
The maximum daily dose of 40 mg of pravastatin should not be exceeded. Your doctor shall tell you which dose suits you.
Children (8-13 years) and adolescents (14-18 years) with a hereditary disease which increases the level of cholesterol in the blood:
The usual dose is 10-20 mg once a day between 8 and 13 years and from 10 to 40 mg once a day between 14 and 18 years.
After organ transplant:
Your doctor may prescribe a starting dose of 20 mg once a day. The dose may be adjusted up to 40 mg by your doctor.
Could it interact with other tablets?
When combined with this treatment, the medicines stated below may result in an increased risk of developing muscle problems (see Possible side effects). It is important that you inform your doctor whether you are already being treated with:
- a medicine which lowers the cholesterol level in the blood (fibrates, e.g. gemfibrozil, fenofibrate);
- a medicine which lowers the body’s immune defences (cyclosporin);
- a medicine which treats the infections caused by bacteria (an antibiotic such as erythromycin or clarithromycin);
- another medicine which lowers the level of cholesterol in your blood (nicotinic acid).
If you are also using a medicine which lowers the level of fat in your blood (of the resin-type such as colestyramine), this treatment should be taken at least one hour before or four hours after you have taken the resin. This is because the resin can affect the absorption of Pravastatin if the two medicines are taken too closely together.
Please tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are using or have recently used other medicines, including medicines obtained without a prescription.
Herbal supplements should be used with caution and only after informing your doctor first.
What are the possible risks or side-effects?
Stop taking Pravastatin and tell your doctor immediately if you develop any unexplained or persistent muscle pain, tenderness, weakness, or cramps, especially, if at the same time you feel unwell or have a high temperature.
In very rare cases, muscle problems can be serious (rhabdomylosis) and can lead to a serious, lifethreatening kidney disease.
Sudden severe allergic reactions including swelling of the face, lip, tongue or wind pipe which can cause great difficulty in breathing. This is a very rare reaction which can be serious if it occurs. You should tell your doctor immediately if it happens.
The following side effects are uncommon and may affect more than 1 out of 1,000 persons:
- Effects on nervous system: dizziness, tiredness, headache or sleep disturbances;
- Effects on vision: blurred or double vision;
- Digestive effects: indigestion, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain or discomfort, diarrhoea or constipation and wind;
- Effects on skin and hair: itching, pimples, hives, rashes, scalp and hair problems (including hair loss);
- Urinary and genital effects: bladder problems (painful or more frequent urination, having to pass water at night) and sexual difficulties;
- Effects on muscles and joints: muscle and joint pain.
Can I drink alcohol while taking it?
You should keep your alcohol intake to a minimum.
What if I’m pregnant/breastfeeding?
Pravastatin cannot be given while pregnant or during breast feeding.
If you have any more questions please ask your Pharmacist.
Remember to keep all medicines out of reach of children
Please Note: We have made every effort to ensure that the content of this information sheet is correct at time of publish, but remember that information about drugs may change. This sheet does not list all the uses and side-effects associated with this drug. For full details please see the drug information leaflet which comes with your medicine. Your doctor will assess your medical circumstances and draw your attention to any information or side-effects which may be relevant in your particular case.