Pravachol Medication Information:

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Pravachol 10 mg
Pravachol 20 mg
Pravachol 40 mg
Pravachol 80 mg

Pravachol Information

Pravachol is a prescription drug in a class of drugs called statins, and is used for treating and preventing several conditions related to heart disease.

How does Pravachol Work

Pravachol works by blocking the enzyme HMG-CoA reductuse. This enzyme controls the rate of cholesterol production in the body. It can also increase the livers ability to collect and get rid bad cholesterol, or LDL's. It increases the amount of good cholesterol, or HDL's, and also helps to decrease triglycerides. Lower these can help prevent heart disease and the hardening of arteries. These conditions can lead to heart attack, stroke, and vascular disease.

Taking Pravachol

Pravachol should be prescribed after non-drug treatment options, such as exercise and diet change, have not been successful at lowering cholesterol levels. It should be taken once a day, by mouth, with or without food, and is most effective when taken in the evening. You should continue taking the medicine at the same time each day to keep the correct amount in your system. While on this medication, your blood and liver functions will be tested often. This medication needs to be taken on a long term basis to optimize effectiveness. It is used to treat, not cure these disorders.

Side Effects

Some common side effects of Pravachol include mild stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, gas, bloating, headaches, dizziness, stuffy nose, skin rash, or just an overall sick feeling. These side effects should lessen as your body becomes accustomed to the medication. You should stop using Pravachol and your physician should be contacted if the following side effects are experienced: chest pain, muscle pain, flu like symptoms, nausea, or jaundice. You should seek immediate medical attention if any of the following symptoms occur while taking Pravachol: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Other Brand Names

Another name for Pravachol is Pravastatin

Safety Information:

People who are allergic to pravastatin or to any of the ingredients of this medication should avoid taking Pravachol. You should also avoid this medication if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. People who have active liver disease or unexplained increases in liver function tests should also stay away from this drug. People who consume large amounts of alcohol while taking this medication will have to be closely monitored, as well as those with decreased kidney function. Pravachol has also been approved for use by children ages 8 and older.


  • Pravachol tablet 10mg
  • Pravachol tablet 20mg
  • Pravachol tablet 40mg
  • Pravachol tablet 80mg

Visual Description:

The tablets are circular, oval, and square shaped tablets in white, green, yellow, and pink.

About Pravachol

What Pravachol is used for

PRAVACHOL is available only with your physician's prescription. It is to be used as an adjunct to a medically recommended and carefully supervised diet for the long-term treatment of hypercholesterolemia and is not a substitute for such a diet. This has been shown to decrease the chances of experiencing a first or second heart attack, or stroke, and may help prevent heart disease if caused by cholesterol clogging the blood vessels, or slow the progression of atherosclerosis (hardening) of the arteries that nourish your heart, so-called coronary heart disease (CHD). In addition, depending on your condition, your physician may recommend an appropriate regimen of exercise, weight control and other measures.

What Pravachol does

PRAVACHOL lowers the level of cholesterol, particularly Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, in the blood. PRAVACHOL reduces cholesterol production by the liver and induces some changes of cholesterol transport and disposition in the blood and tissues.

When Pravachol should not be used

  • If you are pregnant, since its use in the event of pregnancy may harm the unborn. Only female patients who are highly unlikely to conceive can be candidates for PRAVACHOL treatment. In the event of pregnancy during treatment, PRAVACHOL should be discontinued and the physician should be informed.

  • If you know that you are allergic to pravastatin or any of the nonmedicinal ingredients of PRAVACHOL.

  • If you have liver disease.

  • In adolescents and children since the safety of PRAVACHOL in this age group has not been established.

What the medicinal ingredient is

Pravastatin sodium.

What the important nonmedicinal ingredients for Pravachol are

Croscarmellose sodium, D&C yellow no. 10 (40 mg tablets), FD&C blue no. 1 (40 mg tablets), lactose, magnesium oxide, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, povidone, red ferric oxide (10 mg tablets) and yellow ferric oxide (20 mg tablets).

What dosage forms Pravachol comes in

10, 20 and 40 mg tablets.

Warnings and Precautions

Use only as specifically directed. Do not alter the dosage unless ordered to do so by your physician. Check with your physician before discontinuing medication since this may result in an increase of your blood lipids.

Before taking PRAVACHOL, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you:

  • are breast-feeding or intend to breast-feed,

  • have thyroid problems,

  • have a family history of muscular disorders,

  • had any past problems with the muscles (pain, tenderness), after using an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor (“statin”) such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), rosuvastatin (Crestor) or simvastatin (Zocor), or have developed an allergy or intolerance to them,

  • have kidney or liver problems,

  • diabetes,

  • have undergone surgery or other tissue injury,

  • do excessive physical exercise.


Before using this medication, discuss the following with your doctor:

  • Cholesterol compounds are essential elements for the development of a fetus.

  • Cholesterol-lowering drugs can harm the fetus. If you are of child-bearing age, discuss with your doctor the potential hazards to the fetus and the importance of birth control methods.

  • PRAVACHOL should not be used by pregnant women. If you become pregnant, discontinue use immediately and discuss with your doctor.

Interactions with Pravachol

PRAVACHOL may interact with other drugs, including those you take without a prescription. You must tell your doctor or pharmacist about all drugs, including prescription and nonprescription, herbal products and supplements, you are taking or planning to take before you take PRAVACHOL.

You should tell your doctor if you are taking other cholesterol lowering medication such as fibrates (gemfibrozil, fenofibrate), niacin, or ezetimibe. If you take these drugs and PRAVACHOL together, you may be at an increased risk of myopathy (muscle disease with aching or weakness).

If you are taking a bile acid-binding resin (such as cholestyramine, colestipol), your doctor will recommend that you take PRAVACHOL either one hour or more before or at least four hours following the resin. Taking them together causes lower amounts of PRAVACHOL in the blood, making it less effective.

If you are taking cyclosporine, your doctor may need to adjust the dose of PRAVACHOL.

Excessive alcohol intake should be avoided when taking PRAVACHOL. Tell your doctor if you regularly drink three or more alcoholic drinks daily.

Proper Use of Pravachol

  • Do not change the dose unless directed by a doctor.

  • PRAVACHOL should be taken as a single dose at bedtime, as prescribed by your physician.

  • Your physician will monitor your clinical condition and your blood tests at regular intervals. It is important to have these check-ups done on schedule. Please keep your appointments accurately.

  • Notify your physician about any illness which may develop during your treatment with PRAVACHOL and about any new prescription or non-prescription medication you may take. If you require medical help for other reasons, inform the attending physician that you are taking PRAVACHOL,

  • Notify your physician if you are going to have major surgery or have sustained a severe injury,

  • Notify your physician of any muscle pain, tenderness or weakness developing during treatment with PRAVACHOL (see Side Effects and What to Do About Them:).

Usual dose

The recommended starting dose is 20 mg once daily at bed time. Patients who require a large dose reduction in LDL-C may be started at 40 mg once daily. The dose of 80 mg once daily should be reserved for patients who do not achieve their treatment goal with lower doses. PRAVACHOL may be taken without regard to meals.


There is no specific recommended therapy for overdose with PRAVACHOL.

In case of overdose, contact your doctor immediately or go to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Side Effects for Pravachol and What to Do About Them

Along with its intended action, any medication may cause unwanted effects.

Check with your physician as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occurs: aching muscles, muscle cramping, tiredness or weakness, fever and blurred vision.

Muscle effects: Side effects such as myalgia (muscle pain), myopathy (muscle disease with aching or weakness), rhabdomyolosis (a muscle wasting disease), associated tenderness, and rare cases of rhabdomylosis leading to kidney failure have been reported with other drugs of this class, known as HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (“statins”), including PRAVACHOL.

As these muscle problems are on rare occasions serious, you should contact your physician promptly if you experience any of the side effects listed in the Table below.

Serious Side Effects, How Often They Happen and What to Do About Them
Symptom/Effect Talk with your doctor or pharmacist Stop taking drug and call your doctor or pharmacist
Only if severe In all cases
Rare Muscle pain that you cannot explain    
Muscle tenderness or muscle weakness    
Generalized weakness, especially if you do not feel well (ie. fever or fatigue)    
Brownish or discoloured urine    

Other side effects may occasionally occur which usually do not require stopping treatment. They may come and go during treatment without any particular danger, but you should mention them to your physician, without undue delay, if they become persistent or bothersome. Such adverse experiences include abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, headache, dizziness and skin rashes.

This is not a complete list of side effects. For any unexpected effects while taking PRAVACHOL, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Pravachol Facts

The active ingredient in Pravachol is a member of the drug class referred to as statins.

The FDA approved a generic form of Pravachol for sale in the United States in April 2006.

The active ingredient in Pravachol was originally discovered in a bacterium by researchers of Sankyo Pharma, Inc.

Pravachol is a brand name medication containing the active ingredient pravastatin and marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb.


Technical Information