Drug Class: What is Pravachol and why is it prescribed?
Pravachol Mechanism: How does Pravachol work?
Pravachol Dosage: How should you take Pravachol?
Possible food and drug interactions when taking Pravachol
Special information on Pravachol
Pravachol side effects
|Drug Class: What is Pravachol and why is it prescribed?|
| Generic Pravachol, Pravastatin is an oral drug for lowering cholesterol in the blood.
Generic Pravachol has been shown to reduce the occurrence of heart attacks, strokes and deathcaused by coronary heart disease. It belongs to a class of drugs called HMG-CoA
reductase Inhibitors, commonly called \"statins\".
Your doctor may prescribe Generic Pravachol along with a cholesterol-lowering diet if your blood cholesterol level is dangerously high and you have not been able to lower it by diet alone.
High cholesterol can lead to heart problems. By lowering your cholesterol, Generic Pravachol improves your chances of avoiding a heart attack, heart surgery, and death from heart disease. In people who already have hardening of the arteries, it slows progression of the disease and cuts the risk of acute attacks.
Generic Pravachol works by helping to clear harmful low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol out of the blood and by limiting the ability of the body to form new LDL cholesterol. For people at high risk of heart disease, current guidelines call for considering drug therapy when LDL levels reach 130. For people at lower risk, the cut-off is 160. For those at little or no risk, it is 190.
|Pravachol Mechanism: How does Pravachol work?|
Statins reduce cholesterol by inhibiting an enzyme in the liver (HMG-CoA reductase) that is necessary for the production of cholesterol.
In the blood, statins lower total and LDL (\"bad\") cholesterol as well as triglycerides. They also increase HDL (\"good\") cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is believed to be an important cause of coronary artery disease. Lowering LDL cholesterol levels slows and may even reverse coronary artery disease. Raising HDL cholesterol levels also may slow coronary artery disease.
Scientists have discovered that inflammation of the coronary arteries also may contribute to coronary heart disease. Inflammation is associated with elevated levels of a protein called C-reactive protein. This C-reactive protein in blood can be measured by a test, referred to as the \"highly sensitive\" C-reactive protein test (Hs-CRP). Elevated levels of Hs-CRP predict the occurrence of heart attacks, strokes and death. In fact, Hs-CRP is a better predictor of heart attacks, strokes and death than cholesterol levels.
Generic Pravachol/Pravastatin reduces the levels of Hs-CRP and it has been suggested that pravastatin may reduce coronary artery disease by reducing inflammation rather than, or in addition to, lowering levels of cholesterol.
Generic Pravachol/Pravastatin was approved by the FDA in October, 1991.
|Pravachol Dosage: How should you take Pravachol?|
For an even greater cholesterol-lowering effect, your doctor may prescribe Generic Pravachol
along with a different kind of lipid-lowering drug such as Questran or Colestid.
However, you must not take Generic Pravachol at the same time of day as the other
cholesterol-lowering drug. Take Generic Pravachol at least 1 hour before or 4 hours
after taking the other drug.
|Possible food and drug interactions when taking Pravachol|
|If Generic Pravachol is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Generic Pravachol with the following: Cholestyramine (Questran), Cimetidine (Tagamet), Colestipol (Colestid), Diltiazem (Cardizem, Dilacor, Tiazac), Drugs that suppress the immune system, such as Sandimmune and Neoral, Erythromycin (E.E.S., Erythrocin, others), Gemfibrozil (Lopid), Itraconazole (Sporanox), Niacin (Niacor, Niaspan), Warfarin (Coumadin).|
|Special information on Pravachol|
Special information on Generic Pravachol, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding,
you must not become pregnant while taking Generic Pravachol. Because Generic Pravachol lowers cholesterol, and cholesterol is necessary for the proper development of
an unborn baby, there is some suspicion that Generic Pravachol might cause birth
defects. Your doctor will prescribe Generic Pravachol only if you are highly unlikely
to become pregnant while taking Generic Pravachol. If you do become pregnant while taking
Generic Pravachol, inform your doctor immediately.
Because Generic Pravachol appears in breast milk, and because its cholesterol-lowering effects might prove harmful to a nursing baby, you should not take Generic Pravacholwhile you are breastfeeding.
|Pravachol side effects|
| Side effects of Generic Pravachol cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change
in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine
if it is safe for you to continue taking Generic Pravachol.
Side effects of Generic Pravachol: May include abdominal pain, chest pain, constipation, cough, diarrhea, dizziness, fatigue, gas, headache, heartburn, inflammation of nasal passages, muscle aching or weakness, nausea, rash, stomach or intestinal discomfort, urinary problems, vomiting.
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