How Pravachol Works
Pravachol (generic name Pravastatin) was approved by the FDA almost twenty years ago. Pravachol is taken orally to aid in lowering blood cholesterol. Clinical tests have indicated that Pravachol can significantly lower the risks of death, strokes, and heart attacks due to coronary heart disease.
Pravachol belongs in a class of drugs commonly called "statins." Other statins are Zocor, Mevacor, Lipitor, and Lescol. All statins inhibit the production of certain enzymes in the liver, which are necessary to make cholesterol. Pravachol lowers total cholesterol and the LDL, or bad cholesterol, while increasing the good, or HDL, cholesterol.
Raising the production of HDL cholesterol may decrease coronary artery disease and decreasing LDL cholesterol can effectively slow down coronary artery disease and may reverse it to some extent.
Pravachol has been shown to decrease triglycerides, fats in the blood stream, and C-reactive protein. The C-reactive protein test (Hs-CRP) is a better indicator of heart attacks and strokes than cholesterol. Pravachol reduces inflammation in the coronary arteries by reducing CRP. Indications are that Pravachol may reduce heart attacks, strokes, and death through the reduction of both C-reactive protein and harmful cholesterol.
Pravachol and Grapefruit Juice
Certain tests indicated that grapefruit juice had an adverse affect on statins, most notably Mevacor (generic name Lovastatin). Subsequent tests were conducted with others in the group, but nothing substantiated that Pravachol was affected in any harmful way by the consumption of grapefruit juice.
Side Effects of Pravachol Use
Some heartburn, dizziness, or headaches may occur with the use of Parvachol. Infrequently, muscle damage may occur that can rarely lead to severe and even fatal disease called rhabdomyolysis. Discontinue use of Pravachol and seek medical help if you develop pain, tenderness, or weakness in your muscles.
Pravachol use may cause, in extreme cases, yellowing eyes and skin, abdominal pain, continual nausea, dark urine or a change in the amount of urine, muscle pain, fatigue, or stomach pains. If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your doctor immediately. Some Pravachol users complain of confusion, disorientation, forgetfulness, transient global amnesia, and escalation of existing senility.
Allergic reactions to Pravachol are very unlikely, but if you have indications of this, call your doctor. An allergic reaction might be indicated by itching, swelling, a rash, difficulty breathing, or dizziness.
Do not use Pravachol if you have certain medical conditions. If you have allergic reactions to other statins, you should speak with your doctor of pharmacist before taking Pravachol. If you have liver disease, heart disease, kidney disease, hypothyroidism, diabetes, or you abuse alcohol, you might not be able to use Pravachol.Before you cease using Pravachol, notify your doctor if you a serious illness, trauma, major surgery, uncontrollable seizures, or very low blood pressure.Pravachol may impair your reaction or judgment. Do not operate dangerous equipment while taking Pravachol.
Pregnant women should not take Pravachol, and it is strongly advised that women in their childbearing years use birth control while they are taking Pravachol. Some amount of Pravachol may pass into the breast milk, and breastfeeding should be avoided while using Pravachol.