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Pravastatin is a high cholesterol treatment in tablet form. This medicine helps to prevent circulatory problems by reducing the amount of cholesterol that is produced by the liver. High cholesterol treatments, such as pravastatin, work best when used in combination with exercise and a low cholesterol diet. These tablets are swallowed whole, and can be prescribed in strengths of 10mg, 20mg or 40mg.
High cholesterol can be a silent killer. Often the condition doesn’t present with any noticeable symptoms, meaning sufferers are often unaware they even have it. If high cholesterol isn’t managed properly, through diet, exercise, and medication, then it can lead to serious circulatory problems, including; heart attack and stroke. This highlights the importance of checking your cholesterol levels, in order to properly diagnose/manage the condition. Lifestyle factors, such as fatty foods, alcohol, smoking, and lack of exercise can all raise cholesterol levels in the body. Alternatively, high cholesterol can be linked to other medical conditions, such as diabetes. For some, high cholesterol can be hereditary – having a blood relative with the condition can make someone more susceptible.
At low levels, cholesterol is essential for our health – it transports fats throughout the body, via the bloodstream. These fats are necessary for healthy cell tissue growth. This cholesterol is known as high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or ‘good’ cholesterol. However, the good cholesterol the body needs is already produced naturally in the liver. When there is a surplus of cholesterol, as a result of diet/lifestyle, then these excess fats can group together, forming blockages. These blockages can restrict, or even stop the flow of blood through the body. This type of cholesterol is called low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or ‘bad’ cholesterol.
Pravastatin works by reducing the activity of an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase. This enzyme, found in the liver, is responsible for producing the body’s natural cholesterol. By inhibiting the action of HMG-CoA reductase, pravastatin actively lowers the level of cholesterol in the body. This will reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and angina.
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A doctor will determine whether to prescribe a 10mg, 20mg or 40mg Pravastatin tablet. Stick to this prescription carefully – do not decrease or increase your dosage unless instructed to by a doctor.
Take one tablet per day. Swallow it whole with a sip of water. If possible, make a routine of taking the tablet each evening.
You can decide whether to take the tablet with food or not. However, do not eat grapefruit while taking Pravastatin tablets – it is known to have adverse effects on the medicine’s effectiveness, and may cause side effects.
Not everyone will experience side effects when they take Pravastatin, however, if you do they can include:
Memory loss, depression, persistent cough, fever, shortness of breath, nightmares.
If you are overweight with high blood pressure, you may be at risk of diabetes. Your doctor will monitor you while you take Pravastatin, and stop the prescription if complications develop.
If you are concerned about these effects, or if the product affects you in any other way, stop using it and talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Reading the following warnings carefully will help to ensure that you are selecting an appropriate product.
Pravastatin may be unsuitable for you if:
Some other medicines may interact with Pravastatin. This could impact the effectiveness of either (or both) of the medicines. Otherwise, the combination could increase your risk of certain side effects. These medicines include:
The above list is not exhaustive. Please read all packaging and the Patient Information Leaflet before taking any new medicine and inform your doctor of medicines you are taking or intend to take.
The active ingredient contained in Pravastatin is pravastatin sodium.
Pravastatin also contains the following inactive ingredients to make up the complete product:
Microcrystalline cellulose, lactose monohydrate, heavy magnesium oxide, croscarmellose sodium, iron oxide yellow (E172), povidone K30, magnesium stearate.
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