- Decreases bad cholesterol levels whilst increasing good cholesterol levels
- Very effective in treating high cholesterol
- Lowers the risk of more serious issues such as stokes, heart attacks and heart disease
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High Cholesterol key facts UK
- Cholesterol levels increase with age
- 39.65% of people in the UK are considered to have borderline or high cholesterol levels
- Women going through the menopause are at risk of developing high cholesterol
- High cholesterol is one of the main risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease
Source - Forthwithlife.co.uk
What is Pravastatin?
Pravastatin is a lipid lowering medicine that belongs to the Statins class of drugs. Pravastatin is most used to prevent cardiovascular disease in individuals with high cholesterol.
Pravastatin lowers the levels of Low-Density Lipoprotein, often referred to as 'bad cholesterol', it also offers protection from future heart attacks and strokes.
It is a very safe medicine to use, and you are unlikely to experience any side effects from it.
You can buy Pravastatin online at Medicine Direct after one of our certified doctors has prescribed it for you. If you order before 2pm, we can offer you next day delivery on your medicine.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a wax like substance that is natural to the human body and is found in the blood. Cholesterol plays a very important role within the human body and is present in every cell. It also helps to produce vitamin D and certain steroid hormones that help keep our muscles and bones healthy.
Cholesterol also plays an important role in helping the liver digest fats that we eat from foods by producing another natural substance called bile.
Cholesterol is made up by several different lipoproteins, some of those lipoproteins can cause damage to the arteries by causing them to harden or clogging them up.
The two most well know lipoproteins are called Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) also known as bad cholesterol, and High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) also known as good cholesterol.
Too much LDL cholesterol can build up in the arteries, clogging them up and causing them to harden, this can also lead to several related health conditions such as heart attacks or strokes. When someone has high cholesterol, it is because their LDL cholesterol levels are high.
HDL cholesterol plays an important role in preventing disease due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. HDL also helps to remove LDL from the body. High cholesterol medicines such as statins, work to increase the levels of HDL cholesterol and lower the levels of LDL cholesterol.
What is Pravastatin used to treat?
Pravastatin is a lipid lowering medicine belonging to the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors group of medicines, also known as statins. It is prescribed to lower the non-HDL cholesterol levels in the body, in particular LDL cholesterol levels.
Pravastatin helps to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease and provides protection against future heart attacks and strokes.
Statins are the first line treatment for high cholesterol levels and are particularly effective when used in conjunction with a healthy diet, exercise, and weight loss. More information on how to lower your cholesterol can be found on the NHS website.
How does Pravastatin work for high cholesterol?
Pravastatin works by reducing the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol), commonly referred to as 'bad' cholesterol, being produced by your liver, while also increasing the amount of 'good' cholesterol (HDL) in your blood.
Pravastatin works by increasing the number of LDL receptors which are responsible for passing the LDL cholesterol into the liver where it is then excreted from the body.
The increased levels of HDL also help to remove excessive levels of LDL from the body as well as helping to prevent disease and inflammation that can be caused by high LDL levels.
Statins work in the liver, by slowing down the production of LDL cholesterol, resulting in an overall decrease of LDL levels in the body.
By lowering lipids and cholesterol in the blood, this medication can prevent more serious issues from occurring such as strokes, heart disease and heart attacks.
Pravastatin is available in 3 different doses:
|10mg daily to be taken at night as an adjunct to diet|
|20mg once daily to be taken at night for the treatment of primary hypercholesterolaemia|
|40mg once daily at night to prevent cardiovascular events|
Source - NICE
How to take Pravastatin
Pravastatin should be taken at night. Studies have shown that pravastatin is more effective when taken in the evening rather than in the morning.
Always read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before taking any medication. Always follow your doctor's instructions precisely when taking Pravastatin.
You can consume the tablet before or after eating as it will not affect your stomach, it should be swallowed whole with a glass of water.
Who can take Pravastatin?
Pravastatin is generally considered to be a very safe medication to use in lowering bad cholesterol levels, but it may not be suitable for everyone to use.
Before taking Pravastatin, you should tell your doctor if any of the below apply to you:
- You have had an allergic reaction to pravastatin sodium, any other ingredients contained in this medicine, or any other medicines in the past
- You have liver problems
- You have kidney problems
- You have an underactive thyroid
- You drink large quantities of alcohol
- You have severe lung disease
- You have had muscular side effects while taking any statins in the past
- You have or have had any muscle disorders
Pravastatin side effects
As with all medications, Pravastatin does come with the risk of certain side effects, although not everyone gets them.
It is rare to suffer any adverse reactions while taking Pravastatin. Different statins can affect people in different ways, but you should speak to your doctor if any of these effects persist or do not go away.
Muscle aches and pains are rare side effects of Pravastatin, but they are serious. This may happen after a few weeks or even months after you start using the medication for your high cholesterol. You should report any tenderness, pain, or weakness in your muscles to a doctor straight away.
Memory loss is another rare side effect that is known to occasionally happen in people who take this medicine. This will usually stop when you complete your course of treatment.
For more serious reactions, refer to the Side Effects tab for a comprehensive list. Always read the patient information leaflet before using Pravastatin.
Pravastatin alternatives for High Cholesterol
There are 5 types of statins that are used to treat high cholesterol in the UK.
All statins will have a very similar mechanism of action; however, indications and dose can vary depending on which statin you are prescribed.
You should always take the statin that you have been prescribed by your doctor, do not switch between statins.
Can you buy pravastatin over the counter in the UK?
No, pravastatin is a prescription only medicine and must be prescribed by a doctor or healthcare professional. Your cholesterol levels may also need regular monitoring if you have been prescribed pravastatin to ensure that the treatment is working as expected.
Can you buy Pravastatin online in the UK?
Yes, you can buy pravastatin online from most UK online pharmacies including Medicine Direct. You will need to complete an online health questionnaire so our healthcare professionals can assess your condition to ensure that pravastatin is the most suitable treatment option for you.
It is important to ensure that when you buy Pravastatin online, you do so from a UK fully regulated pharmacy. To learn more about our company, team, medical professionals, and the licenses we hold, visit our about us page.
Dosage and Directions
Our pharmacists and prescribers follow NICE prescribing guidelines when prescribing Pravastatin.
What if I forget to take it?
If you have forgotten to take a dose of Pravastatin, skip it and take your next dose as scheduled.
Never double dose your medication to try and make up for missing a previous dose.
To effectively lower cholesterol, it is important you remember to take Pravastatin as instructed by your doctor. To ensure you don't forget, try to take it at the same time each day. Some people find it beneficial to set an alarm to remind them.
What if I take more than I am supposed to?
Although extra Pravastatin is unlikely to cause harm, you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you are worried or if you have consumed more than one extra dose.
You should always follow the exact instructions for the administration of medicine as given to you by your doctor.
What is Pravastatin used to treat?
What is Pravastatin also known as?
How quickly does Pravastatin lower cholesterol?
How long will I need to take Pravastatin?
Is Pravastatin safe to take for a long time?
Can I stop taking Pravastatin once it has lowered my cholesterol?
Will pravastatin increase my risk of diabetes?
When is the best time to take Pravastatin?
Can I drink alcohol whilst taking pravastatin?
Can I take different statins?
Serious Side Effects
The most common adverse reactions of Pravastatin can be found on the main page.
Below is a list of rare side effects which occur in less than 1 in every 1,000 people. You should stop taking the medicine and speak to your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Unexplained muscle pain, weakness, cramps, or tenderness (these could be symptoms of a muscle breakdown or damage)
- Yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes turning yellow, pale stools or dark urine (could be signs of a liver problem)
- Severe stomach pains (could be signs of inflammation of the pancreas)
- A cough, feeling short of breath or sudden weight loss (could be signs of lung disease)
In rare cases, you may experience a severe allergic reaction to Pravastatin. Stop taking the tablets and either call 999 or go to A&E straight away if you experience any of the below symptoms; you may require immediate treatment in hospital:
- You have a skin rash that is red, itchy, blistering, peeling or swollen
- You are wheezing
- You have tightness in the chest or throat
- You have swelling in the mouth, throat, face, lips or tongue
- You are finding it difficult to breathe or speak
This list may not be exhaustive; always read the patient information leaflet thoroughly before you start to take a new medication. If you have any questions or concerns at all, we strongly advise you to discuss them with your doctor.
Pravastatin Warnings and drug interactions
Pravastatin is a safe medicine that effectively lowers your cholesterol levels and promotes good cholesterol, but it may interact with other medicines you are currently using.
You should always make sure your doctor is aware of any and all medications you are currently using. This includes both prescription and non-prescription medications, herbal remedies, supplements and vitamins.
In particular, you should be cautious if you are already taking any of the following medications:
- Some antibiotics and antifungals
- Medicines to treat hepatitis C
- Certain medicines to treat HIV
If you have been prescribed Pravastatin but also need to use one of the above medications, your doctor may:
- Prescribe you a lower dose of Pravastatin
- Prescribe a different statin altogether
- Recommend you stop your course of Pravastatin treatment temporarily
For more information on Drug interactions with Pravastatin.
If you have any concerns or questions at all, we strongly advise you to talk to your doctor before you start to use this medicine.
To ensure you only buy genuine medicine, you should only order online if it is with a UK registered pharmacy like Medicine Direct. We are registered with the General Pharmaceutical Council, meaning we can guarantee genuine medicine from our store. We can also offer next day delivery; order with us before 2pm and your medicine will be with you the next day.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
It is not recommended you take Pravastatin while pregnant. If you need to be treated for high cholesterol levels, you should inform your doctor if you are currently pregnant, are trying to get pregnant, or think you might be pregnant.
Your doctor may advise you to take a different medication to treat your cholesterol.
Similarly, you should not take Pravastatin if you are breastfeeding. Make sure your doctor is aware if you are breastfeeding; they can recommend alternative cholesterol medicines that may be more suitable.
The main active ingredient within this medicine is: Pravastain sodium
For a full list of the inactive ingredients, please read the Summary of Product Characteristics
Medically reviewed by: Hussain Abdeh MPharm: 2211840
Published on: 12/10/2020
Updated on: 29/06/2021
This content has been written by our Superintendent Pharmacist Hussain Abdeh and has been medically reviewed by our Pharmacist Sonia Khan
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