What is Pravastatin?
Pravastatin (also known as pravastatin sodium) is a type of statin, a group of drugs used to control high cholesterol (hypercholesterolaemia).
It reduces the amount of “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides (another type of fat) in your blood, whilst increasing your levels of “good” cholesterol. This reduces your likelihood of developing heart disease or suffering a stroke or heart attack. Pravastatin is usually combined with a programme of healthy eating and exercise.
Please note: where a generic product has been ordered we may use a range of manufacturers to provide you with your medication, in order to maintain our service levels.
How does it work?
Cholesterol is largely produced by your liver and your body needs a certain amount to function. It is transported around the body via the blood system by combining with protein to form molecules called lipoproteins. There are two main types of lipoproteins, low density lipoproteins (ldl cholesterol) and high density lipoproteins (hdl cholesterol).
An excess of ldl cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol, collects in your blood vessels, causing them to thicken and harden (atherosclerosis), and potentially become completely blocked.
Hdl, or “good” cholesterol, removes excess ldl cholesterol from your bloodstream and transports it to the liver to be broken down and eliminated.
Pravastatin works by reducing the amount of ldl cholesterol made by the liver. It does this by blocking the action of a key enzyme required for cholesterol production. Pravastatin also reduces your levels of triglycerides, other ‘bad’ fats that are found in the blood.
By reducing the concentrations of hazardous fats in your body, pravastatin helps prevent you from developing heart disease or suffering a stroke or heart attack.
Who should take Pravastatin?
There are four groups of people who can benefit from taking pravastatin:
- If you have high cholesterol and find that a regime of healthy eating and lifestyle choices is not effective enough in reducing your cholesterol levels.
- If you have already suffered a heart attack or have unstable angina but you have normal cholesterol levels.
- If you have had an organ transplant and your immunosuppressive medications are causing an increase in your lipid levels.
- If you have genetically high cholesterol levels (familial hypercholesterolaemia). In this case, pravastatin may also be suitable for children aged 8-18.
Who should not take pravastatin?
You should not take pravastatin if you:
- Are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying for a baby.
- Have active liver disease or unexplained abnormal liver functioning.
- Are allergic to any of the ingredients in pravastatin.
- Are a child under 8 years old
Pravastatin may be used with caution for people who:
- Have an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
- Have a history of liver disease
- Have issues with muscle aches or a hereditary muscle disorder
- Regularly drink large amounts of alcohol
- Have issues with kidney function or kidney disease
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