|Type of medicine||A lipid-regulating drug commonly known as a statin|
|Used for||Lowering cholesterol and other lipids in the blood (including after an organ transplant) |
To reduce the risk of heart and blood vessel disease
Lipid is another word for fat. Lipids are easily stored in your body and serve as a source of energy. Cholesterol is a lipid. It is made naturally in your body from the food you eat. When the concentration of cholesterol in your blood is too high, it is called hypercholesterolaemia.
In hypercholesterolaemia, small fatty patches called atheroma develop within the inside lining of your blood vessels. Over time, these patches can make a blood vessel narrower and this is called atherosclerosis or 'hardening of the arteries'. This narrowing reduces the blood flow through the artery and increases the risk of a number of heart and blood vessel diseases, such as heart attack and stroke.
Pravastatin reduces the amount of lipids such as cholesterol made by your body. It does this by blocking the action of a certain enzyme which is needed to make cholesterol. This lowers your risk of heart and blood vessel disease. It can also reduce this risk, even if your cholesterol levels are normal, if you are at an increased risk of heart disease.
Some medicines are not suitable for people with certain conditions, and sometimes a medicine may only be used if extra care is taken. For these reasons, before you start taking pravastatin it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Possible pravastatin side-effects - these affect less than 1 in 100 people who take this medicine||What can I do if I experience this?|
|Muscle aches, pains, weakness, or tenderness||Although this may not be anything to be concerned about, you should tell your doctor about this. This is because there is a rare but serious side-effect of pravastatin which is a severe form of muscle inflammation|
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller|
|Constipation||Try to eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water each day|
|Diarrhoea||Drink plenty of water to replace any lost fluids|
|Feeling sick, stomach ache, indigestion, wind||Stick to bland foods - avoid rich or spicy food|
|Blurred or double vision||If this happens, do not drive or use tools or machines while you are unable to see properly|
|Disturbed sleep, feeling dizzy or tired, forgetfulness, depression, sexual problems, itchy rash, thinning of hair, an increased need to pass urine particularly at night||Speak with your doctor if any of these become troublesome|
Important: if you experience any of the following rare but serious symptoms, stop taking pravastatin and contact your doctor for advice straightaway:
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, discuss them with your doctor or pharmacist.