All medications have both positive and negative effects and Pravastatin isn’t an exemption to this. In fact, despite its effectiveness in helping lowering bad cholesterol, it has been found out containing lots of side effects as well. However, it is not because of this negative effect that you shouldn’t be using this drug, weighing the good effects over the bad is important.
The positives of using Pravastatin
Pravastatin is one of several statins, a cholesterol lowering medication available in the market today. Specific pravastatin drugs like Zocor function by blocking the HMG-CoA, an enzyme that is required by the liver for its production of cholesterol. If you haven’t known yet, your liver is the great manufacturer of a huge portion of your cholesterol in the body. Most of the time, especially when you regularly exercise, your liver has the zeal to produce more of the good cholesterol than the bad ones. For this reason, exercise is often recommended for people with high levels of bad cholesterol in the blood.
What really happens when there is an increase in the production of cholesterol is that the body would not be able to compensate for this. It would not be able to eradicate most of the cholesterol in the body thus most of these go to the blood stream, registering high in the lipid pane. Eventually, when the cholesterol levels are left above the normal limit, they stick to the walls of the arteries and become plaques blocking the supply of blood into the different parts of the body, specifically the heart. Fortunately, with the discovery of certain medications as pravastatin and statin, the progression of a heart disease has been prevented.
The negative effects of using Pravastatin
Like many other medications, certain people aren’t prescribed of pravastatin for some reasons. Firstly because it is a strong base medication and toxic to the liver and kidneys. So, taking this medication should be with a doctor’s prescription. Secondly, its particles are small enough to pass through blood barriers hence pregnant and lactating mothers should be closely monitored by their physicians. It may pose some great health threats to the baby.
You should also be aware that among the pravastatin side effects, rhabdomyolysis is a serious condition. This condition is the destruction of muscles as a direct result from the lack of cholesterol in the body. The condition is characterized by muscle tenderness, weakness, fever, and combined flu like symptoms. Because the heart is an important muscle in the body, it is also at risk of dying due to rhabdomyolysis.
Other minor discomforts you may experience as an after effect of the taking the drugs include the following:
- Muscle pain;
- Jaundice both in the sclera and skin;
- Reddish stools;
- Dark colored urine; and,
- Low grade fever.
The difference it has from simvastatin has been studied already by an American College of Cardiology. It has been found out that pravastatin and simvastatin have no significant differences when it comes to lowering cholesterol levels in the blood. In fact, both are beneficial and serve the same purpose.
Because both medications belong to the same class of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, common precautionary measures are often observed.
- First, avoid over the counter drugs. It’s best to consult physician first for the right medication to take. Tell your physician for any medication, treatment, or therapy you are taking or having. There are known drug interactions in taking statins, and this interactions may cause hazardous effects to the body.
- Like Zocor, pravachol or pravastatin shouldn’t be taken together with any grape juices because these juices have alcohol that is not good for use together with the medication.
- Pravastain may be taken with or without foods so it wouldn’t matter whether you have eaten or not when taking your dose of the drug.
- Don’t engage in extreme activities but you can do some forms of basic exercise to avoid masking any possible side effects to the drugs.
- Inform your doctor of any drug allergies, especially to statins, so that another medication can be prescribed to you. Allergic reactions can range from minor itching to adverse anaphylaxis leading to death.
- As much as possible, try alternative and natural ways in reducing cholesterol like eating the right kinds of food and avoiding sedentary lifestyle. Remember, a prolonged use of any drugs may lead to drug dependence and resistance.
It is true that high levels of cholesterol in the blood aren’t an easy problem to resolve, and may take lots of self awareness and self control. Sometimes, you may even feel deprived of the privilege you freely have before. But, you must remember that to stay healthy, you have to sacrifice some things as well and live religiously with your new lifestyle. Tiring it may seem, but you will get used to it eventually. You will never, you might actually like your new lifestyle.