Pravachol is used to lower the cholesterol levels. It contains pravastatin as its main active ingredient. It belongs to HMG CoA reductase inhibitors, or statins group of drugs. It is used to bring down the level of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood. High cholesterol levels could lead to diabetes, coronary heart disease, hardening of the arteries, heart attack, stroke, and vascular disease or other risk factors. Pravachol reduces risk of these diseases by bringing down the level of bad cholesterol level in the blood. Doctors also prescribe it to patients with coronary heart disease to lower risk of stroke, heart attack or other heart problems.

Though it reduces total cholesterol level and bad cholesterol level, it helps in increasing good cholesterol or HDL in blood. It is taken along with a proper diet and lifestyle changes to treat the people with high cholesterol level. It should not be taken with other cholesterol-lowering drug. There should be difference of 1 hour before and 4 hours after taking Pravachol. Its overdose could prove fatal, so patients should stick to the recommended dosages by the doctor.

Use of Pravachol could cause birth defects in unborn child thus pregnant women should not use this drug. Women who are planning or suspecting pregnancy or breast-feeding should also not use this drug as it may harm the child. Patients using Pravachol should use an effective method of birth control, while using this drug to avoid pregnancy.

Patients with liver diseases, kidney problems, diabetes, under active thyroid or muscle disorder should consult their doctor before using this drug. Its use could lead to breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue. It could ultimately lead to kidney failure. It is advisable to consult the doctor, if a patient has unexplained muscle pain or tenderness, muscle weakness, fever or flu symptoms, and dark colored urine while using this drug, as it could be symptom of kidney problem.

Food with high or cholesterol, alcohol, grapefruit and grapefruit juice should be avoided while using this drug. Patients allergic to Pravastatin should not use Pravachol. Patients should tell their doctor about any medicine or herbal prescription being taken before having Pravachol as many drugs may interact with it and could produce serious side effects. They should also consult their doctor before taking any medicine while using Pravachol.

Use of Pravachol could lead to many side effects. Most common side effects of this drug are headache, mild muscle pain, mild rash on skin, dizziness, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, mild stomach pain, constipation, heartburn, gas, bloating, upset stomach, stuffy nose, cold or flu symptoms tiredness and abnormal liver tests. These side effects are not so serious in nature and would subside with time. If any of these side effects aggravates or worsens, patients should immediately seek medical help.

Use of Pravachol could also cause allergic reactions such as breathing problem, swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat, hives or rashes. Some patients may suffer from unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness. Other serious side effects include fever or flu symptoms and dark colored urine. Patients should seek medical help if they develop nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice, yellowing of the skin or eyes, as they may be symptoms of liver or kidney problems. Unusual tiredness, chest pain, swelling, weight gain are other side effects of this drug. Patients may experience urine problems such as difficulty in urination or less frequent urine.

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