Precautions and Warnings of Pravastatin
There are many warnings and precautions with pravastatin to be aware of before starting treatment, including potential side effects or complications. For example, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, have active liver disease, or are allergic to pravastatin or any of its inactive ingredients, you may not be able to take it. Also, serious muscle problems have been reported with this drug, so you should be aware of possible symptoms.
Prior to taking pravastatin, you should tell your healthcare provider if you have:
- Liver disease or liver failure
- Kidney disease or kidney failure
- Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Let your healthcare provider know if you:
- Are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant
- Are breastfeeding
- Will be undergoing a procedure or surgery
- Drink alcohol frequently.
Also, tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are currently taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Finally, make sure to contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any muscle pain, weakness, or tenderness, especially if you also have body aches or a fever, while taking pravastatin.
Some precautions and warnings to be aware of prior to taking pravastatin include the following:
- Pravastatin may interact with certain other medications (see Drug Interactions With Pravastatin).
- If you are an alcoholic or drink alcohol frequently, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to starting pravastatin. Alcohol can affect the way the liver works, indirectly affecting pravastatin.
- Statins have been known to cause an increase in liver enzymes, which may be a sign of liver problems. Therefore, you should have a blood test that looks at your liver function before starting pravastatin. These tests may also be recommended if the pravastatin dosage is changed (see Pravachol and Liver Problems).
Previously it had been recommended that people taking statins have routine periodic liver function tests while taking the medication, but this recommendation has been removed, since such monitoring does not help much to detect or prevent such problems. Liver function tests should still be performed if there is any suspicion of liver damage.
- In rare cases, rhabdomyolysis (the severe breakdown of muscles) and other serious muscle problems have been reported with pravastatin and other statins. Make sure to contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any muscle pain, weakness, or tenderness while taking the drug, especially if you also have a fever or feel ill (see Pravachol and Muscle Pain for more information).
- Pravastatin is a pregnancy Category X medicine, meaning that it could potentially harm your fetus. The safety of this drug in pregnant women has not been established. If you are pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider immediately (see Pravachol and Pregnancy).
- Pravastatin passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, discuss this with your healthcare provider prior to taking the drug (see Pravachol and Breastfeeding).