What Is Pravastatin Used For?
Pravastatin is part of a class of drugs called statins. Pravastatin works by blocking a particular enzyme (HMG-CoA reductase) that controls the rate of cholesterol production in the body. This causes the liver to make less cholesterol and increases its ability to collect and get rid of LDL cholesterol.
Because of the effects of pravastatin, the following forms of cholesterol and fats are decreased:
The main goal of any high cholesterol treatment is to lower your LDL cholesterol enough to reduce your risk for developing problems related to high cholesterol (see Effects of High Cholesterol). The higher your risk, the lower your LDL goal will be.
(Click High Cholesterol Risk to see a list of risk factors that may affect your cholesterol level, as well as a list of ideal LDL cholesterol levels.)
Any cholesterol treatment begins with lifestyle changes (weight loss, low-cholesterol diet, and exercise). If lifestyle changes are not effective in lowering cholesterol to a good level, cholesterol medication, such as pravastatin, may be necessary.
Pravastatin has been approved to treat high cholesterol in children ages 8 to 18 years old with a specific genetic condition known as heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia.