Generic Name: Pravastatin Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.


What is pravastatin used for?

Pravastatin is in a group of drugs called HMG CoA reductase inhibitors, or “statins.” It reduces levels of “bad” cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL) and triglycerides in the blood, while increasing levels of “good” cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, or HDL).

Pravastatin is used to lower cholesterol and triglycerides (types of fat) in the blood.

Pravastatin is also used to lower the risk of stroke, heart attack, and other heart complications in people with or without coronary heart disease or other risk factors.

Pravastatin is used in adults and children who are at least 8 years old.

How should I take pravastatin?

Take pravastatin exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Your doctor may occasionally change your dose to make sure you get the best results. Do not use this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Pravastatin is usually taken once a day, with or without food. Take the medicine at the same time each day.

Pravastatin doses are based on age, and are lower in children and teenagers. People taking this medicine during childhood or adolescence may need a different dose as adults.

Pravastatin is only part of a complete treatment program that may also include diet, exercise, and weight control. Follow your doctor’s instructions very closely.

How do I store pravastatin?

Pravastatin is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store pravastatin in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of pravastatin that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush pravastatin down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Precautions & warnings

What should I know before using pravastatin?

Before using this drug, tell your doctor if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only take medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
  • You are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • You have allergy with any of active or inactive ingredients of pravastatin or other medications.
  • You have any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

You should not use pravastatin if you have liver disease.

Pravastatin can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure. This condition may be more likely to occur in older adults and in people who have kidney disease or poorly controlled hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).

This medicine can harm an unborn baby or cause birth defects. Do not use if you are pregnant. Stop taking this medicine and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are taking this medicine.

Pravastatin can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not breast-feed while using this medicine.

You may need to stop using pravastatin for a short time if you have:

  • Uncontrolled seizures
  • An electrolyte imbalance (such as high or low potassium levels in your blood)
  • Severely low blood pressure
  • A severe infection or illness
  • Surgery or a medical emergency

While using this medicine, you may need frequent blood tests.

Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using pravastatin during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking pravastatin. Pravastatin is pregnancy risk category X, according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk
  • B=No risk in some studies
  • C=There may be some risk
  • D=Positive evidence of risk
  • X=Contraindicated
  • N=Unknown

Side effects

What side effects can occur from pravastatin?

Common side effects may include:

  • Muscle or joint pain
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat

Stop using and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • Unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness
  • Fever, unusual tiredness
  • Dark colored urine
  • Chest pain
  • Upper stomach pain, loss of appetite
  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to pravastatin: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

In rare cases, pravastatin can cause a condition that results in the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue, leading to kidney failure.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


What drugs may interact with pravastatin?

Pravastatin may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Products that may interact with this drug are:

  • Colchicine
  • Cyclosporine
  • An antibiotic such as azithromycin, clarithromycin, or erythromycin
  • Gemfibrozil, fenofibric acid, fenofibrate
  • Medicines that contain niacin (Advicor, Niaspan, Niacor, Simcor, Slo-Niacin, and others)

Does food or alcohol interact with pravastatin?

Pravastatin may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with pravastatin?

Pravastatin may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.

Health conditions that may interact with this drug are:

  • Kidney disease
  • Abnormal liver function tests
  • A thyroid disorder


The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this pravastatin.

What is the dose of pravastatin for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Hyperlipidemia:

Initial dose: 40 mg once daily.

Maintenance dose: 40 to 80 mg once daily.

Usual Adult Dose for Myocardial Infarction — Prophylaxis:

Initial dose: 40 mg once daily.

Maintenance dose: 40 to 80 mg once daily.

Usual Adult Dose for Revascularization Procedures – Prophylaxis:

Initial dose: 40 mg once daily.

Maintenance dose: 40 to 80 mg once daily.

Usual Adult Dose Ischemic Stroke – Prophylaxis:

Initial dose: 40 mg once daily.

Maintenance dose: 40 to 80 mg once daily.

What is the dose of pravastatin for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Heterozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia:

8 to 13 years: 20 mg orally once daily

14 to 18 years: 40 mg orally once daily

How is pravastatin available?

Pravastatin is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Tablet

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of pravastatin, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Review Date: July 26, 2017 | Last Modified: August 4, 2017

You might also like