Pravachol Side Effects – Common and Rare
Pravachol is the brand name for a type of cholesterol medication known as a pravastatin. Pravastatin (Pravachol or, less commonly Selektine) is in a class of medicines that are known as statin drugs. Wondering just what are statin drugs? You are not alone. These particular medicines are used to lower the overall risk of cardiovascular disease by reducing bad cholesterol when combined with healthy lifestyle changes like diet and exercise. Statin drugs work in the liver, where they prevent the production of an enzyme that contributes to cholesterol manufacture. However, like other statin drugs, adverse reactions can occur with the use of Pravachol. Some of them are minimal and mild, however other Pravachol side effects are much more rare but much more serious.
The fact is that while cholesterol medications side effects have made big news in recent years, (especially after some medications were pulled from the market entirely) the majority of users of medications for cholesterol will not encounter any adverse reactions. WebMD explains that of those who do encounter Pravachol side effects, they are typically mild in nature, and not severe enough for those individuals to discontinue taking the medication. But, this does seem to contradict studies that have shown that up to one in four people ditch their prescribed statins entirely within a six month period of starting them (however, whether or not this is entirely related to cholesterol medications side effects has not been established).
So, what types of Pravachol side effects can users expect? Well, in the common category, those taking Pravachol may encounter a rash or tiredness, as listed by RXlist.com. It is also not uncommon for new users to experience occasional dizziness or a headache. Gastrointestinal upset manifesting in the forms of vomiting, nausea, diarrhea – and of course, flatulence – are not uncommon side effects of Pravachol. But, the abdominal woe does not end there. Aside from bottom of the barrel tummy troubles, Pravachol use can also commonly lead to the sensations of heartburn and distension of the abdomen (which can directly or indirectly result in another common symptom of Pravachol use, chest pain). The respiratory tract is not spared when it comes to mild Pravachol side effects, and rhinitis, coughing, a sore throat and an upper respiratory infection can all result from taking Pravachol, according to RxList.com.
However, aside from the sniffles and tummy troubles, there are some very serious and very severe side effects that can rarely be caused by using Pravachol. Like other statin medications, muscle pain and weakness can occur during use. This particular symptom is common and is listed in Lovastatin side effects, as well as other industry leading brands like Zocor and Lipitor. While muscle pain in itself is not normally a problem, WebMD explains that rarely, problems with the muscles can result in very serious health problems and thus anyone using Pravachol should speak to their doctor’s immediately if weakness, pain or tenderness in the muscles present (particularly when other symptoms exist alongside these). What types of serious conditions can be linked to muscled related Pravachol side effects? The first is Rhabdomyolysis. This condition refers to the disintegration of muscle matter, which is then discharged into the blood stream. The condition, as noted by WebMD, can lead to total failure of the kidneys. Aside from this serious muscle problem, some autoimmune conditions may also stem from muscle related Pravachol side effects.
Many high cholesterol medications interact with the liver to ultimately prevent it from producing and releasing bad (LDL) cholesterol. And, while they may be effective at lowering cholesterol numbers, they may inadvertently be elevating something else, and that is the levels of enzymes in the liver itself. In fact, statins like Pravachol can in rare cases contribute to damage of the liver and liver problems. And, while neurological problems are often considered less than severe in terms of statin side effects, some individuals suffer greater than normal amounts of memory loss, confusions and forgetfulness, which can have dire long term effects and negatively impact quality of life.
Pravachol side effects are similar to other types of cholesterol medications that are in the class of drugs known as statins. They are almost predominantly mild in nature and not all people who take Pravachol will encounter them. However, for those who find the medication’s mild side effects unpleasant or, those who have been unfortunate enough to experience some of the more rare and dangerous effects of this statin drug, it may be worth having a discussion with your health care provider. Some options for cholesterol treatment, such as phytosterol (a supplement that contains plant compounds proven to lower bad cholesterol), modifications to diet and exercise plans and herbal solutions may be suitable in place of statin drugs when side effects or health risks make the latter undesirable. However, it is important to understand that taking phytosterol, other herbal supplements or making any other changes to your routine without discussing it with your healthcare provider is not appropriate if you are already on medication. Doing so could lead to adverse reactions or drug contradictions that are far worse than any mild side effects encountered with a statin drug.