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Is Pravastatin The Drug For You?

High cholesterol is an increasing concern all around the world. It is known as a silent killer because high cholesterol does not have any symptoms; the only way to know about the elevated levels of cholesterol is by doing regular health check-ups. Cholesterol is essential for good health. Your liver produces a fat-like, waxy substance called cholesterol. The body needs it to perform many essential tasks like digestion and hormone secretion.


Normal body functions are not possible without cholesterol. Your body produces cholesterol in sufficient quantities, enough for the body. When there is an excess of cholesterol in the body, several health problems arise. Elevated cholesterol levels can be due to the consumption of fatty foods like meat, poultry, or oily foods. It can also be hereditary (or acquired). So, you can even blame your genes for that increased cholesterol. A sedentary lifestyle is also responsible for the gradual increase in blood cholesterol levels.

Let us understand the cholesterol levels

Having healthy cholesterol levels leads to good heart health. Cholesterol is calculated in milligrams for each decilitre of blood. It is divided mainly into HDL, LDL, and total cholesterol. Elevated cholesterol means when the LDL levels are high, and the HDL levels are low. The aim should always be to increase the HDL levels and keep the LDL levels at a minimum.

HDL (High-Density Lipoproteins) is also called good cholesterol. It means the body requires it. The higher levels of HDL, the better it is.

· Over 60 mg/dL (optimal levels)

· 40 to 60 mg/dL (good levels)

· Below 40 mg/dL (low levels)

LDL (Low-density Lipoproteins) is also known as bad cholesterol. The aim is to keep these bad cholesterol levels as low as possible.

· Under 100 mg/dL (optimal levels)

· 100 to 129 mg/dL (borderline high levels)

· 130 to 159 mg/dL (mildly high)

· 160 to 189 mg/dL (high)

· 190 mg/dL or above (very high)

Cholesterol build-up on the walls of the blood vessels is known as plaque. As the plaque builds up, it narrows the arteries and can lead to restricted blood flow. That may eventually lead to blockage of the arteries. Elevated cholesterol is responsible for all foremost cardiovascular diseases like stroke, heart attacks, and angina.

A regular health check-up is a good way to keep a check on cholesterol levels. A blood profile helps you manage your cholesterol levels better. In case, you have abnormal levels (hyperlipidemia), it is best to consult the doctor. A low-fat diet and regular exercise are mandatory to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Despite the diet and exercise, if the cholesterol is not maintained, the doctor can prescribe statins. Statins help maintain healthy levels of cholesterol. Pravastatin is one of the drugs that the doctor may prescribe.

What is Pravastatin?

Pravastatin lowers lipoprotein levels and modulates the immune response. It is beneficial to lower high blood cholesterol levels.

It lowers the risk of coronary complications in people with high cholesterol.

It is a commonly prescribed medication.

It belongs to the statin family. Statins work by reducing the production of cholesterol in the liver itself. Pravastatin inhibits an enzyme required for the biosynthesis of cholesterol in the liver.

When is Pravastatin prescribed?

The cholesterol levels vary as per age, the doctor assesses your lipid levels (cholesterol levels) and overall health along with age and decides the best medicine for you. Accumulation of cholesterol and fats along the walls of your arteries (known as atherosclerosis) decreases blood flow. This results in reduced oxygen supply to your heart, brain, and other parts of your body. Pravastatin helps to lower cholesterol levels.

Pravastatin has proved to prevent the risk of heart disease, angina (chest pain), strokes, and heart attacks.

Pravastatin is prescribed for the following conditions

· Abnormal cholesterol levels

· Risk of coronary artery diseases

· Risk of cardiovascular diseases

· Risk of stroke

· Risk of heart attack

Dosage for Pravastatin

For oral dosage (tablet form)

Adults—At first, 40 milligrams (mg) once a day. Your doctor may adjust your dose if needed.

Children aged 14 to 18 years - 40 mg once a day.

Children aged 8 to 13 years - 20 mg once a day.

The doctor determines the dose for young children, below eight years of age. This may vary depending on age, condition, and weight.

How is Pravastatin available?

Pravastatin is available in tablet form. You can get it in the market under the following brand names

· Prastatin (Emcure Pharmaceuticals Ltd)

· Pravator (Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd)

How to use Pravastatin?

You should take Pravastatin as directed by your doctor.

· Read the instructions carefully and follow the same.

· Never alter the doses on your own without the instructions of your doctor.

· Take Pravastatin with food. It is best taken in the evening or at night.

· It is best to take it at the same time each day. You may put an alarm to remind you.

· In any event of a missed dose, take it immediately when it comes to your mind. If the next dose is less than 12 hours away, then skip the missed dose and take the next one.

Precautions with Pravastatin

Pravastatin like all other drugs interacts with other drugs and the food you eat. That could lead to unwanted side effects and complications.

· The first important thing to remember is to inform your doctor about your medical history, the medicines you take, and any surgeries you have undergone.

· Also, inform about any supplements or herbal medicines you are taking.

· Discuss if you regularly consume alcohol

· If you are pregnant or planning pregnancy.

· If you are breastfeeding, do not take Pravastatin.

· If you are consuming any kind of antacids, antifungals,

· If you are consuming, any cholesterol-lowering drugs.

· Inform the doctor of any liver disease you have; Pravastatin must be, used with caution in such cases.

· If you have kidney problems, use Pravastatin with caution. The doctor will advise the needed dose adjustment as required.

· Inform the doctor if you have muscle problems

Side effects associated with Pravastatin

Medicines and drugs tend to cause some adverse effects or side effects. Most side effects do not require medical attention and get better with time. Remember that each individual reacts differently to the same drug. That means each person will experience different side effects at varying levels.

Pravastatin also has few side effects.

Some common side effects are

· Nausea

· Heartburn

· Headache

· memory loss or forgetfulness

· Confusion

· Headache

· Muscle pain

Some severe side effects

· Extreme muscle tenderness and weakness

· Trouble standing up and stiffness of arms and legs

· Passing less urine, or related problems

· Loss of appetite, tiredness, and severe stomach pain

· Hives

· Dark coloured urine

· Unusual bleeding

· Hoarseness

There can be a few allergic reactions like rash, sudden swelling, and breathing difficulties. You should see the doctor immediately. Consult your doctor immediately if you experience any adverse effects or reactions. The doctor can alter the dose or change the drug accordingly.

Is Pravastatin the drug for you?

The drugs you take must give the desired results. It is hence, crucial to know if the drug is effective or not. Each individual has a unique set of genes, these genes determine your response to many things, including the medicines you take. Pharmacogenetic testing is the new method of targeted therapy where personalized treatment is possible. It tells you which treatment would be the most effective and give maximum benefits. It is easy to get pharmacogenetic testing done with Indus Health Plus MEDNAwise!

MEDNAwise is a pharmacogenetic testing product that can predict your genetic response to 70+ drugs across specialties. It can tell you if Pravastatin would help you manage healthy cholesterol levels. MEDNAwise genetic test is a quick, simple spit-swab test. You can take it from the comfort of your home. Analysis of the results is a great way to know the most effective treatment for your unique self and get the best health.

The test also helps to get any warning signals of future medical emergencies and risks you may face. You can take the necessary preventive actions to delay the onset of the disease and avoid any emergencies. Moreover, The Indus Health Plus genetic counsellors also assist you with diet and exercise plans, as per your genes.

Medical science has reached new heights. You can take advantage of these personalized treatment solutions. Make health your topmost priority. Book your MEDNAwise test and a counselling session today!

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