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What You Need To Know About Pravachol (Pravastatin) for Cholesterol

Many people need to take medication to lower their cholesterol. However, there are a lot of cholesterol-lowering medications available, so it can be helpful to know about some of the more common options your doctor may prescribe. One of these medications is Pravachol, also known as pravastatin. Here we’ll break down what you need to know about Pravachol, along with some potential natural cholesterol-lowering treatments.

What Is Pravastatin?

Pravastatin is the generic name for Pravachol, which is a common cholesterol-lowering prescription medication. Pravastatin is a statin, which is a class of drugs often prescribed to individuals with high cholesterol.

Common Brand Names

The common brand name for pravastatin is Pravachol. There are also numerous other brand-name statin medications on the market, such as Crestor, Lipitor, Zocor, and Mevacor. Talk to your doctor about which option is the right one for you.

How It Works

Pravastatin, or Pravachol, helps to block or inhibit the production of cholesterol in the liver. It does this by blocking an enzyme responsible for cholesterol production, which in turn helps to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol). This also helps to reduce an individual’s risk for heart attack and stroke. It is usually combined with diet and exercise to maximize efficacy.

Is Pravachol a Statin?

Yes, Pravachol is a statin medication.

Is This Prescription Medication Effective for Lowering Cholesterol?

Studies have indicated that Pravachol can be effective in lowering cholesterol. A previous study demonstrated that individuals saw a 29% decrease in LDL cholesterol after six weeks at lower doses and up to a 45% decrease at high doses. By lowering LDL, patients taking Pravachol may experience a lower risk of heart attack and stroke. Pravachol is a commonly prescribed cholesterol-lowering drug, though it’s worth noting that it may be less potent than other statin prescription medications.

Understanding Your Dosage

Pravachol dosage will depend on your individual needs. It may change based on your age, cholesterol levels, medical history, and other medications you may be taking. While Pravachol is available in lower doses, adults will typically start at 20 mg per day unless other medications or medical history prevents it. Higher dosages may be recommended, but you should only increase or decrease dosage if instructed by your doctor. You also need to make sure to report any side effects or health changes to your doctor so they can adjust dosage or stop the medication as necessary.

What Are the Side Effects?

As with any statin medication, there is a risk of side effects when taking Pravachol. It’s good to familiarize yourself with the side effects so you can be aware of them and report them to your doctor as they occur. It’s also good to remember that side effects are often dose-dependent. Meaning you may not experience them at lower doses, while higher doses can cause you to feel poorly. With that in mind, here are some of the common side effects of Pravachol:

  • Muscle achiness
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Trouble sleeping

The above side effects rarely require medical attention and are all reversible by stopping the drug. However, you should make sure to report them to your doctor, especially if they persist. In rarer cases, the side effects of Pravachol can be more serious and may include:

  • Allergic reaction
  • High blood sugar/increased risk of diabetes
  • Liver injury
  • Muscle injury

Note that these are not complete lists of all possible side effects. If you are noticing a change in how you feel after starting a statin, talk to your doctor. If you experience serious side effects, notify your doctor immediately.

Natural Alternatives

While statins are a common solution for those with high cholesterol, they often aren’t the first course of action. Cholesterol management guidelines instruct doctors to pursue natural solutions first, such as dietary and lifestyle changes. Unless you have a known heart condition or already have very high cholesterol levels, diet and exercise alone may be enough to lower your cholesterol to healthier levels. Some people may be unable to take statins altogether due to medical history, side effects, or other medications that interact with statins. Of course, if your doctor has prescribed statins, you should continue to take them as instructed. But that doesn’t mean natural treatment is off the table. In fact, adopting a heart-healthy diet is often recommended in tandem with statins to maximize the effectiveness of the medication and lower cholesterol levels more efficiently. One way to easily incorporate heart-healthy foods into your diet is with Step One Foods.

Step One Foods

At Step One Foods, we combine real food ingredients to deliver meaningful amounts of four critical nutrients proven to help lower cholesterol. These nutrients include whole food fiber, plant sterols, Omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants. This means every time you enjoy a Step One Foods snack, you are consuming a clinically formulated food-based cholesterol lowering intervention – that just happens to taste great!

Science-backed food as medicine

Medication alone often isn’t enough to combat high cholesterol. You can help your medication work better with a heart-healthy diet, which may lead to your doctor recommending lower drug doses. So, when you’re trying to make adjustments to your diet, it’s an especially good idea to choose science-backed solutions like Step One Foods. Step One Foods has been evaluated in a randomized controlled clinical trial conducted at Mayo Clinic and the University of Manitoba. The study found that subjects experienced, on average, a 9% reduction in LDL cholesterol in just 30 days. Many individuals saw more significant reductions: 20, 30, and even 40%. Overall, 80% of participants experienced positive outcomes, and 95% reported enjoying the foods.

Just as easy as taking a pill, but WAY tastier.

Working toward lower cholesterol doesn’t have to be a hassle. Having a Step One Foods snack is as easy as taking a pill – just much tastier. All you need to do is enjoy two snacks a day for at least 30 days and see if your LDL levels are lower by checking a blood test.

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Pravachol FAQs

The cost of Pravachol may vary based on medication shortages, your insurance coverage, the pharmacy you buy from, your dosage, and various other factors. Without insurance, Pravachol can range in price from around $370 for a 90-day supply of 20 mg tablets to $540 for a 90-day supply of 80 mg tablets. The generic version, pravastatin, is typically cheaper, with an average price of around $20 for a 30-day supply. However, insurance typically covers statins, so your out-of-pocket expenses may be significantly less for either option.

Weight gain is not a reported side effect of Pravachol. However, some studies show that individuals taking statins may eat more calories and fats than people who don’t. So, it’s important to keep up with a healthy diet and exercise.

No, pravastatin is not a blood thinner or beta blocker. Pravastatin is a statin medication that works by blocking an enzyme in the liver that is responsible for producing cholesterol. Blood thinners work by making it difficult for the body to form blood clots.

Pravachol is generally considered a safe and effective prescription medication. It has been prescribed to many individuals with high cholesterol. Of course, Pravachol may not be the right solution for everyone. You should always speak with your doctor to determine if statins are right for you.

Choose The Step One Foods Solution

When you want to find a natural way to help lower your cholesterol levels, Step One Foods is your solution. With various snacks to choose from, you can enjoy a tasty treat that is also healthy for your heart. Step One Foods work because they supply the key nutrients that target the root cause of high cholesterol.  All you have to do is incorporate two snacks per day into your diet. That’s it.  Take step one to better health and try Step One Foods for yourself!