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Nausea and vomiting, indigestion, and increased liver enzymes are all possible side effects of Pravachol. While most side effects are not bothersome and are easily treated, there are some more serious problems that require immediate medical attention, such as stomach pain, unexplained rash, and feeling more tired than usual.

Side Effects of Pravachol: An Introduction

As with any medicine, side effects can occur with Pravachol® (pravastatin sodium); however, not everyone who takes the medication will develop problems. In fact, most people tolerate it well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or can be treated easily by you or a healthcare professional.
In research studies, up to 1.7 percent of people taking Pravachol stopped treatment because of side effects.
If you experience unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness while taking Pravachol (especially if you also have a fever or feel ill), you should contact your healthcare provider right away.
(This article covers many, but not all, possible side effects with Pravachol. Your healthcare provider can discuss a more complete list with you.)

Common Pravachol Side Effects

Pravachol has been studied extensively in clinical trials, with thousands of people having been evaluated. In these studies, side effects are always documented and compared to those that occur in a similar group of people not taking the medicine. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine.
Based on these studies, the most common side effects of Pravachol include:
  • Nausea and vomiting -- in up to 7.3 percent of people
  • Common cold -- up to 7 percent
  • Headache -- up to 6.2 percent
  • Diarrhea -- up to 6.2 percent
  • Unexplained rash -- up to 4 percent
  • Constipation -- up to 4 percent
  • Fatigue -- up to 3.8 percent
  • Gas -- up to 3.3 percent
  • Dizziness -- up to 3.3 percent
  • Indigestion or heartburn -- up to 3.5 percent
  • Muscle pain, known medically as myalgia -- up to 2.7 percent (see Pravachol and Muscle Pain)
  • Flu -- up to 2.4 percent.
The following side effects also occurred in more than 1 percent of people and more often in the group taking Pravachol. These common Pravachol side effects included but were not limited to:
  • Pain, including stomach pain
  • Joint pain (see Pravachol and Joint Pain)
  • Muscle cramps
  • Vision problems, including blurred or double vision.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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