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Home / Drugs / Starting with P / Pravastatin

Pravastatin is a cholesterol-lowering agent that belongs to a class of medications known as statins. It was derived from microbial transformation of mevastatin, the first statin discovered. It is a ring-opened dihydroxyacid with a 6’-hydroxyl group that does not require in vivo activation. Pravastatin is one of the lower potency statins; however, its increased hydrophilicity is thought to confer advantages such as minimal penetration through lipophilic membranes of peripheral cells, increased selectivity for hepatic tissues, and a reduction in side effects compared with lovastatin and simvastatin.
CategoriesAnticholesteremic Agents
HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
ManufacturersBristol myers squibb
Apotex corp
Dr reddys laboratories inc
Glenmark generics ltd
Lek pharmaceuticals dd
Lupin pharmaceuticals inc
Matrix laboratories ltd
Mylan pharmaceuticals inc
Pliva hrvatska doo
Ranbaxy laboratories ltd
Teva pharmaceuticals usa inc
Teva pharmaceuticals usa
Watson laboratories inc
Zydus pharmaceuticals usa inc
PackagersAdvanced Pharmaceutical Services Inc.
Amerisource Health Services Corp.
Apotex Inc.
A-S Medication Solutions LLC
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.
Bryant Ranch Prepack
Cadila Healthcare Ltd.
Cardinal Health
Cobalt Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Comprehensive Consultant Services Inc.
Dept Health Central Pharmacy
Dispensing Solutions
Diversified Healthcare Services Inc.
Doctor Reddys Laboratories Ltd.
E.R. Squibb and Sons LLC
Glenmark Generics Ltd.
International Laboratories Inc.
Kaiser Foundation Hospital
Lek Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Lupin Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Major Pharmaceuticals
Medvantx Inc.
Murfreesboro Pharmaceutical Nursing Supply
Neuman Distributors Inc.
Ohm Laboratories Inc.
Palmetto Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Par Pharmaceuticals
PD-Rx Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Pharmaceutical Utilization Management Program VA Inc.
Physicians Total Care Inc.
Pliva Inc.
Prepackage Specialists
Prepak Systems Inc.
Ranbaxy Laboratories
Rebel Distributors Corp.
Resource Optimization and Innovation LLC
Southwood Pharmaceuticals
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
UDL Laboratories
Vangard Labs Inc.
Zydus Pharmaceuticals
SynonymsPravastatin Sodium
Pravastatina [Spanish]
Pravastatine [French]
Pravastatinum [Latin]


For the treatment of hypercholesterolemia and to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.


The primary cause of cardiovascular (CV) disease is atherosclerotic plaque formation and sustained elevation of cholesterol in the blood increases the risk of CV disease. Pravastatin lowers hepatic production of cholesterol by competitively inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase, the enzyme that catalyzes the rate-limiting step in the cholesterol biosynthesis pathway via the mevalonic acid pathway. Decreased hepatic cholesterol levels causes increased uptake of low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and reduces cholesterol levels in the circulation. Pravastatin also inhibits hepatic synthesis if VLDL. At therapeutic doses, pravastatin lowers LDL cholesterol by 20-30%, increase high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol by 3-10%, and decrease plasma triglycerides by 19-34%. HDL cholesterol is thought to confer protective effects against CV disease, whereas high LDL and triglyceride levels are associated with higher risk of disease.

mechanism of action

Pravastatin is structurally similar to the HMG, a substituent of the endogenous substrate of HMG-CoA reductase. Unlike its parent compound, mevastatin, and statins such as lovastatin and simvastatin, pravastatin does not need to be activated in vivo. Its hydrolyzed lactone ring mimics the tetrahedral intermediate produced by the reductase allowing the agent to bind with a much greater affinity than its natural substrate. The bicyclic portion of pravastatin binds to the coenzyme A portion of the active site.


Side effects include diarrhea, nausea, constipation, gas abdominal pain, myopathy, myositis, rhabdomyolysis, and hepatotoxicity. LD50=mg/kg (orally in rat)


Hepatic, there is a small amount of metabolism by P450 enzymes, but this effect is so minimal that inhibitory pharmacokinetic drug interactions have no real effect on its overall activity and elimination. An in vitro study which found moderate affinity for P450 2C9 (major), 2D6 and 3A4.


Average oral absorption of pravastatin is 34% and absolute bioavailability is 17%.

half life

77 hours

route of elimination

Approximately 20% of a radiolabeled oral dose is excreted in urine and 70% in the feces.

drug interactions

Bezafibrate: Increased risk of myopathy/rhabdomyolysis

Colchicine: Increased risk of rhabdomyolysis with this combination

Colesevelam: Bile Acid Sequestrants may decrease the serum concentration of Pravastatin. Administer pravastatin at least 1 hour before or 4 hours after administration of bile-acid resins (eg, cholestyramine, colestipol, colesevelam) to minimize the risk for any significant interaction.

Cyclosporine: Possible myopathy and rhabdomyolysis

Fenofibrate: Increased risk of myopathy/rhabdomyolysis

Gemfibrozil: Increased risk of myopathy/rhabdomyolysis

Tipranavir: Tipranavir may increase the plasma concentration of Pravastatin. Consider alternate therapy.