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INTRODUCTION

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pravastatin (prav-a-stat-in)

Pravachol

Classification

Therapeutic: lipid-lowering agents

Pharmacologic: HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins)

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Indications
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Adjunctive management of primary hypercholesterolemia and mixed dyslipidemias. Primary prevention of coronary heart disease (myocardial infarction, coronary revascularization, cardiovascular mortality) in asymptomatic patients with increased total and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and decreased high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Secondary prevention of myocardial infarction, coronary revascularization, stroke, and overall mortality in patients with clinically evident coronary heart disease.

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Action
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Inhibits 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG CoA) reductase, an enzyme which is responsible for catalyzing an early step in the synthesis of cholesterol. Therapeutic Effects: Lowering of total and LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Slightly increases HDL cholesterol. Slows the progression of coronary atherosclerosis with resultant decrease in coronary heart disease–related events.

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Adverse Reactions/Side Effects
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CNS: dizziness, headache, insomnia, weakness. EENT: rhinitis. Resp: bronchitis. CV: chest pain, peripheral edema. GI: abdominal cramps, constipation, diarrhea, flatus, heartburn, altered taste, drug-induced hepatitis, dyspepsia, elevated liver enzymes, nausea, pancreatitis. GU: erectile dysfunction. Derm: rashes, pruritus. MS: RHABDOMYOLYSIS, arthralgia, arthritis, myalgia, myositis. Misc: hypersensitivity reactions.

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PHYSICAL THERAPY IMPLICATIONS

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Examination and Evaluation
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  • Assess any joint pain, or muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, especially if accompanied by fever, malaise, and dark-colored urine. Advise patient that these symptoms may represent drug-induced myopathy and that myopathy can progress to severe muscle damage (rhabdomyolysis). Report any unexplained musculoskeletal symptoms to the physician immediately, and suspend exercise and gait training until these symptoms can be evaluated.

  • Monitor signs of hypersensitivity reactions, including pulmonary symptoms (tightness in the throat and chest, wheezing, cough, dyspnea) or skin reactions (rash, pruritus, urticaria). Notify physician immediately if these reactions occur.

  • Assess dizziness that might affect gait, balance, and other functional activities (See Appendix C). Report balance problems and functional limitations to the physician, and caution the patient and family/caregivers to guard against falls and trauma.

  • Assess peripheral edema using girth measurements, volume displacement, and measurement of pitting edema (See Appendix N). Report increased swelling in feet and ankles or a sudden increase in body weight due to fluid retention.

  • Monitor any chest pain and attempt to determine if pain is drug induced or caused by cardiovascular dysfunction (e.g., angina that occurs during exercise). Notify physician about suspected cardiac dysfunction.

  • Monitor symptoms of bronchitis, including cough, production of sputum, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Report prolonged or severe symptoms to the physician.

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Interventions
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  • In patients with drug-induced myopathy, implement gradual strengthening and other therapeutic exercises to facilitate recovery from muscle pain and weakness. Use caution during early stages to avoid fatigue of affected muscles, and implement assistive devices (walker, cane, crutches) as needed to prevent falls and assist mobility. Increase exercise intensity as tolerated; recovery from myopathy typically takes ...

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