Discussions that mention pravachol

High & Low Blood Pressure board

[QUOTE=flowergirl2day;3419110]Hi Ace,

Your doctor was right. Altace and other drugs in this class help treat several conditions and have been shown to be very effective for blood pressure control, especially in combination with diuretics. Thank goodness I can tolerate this medication. I am on 20mg and had the ugly cough initially. It went away after a while.
Sounds like you've had your share of side effects or, more accurately, adverse reactions (as Beth pointed out they are called now) with prescription medications. As helpful as Lipitor is supposed to be, I can't get over the feeling that it is damaging my muscles. I get the weirdest aches and pains. Most notably in my calf. My joints hurt, especially the right hip, knee and leg, so much so that I have to take the pain medication I was given for it. I am also on an antibiotic at the moment which made me extremely fatigued and sleepy after I took it with the pain meds at work. I don't remember ever feeling so tired. Somewhat concerned I stopped at the pharmacy after work to ask about any possible interactions. According to the pharmacist, (a new one I don't like) none of my meds are supposed to interact. Yeah, right! I happen to know of SEVERAL interactions even before these two new additions........ so will have to check for interactions myself. I think Lipitor is causing the muscle aches you and many others experienced as well. Why is it we always end up discussing our adverse reactions (side effects)? Could it be because they are much more common than our doctors believe?
I hope your low doses of medication will prove to be high enough for a good blood pressure control. Because the side effects are usually dose related, it is in our best interest to remain on the lowest doses of medication possible.
Thank you for sharing your experiences with both the old and the new antihypertensives. Good luck with Bystolic!


My doctor is well aware of medication side effects. When I mentioned the TOPROL occasional nightmares and vivid dreams, he commented that these side effects are not typical. When I did further research, I discovered that beta-blockers (as TOPROL) cross the blood and brain barrier which can cause these type of symptoms. When I mentioned the neck and muscle aches he said this is a rather common side-effect and told me to stop LIPITOR. He later switched me to 10mg of PRAVACHOL which worked better for me.

Drug Interractions (as you mention) are very common, they are the cause of most drug related fatalities. The more drugs you add to the mix the greater the sid-effects. No Doctor or Pharmacist can state with certainty that pill combinations are 100 % safe. They will always say "To the best of my Knowledge" Which means they really don't have a clue......

P.S. Remember the LIPITOR Interraction with Grapefruit Juice about 8 years ago? The LIPITOR blood levels increased enough to cause severe muscle aches and damage.. It was later discovered that approx. 500 + medications have this negative interraction. Are there any other Interractions we are not aware of??

you've raised several good points.
I don't think anyone can be fully aware of all of the existing interactions between prescription and non-prescription drugs. They exist and people are experiencing them every day. They are not always recognized as such and are attributed to other causes - aging, ANXIETY, etc. Few drug combinations have been tested over extended periods of time (years...) and their numbers are very limited. As people age, more health problems arise, making it difficult or even impossible to distinguish a side effect of a medication from a symptom of a developing medical condition.
As far as the safety of prescription drugs - I read an article stating that the number of people dying each year from rx drug use is about the same as the number of casulties of an illicit drug use. It pays to do one's research and be very careful, especially when using multiple drugs.
You don't get any muscle aches on Pravachol? I'll do some reading about it. It seems to me that everytime I mention the wonder drug (Lipitor) as a possible cause of my aches the doctor gets MAD and says they are caused by -what else?-anxiety. I even quit taking it once because of scary muscle/nerve coordination problems and was persuaded to go back on it by my nephrologist. That's why I am not sure I have the option of stopping it completely or switching to another drug (unless it is very effective in reducing cholesterol). Oh well. I am lucky I am not on a high dose, I guess.

Pravachol (at the 10 mg dose) did not give me the muscle aches. PRAVACHOL ZOCOR, LOVASTATIN are the only (NATURAL - Red yeast) statins proven in Large Research studies to reduce all cause mortality. The FDA has approved PRAVACHOL and ZOCOR for almost every CARDIO-RELATED problem. LIPITOR has not been proven (By far). LIPITOR (Pfizer) marketing has been phenomenol.. Doctors push LIPITOR like crazy. CRESTOR is most similar to PRAVACHOL (except about 5 times more potent) when you add NIACIN to either of these Statins (Regression of Atheromas and CAROTID artery improvement have been noted in many studies)

P.S. You can search out the FDA information on these STATINS.
[QUOTE=flowergirl2day;3422559]Thanks for your response and advice, ACE.

The red yeast rice and related products are not available in Canada.

Many of the Chinese health and medicinal products are being recalled almost daily by our government. (I get e-mail notices with every recall). I can't believe how frequent the recalls are. I think it's safer to consider all of these types of herbal, weight loss and other medicinal products UNSAFE unless proven otherwise! The red yeast rice was not available the last time I inquired, which was several months ago. I am not sure any of the products you have suggested are. I will definitely look into it. Many thanks once again!
P.S. I read many horror stories from former users of Lipitor. It's a Catch 22, taking chances either way. :(



The Statins I mentioned are all approved FDA drugs. MEVACOR (Lovastatin) was the very first statin drug on the market to be approved by the FDA, It was manufactured from Red Yeast Rice. Then ZOCOR (simvastatin) and PRAVACHOL (pravastatin) followed. They are all red yeast based (synthetic) medications. ZOCOR and PRAVACHOL are now being sold as generic drugs. Only LIPITOR and CRESTOR are not generic.
You don't get any muscle aches on Pravachol? I'll do some reading about it. It seems to me that everytime I mention the wonder drug (Lipitor) as a possible cause of my aches the doctor gets MAD and says they are caused by -what else?-anxiety. I even quit taking it once because of scary muscle/nerve coordination problems and was persuaded to go back on it by my nephrologist. That's why I am not sure I have the option of stopping it completely or switching to another drug (unless it is very effective in reducing cholesterol). Oh well. I am lucky I am not on a high dose, I guess.

What about taking CoQ10? As statins are infamous for causing muscle aches, especially in legs, so CoQ10 is famous to counter that. In fact, the aches might come about precisely because the statins deplete the CoQ10 from muscle. Aches are one thing, but what about when the damage occurs to cardiac muscle?

But a lot of mainline docs never tell their patients that. They instead switch from statin to statin, and sometimes that works - but sometimes it doesn't. Or, you can switch to a fibrate like Lopid/gemfibrozol. Fibrates were the predecessors to statins.

Have you ever read the analysis of statin use based on the medical/statistical concept of Number Needed To Treat? It's an eye opener. Summary: when you give statins to large number of people, by far the huge huge majority will have no benefit. At least 99/100 or as high as 249/250. So is the risk of side effects worth it to those who do not have really bad lipid profiles?

thanks for the update. It's nice when you can (or HAVE TO) try different medications to see which one works best. It"s even nicer when you can try several within the same drug class.

I am glad to hear that Bisoprolol is considered the strongest beta blocker by some. I wonder why. There are tables comparing the various beta blockers in one of my books with only the clinical data. I'll try to find out more. I read anything I can about the drugs I have to take and always learn something new.
Do you combine the beta blocker with another blood pressure medication? Sorry, I don't remember. Whatever the case, I am glad it's working. :)


Hi Flowergirl,

Being I had prescriptions from several beta-blockers, my doctor gave me the OK to see which one I feel better taking. ( As long as they are were in the same beta-blocker class, which is BETA1.) He was not to keen on COREG, he believes COREG is excellent, mainly for heart failure. I have prescriptions for BETAXOLOL (Kerlone), BISOPROLOL (Zebeta), NEBIVOLOL (Bystolic)and METOPROLOL (TOPROL) and in both Generic and Brand forms. I find a big difference between certain generic versus brand meds. For ex. the Generic Bisoprolol seems so much milder than the brand drug ZEBETA. When I took the ZEBETA tablets, I felt completely exhausted and weak for several days. My blood pressure was also much lower. The generic brand was much milder and not as potent. Do potent side-effects always equate to better blood pressure control??? Maybe.. But some of these side effects I can live without.. The BETA1 blockers are all mostly the same, they slow down the heart-beat, cause fatigue, raise cholesterol and Triglyceride levels, lower HDL cholesterol etc. My Total cholesterol was about 25 points higher and my HDL 5 points lower on my last checkup 2 weeks ago. It appears all beta blockers negatively affect cholesterol levels, as do many other medications. The benefits of beta-blockers are numerous in most large research studies. (It's a double edged sword) The main reasons I am remaining on the Bystolic is for the better heart rate control, no GI/bowel issues and better sleep.

P.S My other medications are 4mg of Perindopril (ACEON), 20 mg of PRAVACHOL and 3000 mg of IR NIACIN.
[QUOTE]I had prescriptions from several beta-blockers

I wonder how well this arrangement might work. I think it's rather uncommon to be allowed to experiment with several drugs on your own, and given prescriptions for them. (Our doctors are usually the ones doing the experimenting :D ) My main concerns with this approach would be:

Who performs periodic evaluation of each drug's effectiveness?
Is sufficient time allowed for each medication to reach its maximum therapeutic effectiveness?
What if there are residual effects of the previous medication in the system at the time of starting a new one? This would make the new medication appear more effective than it really is.
Can peak effectiveness be achieved without titrating the drug? (e.g. on the same low starting dose)

Well, I am glad to hear you have tried them all and found one that's perfect for you! :)

[QUOTE]I find a big difference between certain generic versus brand meds

So many of us would agree with you! There is not supposed to be any difference - say the pharmacists - but we know better!

[QUOTE]It appears all beta blockers negatively affect cholesterol levels, as do many other medications. The benefits of beta-blockers are numerous in most large research studies. (It's a double edged sword)

Do you find that the Pravachol corrects your cholesterol levels? Is it worth taking? Have they returned back to normal?


My doctor believes that almost all beta blockers are similar. TOPROL being the best. He believes TOPROL is the most prescribed, the most popular, the most researched, is highly effective, positive results in almost every major trial, works excellent with every major class of heart medication, All side-effects are well documented through-out the span of over 20 years. (Should I say more about his beta-blocker preference??). I think he let me sample the various beta-blockers for several reasons, mainly because he is happy about the fact that I'm taking a blood pressure medication and trying to better control my blood pressure. Also, about 5 years ago I stopped taking my beta-blocker TOPROL along with ALTACE (He was very reluctant about me dropping the TOPROL) though he switched me to only DIOVAN. Also, my blood pressure readings for the past few years have been mostly normal, or ranged from mild to moderate. Lastly, I requested the beta blocker this time due to occasional anxiety/tension/stress/agitation etc. (maybe he thinks I'm neurotic) Anyway, he wrote me a prescription for TOPROL and later for the others. He gauges my blood pressure by my frequent periodic checkups and blood tests for Cholesterol/LIPIDS and Liver checks to monitor the NIACIN/PRAVACHOL.

In regard to PRAVACHOL, Yes - It definitely controls my cholesterol levels. To be honest, I do not always take the Pravachol daily (as prescribed). Especially, if I feel any sign of muscle soreness or pain. It appears that statins make the soreness worse (perhaps, the statins are what's causing the muscle soreness to begin with) When I took LIPITOR (10 mg) approx 6 years ago, my neck and shoulder soreness had become almost intolerable. My doctor told me to stop the LIPITOR and suggested either PRAVACHOL or LESCOL.

P.S. I have my next blood test in about 5 weeks. Let's see if my daily diligence to taking Pravachol lowers my sudden increase in cholesterol since starting BYSTOLIC. If not, I may have to live with the nightmares and switch back to TOPROL. My doctor would be ecstatic.... and then I would have to hear the "I told you so's"
Hi Flowergirl,

To clarify -- When I took TOPROL, my HDL dropped on avg.more than 10 points (from about 50 to a low of 39) and my Trigs. increased from about (150 to 250) My doctor could not believe TOPROL could change my numbers so much. When I dropped the TOPROL my HDL jumped to about 47 in three months and my TRIGS around 200.

Taking NIACIN and PRAVACHOL without a beta blocker for the past few years my HDL was always about 52 - 58, and my TOTAL chol. about 200 - 215. While on beta blocker's recently (mainly BYSTOLIC) my TOTAL chol on my last checkup was 266 and my HDL 49.... Though I must admit, I also gained approx 7 pounds since last year, and being my blood test was shortly after EASTER, I may have over-indulged on holiday cakes and sweets etc....

I think you mentioned staying on Bystolic. Will you keep taking both Niacin and Pravachol and hope for best? What if they are not strong enough to counteract the effects of your beta blocker? Are you prepared to either try another medication or increase the dose of Niacin and Pravachol? It seems that adjustments to our drug regimens are necessary on an on-going basis, because nothing stays the same for long.

Besides the beta blockers, Hctz also affects the cholesterol levels negatively. I take both of these meds. I'd be very surprised to see any improvement in my cholesterol levels since last tested.
I read that the beta blockers with ISA (intrinsic sympathomimetic activity) such as Sotalol, Acebutolol and Pindolol, do not seem to have adverse effects on the blood lipids. Maybe the low level of agonist activity they exert, in addition to acting as receptor site antagonists, somehow keeps them from interacting with the metabolism of fats. Losing those extra pounds might help a little. :)
Sugar, NOT fats, is the number one bad guy and causes the most damage to our bodies.