Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Sunday, August 17, 2008 Denise V., Community Member, asks

Q: lab work while taking pravastatin

I have been taking pravastatin for 3 months and have had no lab work ordered during this time.


I have read about dangerous side effects and that lab work should be done while taking this med.  But I do not know how often.

I go to UMC in Lafayette, LA. and the doctors there seem just as confused as most patients.

Please help with this question.


Confused in Lafayette

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Answers (1)
Neil MD, Health Pro
8/19/08 5:49pm

Hello Denise V.,


Statin drugs are associated with a very small increased risk of liver problems.  These are monitored by getting blood work called a liver function panel, or commonly, LFT's.


There are no hard-fast recommendations, however, LFT's are often checked before you start taking the medication (as a baseline), about 8 weeks after you start, and then once a year after that.  Also, if your dose increases, you should have LFT's again eight weeks after that.


Note that statins can raise your LFTs somewhat and it not be a problem.  Usually, these medications are not discontinued until they are about three times the upper limit of normal (or three times the high normal number if given a range). 


Your lipid profile does not need to be checked any more often that 1-2 times per year (every 6 months).  


To your health,

Neil MD

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By Denise V., Community Member— Last Modified: 12/25/10, First Published: 08/17/08