Lab Work While Taking Pravastatin

Question

Asked by Denise V.

Lab Work While Taking Pravastatin

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

My question is, HOW OFTEN SHOULD LAB WORK BE PERFORMED WHILE TAKING PRAVASTATIN?

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.

thanks,

Confused in Lafayette

Answer

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