Pravastatin Pharmacology

On this episode, I breakdown pravastatin pharmacology, adverse effects, drug interactions and when you might see this drug used in practice.

Pravastatin is a statin and will lower LDL. Its use is a little limited in the fact that it is not as potent as other agents in its LDL lowering effects.

Pravastatin is hydrophilic which differentiates it from simvastatin, atorvastatin, and lovastatin.

I describe rhabdomyolysis in this podcast as it is a potential rare adverse effect of pravastatin.

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Rosuvastatin Pharmacology

On this episode, I discuss rosuvastatin pharmacology, adverse effects, drug interactions and pharmacokinetics.

Rosuvastatin is a hydrophilic statin which differs from some of the most commonly used statins like simvastatin and atorvastatin.

Rosuvastatin is minimally affected by CYP3A4 drug interactions so that is a small potential advantage over simvastatin and atorvastatin.

At dosages of 20-40 mg, rosuvastatin is considered a high intensity statin and can bring down LDL by over 50%.

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Atorvastatin Pharmacology

On this episode, I discuss atorvastatin pharmacology, adverse effects, monitoring parameters, and drug interactions.

Atorvastatin (Lipitor) is an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, the rate-limiting step in the production of cholesterol. It is used to prevent atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases by decreasing cholesterol.

Atorvastatin is more lipophilic in comparison to other statins such as rosuvastatin. If a patient does not tolerate a statin, switching from a lipophilic to a hydrophilic or vice versa may decrease the chances of those side effects reoccurring.

It can be a high-intensity statin depending on the dose. 10-20mg is considered moderate and 40-80mg is classified as high intensity. Not all statins can reach high-intensity doses, which is why atorvastatin is so commonly used.            

The FDA as of July 2021, has requested to remove the contraindication of pregnancy from the prescribing information. Here’s more information on that specific change and why it was requested. I’d encourage you to read it. 

Atorvastatin is commonly found to have adherence issues so it should be taken whenever it is going to be best remembered by the patient.

Common adverse effects include myopathy, muscle pain, and soreness. Many elderly patients can be overlooked when they experience aches and pains, so it is important to take their medications into consideration. There are rare risks of liver injury and rhabdomyolysis. CPK and LFTs do not need to be regularly monitored if no symptoms are present.  

Remind patients that their cholesterol will not be lowered right away. They will usually have their levels rechecked in 3-6 months.

Drugs that increase rhabdomyolysis risk when used concurrently include fibrates, red yeast rice, niacin, daptomycin. Monitor these patients closely for symptoms of muscle pain. Can also monitor CPK and decrease the dose of the statin in these patients. 3A4 interactions can increase the concentration of statins. These include clarithromycin, grapefruit juice, amiodarone, amantadine, and verapamil. 3A4 inducers can decrease the concentration of statins. These include St. John’s Wort and carbamazepine. 

Be sure to check out our free Top 200 study guide – a 31 page PDF that is yours for FREE!

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NAPLEX Study Materials

BCPS Study Materials

BCACP Study Materials

BCGP Study Materials

BCMTMS Study Materials

Nursing Pharmacology (Amazon Highly Rated)

Guide to Drug Food Interactions (Amazon Best Seller)

Drug Interactions In Primary Care (Amazing Resource for Practicing Clinicians)

Perils of Polypharmacy (Great Resource for Those Who Work in Geriatrics)

Simvastatin Pharmacology

Simvastatin use has declined over time due to more potent statins being available and due to numerous drug interactions.

Grapefruit juice can inhibit CYP3A4 which will increase the concentrations of simvastatin.

Genetic variations in SLCO1B1 can lead to patients being more susceptible to simvastatin toxicity.

Simvastatin is a lipophilic statin. I discuss why this is important and how it might impact clinical decisions.

I discuss important drug interactions on the podcast, be sure to check out my latest project which is a 200+ page book on managing drug interactions in primary care.

Be sure to check out our free Top 200 study guide – a 31 page PDF that is yours for FREE!