Medically reviewed by Oliinyk Elizabeth Ivanovna, PharmD. Last updated on 2020-03-12
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Therapy with lipid-altering agents should be only one component of multiple risk factor intervention in individuals at significantly increased risk for atherosclerotic vascular disease due to hypercholesterolemia. Drug therapy is indicated as an adjunct to diet when the response to a diet restricted in saturated fat and cholesterol and other nonpharmacologic measures alone has been inadequate.
Prevention Of Cardiovascular Disease
In hypercholesterolemic patients without clinically evident coronary heart disease (CHD), Alsetin (pravastatin sodium) is indicated to:
- reduce the risk of myocardial infarction (MI).
- reduce the risk of undergoing myocardial revascularization procedures.
- reduce the risk of cardiovascular mortality with no increase in death from non-cardiovascular causes.
In patients with clinically evident CHD, Alsetin is indicated to:
- reduce the risk of total mortality by reducing coronary death.
- reduce the risk of MI.
- reduce the risk of undergoing myocardial revascularization procedures.
- reduce the risk of stroke and stroke/transient ischemic attack (TIA).
- slow the progression of coronary atherosclerosis.
Alsetin is indicated:
- as an adjunct to diet to reduce elevated total cholesterol (Total-C), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), apolipoprotein B (ApoB), and triglyceride (TG) levels and to increase high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) in patients with primary hypercholesterolemia and mixed dyslipidemia (Fredrickson Types IIa and IIb).1
- as an adjunct to diet for the treatment of patients with elevated serum TG levels (Fredrickson Type IV). Ã‚Â
- for the treatment of patients with primary dysbetalipoproteinemia (Fredrickson Type III) who do not respond adequately to diet.
- as an adjunct to diet and lifestyle modification for treatment of heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH) in children and adolescent patients ages 8 years and older if after an adequate trial of diet the following findings are present:
- LDL-C remains ≥ 190 mg/dL or
- LDL-C remains ≥ 160 mg/dL and:
- there is a positive family history of premature cardiovascular disease (CVD) or
- two or more other CVD risk factors are present in the patient.
Limitations Of Use
Alsetin has not been studied in conditions where the major lipoprotein abnormality is elevation of chylomicrons (Fredrickson Types I and V).
General Dosing Information
The patient should be placed on a standard cholesterol-lowering diet before receiving Alsetin and should continue on this diet during treatment with Alsetin.
The recommended starting dose is 40 mg once daily. If a daily dose of 40 mg does not achieve desired cholesterol levels, 80 mg once daily is recommended. Alsetin can be administered orally as a single dose at any time of the day, with or without food. Since the maximal effect of a given dose is seen within 4 weeks, periodic lipid determinations should be performed at this time and dosage adjusted according to the patientÃ¢â‚¬™s response to therapy and established treatment guidelines.
Patients With Renal Impairment
In patients with severe renal impairment, a starting dose of 10 mg pravastatin daily is recommended. Although the Alsetin 10 mg tablets are no longer available, pravastatin 10 mg tablets are available.
Children (Ages 8 to 13 Years, Inclusive)
The recommended dose is 20 mg once daily in children 8 to 13 years of age. Doses greater than 20 mg have not been studied in this patient population.
Adolescents (Ages 14 to 18 Years)
The recommended starting dose is 40 mg once daily in adolescents 14 to 18 years of age. Doses greater than 40 mg have not been studied in this patient population.
Children and adolescents treated with pravastatin should be reevaluated in adulthood and appropriate changes made to their cholesterol-lowering regimen to achieve adult goals for LDL-C.
Concomitant Lipid-Altering Therapy
Alsetin may be used with bile acid resins. When administering a bile-acid-binding resin (e.g., cholestyramine, colestipol) and pravastatin, Alsetin should be given either 1 hour or more before or at least 4 hours following the resin.
Dosage In Patients Taking Cyclosporine
In patients taking immunosuppressive drugs such as cyclosporine concomitantly with pravastatin, therapy should begin with 10 mg of pravastatin sodium once-a-day at bedtime and titration to higher doses should be done with caution. Most patients treated with this combination received a maximum pravastatin sodium dose of 20 mg/day. In patients taking cyclosporine, therapy should be limited to 20 mg of pravastatin sodium once daily. Although the Alsetin 10 mg tablets are no longer available, pravastatin 10 mg tablets are available.
Dosage In Patients Taking Clarithromycin
In patients taking clarithromycin, therapy should be limited to 40 mg of pravastatin sodium once daily.
Hypersensitivity to any component of this medication.
Active liver disease or unexplained, persistent elevations of serum transaminases.
Atherosclerosis is a chronic process and discontinuation of lipid-lowering drugs during pregnancy should have little impact on the outcome of long-term therapy of primary hypercholesterolemia. Cholesterol and other products of cholesterol biosynthesis are essential components for fetal development (including synthesis of steroids and cell membranes). Since statins decrease cholesterol synthesis and possibly the synthesis of other biologically active substances derived from cholesterol, they are contraindicated during pregnancy and in nursing mothers. PRAVASTATIN SHOULD BE ADMINISTERED TO WOMEN OF CHILDBEARING AGE ONLY WHEN SUCH PATIENTS ARE HIGHLY UNLIKELY TO CONCEIVE AND HAVE BEEN INFORMED OF THE POTENTIAL HAZARDS. If the patient becomes pregnant while taking this class of drug, therapy should be discontinued immediately and the patient apprised of the potential hazard to the fetus.
Pravastatin is present in human milk. Because statins have the potential for serious adverse reactions in nursing infants, women who require Alsetin treatment should not breastfeed their infants.
Included as part of the PRECAUTIONS section.
Rare cases of rhabdomyolysis with acute renal failure secondary to myoglobinuria have been reported with pravastatin and other drugs in this class. A history of renal impairment may be a risk factor for the development of rhabdomyolysis. Such patients merit closer monitoring for skeletal muscle effects.
Uncomplicated myalgia has also been reported in pravastatin-treated patients. Myopathy, defined as muscle aching or muscle weakness in conjunction with increases in creatine phosphokinase (CPK) values to greater than 10 times the ULN, was rare ( < 0.1%) in pravastatin clinical trials. Myopathy should be considered in any patient with diffuse myalgias, muscle tenderness or weakness, and/or marked elevation of CPK. Predisposing factors include advanced age ( ≥ 65), uncontrolled hypothyroidism, and renal impairment.
There have been rare reports of immune-mediated necrotizing myopathy (IMNM), an autoimmune myopathy, associated with statin use. IMNM is characterized by: proximal muscle weakness and elevated serum CPK, which persist despite discontinuation of statin treatment; muscle biopsy showing necrotizing myopathy without significant inflammation and improvement with immunosuppressive agents.
All patients should be advised to promptly report to their physician unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, particularly if accompanied by malaise or fever or if muscle signs and symptoms persist after discontinuing Alsetin.
Pravastatin therapy should be discontinued if markedly elevated CPK levels occur or myopathy is diagnosed or suspected. Pravastatin therapy should also be temporarily withheld in any patient experiencing an acute or serious condition predisposing to the development of renal failure secondary to rhabdomyolysis, e.g., sepsis; hypotension; major surgery; trauma; severe metabolic, endocrine, or electrolyte disorders; or uncontrolled epilepsy.
The risk of myopathy during treatment with statins is increased with concurrent therapy with either erythromycin, cyclosporine, niacin, or fibrates. However, neither myopathy nor significant increases in CPK levels have been observed in 3 reports involving a total of 100 post-transplant patients (24 renal and 76 cardiac) treated for up to 2 years concurrently with pravastatin 10 to 40 mg and cyclosporine. Some of these patients also received other concomitant immunosuppressive therapies. Further, in clinical trials involving small numbers of patients who were treated concurrently with pravastatin and niacin, there were no reports of myopathy. Also, myopathy was not reported in a trial of combination pravastatin (40 mg/day) and gemfibrozil (1200 mg/day), although 4 of 75 patients on the combination showed marked CPK elevations versus 1 of 73 patients receiving placebo. There was a trend toward more frequent CPK elevations and patient withdrawals due to musculoskeletal symptoms in the group receiving combined treatment as compared with the groups receiving placebo, gemfibrozil, or pravastatin monotherapy. The use of fibrates alone may occasionally be associated with myopathy. The benefit of further alterations in lipid levels by the combined use of Alsetin with fibrates should be carefully weighed against the potential risks of this combination.
Cases of myopathy, including rhabdomyolysis, have been reported with pravastatin coadministered with colchicine, and caution should be exercised when prescribing pravastatin with colchicine.
Statins, like some other lipid-lowering therapies, have been associated with biochemical abnormalities of liver function. In 3 long-term (4.8-5.9 years), placebo-controlled clinical trials (WOS, LIPID, CARE), 19,592 subjects (19,768 randomized) were exposed to pravastatin or placebo. In an analysis of serum transaminase values (ALT, AST), incidences of marked abnormalities were compared between the pravastatin and placebo treatment groups; a marked abnormality was defined as a post-treatment test value greater than 3 times the ULN for subjects with pretreatment values less than or equal to the ULN, or 4 times the pretreatment value for subjects with pretreatment values greater than the ULN but less than 1.5 times the ULN. Marked abnormalities of ALT or AST occurred with similar low frequency ( ≤ 1.2%) in both treatment groups. Overall, clinical trial experience showed that liver function test abnormalities observed during pravastatin therapy were usually asymptomatic, not associated with cholestasis, and did not appear to be related to treatment duration. In a 320-patient placebo-controlled clinical trial, subjects with chronic ( > 6 months) stable liver disease, due primarily to hepatitis C or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, were treated with 80 mg pravastatin or placebo for up to 9 months. The primary safety endpoint was the proportion of subjects with at least one ALT ≥ 2 times the ULN for those with normal ALT ( ≤ ULN) at baseline or a doubling of the baseline ALT for those with elevated ALT ( > ULN) at baseline. By Week 36, 12 out of 160 (7.5%) subjects treated with pravastatin met the prespecified safety ALT endpoint compared to 20 out of 160 (12.5%) subjects receiving placebo. Conclusions regarding liver safety are limited since the study was not large enough to establish similarity between groups (with 95% confidence) in the rates of ALT elevation.
It is recommended that liver function tests be performed prior to the initiation of therapy and when clinically indicated.
Active liver disease or unexplained persistent transaminase elevations are contraindications to the use of pravastatin. Caution should be exercised when pravastatin is administered to patients who have a recent ( < 6 months) history of liver disease, have signs that may suggest liver disease (e.g., unexplained aminotransferase elevations, jaundice), or are heavy users of alcohol.
There have been rare postmarketing reports of fatal and non-fatal hepatic failure in patients taking statins, including pravastatin. If serious liver injury with clinical symptoms and/or hyperbilirubinemia or jaundice occurs during treatment with Alsetin, promptly interrupt therapy. If an alternate etiology is not found do not restart Alsetin.
Statins interfere with cholesterol synthesis and lower circulating cholesterol levels and, as such, might theoretically blunt adrenal or gonadal steroid hormone production. Results of clinical trials with pravastatin in males and post-menopausal females were inconsistent with regard to possible effects of the drug on basal steroid hormone levels. In a study of 21 males, the mean testosterone response to human chorionic gonadotropin was significantly reduced (p < 0.004) after 16 weeks of treatment with 40 mg of pravastatin. However, the percentage of patients showing a ≥ 50% rise in plasma testosterone after human chorionic gonadotropin stimulation did not change significantly after therapy in these patients. The effects of statins on spermatogenesis and fertility have not been studied in adequate numbers of patients. The effects, if any, of pravastatin on the pituitary-gonadal axis in pre-menopausal females are unknown. Patients treated with pravastatin who display clinical evidence of endocrine dysfunction should be evaluated appropriately. Caution should also be exercised if a statin or other agent used to lower cholesterol levels is administered to patients also receiving other drugs (e.g., ketoconazole, spironolactone, cimetidine) that may diminish the levels or activity of steroid hormones.
In a placebo-controlled study of 214 pediatric patients with HeFH, of which 106 were treated with pravastatin (20 mg in the children aged 8-13 years and 40 mg in the adolescents aged 14-18 years) for 2 years, there were no detectable differences seen in any of the endocrine parameters (ACTH, cortisol, DHEAS, FSH, LH, TSH, estradiol [girls] or testosterone [boys]) relative to placebo. There were no detectable differences seen in height and weight changes, testicular volume changes, or Tanner score relative to placebo.
Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment Of Fertility
In a 2-year study in rats fed pravastatin at doses of 10, 30, or 100 mg/kg body weight, there was an increased incidence of hepatocellular carcinomas in males at the highest dose (p < 0.01). These effects in rats were observed at approximately 12 times the human dose (HD) of 80 mg based on body surface area (mg/m²) and at approximately 4 times the HD, based on AUC.
In a 2-year study in mice fed pravastatin at doses of 250 and 500 mg/kg/day, there was an increased incidence of hepatocellular carcinomas in males and females at both 250 and 500 mg/kg/day (p < 0.0001). At these doses, lung adenomas in females were increased (p=0.013). These effects in mice were observed at approximately 15 times (250 mg/kg/day) and 23 times (500 mg/kg/day) the HD of 80 mg, based on AUC. In another 2-year study in mice with doses up to 100 mg/kg/day (producing drug exposures approximately 2 times the HD of 80 mg, based on AUC), there were no drug-induced tumors.
No evidence of mutagenicity was observed in vitro, with or without rat-liver metabolic activation, in the following studies: microbial mutagen tests, using mutant strains of Salmonella typhimurium or Escherichia coli; a forward mutation assay in L5178Y TK +/- mouse lymphoma cells; a chromosomal aberration test in hamster cells; and a gene conversion assay using Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In addition, there was no evidence of mutagenicity in either a dominant lethal test in mice or a micronucleus test in mice.
In a fertility study in adult rats with daily doses up to 500 mg/kg, pravastatin did not produce any adverse effects on fertility or general reproductive performance.
Use In Specific Populations
Alsetin is contraindicated for use in pregnant woman because of the potential for fetal harm. As safety in pregnant women has not been established and there is no apparent benefit to therapy with Alsetin during pregnancy, Alsetin should be immediately discontinued as soon as pregnancy is recognized. Limited published data on the use of Alsetin in pregnant women are insufficient to determine a drug-associated risk of major congenital malformations or miscarriage. In animal reproduction studies, no evidence of fetal malformations was seen in rabbits or rats exposed to 10 times to 120 times, respectively, the maximum recommended human dose (MRHD) of 80 mg/day. Fetal skeletal abnormalities, offspring mortality, and developmental delays occurred when pregnant rats were administered 10 times to 12 times the MRHD during organogenesis to parturition. Advise pregnant women of the potential risk to a fetus.
The estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage for the indicated population is unknown. In the U.S. general population, the estimated background risk of major birth defects and miscarriage in clinically recognized pregnancies is 2-4% and 15-20%, respectively.
Limited published data on pravastatin have not shown an increased risk of major congenital malformations or miscarriage.
Rare reports of congenital anomalies have been received following intrauterine exposure to other statins. In a review2 of approximately 100 prospectively followed pregnancies in women exposed to simvastatin or lovastatin, the incidences of congenital anomalies, spontaneous abortions, and fetal deaths/stillbirths did not exceed what would be expected in the general population. The number of cases is adequate to exclude a ≥ 3 to 4-fold increase in congenital anomalies over the background incidence. In 89% of the prospectively followed pregnancies, drug treatment was initiated prior to pregnancy and was discontinued at some point in the first trimester when pregnancy was identified.
Embryofetal and neonatal mortality was observed in rats given pravastatin during the period of organogenesis or during organogenesis continuing through weaning. In pregnant rats given oral gavage doses of 4, 20, 100, 500, and 1000 mg/kg/day from gestation days 7 through 17 (organogenesis) increased mortality of offspring and increased cervical rib skeletal anomalies were observed at ≥ 100 mg/kg/day systemic exposure, 10 times the human exposure at 80 mg/day MRHD based on body surface area (mg/m²).
In other studies, no teratogenic effects were observed when pravastatin was dosed orally during organogenesis in rabbits (gestation days 6 through 18) up to 50 mg/kg/day or in rats (gestation days 7 through 17) up to 1000 mg/kg/day. Exposures were 10 times (rabbit) or 120 times (rat) the human exposure at 80 mg/day MRHD based on body surface area (mg/m²).
In pregnant rats given oral gavage doses of 10, 100, and 1000 mg/kg/day from gestation day 17 through lactation day 21 (weaning), increased mortality of offspring and developmental delays were observed at ≥ 100 mg/kg/day systemic exposure, corresponding to 12 times the human exposure at 80 mg/day MRHD, based on body surface area (mg/m²).
In pregnant rats, pravastatin crosses the placenta and is found in fetal tissue at 30% of the maternal plasma levels following administration of a single dose of 20 mg/day orally on gestation day 18, which corresponds to exposure 2 times the MRHD of 80 mg daily based on body surface area (mg/m²). In lactating rats, up to 7 times higher levels of pravastatin are present in the breast milk than in the maternal plasma, which corresponds to exposure 2 times the MRHD of 80 mg/day based on body surface area (mg/m²).
Pravastatin use is contraindicated during breastfeeding. Based on one lactation study in published literature, pravastatin is present in human milk. There is no available information on the effects of the drug on the breastfed infant or the effects of the drug on milk production. Because of the potential for serious adverse reactions in a breastfed infant, advise patients that breastfeeding is not recommended during treatment with Alsetin.
Females And Males of Reproductive Potential
Alsetin may cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman. Advise females of reproductive potential to use effective contraception during treatment with Alsetin.
The safety and effectiveness of Alsetin in children and adolescents from 8 to 18 years of age have been evaluated in a placebo-controlled study of 2 years duration. Patients treated with pravastatin had an adverse experience profile generally similar to that of patients treated with placebo with influenza and headache commonly reported in both treatment groups. Doses greater than 40 mg have not been studied in this population. Children and adolescent females of childbearing potential should be counseled on appropriate contraceptive methods while on pravastatin therapy. For dosing information.
Double-blind, placebo-controlled pravastatin studies in children less than 8 years of age have not been conducted.
Two secondary prevention trials with pravastatin (CARE and LIPID) included a total of 6593 subjects treated with pravastatin 40 mg for periods ranging up to 6 years. Across these 2 studies, 36.1% of pravastatin subjects were aged 65 and older and 0.8% were aged 75 and older. The beneficial effect of pravastatin in elderly subjects in reducing cardiovascular events and in modifying lipid profiles was similar to that seen in younger subjects. The adverse event profile in the elderly was similar to that in the overall population. Other reported clinical experience has not identified differences in responses to pravastatin between elderly and younger patients.
Mean pravastatin AUCs are slightly (25%-50%) higher in elderly subjects than in healthy young subjects, but mean maximum plasma concentration (Cmax ), time to maximum plasma concentration (T max ), and half-life (t½) values are similar in both age groups and substantial accumulation of pravastatin would not be expected in the elderly.
Since advanced age ( ≥ 65 years) is a predisposing factor for myopathy, Alsetin should be prescribed with caution in the elderly.
Homozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia
Pravastatin has not been evaluated in patients with rare homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia. In this group of patients, it has been reported that statins are less effective because the patients lack functional LDL receptors.
2.Manson JM, Freyssinges C, Ducrocq MB, Stephenson WP. Postmarketing surveillance of lovastatin and simvastatin exposure during pregnancy. Reprod Toxicol. 1996;10(6):439-446.
Pravastatin is generally well tolerated; adverse reactions have usually been mild and transient. In 4-month-long placebo-controlled trials, 1.7% of pravastatin-treated patients and 1.2% of placebo-treated patients were discontinued from treatment because of adverse experiences attributed to study drug therapy; this difference was not statistically significant.
Adverse Clinical Events
Short-Term Controlled Trials
In the Alsetin placebo-controlled clinical trials database of 1313 patients (age range 20-76 years, 32.4% women, 93.5% Caucasians, 5% Blacks, 0.9% Hispanics, 0.4% Asians, 0.2% Others) with a median treatment duration of 14 weeks, 3.3% of patients on Alsetin and 1.2% patients on placebo discontinued due to adverse events regardless of causality. The most common adverse reactions that led to treatment discontinuation and occurred at an incidence greater than placebo were: liver function test increased, nausea, anxiety/depression, and dizziness.
All adverse clinical events (regardless of causality) reported in ≥ 2% of pravastatin-treated patients in placebo-controlled trials of up to 8 months duration are identified in Table 1:
Table 1: Adverse Events in ≥ 2% of Patients Treated with Pravastatin 5 to 40 mg and at an Incidence Greater Than Placebo in Short-Term Placebo-Controlled Trials (% of patients)
|Body System/Event||5 mg |
|10 mg N=153||20 mg |
|40 mg N=171||Any Dose |
|Upper Respiratory Infection||6.0||9.8||5.2||4.1||5.9||5.8|
The safety and tolerability of Alsetin at a dose of 80 mg in 2 controlled trials with a mean exposure of 8.6 months was similar to that of Alsetin at lower doses except that 4 out of 464 patients taking 80 mg of pravastatin had a single elevation of CK > 10 times ULN compared to 0 out of 115 patients taking 40 mg of pravastatin.
Long-Term Controlled Morbidity And Mortality Trials
In the Alsetin placebo-controlled clinical trials database of 21,483 patients (age range 24-75 years, 10.3% women, 52.3% Caucasians, 0.8% Blacks, 0.5% Hispanics, 0.1% Asians, 0.1% Others, 46.1% Not Recorded) with a median treatment duration of 261 weeks, 8.1% of patients on Alsetin and 9.3% patients on placebo discontinued due to adverse events regardless of causality.
Adverse event data were pooled from 7 double-blind, placebo-controlled trials (West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study [WOS]; Cholesterol and Recurrent Events study [CARE]; Long-term Intervention with Pravastatin in Ischemic Disease study [LIPID]; Pravastatin Limitation of Atherosclerosis in the Coronary Arteries study [PLAC I]; Pravastatin, Lipids and Atherosclerosis in the Carotids study [PLAC II]; Regression Growth Evaluation Statin Study [REGRESS]; and Kuopio Atherosclerosis Prevention Study [KAPS]) involving a total of 10,764 patients treated with pravastatin 40 mg and 10,719 patients treated with placebo. The safety and tolerability profile in the pravastatin group was comparable to that of the placebo group. Patients were exposed to pravastatin for a mean of 4.0 to 5.1 years in WOS, CARE, and LIPID and 1.9 to 2.9 years in PLAC I, PLAC II, KAPS, and REGRESS. In these long-term trials, the most common reasons for discontinuation were mild, non-specific gastrointestinal complaints. Collectively, these 7 trials represent 47,613 patient-years of exposure to pravastatin. All clinical adverse events (regardless of causality) occurring in ≥ 2% of patients treated with pravastatin in these studies are identified in Table 2.
Table 2: Adverse Events in ≥ 2% of Patients Treated with Pravastatin 40 mg and at an Incidence Greater Than Placebo in Long-Term Placebo-Controlled Trials
|Body System/Event||Pravastatin |
% of patients
% of patients
|Rash (including dermatitis)||7.2||7.1|
|Urinary Tract Infection||2.7||2.6|
|Upper Respiratory Tract Infection||21.2||20.2|
|Vision Disturbance (includes blurred vision, diplopia)||3.4||3.3|
In addition to the events listed above in the long-term trials table, events of probable, possible, or uncertain relationship to study drug that occurred in < 2.0% of pravastatin-treated patients in the long-term trials included the following:
Dermatologic: scalp hair abnormality (including alopecia), urticaria.
Endocrine/Metabolic: sexual dysfunction, libido change.
Immunologic: allergy, edema head/neck.
Musculoskeletal: muscle weakness.
Nervous System: vertigo, insomnia, memory impairment, neuropathy (including peripheral neuropathy).
Special Senses: taste disturbance.
In addition to the events reported above, as with other drugs in this class, the following events have been reported during postmarketing experience with Alsetin, regardless of causality assessment:
Musculoskeletal: myopathy, rhabdomyolysis, tendon disorder, polymyositis.
There have been rare reports of immune-mediated necrotizing myopathy associated with statin use.
Nervous System: dysfunction of certain cranial nerves (including alteration of taste, impairment of extraocular movement, facial paresis), peripheral nerve palsy.
There have been rare postmarketing reports of cognitive impairment (e.g., memory loss, forgetfulness, amnesia, memory impairment, confusion) associated with statin use. These cognitive issues have been reported for all statins. The reports are generally nonserious, and reversible upon statin discontinuation, with variable times to symptom onset (1 day to years) and symptom resolution (median of 3 weeks).
Hypersensitivity: anaphylaxis, angioedema, lupus erythematosus-like syndrome, polymyalgia rheumatica, dermatomyositis, vasculitis, purpura, hemolytic anemia, positive ANA, ESR increase, arthritis, arthralgia, asthenia, photosensitivity, chills, malaise, toxic epidermal necrolysis, erythema multiforme (including Stevens-Johnson syndrome).
Gastrointestinal: abdominal pain, constipation, pancreatitis, hepatitis (including chronic active hepatitis), cholestatic jaundice, fatty change in liver, cirrhosis, fulminant hepatic necrosis, hepatoma, fatal and non-fatal hepatic failure.
Dermatologic: a variety of skin changes (e.g., nodules, discoloration, dryness of mucous membranes, changes to hair/nails).
Renal: urinary abnormality (including dysuria, frequency, nocturia).
Respiratory: dyspnea, interstitial lung disease.
Laboratory Abnormalities: liver function test abnormalities, thyroid function abnormalities.
Laboratory Test Abnormalities
Increases in ALT, AST values and CPK have been observed.
Transient, asymptomatic eosinophilia has been reported. Eosinophil counts usually returned to normal despite continued therapy. Anemia, thrombocytopenia, and leukopenia have been reported with statins.
In a 2-year, double-blind, placebo-controlled study involving 100 boys and 114 girls with HeFH (n=214; age range 8-18.5 years, 53% female, 95% Caucasians, < 1% Blacks, 3% Asians, 1% Other), the safety and tolerability profile of pravastatin was generally similar to that of placebo.
To date, there has been limited experience with overdosage of pravastatin. If an overdose occurs, it should be treated symptomatically with laboratory monitoring and supportive measures should be instituted as required.
Absorption: Alsetin is administered orally in the active form. In studies in man, peak plasma pravastatin concentrations occurred 1 to 1.5 hours upon oral administration. Based on urinary recovery of total radiolabeled drug, the average oral absorption of pravastatin is 34% and absolute bioavailability is 17%. While the presence of food in the gastrointestinal tract reduces systemic bioavailability, the lipid-lowering effects of the drug are similar whether taken with or 1 hour prior to meals.
Pravastatin plasma concentrations, including area under the concentration-time curve (AUC), Cmax , and steady-state minimum (Cmin ), are directly proportional to administered dose. Systemic bioavailability of pravastatin administered following a bedtime dose was decreased 60% compared to that following an AM dose. Despite this decrease in systemic bioavailability, the efficacy of pravastatin administered once daily in the evening, although not statistically significant, was marginally more effective than that after a morning dose.
The coefficient of variation (CV), based on between-subject variability, was 50% to 60% for AUC. The geometric means of pravastatin C max and AUC following a 20 mg dose in the fasted state were 26.5 ng/mL and 59.8 ng*hr/mL, respectively.
Steady-state AUCs, C max , and C min plasma concentrations showed no evidence of pravastatin accumulation following once or twice daily administration of Alsetin tablets.
Distribution: Approximately 50% of the circulating drug is bound to plasma proteins.
Metabolism: The major biotransformation pathways for pravastatin are: (a) isomerization to 6-epi pravastatin and the 3α-hydroxyisomer of pravastatin (SQ 31,906) and (b) enzymatic ring hydroxylation to SQ 31,945. The 3α-hydroxyisomeric metabolite (SQ 31,906) has 1/10 to 1/40 the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitory activity of the parent compound. Pravastatin undergoes extensive first-pass extraction in the liver (extraction ratio 0.66).
Excretion: Approximately 20% of a radiolabeled oral dose is excreted in urine and 70% in the feces. After intravenous administration of radiolabeled pravastatin to normal volunteers, approximately 47% of total body clearance was via renal excretion and 53% by non-renal routes (i.e., biliary excretion and biotransformation).
Following single dose oral administration of 14C-pravastatin, the radioactive elimination t½ for pravastatin is 1.8 hours in humans.