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Re: Pravachol

Posted By CCF CARDIO MD - DLB on June 26, 1998 at 19:03:13:

In Reply to: Pravachol posted by Cindy on June 26, 1998 at 11:17:35:

My step father takes pravachol for his cholesterol control.  Recently he has been admitted into the hospital for liver failure due possibly to the use of this medication.  Do "All" cholesterol reducing medication create serious side affects to the liver.  He was a heavy drinker in the past and I know this is part of the cause, but if the physician was aware of his previous abuse could he/she have prescribed something else?
Dear Cindy:
All the very effective medicines for lowering cholesterol have the potential for causing liver damage.  One type of cholesterol lowering medicine is not absorbed and therefore does not have potential to cause liver damage; taking the medicine is comparable to eating sand, and I have had very few patients willing and able to take it.
If your step-father had a previous, but not current, history of alcohol abuse, using Pravachol to lower cholesterol seems reasonable, unless his liver was already in bad shape.  Pravachol does have a small risk of liver damage (usually reversible), but an untreated cholesterol also has risks.
As I mentioned, if Pravachol caused the liver problems, that is generally reversible with stopping the medicine.  Good luck.
Information provided here is of a general nature.  Specific diagnoses and treatments can only be made by your doctor.  If you would like to be seen at the Cleveland Clinic, please call 1-800-CCF-CARE for an appointment with a cardiologist at Desk F15.

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