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What is the difference between lovastatin and pravastatin?

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Quick Answer

The main difference between lovastatin and pravastatin is that the former is a lipophilic statin whereas the latter is a hydrophilic statin. According to Pharmacy Times, this difference in the nature of statins is important as it influences the type of side effects that patients may experience.

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Full Answer

Lovastatin and Pravastatin are medications used to treat high cholesterol, according to Consumer Reports. They are both statins, a class of cholesterol-lowering medications that work by blocking the production of cholesterol in the liver, according to WebMD.

Statins are typically the first line of treatment for high cholesterol. However, depending on their lipophilic or hydrophilic nature, they are treated differently by the body, according to Pharmacy Times. For instance, when taken with food, lovastatin is readily absorbed whereas the absorption of pravastatin is reduced when ingested with food.

Furthermore, Pharmacy Times explains that side effects of lovastatin as compared to pravastatin are directly related to hydrophilic and lipophilic nature of these statins. For instance, lipophilic statins penetrate muscle tissue more readily than hydrophilic statins, according to Pharmacy Times. Because of this, muscle pain is a side effect more significantly associated with lipophilic statins than with hydrophilic statins. In addition, in more rare cases, lipophilic statins are associated with cognitive impairment.

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