To avoid high levels of cholesterol one should lead a healthy lifestyle following a diet and doing exercises, but in some cases such activities are not enough and cholesterol medication treatment is required. Cholesterol medications can help to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as “bad” cholesterol, and triglycerides that can cause heart disease; increase the level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), known as “good” cholesterol that helps to prevent heart disease.
If you need to manage your cholesterol level, your health provider might recommend you a single medication or a combination of medications.
In this article you can find important information about the benefits, warnings and potentioal side effects of common classes of cholesterol drugs.
To this group of cholesterol medications belong such drugs as Altoprev (lovastatin), Lescol (fluvastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin), Crestor (rosuvastatin), Mevacor (lovastatin), and Zocor (simvastatin).
These medications reduce LDL and triglycerides and increase HDL. Among the side reactions are constipation, diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, muscle soreness and weakness. These drugs should not be administered with grapefruit juice as it may lead to unfavourable interactions.
To the class of Bile acid binding resins belong the following medications: Colestid (colestipol), Welchol (colesevelam), and Questran (cholestyramine sucrose). These drugs work by decrease LDL.The possible side reactions are constipation, meteorism, nausea. The medications of this group can also increase triglycerides.
Cholesterol absorption inhibitors such as Zetia (ezetimibe) reduce LDL and triglycerides to some degree; increase HDL. These drugs might induce stomach pain, muscle soreness and fatigue.
Combination cholesterol absorption inhibitor and statin
Such medication as Vytorin (ezetimibe-simvastatin) reduces LDL and triglycerides and increases HDL. The possible side reactions are stomach pain, meteorism, constipation, abdominal pain, ain and weakness in muscles. This drug can negatively interact with grapefruit juice.
Fibrate agents are Lofibra (fenofibrate), Lopid (gemfibrozil), and TriCor (fenofibrate). The actions of this drug are reducing of triglycerides and increasing of HDL. Stomach pain , nausea, and gallstones are the commonly occurred adverse effects.
Niaspan drug is prescription niacin. This medication lowers LDL and triglycerides and increases HDL. It can cause such side reactions as flushing of face and neck, vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, gout, increased blood sugar, and peptic ulcers.
Combination statin and niacin
Advicor (niacin-lovastatin) medication lowers LDL and triglycerides and increases HDL. It might cause face flushing, giddiness, heart palpitations, difficult breathing, sweating, and some others. Taking with grapefruit juice may cause unfavourable interaction.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Lovaza medication reduces triglycerides. This drug can cause reflux, strange taste in mouth, the risk of infection.
The majority of cholesterol drugs decreases cholesterol causing few adverse effects, but effectiveness of these medications depends on the person. If you were recommended to use cholesterol medication, you might be also to undergo liver function tests in order to see the effectiveness of the drug. Even if you take any of the cholesterol medications, don’t neglect following a healthy lifestyle.