Bile Acid Sequestrants
Bile acid sequestrants help lower LDL cholesterol levels and are sometimes prescribed with statins. These cholesterol drugs are usually not prescribed as the only medicine to lower cholesterol.
Examples of bile acid sequestrants used for cholesterol treatment include:
Statins are effective in lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) levels and are safe for most people. Rare side effects to watch for are liver and muscle problems.
Statins used to treat cholesterol include:
- Simvastatin (Zocor®)
- Rosuvastatin calcium (Crestor®)
- Fluvastatin (Lescol®)
- Lovastatin (Mevacor®, Altoprev®)
- Pravastatin (Pravachol®)
- Atorvastatin (Lipitor®).
Cholesterol Absorption Inhibitors
This type of medicine lowers LDL and can be used alone or in combination with statin drugs. It acts within the intestine to block cholesterol absorption.
An example of a cholesterol absorption inhibitor used for lowering cholesterol is ezetimibe (Zetia®). This medication has also been combined with simvastatin into one ezetimibe/simvastatin tablet (Vytorin®).
Fibrates lower LDL somewhat, but are used mainly to treat high triglyceride and low HDL levels. When used with a statin, these cholesterol-lowering medications may increase the chance of muscle problems.