Lowering Cholesterol

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.
Example of statins used to treat high cholesterol include:
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 include:
Nicotinic Acid
Nicotinic acid (niacin) lowers LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and raises HDL (good) cholesterol. These cholesterol medicines should only be used under a doctor's supervision.
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.
An example of a fibrate medication is gemfibrozil (Lopid®).
Cholesterol Absorption Inhibitors
This type of cholesterol lowering medicine lowers LDL and can be used alone or in combination with statin drugs. This cholesterol medication 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®).
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Cholesterol Treatments

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