Reduce Cholesterol

Statins
Statins are effective in lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) levels and are safe for most people. Rare side effects to watch for include liver and muscle problems.
 
Statins used to reduce cholesterol include:
 
Bile Acid Sequestrants
Bile acid sequestrants help reduce LDL cholesterol levels and are sometimes prescribed with statins. These drugs are usually not prescribed as the only medicine to reduce cholesterol.
 
Common bile acid sequestrants include:
 
Nicotinic Acid
Nicotinic acid (niacin) reduces LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and raises HDL (good) cholesterol. These medicines should only be used under a doctor's supervision.
 
Fibrates
Fibrates lower LDL somewhat, but are used mainly to treat high triglyceride and low HDL levels. When used with a statin, these medications may increase the chance of muscle problems.
 
An example of a fibrate medication used to reduce cholesterol is gemfibrozil (Lopid®).
 
Cholesterol Absorption Inhibitors
This type of medicine reduces 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 to reduce cholesterol is ezetimibe (Zetia®). This medication has also been combined with simvastatin into one ezetimibe/simvastatin tablet (Vytorin®).
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