Statin Drugs -- What You Should Know
Statin drugs are commonly used for the treatment of high cholesterol. They work by controlling the rate of cholesterol production in the body. Statins can also help increase HDL cholesterol and decrease LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. The primary goal is to lower LDL cholesterol levels enough to reduce your risk for developing problems, such as heart disease or a heart attack.
An Introduction to Statin DrugsStatin drugs are prescription cholesterol medications, technically known as "HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors." These are effective medications for improving cholesterol levels, and some have even been shown to prevent heart attacks, strokes, and other similar problems.
Are There Side Effects?As with all medicines, statin drugs can cause side effects. However, not everyone who takes them will experience problems. Most people tolerate them quite well. If side effects do occur, in most cases, they are minor and either require no treatment or are easily treated by you or your healthcare provider. Serious side effects are less common.
Common side effects of statin drugs include but are not limited to:
- Abdominal pain (stomach pain)
- Muscle pain, known medically as myalgia (see Statins and Muscle Pain)
- Increased liver enzymes (see Statins and Liver Damage).
(Click Statin Side Effects to learn more, including potentially serious side effects you should report immediately to your healthcare provider.)