Cholesterol Medication Rundown

cholesterol-medicationA healthy lifestyle is the first and most important way to win the battle against cholesterol, but for some it’s just not enough. Many who diet and exercise still find themselves in a fight against cholesterol, and prescription medication may be the way to best combat high cholesterol.

Cholesterol medications help by decreasing your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) aka the “bad” cholesterol that increases the risk of heart disease, decreasing your triglycerides which is the fat in the blood that also increases the risk of heart disease, or by increasing your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) aka the “good” cholesterol that protects from heart disease.

Depending on what your body needs most to lower your cholesterol, your doctor may prescribe one drug or a combination of several different drugs to help lower your cholesterol. Here is a quick overview of some of the drugs you may be prescribed, their benefits and some side effects to look out for.

Statins

Crestor, Lescol, Zocor, Mevacor, Pravachol, and Lipitor, all belong in the class of drugs called statins. Statins slightly increase HDL, and decrease triglycerides as well as LDL. Some possible side effects to look out for are constipation, nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain, cramps, and muscle soreness.

Bile acid binding resins

Colestid, Questran, and Welchol are all considered bile acid binding resins. These drugs only decrease LDL. Some possible side effects are constipation, nausea, and a possible increase triglycerides.

Cholesterol absorption inhibitors

Zetia is known as a cholesterol absorption inhibitor. Zetia decreases LDL, slightly decreases triglycerides, and also slightly increases HDL. Stomach pain and fatigue are the most common side effects associated with Zetia.

Combination cholesterol absorption inhibitor and statin

Vytorin is known as a combination cholesterol absorption inhibitor and statin and decreases both LDL and triglycerides, while increasing HDL. Some common side effects are stomach pain, fatigue, constipation, cramps, muscle soreness.

Fibrates

Fibrates such as Lofibra, Lopid, and TriCor decrease triglycerides and increase HDL. Common side effects include nausea, stomach pain, and gallstones.

Combination statin and niacin

Some drugs like Advicor are combination drugs which combine two or more other types of cholesterol fighting medications. The combination of statin and niacin decreases LDL and triglycerides while increasing HDL. Some common side effects are dizziness, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, sweating, and chills.

Niacin

Niaspan is classified under the drug class of Niacin and is known for decreasing both LDL and triglycerides, and increasing HDL. Some common side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, gout, high blood sugar, and peptic ulcers.

No matter what cholesterol medicine your doctor determines is right for you, be sure you know what side effects coincide with each drug and the warning signs you should be on the look out for. Be aware that if you are prescribed a statin or a combo drug that includes a statin, you should avoid consuming grapefruit juice.

If you would like to safely buy your cholesterol medication much cheaper than at your corner pharmacy, be sure to use eDrugSearch.com to freely compare all your drug prices so you can start savings upwards to 80% off.

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Comments (2)

I had all of the classic muscle pains listed in statin side effects documentation. My doctor said it was because of coQ10 and vitamin D deficiency from the statins. She recommended StatinHelp (www.statinhelp.com) that is sold on Amazon. It has really helped with the muscle pains. Statin side effects are never really discussed by the doctors. I found out two years into treatment when I mentioned needing something for back and leg pain to her. By then I was taking 10-15 advil per day to function. Thankfully she was a runner who believed in vitamin supplements. I did go off statins for a while. It took weeks for muscle issues to go away and I had other strange cramp like issues during the period.  I went on a vegan diet but my cholesterol went back up so back on crestor.  I’ve considered Lipitor also.

Statin adverse effects are many more than just muscle related.one can get to know these by reading the individual’s reaction to these drugs.After taking Crestor 10mg for nearly two years,I am having severe muscle cramping in all four limbs, MUSCLE twitching ,burning pain,tenderness,rigidity and weakness.Dizziness,cloudy mind,fatigue(no energy left to do any thing),un steady walk, hand tremor,brief episodes of breathlessness are few more to add.The symptoms were gradual in onset over more than a year. My creatinkinase went up to four times normal. My cardiologist did n’t pay any attention to this adverse effect.Now I stopped taking Crestor 3months ago and my muscle cramping is gone.The rest of the symptoms are getting better.I have done lots of research lately. LESSONS learnt: if your doctor does n’t get involved in your concern look for some body else. Statin are potent drugs in reducing LDLcholestrol with severe adverse effects. The body may not recover from some of these. Crestor is on top of the list.START WITH a lower strength,increse gradually to get the therapeutic dose with minimal side effects.I noticed MAYO CLINIC has a clinic on STATIN INTOLERENCE. I HOPE TO SEE SIMILAR CLINICS MANY OTHER PLACES.

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