Heart disease and diabetes remain two of the top ten killers in the U.S. Heart disease alone kills more people than every type of cancer combined.
And, high cholesterol is one of many precursors to heart disease that is easily lowered with medication.
Those diagnosed with acquired lipid disorder through blood testing, are marked with high amounts of fatty substances in their system.
These substances include cholesterol, triglycerides, and lipoproteins.
Our bodies produce some fat normally, and we need small amounts to remain healthy. However, too much of these fatty substances can block arteries to the heart (atherosclerosis) and the brain.
Our bodies naturally make up to 70% of the cholesterol in our system, so our family history has a great deal to do with it.
However, it is well known we increase the fats in our system through bad diet choices, lack of exercise, smoking, and drinking alcohol to excess.
In addition, diabetes is becoming a more common problem in the U.S.
And, those with Type-2 Diabetes tend to experience higher Cholesterol, and cholesterol medication is sometimes necessary to control this.
Cholesterol Medication Price Comparison
For your convenience we have linked to all prescription drug prices (shown below) within our database so you can quickly compare and find the lowest prices on most cholesterol medications.
Healthy Cholesterol Levels
Total Cholesterol includes LDL, HDL, and triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood).
Healthy Total Cholesterol
A healthy total cholesterol in adults should be below 200. Any number over 240 is considered high.
The LDL or the “bad” cholesterol stays in the blood and can build up in arteries. A healthy LDL level is not just based on the pure number, but the presence of heart disease is also considered.
For those with heart disease or Diabetes, a measure below 70 is ideal. For a normal healthy adult, below 120 is best.
The HDL or the “good” cholesterol is also in the blood, but the density of this type allows it to be carried back to the liver to be “cleaned” from the bloodstream.
In this case, the higher the number, the better.
This signals that the total cholesterol in the system can be naturally disposed of.
For both men and women, a healthy level is 60 or above.
A healthy level is considered 150 and below. High triglyceride levels on their own have been known to cause inflamed pancreas, memory loss, blurred vision, and can cause long-lasting problems. Those with levels over 500 may experience severe symptoms. However, cholesterol medication is used to lower the level.
High Cholesterol Medication
Medications are commonly used to treat high cholesterol, with Statins being the most common. These drugs effectively reduce “bad” cholesterol which is LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and increase “good” cholesterol, which is HDL (high-density lipoprotein), through the liver.
There are also cholesterol-absorbing medications which reduce the amount of cholesterol absorbed by the body. These are typically prescribed as part of a holistic plan to reduce LDL.
Patients taking these drugs are usually also instructed to exercise and change their diet. And, they can also be prescribed alongside statin cholesterol medications.
Because high cholesterol is common and the effects can cause moderate to severe illnesses, there are many suggested cholesterol medications from which to choose.
And, each has side effects which should be considered when choosing the best one for you.
Because both the condition of high cholesterol and the drugs which treat it can cause health issues, it’s important to choose the right one, with optimum dosage amounts.
High Cholesterol Medication Price Comparison
For your convenience, we have linked to all prescription drug prices (shown below) within our database so you can quickly compare and find the lowest prices on most high cholesterol medications.
Statins are a group of drugs called HMG CoA reductase inhibitors. They increase the “good” cholesterol and reduce the “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides.
In effect, these cholesterol medications block the enzyme within the liver which naturally produces cholesterol.
With long-term use, many physicians will test liver functions to ensure the statins are not causing issues.
Because cholesterol medication is one of the most prescribed drugs in the US and Canada, there is plenty of information on side effects.
It is always important to advise your doctor of any sudden changes when prescribed a statin.
- Zocor, Simvastatin
- Livalo, Pitavastatin
- Lipitor, Atorvastatin
- Crestor, Rosuvastatin
- Provachol, Pravastatin
- Vytorin, (Contains a combination of Ezetimibe and Simvastatin)
Cholesterol Blocking Medications
Cholesterol blocking medications, or Cholesterol Absorption Inhibitors, work by reducing the amount of cholesterol absorbed by the intestine.
This way, at least some of the cholesterol our bodies naturally produce does not enter the bloodstream.
Depending on the situation, physicians may prescribe both a cholesterol blocker and a statin together.
It should be noted that cholesterol-blocking medications do not inhibit heart attacks or heart damage, but simply reduce the amount of artery-blocking materials in the bloodstream.
In other cases, they may suggest a change in diet along with a cholesterol blocking medication for best results.
Cholesterol Medications for Those with Coronary Artery Disease
For those with heart disease present, keeping their cholesterol at normal levels is crucial. However, they are typically also on other medications.
Therefore, cardiologists are usually keenly aware of what is safest for those with sometimes very fragile conditions.
Patients are often advised to tell their physicians immediately if they experience any kind of allergic reactions or the sudden onset of new symptoms when starting any cholesterol medication.
Heart patients are also advised that diet and exercise is part of recuperation if possible. The ability to maintain healthy lipid levels without cholesterol medication should be the goal for some patients.
Statins for Those with Coronary Artery Disease
- Fluvastatin, Lescol, Lescol XL
- Caduet, Amlodipine and Atorvastatin
- Lovostatin, Altoprev, Mevacor, Altocor
- Alirocumab, Praluent Pen, Praluent Syringe
Cholesterol Blocking Medications for Those with Coronary Artery Disease
Cholesterol Medications for Those with Type-2 Diabetes
Unfortunately, those with diabetes can have high cholesterol simply as a side effect of diabetes itself. Called Diabetic Dyslipidemia, this indicates lipid profiles are at the point where medication is needed.
Diabetes naturally reduces “good” cholesterol and raises “bad” cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease. And, this can take place before the diabetes diagnosis is made.
Once made, physicians will typically order a lipid profile, and make recommendations as needed.
Cholesterol Drugs for Those with Inherited High LDL Cholesterol (Familial Hypercholesterolaemia)
For most with high cholesterol, they have the normal, garden-variety type which can be controlled with diet, exercise, and medication.
However, for a very unlucky few, inherited high LDL cholesterol can cause take this count off the map. Though only diagnosed in 1 of 500 people, it can be very dangerous. If only because it cause damage as carriers are unaware.
Reports show only 10-20% of those who have inherited it are aware they have it. Since the only marker is high cholesterol, diagnosis can be missed. For those who do have it, the chance of passing it on to their children is 50%.
- Kynamro, Mipomersen
- Repatha, Evolocumab
Cholesterol Pills for Those with Pancreatitis Due to High Triglyceride Levels
A side effect of having a high triglyceride level is the pancreas becoming inflamed (pancreatitis). Others who suffer from an inflamed pancreas are those who ingest large amounts of fat or alcohol.
Because triglycerides are made up of three kinds of fat molecules and one glycerol molecule, high levels cannot be absorbed properly.
And, painful pancreas inflammation can result.
If not addressed, the pancreas can become permanently damaged and may be a precursor to diabetes.
Due to the precarious nature of pancreatitis, very particular high cholesterol medications are suggested.
The Importance of Taking High Cholesterol Medication
A very important part of the chart a physician creates for a patient is their compliance to the prognosis they’ve outlined for them. And, a large part of compliance is taking prescribed medications as directed.
If a patient is prescribed a high cholesterol medication, their physician will base decisions for dosages, tests, and a patient’s progress on this fact.
If a patient is not taking their medication, physicians are “handcuffed” to incorrect information.
And, this can cause incorrect diagnosis down the line. As with any medical condition, a patient must truthfully work with their physician for their own health.
One of the most important things anyone facing a medical issue can do is be informed. And, there is nearly a constant stream of new information when it comes to health and medications.
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