Cholesterol Medications: Consider The Options
- Most cholesterol medications lower cholesterol with few side effects, but effectiveness varies from person to person. It’s also still important to follow a healthy diet and get enough exercise. Cholesterol medications and lifestyle choices can work together to help reduce your risk of heart attacks and stroke.
Questions About Taking Lipitor
Below are some common questions about taking Lipitor.
- Can Lipitor be chewed, crushed, or split? No, you should not crush, split, or chew Lipitor tablets. You should swallow Lipitor tablets whole. If you have trouble swallowing pills, you can find some helpful tips here.
- Should I take Lipitor with food? You can take Lipitor with or without food.
- Is there a best time to take Lipitor? You can take Lipitor at any time of day. But you should try to take it at the same time every day to keep a consistent level of the drug in your body.
- Can I take Lipitor at night? You can take Lipitor at any time of day, including at night. But as discussed above, you should try to take it at the same time each day.
Questions for your doctor
You may have questions about Lipitor and your treatment plan. Its important to discuss all your concerns with your doctor.
Here are a few tips that might help guide your discussion:
- Before your appointment, write down questions such as:
- How will Lipitor affect my body, mood, or lifestyle?
Bring someone with you to your appointment if doing so will help you feel more comfortable. If you dont understand something related to your condition or treatment, ask your doctor to explain it to you.
Remember, your doctor and other healthcare professionals are available to help you. And they want you to get the best care possible. So dont be afraid to ask questions or offer feedback on your treatment.
Lipitor For Treating Heterozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia
Lipitor is approved for treating high cholesterol in children ages 10 to 17 years who have a condition known as heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia . This is a form of high cholesterol thats inherited .
High cholesterol usually doesnt cause any symptoms. This means HeFH isnt normally diagnosed until your child has a blood test that shows high cholesterol levels. If you have a family history of heart disease, or if you or your childs other parent has high cholesterol, talk with your childs doctor. Theyll help determine if your child should be screened for HeFH.
Effectiveness for heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia
Researchers studied 187 children between the ages of 10 and 17 years who had HeFH. The children were randomly given either Lipitor or a placebo for 26 weeks. The purpose of the study was to see if Lipitor was better at lowering cholesterol levels in children with HeFH.
To be included in the study, the children had to have:
- an LDL cholesterol level 190 milligrams per deciliter or
- an LDL cholesterol level 160 mg/dL and a family history of either familial hypercholesterolemia or heart disease
At the end of 26 weeks, the researchers found that:
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Most People Don’t Take Them Correctly
The American Heart Association considers failure to take medication a major threat to patients. Some people simply forget others skip or neglect medicines because they’re worried about costs or side effects.
Research suggests that of people given a prescription, 12% don’t fill it, 12% fill it but don’t take it, and another 22% start taking it but then stop.
“If you look at the people who are given statins after a cardiac event, only half are still taking their medications within five years,” Dr. Gotto says.
Tell Your Doctor About Herbs Supplements
Many people pop multiple vitamins, minerals, or herbs to improve their health. Let your doctor know what you are taking. Some supplements may increase or decrease the effectiveness of cholesterol-lowering medication.
For example, St. John’s Wort could make some statins less effective. Many supplements, including red yeast rice and niacin, may affect cholesterol levels, so taking them could influence how well your medication works.
Taking fish oil instead of a statin? Talk to your doctor. While these supplements reduce triglycerides , there’s no proof that they lower your bad cholesterol or reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke.
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What Are Statins And Why Are They Used In The Treatment Of Lupus
Statins are medications that lower the level of cholesterol in your blood by reducing the production of cholesterol in the liver. Cholesterol is a natural component of the fats in your blood stream and the cells of your body. However, people with high levels of cholesterol in their blood face an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, which can lead to chest pain, heart attack, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.
When too much cholesterol circulates in the blood, the substance can cause deposits to form on your artery walls. Plaque is dangerous because it can block the flow of blood to various parts of your body, including your heart and brain. Studies have shown that people with lupus are more likely to have clogged arteries that can lead to heart attack and stroke at a younger age. This increased risk is caused by elevated cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, diabetes, and inflammation, conditions that occur often in people with lupus. Certain medications, such as corticosteroids can provoke or compound these symptoms. For this reason, the cholesterol-lowering properties of statins are commonly called upon for lupus patients.
Will Taking Medication For High Cholesterol Cause You To
- Statins may improve gut microbiota and help shed weight in obese individuals, finds a new study. Levels of LDL cholesterol greater than 130 milligrams per deciliter are linked to an increased risk for ischemic stroke. What Saputrafd. Studied at Health Author has 412 answers and 195.1K answer views 6 mo.
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Statins Diabetes Diet And The Tony Roma Effect
Pills have benefits. But they also have risks. That includes statins, the cholesterol-lowering drugs that some doctors say should be pumped into our public water supply.
We better hold off on that water supply idea. Research is finding that statins may increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Thats right, a drug designed to reduce heart attacks, and does to a measurable degree, may spur the development of diabetes, a disease that causes its own substantial list of organ damage. Learn more.
Are statins really the magic pill that cleans cholesterol out of your system with no side effects? Learn the latest science on statins, diabetes, diet, and lowering your risk of a heart attack.
These Medications Are Not For Everyone
Statins and other cholesterol meds work, but they are not for everyone. All have side effects, and some of them, including statins, may cause birth defects if taken during pregnancy.
“We don’t recommend statins or other cholesterol drugs for women of childbearing age,” says Antonio M. Gotto Jr., MD, professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City.
Before taking niacin or any other over-the-counter products to lower your cholesterol, talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks.
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Are Statins Really Worth Taking For High Cholesterol
Research has shown that statins are highly effective in reducing the risk of fatal heart attack and stroke. But some people are reluctant to take these life-saving drugs. They worry about taking medicine every day for the rest of their life or have heard that statins have undesirable side effects. What does science have to say about these concerns and others surrounding statins? We talked to UH interventional cardiologist Ian Neeland, MD, Director of the Center of Cardiovascular Prevention at University Hospitals, to learn more.
Can Statins Increase My Risk For Memory Loss Or Dementia
Memory and cognitive symptoms from statin use are very uncommon, and it is unclear if statins are really the culprit. When symptoms have been reported, theyre typically not severe and usually resolve when the statin dosage is adjusted or the medication is switched.Affected patients have reported feeling unfocused or fuzzy in their thinking, but these experiences are rare. Concerns about long-term cognitive problems and memory loss due to use of statins have not been proven. On the contrary, most recent data actually point to potential prevention of dementia due to statin use.These data are logical because one of the major causes of dementia is atherosclerosis, which is hardening of the arteries in the brain. There is strong evidence that statins protect against atherosclerosis. Its one of the invisible benefits of taking a statin medication.Also, keep in mind that increasingly high cholesterol and memory problems both are common symptoms of aging. Sometimes its difficult to disentangle these two, and thats why statin use and memory problems may seem related at times.If youre concerned about statins and memory loss, dont stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor. There may be other reasons for your memory symptoms, or alternate treatments for your high cholesterol can be considered.
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Side Effects And Drug Interactions
Adverse effects are reported in less than 17 percent of patients. The most frequent complaints are headaches, abdominal pain, muscle pain, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Dangerous reactions have been reported in patients already taking antihypercholesterolemia medications, immunosuppressants, blood thinners, corticosteroids or antifungal, antiviral or antibacterial drugs or going through chemotherapy. You must inform your physician of all prescription and over-the-counter medications you are currently taking.
What Type Of Drug Is Lipitor
People with high cholesterol, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease may need to take these other types of medications as well. For instance, they may need an ACE inhibitor or beta-blocker to manage high blood pressure. Or they made need a blood thinner to help prevent blood clots .
When taking multiple medications, its important to confirm with your doctor and pharmacist that theyre all safe to take together. Your doctor or pharmacist can review your medication list to make sure you arent duplicating any medications. They can also make sure youre taking the best medications for your conditions.
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Can I Take Zocor If Im Pregnant Or Breastfeeding
Do not use simvastatin if you are pregnant. It could harm the unborn baby or cause birth defects. Use effective birth control to prevent pregnancy while you are using this medicine. Stop taking simvastatin and tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant.
It is not safe to breast-feed a baby while you are using this medicine.
How Do Statins Work
Having too much cholesterol in your blood increases your risk of having a heart attack or stroke. Statins block hydroxy-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase, an enzyme in your liver that makes cholesterol. Blocking this enzyme reduces the amount of cholesterol your liver makes. Statins also help the liver remove cholesterol thats already in your bloodstream.
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Adopting A Diet And Exercise Program
Your doctor may suggest that you implement certain lifestyle changes before stopping the statin, or directly in place of the drug. These changes might include adopting an exercise program or modifying your diet. For example, the suggests following a Mediterranean diet or vegan diet.
Keep in mind, though, that these changes likely wont work as quickly or as effectively as a statin in lowering your cholesterol. A healthy diet and exercise program can have many benefits for your overall health, but it may not be enough to replace the cholesterol-lowering effects of a statin.
You and your doctor should closely monitor your cholesterol levels to make sure the diet and exercise changes are having the necessary effects on your cholesterol.
Combining Drugs To Fight High Cholesterol
Because some medications are good at lowering LD cholesterol, some are helpful in lowering triglycerides, and others can aid in raising HDL cholesterol levels, doctors frequently prescribe two medications from two different drug classes to work together. This can more aggressively lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol at the same time, for greater benefit to the patient.
Beta Blockers And Weight Gain
On the other hand, another common blood pressure medication, beta-adrenergic blocking agents also called beta blockers can trigger weight gain all on their own, says Mayo Clinic.
This class of drug helps to lower blood pressure by blocking the effects of the hormone epinephrine . In doing so, these drugs which include brands such as Sectral, Tenormin, Zebeta, Lopressor, Corgard, Bystolic and Inderal open up the veins and arteries to improve blood flow, Mayo clinic adds. They help the heart beat more slowly and with less force, leading to a drop in blood pressure.
Mayo Clinic experts note that these drugs can cause heart-unfriendly triglyceride fat levels to rise. Though the rise is usually modest and temporary, Mayo Clinic warns that higher triglyceride levels can lead to arterial hardening and thickening, which increases the risk for cardiovascular disease.
Whatâs more, beta blockers are known to trigger weight gain, alongside fatigue and cold hands and feet.
Older types of beta blockers, such as Tenormin and Lopressor, are particularly problematic in that regard, Mayo Clinic notes. Typically, these medications will cause an average gain of about 2.6 pounds.
The good news is that older beta blockers are usually prescribed only when other medications fail to help lower blood pressure. Newer beta blockers such as Coreg are less likely to cause weight gain.
What Should I Know About Lipitor Vs Crestor
Lipitor contains the active ingredient atorvastatin, while Crestor contains rosuvastatin.
If youd like to know more about Lipitor and Crestor, check out this article. Also, talk with your doctor for more information about how these drugs are alike and different.
Some important things to discuss with your doctor when considering Lipitor treatment include your overall health, any medical conditions you may have, and other drugs you take.
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Bile Acid Binding Resins
For example, the FDA has approved a class of drugs known as bile acid binding resins, which were the first cholesterol drugs before statins. Studies in the 1980s showed that these medications lower heart disease risk. One reason they arent often prescribed is that patients have to take a lot of them compared to statins. Bile acid binding resins come in powder form or require taking up to six pills a day. Also, they can cause gastrointestinal side effects.
Weve known since the 1990s that statins benefit patients at high risk for stroke and heart disease. Today, several investigators are researching which complementary medications can be prescribed on top of statins to make them even more beneficial and protective.
One of these is a drug called Ezetimibe, which on its own provides a modest reduction in cholesterol. Its also been shown recently to lower heart attack and stroke risk when taken in addition to a statin.
Statins & Weight Loss
According to the American Heart Association, coronary heart disease accounted for one out of every 2.9 deaths in the United States in 2006. The prevalence of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure have increased among Americans, and statins have become a key tool in the fight against heart disease. While weight loss is considered the best treatment option by clinicians, research dating back to 1980 has shown statin use to be an effective pharmacological treatment for reducing elevated cholesterol in patients.
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What Does Lipitor Cost
Costs of prescription drugs can vary depending on many factors. These factors include what your insurance plan covers and which pharmacy you use. To find current prices for Lipitor in your area, visit GoodRx.com.
Lipitor is available as the generic drug atorvastatin. Generics usually cost less than brand-name drugs. Talk with your doctor if youd like to know about taking atorvastatin.
If you have questions about how to pay for your prescription, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also visit the Lipitor manufacturers website to see if they have support options.
You can also check out this article to learn more about saving money on prescriptions.
High Cholesterol And Obesity
Understanding why some people have high cholesterol and some do not has a lot to do with the interplay of your genes coupled with your environment. Your genes and your environmentin this case, what you eat and how much you exercisecombine to form a baseline risk for developing high cholesterol. If you eat a diet that is high in fat, like high-fat meats, fried foods and high-fat cheeses, you are increasing your risk of both obesity and high cholesterol.
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Cholesterol Remedies Are For Life
Once you start taking a statin or another cholesterol-lowering medication, you must continue taking them forever, or switch medications, if one isn’t working or is causing side effects.
Some people mistakenly believe they can stop taking a statin once their cholesterol comes down, but “once you stop, the cholesterol goes back up and you lose the benefit,” Dr. Gotto explains.
If you think your statin isn’t working for you, talk to your doctor about your options.
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