Get Medical Advice From Your Doctor Not The Internet
Though statins are incredibly effective, there are many different forms of heart disease. Heart disease is still the No. 1 killer of men and women in our country, and the epidemic is spreading throughout the world. As long as the battle continues, well continue researching new ways to prevent and treat heart disease.
Should I Take A Statin If My Cholesterol Is Normal
Yes, no, maybe. It depends on your other risk factors.
Some people still benefit from a statin even if their LDL is ânormal.â For example, you may want to consider statins if you have had a heart attack or you are at high risk for having another heart attack or even a stroke. Also, if you have diabetes and are between 45 and 75 years old, you are at high risk for cardiovascular disease.
In certain people, statins could also help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, even if LDL cholesterol levels are low. For example, if you have high levels of inflammation in your arteries, statins can lower this inflammation and, in turn, lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. This is true even if your cholesterol levels are normal.
Mistake : Youre Not Exercising Enough
Diet alone is often not enough. It should be combined with exercise, says Michos. When it comes to exercise, the equation is pretty simple: Being sedentary equals lower levels of HDL, according to the AHA. You can lower both cholesterol and high blood pressure by doing at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, such as walking, bicycling, swimming, or even doing yard work, each week.
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Dietary Dos And Donts
When taking Lipitor, its important to follow the exercise and dietary recommendations made by your doctor or dietitian. Typically, patients who take the medication are told to eat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends that people looking to lower their cholesterol have:
- Less than 7 percent of daily calories from saturated fat
- Less than 200 mg a day of cholesterol
- 25 percent to 35 percent of daily calories from total fat
The drugs label warns users to avoid drinking large amounts of grapefruit juice while taking the drug. This means users should not drink more than 1.2 liters of grapefruit juice per day. Grapefruit juice contains one or more components that inhibit CYP34A, an important enzyme found in the liver, and it can increase plasma concentrations of atorvastatin.
Experts also recommend at least 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity physical activity such as brisk walking, but talk with your doctor to determine what is appropriate for you.
Who Needs Cholesterol
Your treatment plan for high cholesterol will depend on your current cholesterol levels and your risk of heart disease and stroke. Your risk for heart disease and stroke depends on other risk factors, including high blood pressure and high blood pressure treatment, smoking status, age, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level, total cholesterol level, diabetes, family history, and whether you have already had a heart attack or stroke.
Your health care provider may prescribe medicine if:
- You have already had a heart attack or stroke, or you have peripheral arterial disease.
- Your LDL cholesterol level is 190 mg/dL or higher.
- You are 4075 years old with diabetes and an LDL cholesterol level of 70 mg/dL or higher.
- You are 4075 years old with a high risk of developing heart disease or stroke and an LDL cholesterol level of 70 mg/dL or higher.
Talk with your health care team about how you can lower your risk for heart disease.
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Which One Is Cheaper
Both and are available as affordable generics that work just as well as their brand-name counterparts . Currently, the lowest GoodRx price for ninety 40 mg tablets of atorvastatin is $15. The lowest GoodRx price for a ninety 40 mg tablets of simvastatin is $9.
Remember, getting a 90-day supply instead of a 30-day supply might save you money in the long run. If you have insurance, dont forget to check how it compares to GoodRx in many cases GoodRx can beat insurance copays. But if you do choose to use insurance, getting your prescription filled at a preferred retail or mail order pharmacy can also help you save.
Take Lipitor As Directed
Most importantly, take Lipitor as directed at the same time every day. Follow all the directions given by a healthcare provider or provided with the prescription. Most people will take 1080 mg per day. Do not change this dose, skip a dose, or stop the medicine without talking to a doctor or healthcare professional.
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Effect Of Statin Therapy On Clinical Outcomes
A large number of studies using a variety of statins in diverse patient populations have shown that statin therapy reduces atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. The Cholesterol Treatment Trialists have published meta-analyses derived from individual subject data. Their first publication included data from 14 trials with over 90,000 subjects . There was a 12% reduction in all-cause mortality in the statin treated subjects, which was mainly due to a 19% reduction in coronary heart disease deaths. Non-vascular causes of death were similar in the statin and placebo groups indicating that statin therapy and lowering LDL-C did not increase the risk of death from other causes such as cancer, respiratory disease, etc. Of particular note there was a 23% decrease in major coronary events per 1 mmol/L reduction in LDL-C. Decreases in other vascular outcomes including non-fatal MI, coronary heart disease death, vascular surgery, and stroke were also reduced by 20-25% per 1 mmol/L reduction in LDL-C. Additionally, analysis of these studies demonstrated that the greater the reduction in absolute LDL-C levels the greater the decrease in cardiovascular events. For example, while a 40mg/dl decrease in LDL-C will reduce coronary events by approximately 20%, an 80mg/dl decrease in LDL-C will reduce events by approximately 40%. These results support aggressive lipid lowering with statin therapy.
Can Niacin Lower Cholesterol Levels
Although we dont know exactly how niacin works, research seems to show that its similar to EPA in that it can raise HDL cholesterol and lower triglycerides. It may also lower LDL cholesterol levels slightly. Niacin is available in over-the-counter supplements but also now comes in two prescription medications: and .
However, importantly, niacin is not recommended in the ACC/AHA guidelines because it hasnt been shown to lower the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and death like statins do. Also, taking niacin on top of a statin doesnt lower LDL cholesterol more than if you took the statin alone. Niacin can also cause a bothersome side effect known as flushing, a sudden reddening of the face, neck, and upper chest.
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Abdominal Pain & Loss Of Appetite
Dont feel like eating? This may happen as your body adjusts to the medicine, says Sattler. But if it persists and you start to lose weight as a result, please seek medical attention because it may be a sign of underlying liver damage. If your not-so-hungry mood is short-lived and your weight remains stable, theres probably no need to rush to your doctor.
Similarly, abdominal pain can be a mild or serious side effect, depending on how persistent and severe your pain is. Severe stomach pain that is persistent and associated with other symptoms, such as fever or severe fatigue, should be evaluated by a medical professional promptly, as this can be a sign of liver damage caused by the medication as well, says Sattler.
A few other things Sattler says you should keep on your radar: Dont take Lipitor if youre pregnant or breastfeeding, since it can cause allergy-like reactions for you, and it can also get into your babys system through your breast milk.
Also, Lipitor is one of those medications that doesnt play nice with grapefruit juice: If you chug large amounts while taking the meds, it could increase your risk of kidney and muscle damage.
How To Lower Cholesterol Naturally In 28 Simple Steps
There are tons of natural remedies out there for how to lower cholesterol levels, often promising quick results with next to no effort required on your part. But while its true that there are tons of options to keep cholesterol levels in check, it can actually be as simple as swapping out a few foods in your diet for healthier options, switching up your workout routine or adding a supplement or two into the mix.
Ready to get started? Lets take a look at 28 simple methods for how to lower cholesterol and how it can impact your health.
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Atorvastatin May Cause Side Effects Tell Your Doctor If Any Of These Symptoms Are Severe Or Do Not Go Away:
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
Atorvastatin may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone .
Isolated Hypercholesterolemia In Primary Prevention
In patients with isolated hypercholesterolemia without cardiovascular disease initial drug therapy is with a statin. The statin dose should be chosen based on the percent reduction in LDL-C required to lower the LDL-C level to below the target goal . As discussed earlier, the side effects of statin therapy increase with higher doses so one should not automatically start with high doses, but instead should choose a dose balancing the benefits and risks. Generic statins are inexpensive drugs and are very effective in both lowering LDL-C levels and reducing cardiovascular events. Additionally, they have an excellent safety profile. If the initial statin dose does not lower LCL-C sufficiently, one can then increase the dose. If the maximal statin dose does not lower LDL-C sufficiently adding ezetimibe is a reasonable next step if the LDL-C level is in a reasonable range and an additional 20-25% reduction in LDL will be sufficient. High dose statin and ezetimibe will lower LDL-C by as much as 70%, which will lower LDL-C to goal in the majority of patients who do not have a genetic basis for their elevated LDL-C levels. If the combination of statin plus ezetimibe does not lower the LDL-C to goal one can add a third drug, such as bempedoic acid or colesevelam. If the patient has diabetes with a moderately elevated A1c level using colesevelam instead of ezetimibe or in combination with ezetimibe could improve both glycemic control and further lower LDL-C levels.
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Can Natural Remedies Lower High Cholesterol Without Statins
Exercise on its own doesnt lower your LDL much often only a few points. Exercise helps minimize many heart disease risk factors, including obesity and Type 2 diabetes. Make a point to exercise five days a week for at least 30 minutes each day.Diet is incredibly important in managing your cholesterol.Every patient who comes to our preventive cardiology clinic for cholesterol management sees a nutritionist as part of the visit because we feel so strongly about the importance of diet. There are many patients for whom weve delayed prescribing statins, or suggested that they get off their medication if it isnt appropriate for their level of risk.Some patients think, Im on a statin I dont have to exercise, and I can eat whatever I want! But thats not the case. Lifestyle choices absolutely matter. For high-risk patients, its not a question of either improving the diet or getting on a medication, its both lifestyle changes and taking a statin together are necessary to protect high-risk patients against heart attack and stroke.If your cholesterol is borderline but not yet high, changing your diet and incorporating healthier food choices can help lower your cholesterol a decent amount. Eating more fiber and lowering your intake of saturated fat definitely can help. For people with relatively low risk, this may be enough to lower heart attack and stroke risk.
Mistake : Youre Only Focusing On Ldl Cholesterol Levels
While its good to know what your so-called bad LDL cholesterol number is, that doesnt give you the complete picture, and numbers alone do not tell the story. Doctors order a blood test to look at your lipid panel, which consists of your high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and total blood cholesterol .
To evaluate your risk for cardiovascular disease, doctors will also consider other risk factors, such as your age, family history, and whether you have other health conditions related to heart disease, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association .
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Getting The Most From Your Treatment
- Try to keep your regular appointments with your doctor. This is so that your doctor can check on your progress. You will need to have blood tests from time to time. These are to measure your cholesterol level and also to check that your liver has not been affected by taking atorvastatin.
- Your doctor will give you advice about eating a healthy diet, cutting down on the amount of alcohol you normally drink, reducing the amount of salt in your diet, stopping smoking, and taking regular exercise. Following this advice will also help you to reduce your risk of developing heart and blood vessel disease.
- Do not drink more than one or two small glasses of grapefruit juice a day. This is because a chemical in grapefruit juice can increase the amount of atorvastatin in your bloodstream, which can make side-effects more likely.
- Women taking atorvastatin must avoid getting pregnant. Make sure you have discussed with your doctor which types of contraception are suitable for you and your partner.
- Treatment with atorvastatin is usually long-term unless you experience an adverse effect. Continue to take the tablets unless you are advised otherwise by your doctor.
Who Should Be Treated
In a sense, everyone. That’s because no cholesterol level is too good. But people with unhealthy levels should work hard to improve, while those with ideal results can afford to relax a bit. Table 1 shows the goals established by the Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults.
Cholesterol is a crucial determinant of cardiovascular health, but it’s only one. In fact, smoking is even more dangerous than unhealthy cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure, diabetes, and lack of exercise are nearly as harmful. Because each risk factor adds to the harm of others, people with the most risk need the most vigorous treatment. Table 2 shows how an individual’s risk profile influences the choice of therapy.
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What Special Dietary Instructions Should I Follow
Eat a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet. Be sure to follow all exercise and dietary recommendations made by your doctor or dietitian. You can also visit the National Cholesterol Education Program website for additional dietary information at .
Avoid drinking large amounts of grapefruit juice while taking atorvastatin.
Effect Of Evinacumab On Clinical Outcomes
There are no cardiovascular outcome studies.
Homozygosity for loss-of-function mutations in ANGPTL3 is associated with significantly lower plasma levels of LDL-C, HDL-C, and triglycerides . Heterozygous carriers of loss-of-function mutations in ANGPTL3, which occur at a frequency of about 1:300, have significantly lower total cholesterol, LDL-C, and triglyceride levels than noncarriers . Moreover, patients carrying loss-of-function variants in ANGPTL3 have a significantly lower risk of coronary artery disease . Additionally, in an animal model of atherosclerosis treatment with evinacumab decreased atherosclerotic lesion area and necrotic content . Taken together these observations suggest that inhibiting ANGPTL3 with evinacumab will reduce cardiovascular disease.
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How To Take And Store
Lipitor can be taken with or without food. It is quickly absorbed, reaching its peak concentration in the blood within about two hours. Lipitor starts to lower cholesterol within about two weeks of starting the medication.
Lipitor should always be taken in conjunction with a diet to lower your cholesterol and triglycerides.
Store the tablets at a controlled room temperature that’s ideally 68 to 77 degrees F.
If you miss a dose of Lipitor, take it as soon as you remember. But if it has been more than 12 hours since the missed dose, skip it and just take your next scheduled dose. Do not take two doses at once.
If you take too much Lipitor or overdose, seek immediate medical care.
How Long Do Lipitor Side Effects Last
Lipitor is typically cleared from the body in about 77 hours, or three days, with a half-life of about 20 to 30 hours. However, Lipitor is intended as a long-term medication that must be taken daily for maximum effectiveness. Side effects are usually mild and temporary, and the severity of side effects may dissipate over time as the body adapts to the medication.
More serious side effects such as severe allergic reactions, blood disorders, or muscle damage may persist longer and require treatment or hospitalization. Muscle pain and weakness could last for several months after Lipitor has been discontinued. Some side effects such as lung injury or muscle damage may be irreversible and require lifelong treatment.
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What If I Forget To Take It
If you occasionally forget to take a dose, take your next dose the next day at the usual time. Never take 2 doses at the same time. Never take extra doses.
If you often forget doses, it may help to set an alarm to remind you. You could also ask your pharmacist for advice on other ways to help you remember to take your medicine.