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What Medications Can Increase Triglycerides

Causes Of High Triglycerides

Pills that will Raise Your Triglycerides (The Quick List)

A study that looked at 5.6k people who participated in a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey found that about one-third of US adults had high triglyceride levels .

A similar study of 5.6k people found that only about 2% of adults experienced extremely high levels , the leading cause of pancreas inflammation in the US .

High triglyceride levels can be caused by lifestyle and dietary factors, genetics, and other diseases .

On a mechanistic level, triglycerides will rise too much if :

  • Your liver is producing too much triglyceride-dense VLDL cholesterol
  • Your diet is excessive and unhealthy
  • You have low lipoprotein lipase activity, which is the enzyme that breaks down triglycerides

All the potential causes outlined below affect one or more of these conditions.

Causes listed below are commonly associated with high triglycerides. Work with your doctor or another health care professional to get an accurate diagnosis.

Causes Of High Triglycerides + Normal Levels

Biljana Novkovic, PhDJonathan Ritter, PharmD, PhD Puya Yazdi, MDBiljana Novkovic, PhD

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Refined Grains And Starchy Foods

Refined or processed grains are typically made from white flour, which can increase triglycerides. They also often have added sugars. If possible, try to limit:

  • Enriched or bleached white bread, wheat bread, or pasta
  • Pastries, pies, cookies, and cakes

Starchy foods can also raise triglycerides. Try to choose foods with 100% whole grains and opt for long-grain rice instead of instant rice. If possible, eat non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, instead of starchy ones like potatoes.

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Table 1drugs That May Cause Dyslipidemias

Sodium-glucose co-transporter 2 inhibitors
â ââ7%
ABBREVIATIONS: LDL, low-density lipoprotein HDL, high-density lipoprotein. *Raloxifene has not been shown to increase Triglyceride levels, while reported increases of up to 30% have been reported with use of tamoxifen**Data remains conflicting and some evidence shows a decrease, no effect, or increase***Varies based on individual drug

What Qualifies As High Triglycerides

Diabetes

According to MedlinePlus , blood levels less than 150 mg/dL fall under the triglycerides normal range, while anything higherknown as hypertriglyceridemiacan increase risk for heart disease. Elevated triglycerides can also be a very early sign of diabetes, states Kristin Thomas, MD, a board-certified internist and co-founder of Foxhall Medicine in Washington, DC.

Extremely high triglyceridesblood levels over 500 mg/dLmay be due to a genetic disorder and can increase the risk of pancreatitis, along with heart disease, including atherosclerosis , Dr. Thomas, co-author of You Can Prevent A Stroke, explains. It can be seen alone or in association with many other conditions, as well, such as metabolic syndrome, hypothyroidism, fatty liver disease and kidney disease, Dr. Malaney says.

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What Are Normal And High Triglyceride Levels

The National Cholesterol Education Program sets guidelines for triglyceride levels:

  • Normal levels: Less than 150 milligrams per deciliter
  • Borderline high:150 to 199
  • High: 200 to 499
  • Very high: 500 or more

Elevated levels may lead to heart disease, especially in people with low levels of “good” cholesterol and high levels of “bad” cholesterol. The same is true if you have type 2 diabetes.

Experts once debated how important triglycerides are, but it now seems clear that higher levels are linked to problems such as heart disease.

One thing is clear, though: A good diet and exercise plan can lower triglyceride levels, improve cholesterol, and decrease the chance of heart disease.

What Causes Levels To Fluctuate

Triglyceride levels fluctuate naturally in response to many factors, including calorie intake and time of day. Eating a meal can cause an increase in triglycerides, which the body may store to use later when it needs energy.

These fluctuations are typically short-lived, but they are part of the reason why doctors may ask a person to fast before getting a lipid profile blood test.

Some health conditions may increase the risk of higher triglyceride levels. According to the

  • hormone medications
  • immunosuppressant drugs

Anyone who is uncertain about the side effects of their specific medication should speak with their doctor.

A person can use a few treatments to help lower their triglyceride levels.

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Lifestyle Factors To Maintain Heart Health

Taking steps to improve your cardiac health is an action that you will never regret. The heart serves as a vital role in the overall function of the body. When it comes to learning how to strengthen your heart and maintaining heart health, you can talk with your doctor about recommended methods or try any of the following:

  • Practice regular cardiovascular exercise such as walking, running or using an elliptical.
  • Swap out the potato chips for heart-healthy snacks like fresh fruit, nuts or whole grain crackers.
  • Maintain a healthy weight and work to lose any excess weight.
  • Practice proper stress management and self care.
  • Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol usage.
  • Maintain a healthy blood pressure.
  • Keep cholesterol levels under control.
  • Visit your cardiologist regularly to have blood levels checked and heart health monitored.

Unfortunately, heart disease of all kinds is on the rise in todays society, so taking steps to maintain your heart health is more important now than ever before.

High Triglycerides: Getting Help

BP Meds That Raise Cholesterol & Triglycerides

When it comes to cholesterol and triglycerides, perhaps the most important thing is to get regular screenings.

See your doctor and get checked out. If your triglycerides are high, you and your doctor can decide on a treatment plan and you can make a few simple but effective changes to your lifestyle.

SelfHacked has the strictest sourcing guidelines in the health industry and we almost exclusively link to medically peer-reviewed studies, usually on PubMed. We believe that the most accurate information is found directly in the scientific source.

We are dedicated to providing the most scientifically valid, unbiased, and comprehensive information on any given topic.

Our team comprises of trained MDs, PhDs, pharmacists, qualified scientists, and certified health and wellness specialists.

All of our content is written by scientists and people with a strong science background.

Our science team is put through the strictest vetting process in the health industry and we often reject applicants who have written articles for many of the largest health websites that are deemed trustworthy. Our science team must pass long technical science tests, difficult logical reasoning and reading comprehension tests. They are continually monitored by our internal peer-review process and if we see anyone making material science errors, we dont let them write for us again.

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Effect Of Niacin On Cardiovascular Outcomes

MONOTHERAPY

COMBINATION WITH FIBRATES

In the Stockholm Ischemic Heart Disease Secondary Prevention Study survivors of a myocardial infarction below 70 years of age were randomized to a control group and a group treated with clofibrate and immediate release nicotinic acid . Serum cholesterol and TG was lowered by 13% and 19%, respectively, in the treatment group compared to the control group. Recurrent myocardial infarction was reduced by 50% within one year . Total mortality was decreased by 26% in the group treated with clofibrate + niacin while ischemic heart disease mortality was decreased by 36% . Notably, the benefit of clofibrate + niacin was only observed in patients with a baseline TG level > 143mg/dl. In the age of statins, the clinical implications of this early study are unclear.

COMBINATION WITH STATINS

Effect Of Low Dose Omega

Initial studies of the effect of fish oil administration on cardiovascular outcomes were favorable, demonstrating a reduction in events including all-cause mortality. However, more recent studies have failed to confirm these favorable results. In these more recent studies the use of other drugs, such as statins, that reduce cardiovascular disease were more intensively utilized. The outcomes studies that will be described below were carried out with doses of EPA and DHA that are lower than the doses used to lower plasma TGs. We will limit our discussion to the administration of fish oil as a drug and not discuss diet studies, such as DART, which had patients increase fatty fish intake .

The above results indicate that low dose fish oil do not significantly and consistently reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

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Supplements And Medications To Lower Triglycerides

  • Fish oil, in doses of 3.5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per day, can effectively lower triglycerides. Lower doses are ineffective, explains says Scott Shurmur, MD, cardiologist and professor of medicine at Texas Tech University Health Science Center School of Medicine in Lubbock. When prescription medication is needed, lowering triglycerides usually starts with medication that lowers LDL cholesterol levels many of the same medications used to lower cholesterol will also lower triglycerides.
  • Statins are usually effective and well tolerated, and are the most commonly prescribed drugs to lower cholesterol. Examples include Lipitor , Crestor , Zocor , Lescol , Pravachol , and Mevacor . Severe side effects that last are rare, but side effects may include forgetfulness, abdominal pain, constipation, and muscle aches. You shouldnt take one of these medications if you are pregnant or have active liver disease. Statins may interact with other drugs, including antibiotics and antivirals, so be sure to discuss all your medications with your doctor.
  • Fibrates like Tricor are used specifically to lower triglyceride levels. Side effects include stomach upset, gallstones, and muscle aches. You should not take fibrates if you have kidney disease or severe liver disease.
  • Some diabetes medications, Actos , for example, will also lower triglycerides, says Shurmur. However, this drug may cause or worsen congestive heart failure, warns the FDA.

    Inflammation Infection And Autoimmunity

    Pin on Medications For Your Cholesterol Levels

    In some cases, high triglycerides may be caused by inflammation and infection.

    People with infections and chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and psoriasis often have high triglycerides and low HDL. These disease-triggered changes initially serve to dampen inflammation or fight infection, but they increase the risk of heart disease in the long run .

    For example, untreated gum disease increases blood triglycerides. People with chronic gum inflammation are continually exposed to bacteria, which disrupt immune and lipid balance in the body .

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    Pharmacokinetics And Drug Interactions

    Omega-3 ethyl esters and fatty acids are absorbed by the GI tract similar to other dietary lipids. It is worth noting that omega-3-free fatty acids are directly absorbed by the small intestine and are not dependent on pancreatic lipases for absorption. Thus, absorption of omega-3-fatty acids is not decreased in patients with pancreatic insufficiency and therefore may be preferred in patients with pancreatic disease. Additionally, the bioavailability of omega-3-fatty acids with a low fat diet was greater than omega-3-ethyl esters while there was little difference between these different formulations with a high fat diet .

    Drug interactions have not been seen with omega-3-fatty acids .

    Blood Pressure Medications: Can They Raise My Triglycerides

    Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Jun 1, 2022.

    Yes, some blood pressure medications can affect triglyceride and cholesterol levels.

    Hydrochlorothiazide is commonly prescribed for high blood pressure. It’s from a class of medications called diuretics, more commonly known as water pills. High doses 50 milligrams or more of some diuretics, including hydrochlorothiazide, can temporarily increase low-density lipoprotein cholesterol the “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides.

    The mild effects these drugs have on cholesterol and triglycerides don’t outweigh the benefits that occur from lowering blood pressure. Smaller doses usually don’t cause a rise in cholesterol and triglycerides.

    Older beta blockers, such as propranolol , atenolol and metoprolol , can slightly increase triglycerides and decrease high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol. This side effect may be more likely in people who smoke.

    Newer beta blockers, such as carvedilol and nebivolol , are less likely to affect cholesterol levels.

    If you’re worried about increasing triglyceride levels, talk to a health care provider about eating healthier and exercising. Don’t stop taking any prescribed medications without first talking to a provider.

    © 1998-2022 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research . All rights reserved. Terms of use.

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    Effect Of High Dose Omega

    It should be noted that in this trial mineral oil was used as the placebo. In the placebo group the LDL-C, non-HDL-C, and CRP levels were increased during the trial . The impact of these adverse changes on clinical outcomes is uncertain and whether they contributed to the apparent beneficial effects observed in the individuals treated with EPA is unknown.

    4) The OMEMI trial was a randomized trial of 1.8 grams per day of omega-3-fatty acids vs. corn oil placebo in patients aged 70 to 82 years with a recent myocardial infarction . Baseline LDL-C was approximately 76mg/dL, HDL-C was 49mg/dL, and TGs 110mg/dL. The primary endpoint was a composite of nonfatal myocardial infarction, unscheduled revascularization, stroke, all-cause death, and heart failure hospitalization after 2 years of follow-up. The primary endpoint occurred in 21.4% of patients on omega-3-fatty acids vs. 20.0% on placebo . TGs levels decreased 8.1% in the omega-3-fatty acid group and increased 5.1% in the placebo group while changes in LDL-C were minimal in both groups. Thus, similar to the STRENGTH trial no benefits on cardiovascular disease were observed with EPA + DHA treatment.

    What Are The Types Of Fibrate Drugs

    High Triglycerides: Is Your Medicine Causing It?? (11 Culprits)

    There are several types of fibrates. You may take:

    Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/10/2022.

    References

    • American Heart Association. Cholesterol Medications. Accessed 2/10/2022.
    • Blais JE, Kin Yi Tong G, et al. Comparative efficacy and safety of statin and fibrate monotherapy: A systematic review and meta-analysis of head-to-head randomized controlled trials. 2021 Feb-. PLoS ONE 16: e0246480. Accessed 2/10/2022.
    • Singh G, Correa R. Fibrate Medications. Treasure Island : StatPearls Publishing 2021 Jan-. Accessed 2/10/2022.

    Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy

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    Medications May Be Needed For High Triglyceride Levels

    Sometimes, healthy eating and regular exercise cant lower high triglyceride levels. This may be the case, for example, if you have familial hypertriglyceridemia or if you already have heart disease. Your doctor may prescribe medication such as fibrates or nicotinic acids. Drugs to help lower high blood cholesterol may also be prescribed, if necessary.Suggestions for managing high triglyceride levels with medication include:

    • Always take prescription medications exactly as instructed.
    • See your doctor if you are having side effects from the medication. Known medication side effects may include indigestion, diarrhoea, fever or muscle problems.
    • Dont assume that medications will somehow overcome the hazards of an unhealthy lifestyle. A healthy diet, regular exercise and maintaining an appropriate weight for your height are the most important management strategies for high triglycerides.

    Some Less Common Conditions

    Kidney problems

    We have two kidneys, and theyre responsible for cleaning our blood by filtering out waste products which are then removed from the body as urine.

    Chronic Kidney Disease . This is the name for a gradual decline in kidney function. People with CKD often have abnormal blood fats raised LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and lower HDL cholesterol. Heart and blood vessel diseases are common in people with CKD so statins and other cholesterol-lowering treatments are recommended if you have CKD.

    Nephrotic syndrome. This happens when our kidneys become leaky. It results in protein leaking into the urine. People with nephrotic syndrome often have raised levels of cholesterol and triglycerides too.

    Liver conditions

    The liver is a very important organ. It is where cholesterol and triglycerides are processed, made or broken down. Bile, a breakdown product of cholesterol, is made in the liver, stored in the gall bladder and released into the gut when we eat a meal. Its role is to help break down fat from food into small drops which can then be easily digested.

    Sometimes the production of bile or its release into the gut can become blocked, for example, if gall stones develop from crystallised cholesterol. Symptoms include pain, especially after a fatty meal. The medical name for this is cholestasis, where bile is unable to flow from the liver, and it can cause blood cholesterol levels in the blood to rise.

    Gout

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    Other Drugs That Affect Lipoprotein Levels

    Various other drugs have been reported to affect lipid and/or lipoprotein levels . Lipid changes from these drugs are based on limited data, are reported inconsistently, and could be due to other disease related aspects. Thus, the effects on serum lipid levels cannot fully be

    substantiated.

    • Review Lowering Targeted Atherogenic Lipoprotein Cholesterol Goals for Patients at “Extreme” ASCVD Risk.Rosenblit PD. Curr Diab Rep. 2019 Nov 21 19:146. Epub 2019 Nov 21.
    • Low-density lipoprotein apheresis: an evidence-based analysis.Medical Advisory Secretariat.. Ont Health Technol Assess Ser. 2007 7:1-101. Epub 2006 Nov 1.
    • Review Lipid Screening in Childhood for Detection of Multifactorial Dyslipidemia: A Systematic Evidence Review for the U.S. Preventive Services Task ForceLozano P, Henrikson NB, Morrison CC, Dunn J, Nguyen M, Blasi P, Whitlock EP. 2016 Aug
    • Review Targeting low HDL-cholesterol to decrease residual cardiovascular risk in the managed care setting.Cziraky MJ, Watson KE, Talbert RL. J Manag Care Pharm. 2008 Oct 14:S3-28 quiz S30-1.
    • Review Utility of Advanced Lipoprotein Testing in Clinical PracticeFeingold KR, Grunfeld C. Endotext. 2000

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