A hereditary propensity to have high cholesterol in the blood may be seen in specific individuals. If you are one of them, you may require medication and changing your diet to lower your cholesterol.
Which categories of medications are available for treating high cholesterol?
Cholesterol is produced in the liver, but it may also be consumed by consuming foods derived from animals (such as meat and dairy products.) You might have a genetic predisposition that causes high blood cholesterol levels. Your cholesterol could be increased due to the foods you eat and the amount of physical exercise you do not get. Your cholesterol levels may be improved with a healthy diet and regular exercise. Still, if they don’t drop low enough to be healthy, your healthcare practitioner may prescribe drugs to lower the cholesterol levels.
A list of drugs for cholesterol
- Statins are one medication that may help decrease cholesterol levels.
- Inhibitors of PCSK9 activity
- Fabric acid derivatives (also called fibrates).
- Bile acid sequestrants (also called bile acid resins).
- Nicotinic acid (also called niacin).
- Inhibitors that are selective for cholesterol uptake
- Fatty acid esters and omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty acids.
- Inhibitors of the enzyme adenosine triphosphate-citrate lyase (ACL).
Your healthcare practitioner will go through these choices with you, and the two of you will be able to determine which form of medicine for high cholesterol if any, will be most beneficial to you.
One of the most well-known categories of cholesterol-lowering medication is called statin. Because of how effectively they function, most providers choose them while treating their patients. Statins work to reduce cholesterol production by inhibiting an enzyme called HMG CoA reductase, which is required for the liver to produce cholesterol. Inhibitors of the enzyme HMG CoA reductase are more commonly known as statins.
Statins are also:
- known for improving how well the lining of blood vessels functions.
- Decrease both the swelling (inflammation) and the damage.
- Stopping platelets from adhering to one another is one way to reduce the likelihood of blood clots.
- Reduce the likelihood that plaques, fatty deposits, may break away and cause harm.
- These additional advantages contribute to the prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in those who have had traumatic cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and in people at risk for developing the condition.
What are some of the possible side effects of taking statins?
Statins can potentially cause undesirable side effects, just like any other medication:
- Constipation and nausea are two examples of these symptoms.
- Pain in the head and symptoms similar to a cold.
- Sore muscles, whether or not there was an injury to the muscle.
- Liver enzyme abnormalities.
- Elevated amounts of glucose in the blood.
- Memory problems that can be corrected.
You are considered statin-intolerant if the potential adverse effects of taking statins prevent you from doing so. Grapefruit products should be avoided while taking some statins since they may increase the likelihood of adverse effects. Since drinking alcohol while taking statins might raise the risk of liver damage, you should restrict the quantity of alcohol that you consume while on statins. If you are worried about any other possible interactions, you should probably discuss this with your healthcare practitioner or pharmacist.
The attachment of PCSK9 inhibitors to a specific protein on the surface of liver cells leads to a reduction in LDL, sometimes known as “bad” cholesterol. Those at a high risk of heart disease who have not been successful in lowering their cholesterol levels via conventional means are often candidates for this kind of medicine, which may be administered in combination with statins.
What are some of the potential adverse reactions that might occur while using PCSK9 inhibitors?
Potential adverse effects include:
- Pain includes pain in the muscles (myalgia) and discomfort in the back.
- Inflammation at the location of the injection.
- Cold-like symptoms.
Another potential disadvantage is the product’s price, which might be relatively high.
Fabric acid derivatives (fibrates)
Another group of cholesterol medications known as fabric acid derivatives works to lower lipid (fat) levels in the blood, particularly triglyceride levels. When you take in calories but don’t burn them off, your body produces triglycerides, sometimes known as fats, from the food you eat.
Fibric acid derivatives have the potential to raise HDL cholesterol, generally known as the “good” cholesterol, while simultaneously decreasing liver synthesis of LDL cholesterol, usually known as the “bad” cholesterol. Patients with significant renal illness or liver disease should not use fibrate medications.
What are some of the potential adverse reactions that might occur after using fabric acid derivatives?
The following are some of the potential adverse effects of fibrates:
- Either diarrhoea or constipation.
- Loss of body weight
- Symptoms may include bloating, belching, or vomiting.
- A headache, an upset stomach, or a painful backache.
- Ache and weakening in the muscles.
Bile acid sequestrants (also called bile acid resins)
This kind of cholesterol medicine acts within the gut by attaching itself to bile, a greenish fluid that is formed of cholesterol that is produced by the liver in order to digest meals. Because of the binding process, the body has access to less cholesterol than it otherwise would. Resins have been shown to raise HDL cholesterol levels while simultaneously lowering LDL cholesterol levels.
What are the potential adverse reactions that might occur with taking bile acid resins?
Potential negative effects of bile acid sequestrants include:
- I’ve got a sore throat and a congested nose.
- Irritability of the bowels and diarrhea.
- Loss of body weight
- It was spewing, bloating.
- Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, and abdominal discomfort.
If the treatment for your high cholesterol is a powder, you should never take it without liquid. It must always be combined with at least three to four ounces of liquid, which may be water, juice, or any beverage that does not include carbonation.
If you are also taking other medicines, you should take those prescriptions one hour before or four hours after you take the bile acid resin.
Inhibitors of cholesterol uptake that are selective
Ezetimibe is an example of a pharmaceutical type that acts in the gut to prevent cholesterol absorption by the body. These inhibitors lower LDL cholesterol levels, but they also have the potential to lower triglycerides and raise levels of HDL, generally known as “good” cholesterol. They are compatible with statins and may be taken together.
Potential adverse effects include the following:
- Joint pain.
Nicotinic acid also referred to as niacin, is a vitamin that belongs to the B complex. Some variants of this are available over-the-counter, while other versions are only available with a doctor’s prescription. Niacin improves HDL cholesterol while lowering LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Niacin is not recommended for use by those who suffer from gout or severe liver disease.
What are the potential negative consequences that taking niacin might have?
The most common adverse reaction to niacin is a flushing of the face and upper body, which may be mitigated by taking the supplement around mealtimes. If you take aspirin approximately 30 minutes before you take niacin, you may have reduced flushing as a side effect.
Additional adverse effects include the following:
- Problems with the skin, such as tingling or itching.
- Stomach upset.
- It may cause a rise in the amount of sugar in the blood.
Esterified forms of omega-3 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs)
Fish oils are a frequent name for the types of medications used to reduce triglyceride levels. Although certain products may be purchased without a doctor’s prescription, others are sold exclusively with such authorization (ethyl eicosapentaenoic acid). Two factors should be taken into consideration: first, some persons are allergic to fish and shellfish, and second, fish oils could cause interactions with other drugs.
What are the potential negative consequences that were using omega-3 supplements might have?
The following are examples of potential adverse reactions to omega-3 fatty acid products:
- Problems with the skin, such as rashes or itching.
- the flavor of fish
- Lengthened amount of time spent bleeding
Inhibitors of the enzyme adenosine triphosphate-citric lyase (ACL)
Bempedoic acid’s activity slows the liver’s formation of cholesterol. It is recommended to use statin drugs with this supplement; however, if you are already taking simvastatin or pravastatin, you should reduce the amount of this supplement.
What are some of the potential negative consequences that bempedoic acid might have?
The following are some of the potential adverse effects of bempedoic acid:
- Infection of the upper respiratory tract
- causes discomfort in the abdomen, the back, or the muscles.
- Uric acid levels are significantly elevated.
- Tendon injury.
What about replacing cholesterol-lowering prescription medication with natural remedies like red rice yeast or plant stanols (phytosterols), for example?
There are a lot of individuals who claim that they would instead use “natural” medications than pharmaceutical drugs. But, the fact that something is natural does not automatically imply risk-free. Supplements are not subject to the same stringent oversight as pharmaceuticals in the United States. Moreover, accessories can potentially cause harmful interactions with the prescriptions that a person is currently taking.
On the other hand, red rice yeast extract includes the same molecule found in some statins available only with a doctor’s prescription, such as lovastatin. You and your healthcare professional may conclude that you should give the supplement a go if you keep a close eye on it.
Another option for decreasing cholesterol that does not need a prescription is plant stanols. Stanols from plants prevent cholesterol from being absorbed by the body in the intestines. You may purchase pills or receive plant stanols in various margarine replacements.
How to properly take your medications to decrease your cholesterol?
You must pay close attention to the directions that your medical professional gives you about the medication you are taking. Drugs can have side effects if they are not taken precisely as directed. For instance, you could unintentionally cause a negative interaction between two medications if you take them simultaneously. If you don’t take your medicines as directed, you can feel nauseous or lightheaded.
Using your medication for cholesterol in the appropriate manner
If you take the medication as directed, it can assist you in lowering your cholesterol levels.
- It would help if you were sure that you were taking all of your medications exactly as directed by your healthcare professional.
- It is not a good idea to reduce the amount of medicine you take to save money. To get the advantages of the entire dose, you need to consume the complete quantity. If the cost of your medications is prohibitive, speak with your healthcare practitioner or pharmacist about the possibility of receiving financial help. Certain pharmaceutical businesses provide price reductions on specific drugs.
- Do not be afraid to communicate with your healthcare practitioner if you believe the medication is not functioning as intended or if you are experiencing adverse effects from cholesterol medication that are causing you to worry.
Collaboration with your local drugstore
Your local pharmacist might be an invaluable ally when taking your cholesterol medication as prescribed.
- Always keep up with your prescription refills; don’t put it off until you’re entirely out of a medication before obtaining more.
- Any inquiries you may have might be directed toward your healthcare professional or pharmacist.
- Notify them if you cannot pick up your medications at the pharmacy because of transportation issues or if the instructions need to be easier to understand.
- Ask a close friend or member of your family to sit in on your conversations with your healthcare provider or pharmacist if you have difficulty comprehending what is being said. You are responsible for being aware of the drugs you take and their effects on your body.
Keep tabs on the medicine you take for your high cholesterol
Many different methods are available nowadays for tracking one’s drug routine.
- Establishing a pattern in which you take your medications simultaneously each day is beneficial.
- It may be helpful to have a pillbox labeled with the days of the week that you fill up at the beginning of each week.
- Some individuals like to maintain a medication calendar or notebook in which they record the time, date, and amount of medicine they take.
- Make advantage of alarm-equipped pillboxes and applications for your smartphone to help you remember to take your medication.
- If you need to remember to take a dosage, take it as soon as you realize what you forgot. But, if it is nearly time for your next dosage, you should ignore the dose you missed and go back to your regular dosing plan. If it is almost time for your next dose, It is unnecessary to take two doses to compensate for the missed dosage.
When you go on a trip, please bring all your medications with you so that you may continue to take them as directed. While going on vacation for a more extended period, you should bring an additional week’s worth of medication along with copies of your prescriptions just in case you need to acquire a refill.
Always talk to your healthcare practitioner before starting a new medicine, whether it be over-the-counter medication, herbal supplements, or nutritional supplements. The dosage of your prescription for high cholesterol may need to be altered. Be careful to inform your dentist and other healthcare professionals about any drugs you are currently taking, particularly before undergoing surgery requiring you to be under general anesthesia.
If you keep eating a diet low in cholesterol, all the medications you use to treat your cholesterol will work better for you. Your healthcare practitioner can provide a referral to a dietitian for you so that you can get assistance in developing a diet tailored specifically to your needs, such as the Mediterranean diet, and encouragement to adhere to the diet. The levels of cholesterol in the body may also be lowered through exercise.
The Cleveland Clinic has a letter for you.
You may need to take medicine to lower your cholesterol levels. There are some solutions, but most of them will work more effectively if you maintain a healthy diet and engage in regular physical activity. Always be sure to see your physician before starting a new medicine. These cover goods that may be purchased without a prescription, such as nutritional supplements or herbs.