What about cholesterol drugs?

Even with lifestyle changes some people will still need medications to lower their cholesterol. These medications include: · bile acid resins, such as cholestyramine and colestipol · nicotinic acid, also known as niacin or vitamin B3 · fibric acids, such as gemfibrozil, fenofibrate, and clofibrate · statins, such as atorvastatin, fluvastatin, cerivastatin, pravastatin, and simvastatin.

The choice of medications is based on the cholesterol level, the person's age, and any other health conditions.

What are the side effects of the treatments?

The side effects depend on the particular medication chosen. Most cholesterol-lowering medicines can have bad effects on the liver. Blood tests are often done to measure the levels of enzymes produced by the liver. Niacin can cause flushing of the skin and itching. It may also cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and high blood glucose.

What happens after treatment for the disease?

Treatment of high total and LDL cholesterol is lifelong. Even with medications, diet, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle are key to control cholesterol levels.

How is the disease monitored?

The individual will have regular cholesterol tests and visits with the healthcare provider. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the provider.

If your doctor has prescribed drugs to control your high blood pressure, find out what you should know about your medication in the Drug Reference Center. Or if you're concerned about possible drug interactions visit our Drug Interaction Center.

More to Explore