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10 Types of Heart Drugs

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Cholesterol-lowering Drugs

Another types of heart drugs work to lower cholesterol.
Another types of heart drugs work to lower cholesterol.
©iStockphoto.com/firebrandphotography

Cholesterol -- specifically low-density lipoproteins (LDLs, or "bad" cholesterol) -- builds up over time on the inner walls of your arteries, narrowing these primary passageways and forcing the heart to work harder to move the same quantity of oxygen-rich blood to the rest of the body. Since healthy arteries are crucial to heart health, many doctors prescribe cholesterol-lowering drugs to heart patients.

Some of these drugs:

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  • Statins diminish the liver's ability to produce new cholesterol.
  • Cholesterol absorption inhibitorsprevent cholesterol from being absorbed by the small intestine, which would allow it to be returned to the liver and recycled.
  • Bile acid resins bind to bile, disabling its function in digestion. The body then produces more bile, using cholesterol to do so -- which gets rid of the cholesterol.
  • Niacin raises levels of "good" cholesterol.
  • Fibrates lower blood fats that contribute to cholesterol levels.

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