Compare cholesterol drugs

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While it is important to be able to compare cholesterol drugs or medications, it is critical to remember that being on medication does not mean that you should abandon the efforts made to life style modifications. Continuing to exercise and eating well may be sufficient for you to take a lower dose of medicine. Also the lifestyle modifications together with drugs will make it easier to reach the cholesterol goals set by your physician.

Classes of Lipid Lowering Drugs:

There are four main-stay classes of lipid lowering drugs available, although several new classes are beginning to be released, and learning to compare cholesterol drugs available can help both you, and your doctor, reach a decision of what is best for you.. Bile acid sequestrants, HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors or statins, nicotinic acid, and fibric acid derivatives. The graph illustrates the maximum increase/decrease results possible on lipids with each class of drug. compare cholesterol drugs and medications illustration

Bile acid sequestrants
Cholesterol is converted to bile acids in the liver with this class of cholesterol drug. Bile acids help in digesting fats from foods. A bile acid sequestrant binds bile acids and prevents their re-absorption in the intestine. When the liver’s supply of cholesterol becomes low, the additional cholesterol that is needed is then taken from the blood through enhanced removal of LDL from the circulation. This class may increase your triglycerides. Questran and Colestis belong to this group.

HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors
The group of drugs called statins partially block an enzyme necessary for the formation of cholesterol, and they speed up the removal of LDL from the blood. The reduction of LDL with statin therapy range from approximately 18% to 60% depending on the statin taken. This class range from the stronger drugs, such as Crestor and Lipitor, to the more moderate statins as Pravachol, Zocor, Mevcor and Lescol.

Nicotinic acid/Niacin
This preparation is effective in most hyperlipidemias. By way of its action on the liver, it reduces the production and release of LDL. Nicotinic acid is also particularly indicated in cases of elevated triglicerides. With Niacin there is the potential of serious side effects

Fibric acid derivatives/Fibrates
The mechanism of action of fibric acid derivatives is complex and not fully understood. The power of fibrates is their ability to significantly lower elevated triglycerides and to cause an increase in HDL cholesterol. The effects of these drugs on LDL cholesterol is variable. Drugs such as Atromid-S, Lopid and TriCor belong to this class.

A new class of lipid lowering compounds that selectively inhibits the intestinal absorption of cholesterol, rather than in the liver as with statins, is now available. This drug (Zetia), with a similar safety profile to placebo, can be used alone in patients needing modest LDL reductions or in combination with other drugs. When used together with a statin, for aggressive therapy, further reductions of up to 25% of LDL cholesterol have been observed in clinical studies.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you are taking antibiotics whilst taking lipid lowering medication. There is the possibility of drug-drug interactions. Learning to compare cholesterol drugs and medications is an important step in being active in your health care.

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