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High Cholesterol Treatments

Each patient with high cholesterol is treated for the disorder with a specially planned personal treatment plan.  All cases of hypercholesterolemia are treated by lowering LDL cholesterol and triglycerides; the method with which to achieve this feat can be executed via an array of various drugs, each with its own way of working.  Your doctor will decide which drug is right for you by taking into account not only your disease severity, but the drug’s potency, efficiency and mode of function, as well as your overall health.

(If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, then you might be interested in taking part in our high cholesterol clinical trial in Birmingham, AL.)

The following is a list of drug types that your doctor my prescribe to treat your high blood cholesterol:

  • Statins
  • Ezetimibe
  • Bile acid sequestrants
  • Nicotinic acid
  • Fibrates

STATINS:

The most widely taken drugs for treating hypercholesterolemia and reducing the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) are statins.  Statins work by decreasing the liver’s natural production of cholesterol in order to lower blood LDL levels up to 60%.  Statins can also raise HDL cholesterol levels.  By decreasing LDL cholesterol and raising HDL cholesterol, statins lower triglycerides as well as the risk of heart attack and stroke. Statins may also reabsorb any cholesterol that is sticking to the walls of arteries throughout the body and thereby lower the risk of such arterial-related diseases as coronary artery disease.  The following is a list of types of statin drugs:

  • Atorvastatin
  • Fluvastatin
  • Lovastatin
  • Pravastatin
  • Rosuvastatin
  • Simvastatin

EZETIMIBE:

Ezetimibe prevents the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream.  LDL cholesterol is lowered because LDL that is gained from high cholesterol food, as well that which the body itself produces, is not filtered into the blood.  Ezetimibe does not raise or lower HDL cholesterol levels.

BILE ACID SEQUESTRANTS:

Bile acid sequestrants bind to bile acid molecules in the small intestine and decrease the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed into the bloodstream from consumed food.  The cholesterol in the small intestine aid bile acids in digestion and do not contribute to LDL cholesterol blood levels.  So, bile acid sequestrants bind to the bile acids and disable their function.  This causes the liver to send its produced cholesterol straight to the small intestine rather than into the bloodstream.  The following is a list of bile acid sequestrants:

  • Cholestyramine
  • Colesevelam
  • Colestipol

NICOTINIC ACID:

Nicotinic acid, also known as niacin, is prescribed for people with specific types of familial hyperlipidemia and high cholesterol.

FIBRATES:

Fibrates are effective for hyperlipidemic patients as well as for those with hypercholesterolemia.  Fibrates can help lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol levels.  The following is a list of fibrate medications:

  • Gemfibrozil
  • Tricor
  • Triglide
  • Trilipex

In addition to taking medications, there are remedies that you should do on your own to keep your body healthy and your cholesterol levels in check.  These essential steps help to fight hypercholesterolemia as well as avoid it in those who do not have high cholesterol.  The following are advantageous steps that you can take to treat your condition:

  • Quit smoking
  • Exercise
  • Eat healthily
  • Food to avoid: high cholesterol food, sodium and fats
  • Food to eat: soy protein, omega 3 fatty acid-rich food, fruits, vegetables, grapefruit, garlic and artichokes
  • Lose weight if necessary
  • Either stay away from alcoholic beverages or drink in moderation
  • Take plant stanols and sterols

Hypercholesterolemia treatment is a lifetime course that demands commitment and perseverance. Results of treatment may take months until they are noticeable, so don’t get discouraged if you feel that your positive lifestyle changes are not improving your treatment.  Before commencing your treatment, tell your doctor about any coexisting medical conditions you may have as well as any drugs that you are taking.  Together, you and your doctor can design the best treatment plan to for your case of hypercholesterolemia.