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Cholesterol Reducing Drugs

Also called: Cholesterol Reducers, Cholesterol Blocker, Cholesterol Medication, Cholesterol Reducing Medications, Antilipemic Agents, Cholesterol Drug, Cholesterol Lowering Medication, Cholesterol Lowering Drug

- Summary
- About cholesterol-reducing drugs
- Types and differences
- Potential side effects
- Drug and other interactions
- Lifestyle considerations
- Questions for your doctor

Reviewed By:
Kerry Prewitt, M.D., FACC
Abdou Elhendy, MD, PhD, FACC, FAHA
Robert I. Hamby, M.D., FACC, FACP

Summary

Cholesterol-reducing drugs are medications that lower the levels of fats (lipids) in the blood, including cholesterol and triglycerides. High levels of these fats in the bloodstream increase the risk of High cholesterol (hyperlipidemia) involves elevated blood cholesterol and/or triglyceride levels.coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis),  heart attack, stroke and other heart-related conditions. Therefore, cholesterol reducers and other antilipemic medications are often prescribed for people with high cholesterol levels (hypercholesterolemia) or other elevated lipid levels (e.g., high triglycerides).

There are five main categories of cholesterol reducers: statins, bile acid resins, nicotinic acid, fibrates and ezetimibe. Most are available only by prescription, while nicotinic acid, a form of vitamin B3 (niacin), is available over-the-counter. However, niacin should only be taken under the care of a physician to monitor any side effects that could arise, such as severe upset stomach (nausea) and flushing. 

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Review Date: 01-15-2008
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