Cholesterol Drugs Will Lower Cholesterol Levels, But With Side Effects

It is believed that at least twelve million Americans take cholesterol drugs to lower their cholesterol levels and the majority of these drugs are statins. In addition, it is expected that a further twenty-three million Americans will be taking these drugs and so the need arises to be better educated about the side effects as well as benefits of taking such drugs.

The cholesterol drugs currently available in the US include Lipitor from Pfizer, Zocor from Merck, Pravachol from Bristol-Meyer Squibb, Lescol from Novartis, Mevacor from Merck, and Crestor from AstraZeneca. If you happen to be one of the millions of Americans taking statins, make sure that you are fully aware of the ways in which such cholesterol drugs can affect your health.

Statins have provided doctors battling cholesterol with an arsenal of therapies with which to lower high blood cholesterol levels, often with dramatic effect. Though doctors often advise patients of high blood cholesterol to exercise and take recommended diets, these in themselves may not prove to be enough; so the need for cholesterol drugs arises to get the cholesterol level down to manageable levels.

Things to Consider

According to the National Cholesterol Education Program estimates, almost nine million Americans are using some kind of cholesterol lowering drug therapy with Mevacor, Lescol, Pravachol, Zocor, Baycol and Lipitor being the drugs most used. When it comes to cholesterol, it has even been claimed by doctors that these statin drugs are revolutionizing patient care. Taking cholesterol drugs can dramatically reduce deaths from heart disease as well as death from all causes in patients having coronary hear disease whose high LDL levels had been reduced by drugs such as Zocor. Cholesterol drugs function by interfering with the cholesterol-producing mechanism of the liver and also help to increase the liver's capacity to eliminate cholesterol from circulating blood.

Depending on dosage and drug, statins can reduce LDL cholesterol by as much as sixty percent. Nevertheless, patients often react differently to cholesterol drugs and some have fewer side effects, and doctors will prescribe the drug depending on factors such as degree of cholesterol lowering desired as well as side effects and cost.

Though there are no exact figures available regarding how many lives such cholesterol drugs have saved, public awareness through the National Cholesterol Education Program is helping to get the word out to Americans on how to prevent and manage heart disease. Cholesterol drugs are able to combat elevated cholesterol levels, but care should be taken regarding undesirable side effects.