Prescription Drugs for Treating High Cholesterol
What if the TLC Diet alone is not good enough?
What are the next steps to lowering cholesterol numbers?
Not everyone’s cholesterol levels respond the same. While lifestyle changes alone can help some people lower their cholesterol levels, others must combine changes in their lifestyle with medications.
Should I Take Drugs to Lower My Cholesterol?
First, speak to your doctor about possible good, safe treatment options for high cholesterol. Before taking medications for high cholesterol, you should always integrate lifestyle changes first and foremost. Such changes include eating healthier, exercising regularly and/or losing weight.
In some patients, this will not be enough and they will need medications as well. However, be aware that drug treatment alone is not a good approach to lowering cholesterol. If medications are necessary, make sure that these drugs are not just used as a replacement for healthier lifestyle choice, you must incorporate both.
After you have made appropriate lifestyle changes and are eating a healthy diet as well as incorporating an exercise regimen into your lifestyle, and your cholesterol levels still remain high, it’s time to speak to your doctor about cholesterol medications that are right for you. Your doctor will analyze your risk factors, your current health, and possible side effects as well as other factors when selecting a cholesterol medication that is right for you.
What Are The Prescription Drugs Available to Lower My Cholesterol Count?
How Do These Cholesterol Medications Work?
Which Prescription Medications are Best for Lowering LDL Bad Cholesterol Levels?
The following is a list of medications available for treating high cholesterol and how they work. Although your doctor will chose your medications, you should be informed when speaking to your doctor so you can understand the possibilities.
Statins – Statins are the most common medications prescribed for lowering cholesterol. Stantins work by blocking an enzyme your liver that is responsible for producing the cholesterol in your body. They are best for lowering LDL cholesterol, although they have been shown to have modest effects on lowering triglyceride levels and raising HDL cholesterol.
- Generic Name: Atorvastatin
- Brand Name: Lipitor
- Generic Name: Fluvastatin
- Brand Name: Lescol
- Generic Name: Lovastatin
- Brand Name: Altoprev, Mevacor
- Generic Name: Pavastatin
- Brand Name: Pravachol
- Generic Name: Rosuvastatin
- Brand Name: Crestor
- Generic Name: Simvastatin
- Brand Name: Zocor
Bile-Acid Binding Resins – this class of cholesterol lowering medications work in the intestines to promote increased disposal of cholesterol.
- Generic Name: Cholestyramine
- Brand Name: Prevalite, Questran, Questran Light, Locholest, Locholest Light
- Generic Name: Colesevelam Hcl
- Brand Name: WelChol
- Generic Name: Colestipol
- Brand Name: Colestid
Cholesterol Absorption Inhibitors – this class of cholesterol lowering medications prevent absorption of cholesterol from the intestine. They are best for lowering LDL cholesterol, although they have been shown to have modest effects on lowering triglyceride levels and raising HDL cholesterol. Can be used in combination with any statin drug.
- Generic Name: Ezetimibe
- Brand Name: Zetia
Combination Statin & Cholesterol Absorption Inhibitor
- Generic Name: Simvastatin & Ezetimibe
- Brand Name: Vytorin
Combination Statin & Calcium Channel Blocker – this class of medications is used to treat high blood pressure (hypertension) and high cholesterol. Calcium channel blockers
- Generic Name: Atorvastatin & Amlodipine Besylate
- Brand Name: Caduet
Side Effects include: swelling of legs or ankles (edema), headache, dizziness
Which Medications Treat High Triglyceride Levels?
Medications that treat high triglyceride levels:
- Generic Name: Fenofibrate
- Brand Name: Antara, Lofibra, TriCor, Triglide
- Generic Name: Gemfibrozil
- Brand Name: Lopid
- Generic Name: Niacin
- Brand Name: Niaspan
Combination Niacin and Statin
- Generic Name: Niacin & Lovastatin
- Brand Name: Simcor or Advicor
Content Created/Medically Reviewed by our Expert Doctors