Saturday, June 24, 2023

What are some common cholesterol-lowering medications and their side effects?

 Cholesterol-lowering medications are prescribed by doctors when lifestyle changes alone are not enough to lower cholesterol levels. The following are some common cholesterol-lowering medications and their side effects

  1. Statins: Statins are the most commonly prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs. They work by blocking the action of the liver enzyme that produces cholesterol. Common side effects of statins include headache, dizziness, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, muscle pain, and sleep problems. Rare side effects include liver damage, increased blood sugar, and memory loss or confusion.
  2. PCSK9 inhibitors: PCSK9 inhibitors are a newer type of cholesterol-lowering drug that work by blocking a protein that prevents the liver from removing LDL cholesterol from the blood. Common side effects include injection site reactions, flu-like symptoms, and itching.
  3. Fibric acid derivatives (fibrates): Fibrates work by reducing the liver's production of triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood. Common side effects include stomach upset, diarrhea, and muscle pain.
  4. Bile acid sequestrants (resins): Bile acid sequestrants work by binding to bile acids in the intestines, which prevents them from being reabsorbed into the bloodstream. Common side effects include constipation, bloating, and gas.
  5. Nicotinic acid (niacin): Nicotinic acid works by reducing the liver's production of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Common side effects include flushing, itching, and upset stomach.
It is important to talk to your doctor about any side effects you experience while taking cholesterol-lowering medications. In some cases, your doctor may be able to adjust your dosage or switch you to a different medication to alleviate side effects.

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