If you've made important lifestyle changes and your
total cholesterol — and particularly your LDL
cholesterol — remains hi...
 Statins — among the most commonly prescribed
medications for lowering cholesterol — block a
substance your liver needs t...
 Your liver uses cholesterol to make bile
acids, a substance needed for digestion.
 The medications cholestyramine (Prev...
 Your small intestine absorbs the cholesterol
from your diet and releases it into your
bloodstream.
 The drug ezetimibe ...
 The combination drug ezetimibe-simvastatin
(Vytorin) decreases both absorption of
dietary cholesterol in your small inte...
Medication therapy for cholesterol
Medication therapy for cholesterol
Medication therapy for cholesterol
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Medication therapy for cholesterol

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Module 4-3

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Medication therapy for cholesterol

  1. 1. If you've made important lifestyle changes and your total cholesterol — and particularly your LDL cholesterol — remains high, your doctor may recommend medication. Main groups of medications are:  Statins  Bile-acid-binding resins  Cholesterol absorption inhibitors  Combination cholesterol absorption inhibitor and statin
  2. 2.  Statins — among the most commonly prescribed medications for lowering cholesterol — block a substance your liver needs to make cholesterol. This causes your liver to remove cholesterol from your blood.  Statins may also help your body reabsorb cholesterol from built-up deposits on your artery walls, potentially reversing coronary artery disease.  Choices include atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Altoprev, Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), rosuvastatin (Crestor) and simvastatin (Zocor).
  3. 3.  Your liver uses cholesterol to make bile acids, a substance needed for digestion.  The medications cholestyramine (Prevalite), colesevelam (Welchol) and colestipol (Colestid) lower cholesterol indirectly by binding to bile acids.  This prompts your liver to use excess cholesterol to make more bile acids, which reduces the level of cholesterol in your blood.
  4. 4.  Your small intestine absorbs the cholesterol from your diet and releases it into your bloodstream.  The drug ezetimibe (Zetia) helps reduce blood cholesterol by limiting the absorption of dietary cholesterol. Zetia can be used in combination with any of the statin drugs.
  5. 5.  The combination drug ezetimibe-simvastatin (Vytorin) decreases both absorption of dietary cholesterol in your small intestine and production of cholesterol in your liver.  It's unknown whether Vytorin is more effective in reducing heart disease risk than taking simvastatin by itself.

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