Cholesterol lowering drugs

Statin drugs (Atorvastatin, Lovastatin Rosuvastatin etc) work in the liver to prevent the formation of cholesterol, thus lowering the amount of cholesterol circulating in the blood. Statins lower LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels and at the same time raise HDL cholesterol levels. Statins may also help to stabilize plaques in the arteries making heart attacks less likely.

Adverse side effects – Muscle pain, memory loss, and elevated liver enzymes. Muscle pain, also called myopathy, occurs in 2% to 11% of people treated with statins.

Selective cholesterol absorption inhibitors (ezetimibe) work by preventing the absorption of cholesterol from the intestines.

Bile acid binding drugs (resins) are the LDL-lowering drugs that work in the intestines by promoting increased disposal of cholesterol. Your body uses cholesterol to make bile, an acid used in the digestive process. These medicines bind to bile, so it can’t be used during digestion. Your liver responds by making more bile. The more bile your liver makes, the more cholesterol it uses. That means less cholesterol is left to circulate through your bloodstream.

Niacin (nicotinic acid) works in the liver by affecting the production of blood fats. Its side effects may include flushing, itching and stomach upset or toxicity.

Marine-Derived Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFA) commonly referred to as omega-3 fish oils or omega-3 fatty acids, are used in large doses to lower high triglyceride levels in the blood.