High Cholesterol Medication

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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Your levels of cholesterol are high. You know that. It is due perhaps to a genetic predisposition you didn't ask for. It is due perhaps to another medical condition, such as kidney or liver disease, or diabetes, or hyperthyroidism. But because of this your healthy diet, lifestyle and regular aerobic exercise aren't enough. That you don't smoke isn't enough.

You need a pharmaceutical regime and you're looking at the options before you and your doctor finalize your high cholesterol medication treatment. What's out there, then, in the way of options? What does each entail?

High Cholesterol Medication: The List

One group of medications are synthetic pharmaceuticals. There are four types of these: statins, niacin, bile-acid resins, and fiber derivatives. Statins, which lower LDL levels, are the first line of defense. There are a number available, including Mevacor (lovastatin), Lescol (fluvastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin), Zocor (simvastatin), Baycol (cerivastatin), and Lipitor (atorvastatin). Nicotinic acid raises HDL and lowers LDL, a nice combination. Bile-acid resins reduce LDL during the digestive process. Fibric acid derivatives can boost HDL.

A second group are the herbs and plant derivatives or extracts. More and more studies of late demonstrate their effectivness. They include garlic, fish oils, gogul gum resin, the sugar cane wax derivative policosanol, the tumeric spice extract curcumin, the soluble plant fiber psyllim native to Iran and India, and beta-sitosterol.

High Cholesterol Medication: The Side Effects

Remember going into this high cholesterol medication regimen, as your doctor has already told you, that you may suffer side effects and you may not. Body chemistry varies so much that reactions to treatments are at best, to put it very informally, a crap shoot. This being said, side effects revealed in clinical trials and subsequent studies and surveys include: muscle aches, abnormal liver function, allergic reaction (skin rashes), heartburn, dizziness, abdominal pain, constipation, decreased sexual desire. Forewarned is indeed forearmed.

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