Statins: Types, uses, side effects, and alternatives

what is statin drugs

Statins block an enzyme in your body that creates cholesterol. This action reduces your total cholesterol level, including your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol level. It also increases your level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which is considered “good” cholesterol. These effects can reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke. Since then, researchers have developed several other statins, each with its strengths and benefits.

Are High Cholesterol Levels Dangerous?

Researchers are also studying the use of statins for other conditions. The very first statin, called lovastatin, was approved in the United States in 1987. Since then, other statins have been developed and approved. Statins are generally well-tolerated, but like all medications, they can cause side effects in some people. In addition, pregnant people or those planning to become pregnant should not take statins, as they could harm the unborn baby.

Statins: Uses, Side Effects, and More

what is statin drugs

Having high LDL levels can be dangerous, leading to heart disease or a stroke. Statins are very common drugs that can help you reduce your LDL levels. If you are at risk of side effects from statins, you can take some steps to reduce those risks, such as limiting alcohol intake or losing weight. Statins lower LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels. At the same time, they lower triglycerides and raise HDL cholesterol levels. Statins may also help to stabilize plaques in the arteries, making heart attacks less likely.

Food and drugs that interact with statins

The higher the level of LDL cholesterol, the greater your risk of a heart attack. When the level of LDL cholesterol goes up, excess cholesterol can build up and stick to the walls of your arteries. The buildup is called plaque, and the formation of plaque can cause arteries to harden and narrow. If a plaque becomes unstable, a blood clot can form, suddenly blocking an artery. This helps to manage your cholesterol levels and prevent cardiovascular disease. To reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke, your doctor may recommend you take a statin medication to lower your cholesterol.

Statin product offerings – comparative effectiveness

Taking a statin while following a balanced diet and getting regular exercise is a good way for many people to lower their cholesterol levels. If you have high cholesterol, ask your doctor if a statin would be a good choice for you. If you have one or more diabetes risk factors, you may be at increased risk of developing diabetes while taking statins.

But the statin question changed a bit when the American Heart Association (AHA) and American College of Cardiology (ACC) updated their guidelines. Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use atorvastatin only for the indication meth addiction: symptoms getting help detox treatment and more prescribed. Grapefruit may interact with atorvastatin and cause side effects. Avoid consuming grapefruit products and drinking more than 1.2 liters of grapefruit juice each day. Take atorvastatin tablet orally once daily with or without food. Many people ask when to take atorvastatin morning or night?

what is statin drugs

How low should LDL cholesterol go?

There was also a modest risk of elevated blood glucose, which can tip some people into developing type 2 diabetes. What’s unclear is whether those people, who also had other risk factors for diabetes, would have developed the condition anyway. Statins don’t cause memory loss or cataracts, as has been claimed in the past. For most at-risk patients, the benefits far exceed the risks, the researchers concluded. Of course, if you notice any unusual effects after beginning statin therapy, tell your doctor. Your healthcare provider will look at your individual risk of heart and blood vessel disease when deciding if you should take a statin medication.

Statins are prescription drugs you take as pills to lower cholesterol. However, when you have too much, it can build dangers of snorting ambien zolpidem insufflation up inside the walls of your arteries. Cholesterol-laden plaque contributes to heart disease in different ways.

Lowering your cholesterol shouldn’t focus only on taking medications but in changing some things about your lifestyle, too. These changes may not lower your cholesterol to ideal levels, but they could help lower them, reducing the amount of medication you need. For years there were clear cut-offs — numbers your doctor looked for. If your levels were above them, then your doctor was supposed to prescribe a statin plus lifestyle changes (healthy eating, limiting unhealthy fats, and being more active). Atorvastatin can cause the breakdown of muscle tissue, which can lead to kidney failure. This happens more often in women, in older adults, or people who have kidney disease or poorly controlled hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).

what is statin drugs

Memory loss or confusion and neuropathy (a pins and needles sensation) have also been reported, though they seem to be rare and more likely at very high doses. The FDA hasn’t concluded that alcohol effects on eyes bloodshot puffy yellow eyes after drinking statins cause those problems. Avoid eating foods high in fat or cholesterol, or this medicine will not be as effective. For more detailed atorvastatin dose information click the link below.

Lowering cholesterol with statins helps decrease this risk and improves heart health. Statins lower cholesterol by inhibiting the liver enzyme, HMG-CoA reductase, which is essential for cholesterol production. Some people just can’t tolerate the side effects of statins. Others still have high cholesterol even after taking statins for a while.

These drugs may also help lower the chance of rejection after an organ transplant, according to a 2013 study. Even if your side effects are frustrating, don’t stop taking your statin medicine without talking to your health care professional first. Your care team may be able make a different treatment plan that can help you lower your cholesterol without uncomfortable side effects.

Statins can reduce the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the body. People sometimes refer to this type as “bad” cholesterol. Statins can also raise levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol.In addition, statins can lower the amount of fats, called triglycerides, in the blood.

  1. The risks of any side effects also have to be balanced against the benefits of preventing serious problems.
  2. Healthcare professionals widely use these medications to help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
  3. Cholesterol is a fatty substance that naturally occurs in human blood.
  4. Serious muscle effects have been reported with statins, including rhabdomyolysis – this is the destruction of muscle cells.
  5. Regardless of whether your doctor is on board with the newer guidelines, they should also consider other heart disease risk factors before making a recommendation.

Some statins may not be suitable for some people including those with a recent history of stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA). People with active liver disease or who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take statins. Although liver problems are rare, your health care team may order a liver enzyme test before or shortly after you begin to take a statin. You won’t need any further liver enzyme tests unless you begin to have symptoms of trouble with your liver. However, researchers have found a “nocebo” effect when it comes to people thinking they have muscle pain from statins.

It’s good, for instance, to have high levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol. HDL cholesterol prevents plaque buildup in the arteries by transporting the bad (LDL) cholesterol out of the blood to the liver. Some treatable conditions (like thyroid dysfunction and severe vitamin D deficiency) may contribute to statin intolerance. So may consuming large quantities of grapefruit (or juice) and taking certain medications. Addressing these factors may ease or prevent statin-related muscle effects. Also, some people have found that taking coenzyme Q10 supplements may help, although the ACC/AHA guidelines don’t recommend their use.

When that happens, your muscle cells release a protein called myoglobin into your bloodstream. A buildup of cholesterol can make your arteries narrow and even block them. If a cholesterol plaque ruptures, a blood clot forms there and this can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Cholesterol also provokes inflammation in the arteries, which can contribute to the formation of artery-blocking clots. Drugs.com provides accurate and independent information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

what is statin drugs

This was the first study to show that statins could offer a real benefit. At the end of that study the drug improved survival over placebo by the grand total of 27 days. They block an enzyme that helps your body make cholesterol. “That’s more important than anything, because if plaque bursts it can cause a heart attack or stroke,” she says.

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