What Medicines Help Lower Cholesterol?


Quick Answer

Statins, bile-acid resins, cholesterol-absorption inhibitors, niacin and fibric acid derivatives are the different types of medicines that fight high cholesterol. Doctors often recommend a combination of medication and lifestyle changes for patients with high cholesterol counts, according to WebMD.

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Full Answer

The statin family of medicines hinders cholesterol production in the liver. They reduce LDL, or bad cholesterol levels, and triglycerides while elevating HDL, or good cholesterol levels, and they are the first choice for most patients suffering from high cholesterol. Side effects include liver damage, muscle swelling and intestinal issues, and problems such as mental confusion, high blood glucose and Type 2 diabetes are possible as well, notes WebMD.

Niacin is one of the B-complex vitamins. It appears in food but is used at a higher prescription dosage to combat cholesterol. It lowers LDL cholesterol while raising HDL levels. The primary side effects include headache, tingling, itching and flushing, as stated by WebMD.

Bile-acid resins connect with bile that the liver produces, keeping it out of the circulatory system. The primary ingredient in bile is cholesterol, and taking bile out of the system removes cholesterol. Common side effects include upset stomach, gas and constipation. Fibric acid derivatives cut down on triglyceride production and boost HDL cholesterol levels, states WebMD.

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