While cholesterol may be a vital component for the body, an excess quantity of this fatty substance could lead to medical complications. Diseases as well as drugs can contribute to high cholesterol content in the body. However, one’s lifestyle and genetic history also have a big say in the person’s cholesterol. Factors attributed to the former aspect include excessive smoking, alcohol consumption, high-fat diet, sedentary lifestyle and other inherent factors.
Types Of Cholesterol Arresting Medication
In the event that a person is not able to lower his or her cholesterol level by following natural cessation methods, a doctor may have to prescribe specific medication to catalyze and therefore expedite the cholesterol lowering process. Typically, one of the following types of medications may be advised by a health expert:
Statins basically inhibit the activity of the enzyme known as HMG-CoA reductase in the body. This enzyme mainly controls the rate at which cholesterol is produced in the human body. To put it more descriptively, Statins work in a two pronged manner. While working to reduce the cholesterol production in the body, they also increase the ability of the liver to process and remove cholesterol from the bloodstream. Statins are also known to increase the HDL (good cholesterol) level in the body.
Mostly, results of lowered cholesterol levels are seen after taking statins for 4-6 weeks. These drugs could decrease the overall cholesterol level in the body by 20% – 60%. There are however an approved list of statins that may be administered to a patient suffering from high cholesterol content. They are as follows:
- Rosuvastatin and
Cholesterol Absorption InhibitorsWhile statins may prove efficient in arresting cholesterol intensity within the body, they cannot be administered to everyone. As such, cholesterol absorption inhibitors offer a healthy substitute to statins in such cases. These types of drugs work by decreasing cholesterol absorption within the body in a selective manner. They are also known to be modestly effective in dealing with triglycerides. When used as the primary medication against cholesterol, these drugs help reduce the overall HDL level by 18% – 20%.
A prime example of cholesterol absorption inhibitor is Ezetimibe, which is sold under the name ‘Zetia’ in the U.S.
Bile Acid Sequestrants
Sometimes prescribed as a supplementary drug to statins, bile acid sequestrants magnify the cholesterol arresting effect, and the combination may reducing the level to 40% in many cases. However, these drugs may also be taken individually. They combine with bile acid produced in the body to remove the extra cholesterol content from the body. This combination takes place in the small intestine and most of the captured LDL content is flushed out of the system in the form of stool. The individual efficacy of the drug varies from 10% to 20%.
Most common examples of bile acid sequestrants include:
Nicotinic Acid Agents
Otherwise known as Niacin, Nicotinic Acid is a type of water soluble B vitamin. When given in as more concentrated dosage, it meliorates the blood levels concerning all lipoproteins. As such, nicotinic acid is not only effective in lessening LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body, it also improves the HDL content in the blood.
Niacor, Niacin and Slo-Niacin are the common examples of nicotinic acid agents. In terms of efficiency, these drugs decrease the LDL levels by 15% and triglyceride content by 20% – 50%. At the same time, they can spike up the good cholesterol content by 15% – 35%.
As a cholesterol reducing medication, Fibrates work best to reduce triglyceride content from the bloodstream, while helping to boost the level of HDL marginally. Genfibrozil and Fenofibrate are the two common fibrates used nowadays. However, these drugs are not recommended for people who suffer from liver disease or sever renal complications.
Despite the efficacy of the above mentioned medications, they should not be taken without consulting a doctor. Doing otherwise could prove fatal. Also, once a patient starts the dosage, he or she will have to follow the dietary schedule as charted by the doctor.