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There are some drugs that can be prescribed by the doctor to lower high cholesterol, such as statins or fibrates. These remedies help to reduce the levels of total cholesterol, bad cholesterol (LDL), VLDL and triglycerides, decreasing the risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart attack or stroke.
Cholesterol medicines can be used alone, or in combination to improve their effect, but they should only be used with medical advice, as they have contraindications and several side effects, and should not be used by pregnant women or people with severe liver or kidney disease, for example.
In addition, as a complement to drugs to lower high cholesterol, a he althy lifestyle should be adopted, which includes a he althy diet, regular physical exercise, weight loss and the reduction of cigarette use or drinking alcohol.See how eating should be to lower high cholesterol.
Some of the most recommended remedies by the doctor to lower high cholesterol are:
Statins are drugs that act by inhibiting the production of cholesterol by the liver, and in this way, they help to lower total cholesterol, bad cholesterol (LDL), as well as helping to reduce the levels of triglycerides in the blood and increase good cholesterol (HDL).
Some examples of statins are simvastatin, atorvastatin, rosuvastatin, pravastatin or fluvastatin, which can be purchased at pharmacies or drugstores, upon presentation of a prescription.
How to take it: statin doses vary according to the medication prescribed by the doctor and are usually indicated to be taken once a day, and simvastatin should be taken in the evening after a meal and pravastatin can be taken with or without food in the evening.Atorvastatin, rosuvastatin and fluvastatin can be taken at any time of the day, with or without food.
Side Effects: Statins can cause side effects such as constipation, diarrhea, intestinal gas, abdominal pain, burning sensation in the stomach, headache, nausea, insomnia, muscle pain, loss or decrease in physical strength.
2. Bile acid sequestrants
Bile acid sequestrants, such as cholestyramine or colesevelam, are drugs that act on the intestine, binding to bile acids and preventing dietary fats from being absorbed by the intestine, which leads to greater elimination of fats in the feces, helping to lower high cholesterol.
These drugs must be used with medical indication, and can be used alone or in association with other drugs to lower cholesterol, such as statins or ezetimibe, for example.
How to take: the doses of these drugs should be prescribed by the doctor, as they vary when they are administered alone or with other drugs to lower high cholesterol. In general, cholestyramine should be taken morning and evening, with a meal, or as directed by a physician, as it may interfere with the absorption of other medications. Colesevelam, on the other hand, should be taken with food 1 to 2 times a day, as directed by the doctor.
Side Effects: Bile acid sequestrants can cause side effects such as diarrhea, dizziness, headache, nausea, hardened stools, or blistering of the skin. In addition, these drugs can cause a deficiency of vitamins A, D, E and K, by decreasing their absorption by the intestine.
Ezetimibe is a medicine that helps to lower the levels of total cholesterol, bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides, in addition to increasing good cholesterol (HDL), as it works by decreasing the absorption of fats by the hair.
This remedy may be prescribed by your doctor to be used alone when other remedies have not been effective in lowering high cholesterol. In addition, the physician may also recommend the use of ezetimibe to be taken together with fenofibrate or used in combination with simvastatin, when statin treatment has not been sufficient to lower cholesterol.
How to take: The normally recommended dose of ezetimibe for adults or children over 6 years is 1 tablet of 10 mg daily, before or after a meal, or according to medical advice.
Side effects: during treatment with ezetimibe the most common side effects that may arise are diarrhea, abdominal pain, excess intestinal gas, feeling tired, muscle pain, back, neck, or joints, feeling hot or hot, or high blood pressure.
Fibrates are drugs that act by increasing fat metabolism, which helps to lower high cholesterol, LDL and VLDL, and triglycerides, in addition to increasing good cholesterol (HDL).
Some examples of fibrates that may be indicated by the doctor are fenofibrate, gemfibrozil, bezafibrate, ciprofibrate and clofibrate, which can be found in pharmacies or drugstores, and should be used with medical advice.
How to take it: Fibrates should be taken in the doses recommended by the doctor, as they may vary according to the type of medicine indicated. Bezafibrate and clofibrate should be taken, with or after a meal. Fenofibrate should be taken with food and gemfibrozil should be taken 30 minutes before a meal.
Side Effects:Fibrates can cause side effects such as muscle pain, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, excessive tiredness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or heartburn. Also, although rare, fibrates can also increase the risk of gallstones.
5. Nicotinic acid
Nicotinic acid or niacin is a B-complex vitamin, vitamin B3, which acts by inhibiting the production of triglycerides in the liver and reducing total cholesterol and bad cholesterol (LDL) levels, in addition to increasing good cholesterol (HDL).
This drug can be found under the trade name Metri and should be used with medical advice.
How to take it: Nicotinic acid should preferably be taken at night, after a light, non-greasy and non-spicy diet. The doses of nicotinic acid and the duration of treatment must be individually guided by the doctor.
Side Effects: Nicotinic acid can cause side effects such as redness of the skin, feeling hot, itching, dizziness, increased heart rate, palpitations, swelling, bleeding or bruising.
Natural Remedies to Lower Cholesterol
Natural remedies, such as green tea or artichoke tea, have substances with antioxidant properties that can help lower bad cholesterol levels, and blood triglycerides, and can be used to complement lifestyle changes of life and the treatment indicated by the doctor.See other options and how to prepare natural remedies to lower bad cholesterol.
It is important to emphasize that the use of these, or any other natural remedy, should not replace the remedies/treatments indicated by the doctor.
In addition to natural remedies to lower high cholesterol, it is also important to have a balanced diet low in fatty foods and fried foods.