Your Guide To Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs
Treatment to lower high cholesterol can be done with different types of medications that must be prescribed by a doctor. The first-line drugs used are usually statins. However, in some special cases, such as when an individual cannot tolerate these medications, the doctor may consider the use of bile acids or nicotinic acids.
How Is Risk Determined?
The 10-year cardiovascular risk (coronary events and stroke) is determined by the calculators on the CCA and AHA websites. Regardless of the type of cholesterol-lowering therapy prescribed, lifestyle modifications are recommended for all patients.
In some cases, physicians may consider combining two types of medications for better results, such as when LDL levels are very high or when there is a high cardiovascular risk. Some cholesterol-lowering medications are used to lower cholesterol.
About one-third of adults are at risk for a heart attack or stroke that has not been diagnosed but can be saved by primary prevention, which includes taking statins.
Physicians should use only known risk factors (such as cholesterol levels, aging, blood pressure, diabetes, and smoking) to assess cardiovascular risk.” These are the strongest indicators of 10-year heart disease risk,” the Northwestern University professor of preventive medicine and committee co-chair said in a news release.
Lloyd-Jones said patients at risk for a cardiovascular event or heart attack in the next decade should begin medication immediately and make changes to their current lifestyles. On the other hand, those at risk for stroke or heart attack should be advised to change their visa style, but they may not need to take medication, she added.
Natural Remedies To Lower Cholesterol
Natural remedies can be used to control blood cholesterol levels, but they should be used under a doctor’s supervision and according to the directions on the label of each medication.
Some foods, herbs or natural supplements that can be used to lower cholesterol are .
- Soluble fiber: This type of fiber is found in foods such as oats, pectin in various fruits or flaxseed and helps reduce cholesterol absorption and intestinal reabsorption of bile salts.
- Green tea: It helps to lower LDL cholesterol because it reduces the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine and the production of cholesterol by the liver.
- Red rice yeast: It is a supplement obtained by fermenting steamed rice with a type of fungus. This yeast contains a substance called Monacolin K, which has a similar mechanism of action to statins and therefore inhibits the production of cholesterol in the liver. This type of supplement should be taken with the advice of a doctor or nutritionist.
- Phytosterols: These compounds are found in foods such as fruits, vegetables and vegetable oils, or in natural supplements that can be purchased in pharmacies or online stores. Phytosterols also inhibit the production of cholesterol in the liver.
- Soy lecithin: stimulates metabolism and promotes the transport of fats in the body, helping to lower cholesterol. Soy lecithin is also available in dietary supplements.
- Omega 3, 6 and 9: help lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol. o Omegas can be found in various brands of supplements or foods such as fatty fish, olive oil, avocados, nuts and flaxseed, for example.
- Chitosan or chitosan: is a natural animal fiber that helps reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the intestinal tract.
- Glucomannan: is a soluble plant fiber that can be purchased in pharmacies or online stores as a dietary supplement to help lower cholesterol.
In addition to medications or supplements to lower cholesterol, it is important to eat a healthy diet, increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables and drastically reducing your intake of fatty and fried foods.
What Do The New Cholesterol Treatment Guidelines Say?
The two largest cardiovascular health organizations in the United States (AHA / ACC) have released new guidelines for cardiovascular risk management that have changed significantly from the previous guidelines.
The main change is that patients treated with statins no longer need to have their plasma cholesterol levels reduced to a certain target or target number by subsequent blood tests and controlled over time. They simply need to receive the appropriate dose of the indicated medication based on their clinical condition.
This new approach divides patients into two high-risk groups.
- Patients at high CV risk due to a history of diabetes or prior cardiac events who should always receive a statin unless there is a formal contraindication.
- Patients with CLDL values greater than 190 mg/dl (who should also receive statins).
Previously, in these groups, the goal was to achieve 70 mg/dl, which will no longer be needed.
The experts who wrote the guidelines say they are based on the best available scientific evidence. Large randomized clinical trials have shown that statins can reduce cardiovascular risk, although there is no evidence that certain “target” cholesterol numbers imply differences in endpoints, according to the editorial board.