High Blood Cholesterol
Frequently Asked Questions
22. What are the major types of cholesterol-lowering medicines?
If TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes) cannot lower your LDL cholesterol level enough by itself, your doctor may prescribe cholesterol-lowering medicines. The following medicines are used together with TLC to help lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol level.
- bile acid sequestrants
- nicotinic acid
- are very effective in lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol levels
- are safe for most people
- have side effects that are infrequent, but potentially serious such as liver and muscle problems.
- lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol
- may be used with statins or alone
- acts within the intestine to block absorption of cholesterol.
Bile acid sequestrants
- lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels
- are sometimes prescribed with statins
- are not usually prescribed alone to lower cholesterol.
- lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides, and raises HDL (good) cholesterol
- should be used only under a doctor's supervision.
- mainly lower triglycerides
- may increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels
- may increase the risk of muscle problems when used with a statin.