High Blood Cholesterol


There are two main ways to lower your cholesterol -- through Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) and with medicines. This section discusses medicines.

If TLC Isn’t Enough

The second way to lower your cholesterol is with drug treatment. If TLC (Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes) cannot lower your LDL cholesterol level enough by itself, you may need to add cholesterol-lowering drugs. These medicines are used together with TLC to help lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol level.

Even if you begin drug treatment, you will need to continue the TLC lifestyle changes. TLC can not only lower your cholesterol, it can also do other things that reduce your risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). And, it can let you use a lower dose of your cholesterol-lowering medicine.

Take Your Other Medications Too

While under treatment, you should continue to take any other medicines that your doctor has prescribed for other health problems -- for example, high blood pressure or diabetes. It is important that you take ALL medicines as your doctor prescribes. The combination of medicines may lower your risk for heart disease or heart attack.

Drug treatment does not "cure" high blood cholesterol. It simply controls it. You must continue taking your medicine to keep your cholesterol level in the recommended range.

Five Cholesterol-lowering Medicines

The five major types of cholesterol-lowering medicines are



Bile acid sequestrants

Nicotinic acid