Statin drugs are prescribed to lower LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol can accumulate on artery walls, causing plaque and impeding blood flow. And there are no warning signs.
Your body needs some cholesterol, but too much can be involved in a variety of health consequences, like:
Upon initially discovery of high LDL, you may be advised to adjust your diet and exercise to reduce this cholesterol level. If that doesn’t work, you may need a statin drug.
- fluvastatin ~ Lescol
- simvastatin ~ Zocor
- atorvastatin ~ Lipitor
- lovastatin ~ Mevacor
- rosuvastatin ~ Crestor
- pravastatin ~ Pravacho
Taking a statin, as prescribed, helps you maintain the LDL cholesterol level that’s healthy for you.
Statins can cause side effects, such as:
- myositis ~ rare
- bowel irregularity
- mild abdominal discomfort
- muscle soreness, pain, weakness
- increased liver enzymes causing liver damage
Usually, minor side effects fade as your body adjusts to the statin. Very rarely, statin drugs can cause rhabdomyolysis side effect.
While you are taking statin drugs, you’ll need to keep your health care professional informed regarding any side effects and other drugs you take, i.e. antibiotics, warfarin, OTC drugs and herbal remedies.
Also, on statins you may be advised to:
- supplement coenzyme Q10
- refrain from grapefruit juice consumption
- limit amount of niacin ~ can causes myopathy
If you can’t tolerate statin side effects, other alternatives are available to help reduce your cholesterol to a healthy level. And regardless if you take statins, health improving lifestyle changes remain crucial in preventing heart disease.