Statins and other cholesterol-lowering drugs


Statins and other cholesterol-lowering drugs

The results of a biochemical analysis, showing the level of cholesterol in the blood, allow the specialist to prescribe the appropriate medications. Statins are often recommended to prevent heart problems in this case.

Usually, the attending physician, prescribing such funds, immediately warns the patient that they should be taken without long breaks. In addition, like other drugs, statins have various side effects on the body. The patient should clarify this point at the appointment with his doctor. After all, the main task with high cholesterol is to reduce its level. The result is achieved with the help of drug therapy. However, should medications be started in all cases? Will the desired effect be obtained with their help?

Means belonging to the group of fibrates or statins lower cholesterol. You can enhance their effect by simultaneously taking lipoic acid and Omega-3 fatty acids. This article is devoted to pharmacological drugs that reduce cholesterol, the features of their use and side effects.

Lowering Cholesterol with Statins

The pharmacological group of statins includes drugs whose main goal is to reduce the release of specific enzymes involved in the synthesis of cholesterol.

In the description of these drugs and tablets, the following properties are given:

  • They act as an inhibitor against HMG-CoA reductase, thus lowering cholesterol, reducing its production;

  • They work even in the presence of concomitant chronic drugs. For example, homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia will not affect the effectiveness of statins;

  • Have a positive effect on the heart muscle, reducing the likelihood of a heart attack and angina pectoris;

  • After taking the drugs, HDL-cholesterol and apolipoproteinA increase in the blood;

  • Unlike many other drugs, statins are not mutagenic or carcinogenic.

Not always drugs are useful for the body. Statins can cause the following side effects:

  • Insomnia, headache, nausea, diarrhea, myalgia;

  • Amnesia, malaise, hypesthesia, neuropathy, paresthesia;

  • Discomfort in the muscles of the back, legs, myopathy, convulsions;

  • Vomiting, anorexia, cholestatic jaundice;

  • An allergic reaction, manifested by skin rash and itching, urticaria, anaphylaxis, exudative erythema;

  • A drop in blood sugar, which contributes to the development of diabetes and hypoglycemia;

  • Overweight gain;

  • development of impotence.

When are statins vital?

Statins and other cholesterol-lowering drugs

Descriptions of most statins contain information that indicates the beneficial properties of drugs. Reducing the risk of heart disease, normalizing cholesterol levels, preventing heart attacks – all these effects are provided by the means of this pharmacological group, according to advertising companies. However, is this really the case? After all, the cost of such drugs is high, so is information about the benefits of statins an attempt to attract consumers? Are they really good for health?

Despite the results of studies proving the absence of harmful effects of drugs on the human body, few experts can confidently recommend statins for admission. This is especially true for older patients. On the one hand, experiments have proven that drug therapy with statins helps in lowering cholesterol. They also protect against a number of serious diseases. But many experts are of a different opinion, believing that the positive effect of statins is associated with a high risk. The likelihood of side effects is too high, which is very dangerous for elderly patients.

At the same time, drugs of this group are mandatory prescribed in the following cases:

  • When is secondary prevention administered in patients with a heart attack or stroke;

  • With ischemic disease with the threat of developing various complications;

  • With coronary syndrome or heart attack;

  • Coronary artery bypass surgery also involves taking statins.

The use of statins in the presence of diabetes mellitus, as well as women who have not reached menopausal age, is not recommended. There is no need to take drugs if it is possible to find alternative drugs to avoid side effects.

Russian pharmacies offer to use the following statins with different activity:

  1. Rosuvastatin: Acorta, Crestor, Mertenil, Rosuvastatin, Rosucard, Rosulip, Roxera, Tevastor

  2. Lovastatin: Cardiostatin, Choletar, Cardiostatin

  3. Atorvastatin: Atomax, Atorvastatin Canon, Atoris, Liprimar, Torvacard, Tulip, Liptonorm

  4. Fluvastatin: Leskol Forte

  5. Simvastatin: Vasilip, Zokor, Ovencor, Simvagexal, Simvakard, Simvastatin, Simvastol, Simvor, Simgal, Simlo, Sinkard

Drugs are available in various forms, their cost also varies.

How to choose statins?

The patient must decide for himself whether to take statins. In this case, you should first consult with a qualified specialist who, if necessary, will prescribe a specific drug. It is not recommended to take any action without the help of a doctor. If a biochemical blood test shows the presence of any abnormalities, you need to visit a therapist and an endocrinologist. Indeed, when choosing statins, the doctor focuses on the gender, age and even weight of the patient, takes into account whether he has bad habits and chronic diseases.

During treatment, it is necessary to adhere to the dosage established by the specialist, regularly taking tests. If an imported drug recommended by a doctor is not available due to the high cost, which is typical for most statins, you can always find an affordable domestic analogue. Although this may affect the effectiveness of the tool.

It is important to keep in mind that it is safe to take low doses of rosuvastatin in chronic liver pathologies, which can be replaced by pravastatin. You can not combine drugs with alcohol or antibiotics. A significant advantage of pravastatin is also its low toxicity, which is why it is indicated for patients with muscle pain. The possibility of combining statins and nicotinic acid also remains a controversial issue. There is an opinion that this can cause an exacerbation of chronic diseases.

Why are statins dangerous?

Statins and other cholesterol-lowering drugs

In Russia, drugs were actively prescribed after American doctors. Ischemic disease, arterial hypertension – all these diseases were treated with statins. In this case, large dosages were used. However, in the United States, a study was soon conducted that proved the connection between the development of many diseases and the use of statins. In 2013, the British Medical Journal published information about their adverse effects on the health of patients. But there were no independent studies in Russia, and specialists continue to actively use the drugs of this group.

In Canada, it was found that elderly patients taking them often experienced a rapid deterioration in vision and the development of cataracts. The risk increases significantly in the presence of diabetes.

Some facts cast doubt on the benefits of statins:

  • Drugs can affect cholesterol so that it is below normal, which is more dangerous than its excess. It can cause malignant tumors, liver disease, anemia, stroke, suicide and depression.

  • Statins interfere with the restorative function of cholesterol. Thanks to cholesterol, damage is eliminated in the body. This is due to the fact that it is one of the most important components in the composition of scar tissue. Also, bad cholesterol is important for the development of muscle mass and the whole body. Its deficiency causes muscle pain and dystrophy.

  • Magnesium deficiency, not excess cholesterol, leads to stroke and heart attack. This hypothesis casts doubt on the need for the use of statins.

  • Along with a decrease in cholesterol levels, the synthesis of many other important substances in the body is also reduced. This applies to such a compound as melovanate. It is involved in many biological operations, including the formation of cholesterol.

  • The action of statins provokes diabetes mellitus, which in turn negatively affects the production of cholesterol and contributes to the occurrence of other diseases. This reason, according to researchers in Germany, causes angina pectoris and arrhythmia, stroke. This happens due to a decrease in the concentration of a protein responsible for blood sugar levels. According to research results, women in menopausal age are at risk.

  • There are problems in the brain due to taking drugs. First of all, statins affect cholesterol metabolism, which affects the functioning of the liver. At the same time, the drugs have a positive effect on blood vessels. However, any influence of chemicals is detrimental to the body. As a result, irreversible changes occur in physiological processes, including mental activity may be disturbed.

  • The side effects of statins are often discovered too late.

Some scientists, considering high cholesterol as confirmation of the presence of serious diseases, highlight stress and other inflammations as the causes of cardiac pathologies. A number of countries have long been promoting a healthy lifestyle in order to prevent problems in the work of the heart. Thanks to this, the number of patients with such pathologies has decreased, which proved that cholesterol can be normalized by giving up bad habits and opting for sports and proper nutrition. So, a healthy lifestyle allows you to avoid taking various medications that have a large number of side effects, and avoid the development of dangerous pathologies.

Another negative factor from taking statins

According to one study of 3070 people aged 60 years and over, statin use causes muscle pain in 30% of people, which limits their physical activity. As a result of increased pain in the muscles, patients refuse to play sports, walk less. All these factors lead to weight gain and increase the risk of heart disease.

Fibrates Help Lower Cholesterol

Statins and other cholesterol-lowering drugs

Fibric acid derivatives known as fibrates are often used as an alternative to statins. They act directly on the liver, reducing its excretion of cholesterol. Fibrates also affect the amount of lipids, reduce the formation of extravascular deposits. After taking these drugs, the level of both good and bad cholesterol is normalized.

Along with the positive effects, fibrates also have a negative effect, manifested in the form of:

  • Hepatitis, pancreatitis, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, pain in the digestive system;

  • Venous thromboembolism, pulmonary embolism;

  • Muscle weakness and spasms, diffuse myalgia;

  • headaches, sexual dysfunction;

  • Light sensitivity and allergic reactions.

Often, complex treatment is used, involving a combination of fibrates and statins. Thus, it is possible to reduce the dosage of the latter.

Fibrates are represented by three generations:

  1. Clofibrate – obsolete fibrate of the 1st generation, now no longer used, since it has been proven that it contributes to the appearance of oncology;

  2. Gemfibrozil, bezafibrate – the structure is very similar to clorifibrate, but has less toxicity. It is also considered obsolete, now rarely used;

  3. Fenofibrate, Ciprofibrate – belongs to the 3rd generation of fibrates, is now the most popular. In addition to lowering cholesterol, it reduces the level of uric acid, and also reduces the likelihood of complications of diabetes. Sold under the trade names Traykor (France), Lipantil 200 M (France), Fenofibrate Canon (Russia), Exlip (Turkey).

Decreased intestinal absorption of cholesterol

Most of the daily requirement for cholesterol is met by the body, the rest is replenished through food.

Normalization of cholesterol levels with natural preparations

Many doctors recommend instead of statins and fibrates to lower cholesterol levels with the following means:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids. They are found in large quantities in fish oil and flaxseed oil, and serve as a prophylactic against stroke, nervous disorders, and arthritis. At the same time, the dosage of fish oil should not be violated, since its excess can cause pancreatitis.

  • Pumpkin. This natural remedy is pumpkin seed oil. Used to prevent atherosclerosis of cerebral vessels, hepatitis, cholecystitis, has anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective, choleretic and antioxidant effects.

  • Lipoic acid. It prevents coronary atherosclerosis, an effect on the level of glycogen in the liver. With the help of lipoic acid, neuronal trophism can be improved.

  • Vitamin therapy. The best source of substances necessary for the body will be natural products rich in nicotinic and folic acid, vitamins B3, B6, B12.

  • dietary supplements Of these, it is worth using SitoPren – fir foot extract. It contains beta-sitosterol, the composition also contains polyprenols, useful in atherosclerosis, diabetes.

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