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Compare Cholesterol Drugs - Finding Answers For Treating Out of Control Cholesterol

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Compare Cholesterol Drugs - Finding Answers For Treating Out of Control Cholesterol

The world of medicine is a complicated mix of personalities, treatment styles, and different
educational backgrounds, filled with many very bright doctors trying to do their best. But
sometimes it is difficult for even to most studious medical professional to keep up with the every
changing merry go round of drugs therapies. This has never been more obvious than when
looking to compare cholesterol drugs.

There are four basic categories of drugs used in the treatment of cholesterol listed by the AMA:
bile acid sequestrants, niacin, fibric acid derivatives, and statins.

Bile acid sequestrants: Bile acid sequestrants work by preventing bile acids from recycling
repeatedly through the liver and the intestines, by binding to acids and causing their elimination in
the stool. Fewer bile acids in circulation forces the liver to convert cholesterol to bile acids. The
end result, lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.

Niacin (Nicotinic Acid): You are saying, wait a minute, didn't I just see niacin listed on my
multivitamin and hear some ad recommending niacin for good health. Well the answer is yes, but
what you may not have heard is that niacin (vitamin B3, nicotinic acid) has been used in
prescription form for lowering cholesterol since the 1950's. When taken in large doses niacin is an
effective low cost drug that lowers LDL while raising HDL (good cholesterol). When used in
combination with other cholesterol busting drugs niacin has been shown to lower cholesterol levels
by as much as 60 percent. So why isn't everyone one taking it? Great question, with a bunch of
fuzzy answers, but the most obvious reason is that when taken in large doses niacin can damage
the liver. It also can cause stomach upset as well.

Fibric acid derivatives: When a person consumes more calories than needed the liver converts
them into triglycerides, which are stored as fat in body tissue. When excess saturated fats are
taken in, the liver produces cholesterol that circulates in the blood. Fibric acid derivatives are
mainly used for the treatment of out of control triglycerides, and work by reducing the production of
triglycerides by the liver. In a nutshell, they reduce triglycerides, raise HDL, but do NOT lower LDL
levels as effectively as other medications.

Statins: To compare cholesterol drugs without mentioning statins would be like going on vacation
in your back yard. Pretty silly, right! Statins are the primary treatment method used for managing
cholesterol and consist of brand names you may recognize such as Crestor, Lipitor, Lescol, Zocor
and so on. Statins work by blocking an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase that is needed by the
body to create cholesterol. These medications lower levels of total cholesterol and LDL. They also
lower triglyceride levels. There is some discussion that statins come with some risk of working too
well, thus depriving the body of cholesterol needed for normal and necessary body function. This
is complicated and individualistic finding best discussed with your doctor.

In our quest to compare cholesterol drugs we have briefly touched on the four drugs most often
used to manage cholesterol levels. As you can see each comes with both advantages and risks,
thus making it essential to work closely with your doctor to tweak dosages and guard against
unwanted side effects.

The side effects risks of prescription cholesterol medications has encouraged many natural
minded individuals to consider alternative natural remedies for cholesterol along with diet
modification techniques. This one two punch is generally considered to be a safe and effective
approach, especially for those who are in the low to risk category for heart attack or stroke.
Nevertheless, it is always a good idea to discuss any treatment plan with your doctor.




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