Have you had your cholesterol checked lately? All you need is a blood test to check your levels if you want to find out what your cholesterol numbers are.
It’s important to know your cholesterol levels so your doctor can determine if you’re at risk for heart disease. In fact, heart disease is the world’s leading cause of death and high cholesterol is a major risk factor, according to the American Heart Association.
When your doctor treats your high cholesterol with statin drugs, it not only lowers your triglycerides, it reduces your risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Read more to learn about the best statin drugs for lowering your bad cholesterol and decreasing heart risks.
How Do Statins Work?
According to NewsRx, about one-half of Americans receive statins for lowering their cholesterol and reducing cardiovascular disease.
Statins are drugs that block a liver enzyme your body needs to make cholesterol. Although your body needs some cholesterol to stay healthy, high levels of “bad cholesterol” (LDL) and low levels of “good cholesterol” (HDL) have health risks.
Statins are used to treat hyperlipidemia, commonly known as high cholesterol. They help decrease or prevent coronary artery disease.
If your cholesterol levels aren’t optimum, you’re at risk for heart attack, stroke and peripheral artery disease in your legs.
Statins also reduce your triglyceride levels, raise your HDL and decrease inflammation in your arteries. Talk to your doctor about the new cholesterol-lowering drugs available.
How Does a Blood Test Measure Cholesterol Levels?
The blood test for checking your cholesterol levels is called a lipid panel. It measures your Total Cholesterol (TC) and HDL, which stands for high-density lipoprotein. Your HDL helps carry cholesterol away from your blood vessels.
The lipid panel also measures LDL, which is the low-density lipoprotein. This is the cholesterol that can build up in your blood vessels causing heart disease.
7 of the Best Statin Drugs Available
The following best statin drugs available for prescription in the U.S. and Canada are widely prescribed if you need to lower your cholesterol.
- Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
- Fluvastatin (Lescol, Lescol XL)
- Lovastatin (Altoprev)
- Pitavastatin (Livalo)
- Pravastatin (Pravachol)
- Simvastatin (Zocor)
- Rosuvastatin (Crestor)
Also, there are combination prescriptions that contain statins and other lipid-lowering drugs. These include:
- Atorvastatin and Ezetimibe (Liptruzet)
- Lovastatin and Niacin (Advicor)
- Simvastatin and Ezetimibe (Vytorin)
- Simvastatin and Niacin-ER (Simcor)
Depending on your age, blood pressure, gender, HDL levels, and other health risks, your doctor can evaluate which statin is the best choice for you. You can find all of these statins by ordering from an online pharmacy or at your local pharmacy.
Other Cholesterol-Lowering Medications
Statins are the most common medications for hyperlipidemia, but other classes of drugs are also available with a prescription.
PCSK9 inhibitors lower LDL levels as much as 60 percent when used with statins or lipid-lowering diets. You take this medication by injection. Two of these medications are alirocumab and evolocumab.
The inhibitors bind to the PCSK9 enzyme in your liver and deactivate it. By doing this, your receptors can break down LDL and remove it from your blood.
Selective Cholesterol Absorption Inhibitors
This is a new class of meds to lower LDL cholesterol. This medication can also help with inherited lipid problems. They work by stopping your intestines from absorbing cholesterol. The first drug in this class, ezetimibe (Zetia) was introduced in 2002.
These LDL-lowering resin medications help your intestines get rid of cholesterol. Your body makes bile by using cholesterol. These medications bind to the bile and stop your digestive tract from using it.
Your liver then makes more bile. As your liver makes bile, it also uses more cholesterol so less gets into your blood.
Resins include cholestyramine (Questran, Prevalite, Locolest), colestipol (Colestid) and colesevelam Hcl (WelChol).
Fibrates lower triglycerides in your blood. These drugs include gemfibrozil (Lopid), fenofibrate (Antara, Lofibra, Tricor, Triglide) and clofibrate (Atromid-S).
Lifestyle Changes for Controlling High Cholesterol
Hyperlipidemia means you have high cholesterol and high triglycerides, which are fats in your blood. Your arteries are supposed to be smooth and open. Hyperlipidemia causes them to become blocked with plaque, which forms on your arteries’ walls.
If left untreated, your arteries become narrow and stiff. This decreases the blood that can flow through your arteries.
By following a hyperlipidemia diet, taking a lipid-lowering statin and making a few lifestyle changes, you can slow down the hardening of your arteries.
Changing your diet and exercising can help keep your cholesterol under control.
Here are a few changes you can make to your diet for lowering cholesterol and triglycerides:
- Keep saturated fats from 5 to 7 percent of your daily calories
- Include healthy fats in your meals, such as olive oil, avocado, peanut butter, tofu, nuts and seeds
- Increase your omega-3 fatty acids from oily fish, such as salmon and mackerel
- Limit foods high in cholesterol, such as egg yolks, shellfish, organs and processes meats
- Eat 20 to 30 grams of fiber from whole grains, beans, and fruits
- Increase plant sterols, such as those in nuts, corn, and rice to 2 to 3 grams per day
Other cholesterol-controlling foods are fish, vegetables, legumes, low-fat dairy, soybeans, and soluble fiber.
The other lifestyle change is to add exercise to your day. A brisk half-hour walk can help lower your LDL and triglycerides and increase your HDL. It also helps you lose weight and reduce stress.
Do Statins Have Side Effects?
Although statins have many health benefits, they also have side effects for some people. About 10 to 20% of people taking statins report having various reactions.
These cholesterol med side effects include muscle pain, nausea, digestive issues, and insomnia. There’s also the risk of increased blood sugar, which can cause diabetes. In some rare cases, liver problems can also occur.
If you take statins, keep track of any side effects you might experience. Talk to your doctor about them and the other statin options available.
Statins Let You Take Control
Statins are effective medications for regulating your cholesterol and preventing heart attacks and strokes. Consult with your doctor to see if you’re a candidate for statin treatment.
You can order the best statin drugs at affordable online pharmacies like ours for convenience.
Feel free to contact us for all your prescription needs! We make it easy and economical to order your medications and offer free shipping.