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High Cholesterol and FH

Medication For some people, making changes to diet and physical activity levels is enough to bring their cholesterol levels down to a healthy range. That’s not true for everyone, however. If lifestyle changes don’t lower your risks enough, your healthcare provider may prescribe medication to help bring your cholesterol number into a healthy range. Usually the first line of defense in prescribing medication to treat abnormal cholesterol levels is a statin. Statins are a type of medication that help your body process and remove cholesterol. They’re most effective in lowering LDL cholesterol. But as with any medication, statins can have side effects. The most common are constipation, stomach pain, cramps or gas. In some cases, people experience muscle pain, weakness or brown urine. There are other types of cholesterol medication, too. These include: • Bile acid sequestrants: These medications help lower LDL cholesterol by using excess cholesterol to create more bile acids, which in turn help rid the bloodstream of cholesterol. They’re often prescribed with statins. • Ezetimibe: This medication is a cholesterol absorption inhibitor. It lowers LDL cholesterol by blocking the intestine from absorbing cholesterol. It is often prescribed for patients who are unable to tolerate a statin. • PCSK9 inhibitors: This new class of medication includes alirocumab and evolocumab, and is given as a monthly injection. It is used in combination with statins and/or ezetimibe, or in patients unable to tolerate a statin, to further decrease levels of LDL cholesterol. PCSK9 inhibitors are also used to treat familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). 13


High Cholesterol and FH
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