Advertisement

What are statins?

Statins are medications that help lower cholesterol, specifically the type of cholesterol known as low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad," cholesterol. Statins block an enzyme in the liver that the body needs to produce cholesterol. Lowering LDL cholesterol is especially important because when cholesterol builds up in the blood vessels, it forms deposits, called plaques, that narrow the path through which blood flows. This is called atherosclerosis. If an artery is narrowed or blocked, the diminished blood flow starves the organs of oxygen, leading to coronary artery disease and heart attack, carotid artery disease and stroke, renal artery disease and kidney failure, and/or peripheral artery disease (PAD) and limb loss.

HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) are medications that inhibit the rate at which cholesterol is formed in the body. This class of drug also can help draw cholesterol to the liver for excretion. The most common side effects with these drugs are stomach upset, nausea/vomiting, headache, and dizziness. Liver function also should be periodically tested in people taking this medication.

Examples:

  • Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
  • Fluvastatin (Lescol)
  • Lovastatin (Mevacor)
  • Pravastatin (Pravachol)
  • Rosuvastatin (Crestor)
  • Simvastatin (Zocor)

Continue Learning about High Cholesterol

Are There Alternative Treatments for High Cholesterol?
Are There Alternative Treatments for High Cholesterol?
Why Are We Seeing More Chronic Illness at Younger Ages?
Why Are We Seeing More Chronic Illness at Younger Ages?
Best Food Combination to Lower Cholesterol
Best Food Combination to Lower Cholesterol
What Other Health Issues Are Associated with Erectile Dysfunction?
What Other Health Issues Are Associated with Erectile Dysfunction?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.