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What are they?
   They are lipid lowering drugs. They include Mevacor (lovastatin), Lescol (fluvastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin), Zocor (simvastatin), Baycol (cerivastatin), and Lipitor (atorvastatin) and rosuvastatin.


What do they do?
      The major effect of the statins is to lower LDL-cholesterol levels. They lower LDL-cholesterol more than other types of drugs. They work by slowing down the production of cholesterol and by increasing the liver’s ability to remove the LDL-cholesterol already in the blood. Because of their track records, statins have become the drugs most often prescribed when a person needs a cholesterol-lowering medication.

How are they taken?
      The statins are usually given in a single dose at the evening meal or at bedtime. It is important that these medications be given in the evening to take advantage of the fact that the body makes more cholesterol at night than during the day.

How soon do they work?
      You should begin to see results from the statins after several weeks, with a maximum effect in 4 to 6 weeks. After about 6 to 8 weeks, your doctor can do the first check of your LDL-cholesterol while on the medication. A second measurement of your LDL-cholesterol level will have to be averaged with the first for your doctor to decide whether your dose of medication should be changed to help you meet your goal.


What about drug interactions?
      The potential for drug interaction is of crucial concern. Some statin drugs are known to interact adversely with other drugs and that information may guide a decision about which statin to use. In June of 1998, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) withdrew the drug Posicor (mibefradil), used to treat high blood pressure and angina because it caused adverse reactions in patients taking various other drugs including Mevaco and Zocor.

Be sure to tell your doctor about all prescription and over-the-counter medication your are taking.

What about side effects?
      The statins are well tolerated by most patients, and serious side effects are uncommon. A few patients will experience an upset stomach, gas, constipation and abdominal pain or cramps. These symptoms usually are mild to moderate in severity and generally go away as your body adjusts. Rarely, a patient will develop abnormalities in blood tests of the liver. Also rare is the side effect of muscle problems. The symptoms are muscle soreness, pain and weakness. If this happens, or you have brown urine, contact your doctor right away to get blood tests for possible muscle problems.

Comment from DR.PRAVEEN RAMACHANDRA: statins are the most commonly prescribed lipid/bad fat  lowering drugs by endocrinologists and other physicians, one should always watch out for side effects and drug interactions which is often forgotten.


IDLI versus VADA

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