These medications, packaged under the names Crestor, Mevacor, Pravachol, Zocor, Lipitor or Lescol, block the production of cholesterol within cells, causing the cells to increase specific receptors on their surface that will take up LDL cholesterol particles from the blood. This effect is especially prominent in the liver, which is the organ that largely controls cholesterol in the body. As the number of LDL receptors increases, the levels of total and LDL cholesterol in the blood will go down.

Effects on Blood Lipids.

    Effects On Blood Lipids
  • Total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol are reduced 15 to 40 percent
  • Triglyceride levels may decline 10 to 15 percent
  • HDL cholesterol levels increase 5 to 10 percent

Taken with other medication, such as cholestyramine resin, has led to reversal of coronary artery blockage in a substantial number of patients.

    Adverse Reactions
  • Temporary elevation of liver enzyme blood test has occurred in a small percentage of patients
  • Elevations of liver enzyme blood tests that are significant, doctor will discontinue treatment
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Muscle pains, unusual cramps or weakness
  • Skin rash

Drug Interaction
Consult with your CCT physician about taking HMG CoA Reductase Inhibitors if you are taking cyclosporin, gemfibrozil, niacin, erythromycin or any other prescription medication, particularly those prescribed for cholesterol/lipid lowering purposes.

Times and amounts vary by patient; consult your physician or pharmacist. Typically, the drug is taken in the evening with food for better absorption.

Source: Lipid Metabolism and Atherosclerosis Clinic Baylor College of Medicine/The Methodist Hospital 3/94

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