Common Heart Medications Called Statins

What are Statins?

If you or someone you know is dealing with a heart condition it is likely they are on or may be prescribed some form of a statin drug to manage their condition. Drugs in the category of stations are the most commonly prescribed drugs to reduce the risk of death or a heart attack due to proven coronary artery disease. They also have a second benefit of reducing cardiac events in patients who have high cholesterol levels who are at increased risk for heart disease.

A list of the more common statin drugs are as follows: Lipitor, Lescol, Mevacor, Pravachol, Zocor, and Crestor. You more than likely have seen TV advertisements for these drugs promoting their benefits in lowering cholesterol.

What do stations do in the body?

Statins improve blood cholesterol levels by inhibiting a liver enzyme called HMG Co-A reeducates, this in return lowers the livers ability to make cholesterol. Statin drugs also reduce significantly the LDL (bad cholesterol) , moderately reduce triglyceride levels, and promote a small increase in HDL (good cholesterol).

Other benefits of statin drugs

The use of statin drugs provide other benefits to the body for those with heart disease. Statin drugs are known for reducing the size of plaques that have build up in the artery, which inhibit smooth blood flow. Statin drugs are associated with stabilizing the plaques that have formed, which prevents them from rupturing and possibly causing an acute heart attack. Also linked to the reduction of inflammation, statins help to reduce in Flammarion or the arteries, reduce CRP (C-reactive) levels, and decrease the formation of blood clots. Statin drugs do a lot to overall improve the functioning of the vascular system.

What side effects are associated with statin drugs?

Hardly ever can one take medication that does not possibly have a side effect that they will need to manage. The most common side effects with statin drugs usually fall into the gastrointestinal category, such as upset stomach, gas, and nausea. Side effects that are less commonly found are rashes, dizziness, headaches, and problems sleeping. If an individual is prescribed a statin drug it is likely that their liver enzymes will be tested after a few weeks on the drug. Statin drugs are known to cause elevations in liver enzymes for about 1 in every 100 patients, but have not been linked to any serious or permanent liver damage. In about 1 out of every 1,000 patients is muscle weakness reported as a side effect. This is normally corrected by reduction in the dosage amount of discontinuation of statin use.

The bottom line

Even though the jury is still out on how important it really is to lower cholesterol levels, since statin drugs seem to assist well with that issue and issues of heart disease, many physicians see them as beneficial choices for certain patients.

Treating Elevated Cholesterol and Heart Disease: The Statins. Consumer Reports Health Best Buy Drugs.