6 FDA-approved medications for high cholesterol
High cholesterol leads to fatty deposits in the blood vessels. Over time, these deposits grow, causing difficulties for the blood to flow through the arteries. In some cases, the deposits may break off and form clots. These can cause a stroke or heart attack. There can be multiple causes of high cholesterol; the causes can be genetic or a result of unhealthy lifestyle habits. This makes high cholesterol a preventable and treatable health disorder.
High cholesterol can be easily managed by following a balanced and healthy diet along with regular exercise. In case the cholesterol levels are extremely high, medications may be required to control and manage the condition. There are a few medications for high cholesterol that are approved by the FDA. All these medications must be taken only when prescribed by a doctor.
A cholesterol-lowering medication, Kynamro works by lowering bad cholesterol in the blood, such as non-high-density lipoprotein (non-HDL), apolipoprotein-B (apo-B), and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). It is effective when used along with a low-fat diet and other prescribed treatments. Kynamro is usually recommended to those with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, an inherited type of high cholesterol. It is, however, not suitable for those with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia. Although Kynamro lowers high cholesterol levels, it is uncertain if the medication can lower the risk of heart diseases.
Altoprev, when used with a diet, helps lower blood levels of bad cholesterol such as low-density lipoprotein (LDL). Altoprev works by increasing the levels of good cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein (HDL). The medication also lowers the levels of triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood. A high level of triglycerides increases the risk of cardiovascular disorders. The use of Altoprev has been known to lower the risks of heart attacks, strokes, and other heart complications resulting from diabetes.
This medication is used for the treatment of high LDL cholesterol; this type of cholesterol is also known as bad cholesterol. Repatha® is a type of human monoclonal antibody. It aids the liver in lowering the levels of bad cholesterol. It is prescribed to those with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HeFH). Additionally, medical experts also recommend Repatha® to those who are at risk of other complications due to cholesterol, such as heart attacks and strokes. This medication is effective only when used along with a balanced low-fat diet and other high cholesterol medications.
A type of monoclonal antibody, PRALUENT works by assisting the liver to reduce bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol in the body. It is usually prescribed to two groups of patients: those with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia and those who have experienced complications such as strokes or heart attacks due to high cholesterol levels.
- Colestid Flavored
This cholesterol-lowering medication is also known as a bile acid-binding resin. Colestid Flavored lowers LDL cholesterol levels by removing bile acid from the body. This leads to more bile acid production by the liver using cholesterol. As a result, it lowers high cholesterol to a great extent. With a combination of a low-fat diet and other medications, Colestid can help manage high cholesterol effectively.
Also known as Fenofibrate, Antara lowers LDL and triglycerides and increases the level of HDL in the blood. The medication increases the levels of natural enzymes that break down fats in the blood. Antara is most effective when combined with a proper diet and exercises. Habits like smoking should be avoided.