What drugs are used to reduce cholesterol?
If diet and losing weight do not bring the blood cholesterol down to acceptable levels, drugs may be used. The type of drug most often used has an effect on the liver, reducing the production of cholesterol. The drugs are called ‘statins’. There are several different drugs in the statin class, all with names ending in -statin. There are slight differences between the different statins, and the prescribing doctor will advise one that should suit someone best. In many parts of the country there is a preferred statin drug, usually the most cost-effective, but if this does not suit someone an alternative may be used. All the statin drugs have side effects. Some people feel generally unwell with nausea or sickness, and may have to stop the drug if this persists. Statins can cause aches and pains in the muscles, this is a serious side effect and should be reported to a doctor immediately (Click here for more details in the drugs section). There are several other types of drug that may either