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List of Cholesterol Medicines

by
author image Robin Hewitt
Robin Hewitt began her writing career in 2008. She is the coauthor of several books, including "The Joyous Gift of Grandparenting," which covers the nutritional and fitness needs of both grandchildren and grandparents.
List of Cholesterol Medicines
List of Cholesterol Medicines Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, it is important that you educate yourself on the subject in order to take an active part in lowering your cholesterol levels. Many physicians will prescribe both a change in diet and a medication. It is vital that the patient learn the types of cholesterol-lowering medications and how they work in the body.

Statins

Statins are prescribed to prevent the liver from producing cholesterol. According to the Mayo Clinic, this causes the liver to remove cholesterol from the blood. Statins that are currently available include Lipitor (atorvastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin), Altoprev and Mevacor (lovastatin), Lescol (fluvastatin), Zicor (simivastatin) and Crestor (rosuvastatin).

Resins

The liver makes cholesterol to use in production of bile. Bile-acid-binding resins attach to the bile acids, causing the liver to use more cholesterol than it normally does. When effective, this type of medication lowers the overall cholesterol levels in the body. Resins available for prescription are L-Cholest, Prevalite and Questran (cholestyramine), Welchol (colesevelam) and Colestid (colestipol).

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Cholesterol Absorption Inhibitors

Absorption inhibitors block the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed by the small intestine. The medication Zetia (ezetimibe) is a cholesterol absorption inhibitor that may be prescribed with a statin medication; Vytorin (simvastatin and ezetimibe combined) is a statin combined with a cholesterol absorption inhibitor.

Fibrates

Fibrates lower triglycerides while raising HDL, the "good" cholesterol. According to the American Heart Association, commonly prescribed fibrates are Lofibra and Tricor (fenofibrate), Bezalip (bezabifrate) and Lopid (gemifibrozil).

Nicotinic Acid

Niacin may be prescribed in the form of the medication Niaspan in order to lower triglycerides. Niacin works by lowering the liver's ability to produce VLDL and LDL cholesterol. The combination niacin and statin drugs Avicor and Simcor may also be prescribed. The American Heart Association warns that dietary supplement niacin should not be substituted for prescription niacin, as dietary supplements are not monitored by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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References

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