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New Cholesterol Drugs Vastly Overpriced, Study Contends

Posted 9 hours ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 22, 2017 – Are new medicines for people with out-of-control cholesterol wildly overpriced? It's a question that's sparking debate among consumers and providers of care. Now, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) report that the price of these drugs – called PCSK9 inhibitors – would have to be slashed by a whopping 71 percent to be deemed cost-effective. PCSK9 inhibitors are a relatively new class of medicines for treating patients whose LDL (bad) cholesterol isn't well-controlled on statins or who cannot tolerate statins. Lipitor (atorvastatin) and Crestor (rosuvastatin) are examples of first-line statins doctors typically prescribe to patients with high cholesterol. The UCSF team didn't question whether these new medicines are effective in reducing heart attacks and strokes. "These are super awesome drugs, they really work," said study ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Repatha, Praluent, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Alirocumab, Altoprev, Pitavastatin

FDA May Limit 'Risk Info' in Direct-to-Consumer TV Drug Ads

Posted 4 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 18, 2017 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration may shorten the list of caveats for drugs you see advertised on television. Prescription drug makers must now mention all benefits and risks in direct-to-consumer advertising, presenting viewers with a litany of potential harms, both major and minor. But a new approach being considered could trim those lists to feature only the most serious and potentially fatal side effects, the FDA said Friday. The "FDA's own research on broadcast TV drug advertisements suggests that a more targeted method for delivering risk information may lead to better retention of those risks," FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said in an agency news release. To that end, "the agency is exploring the usefulness of limiting the risks in the major statement for most drug advertisements to those that are severe [life-threatening], serious or ... Read more

Related support groups: Lisinopril, Losartan, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Benicar, Diovan, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Ramipril, Cozaar, Valsartan, Micardis, Enalapril, Benazepril, Zocor, Lovastatin, Avapro, Atacand, Irbesartan

Powerful New Cholesterol Med Won't Harm Memory, Easing Concerns

Posted 6 days ago by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 16, 2017 – Despite some early concerns, a new study suggests the powerful cholesterol drugs known as PCSK9 inhibitors may not cause memory problems or other mental symptoms. The drugs, which include evolocumab (Repatha) and alirocumab (Praluent), were approved in the United States in 2015. That came after trials showed they can dramatically slash LDL cholesterol (the "bad" kind), including in people with a genetic condition that often causes premature heart disease. But early findings also hinted at a potential side effect: cognitive problems such as memory lapses and confusion. The risk was small, though, and it was not clear whether the drugs were actually causing the problems. Enter the new study. It's the first to actually follow PCSK9 patients over time, looking for new memory problems or other cognitive issues, said lead researcher Dr. Robert Giugliano. The study ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Pravachol, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Repatha, Praluent, Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol XL

Heart Risks May Rise After Cancer Diagnosis

Posted 7 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 15, 2017 – As if people newly diagnosed with cancer don't have enough to worry about, a new study suggests the diagnosis may put their hearts at risk, too. The study found that newly diagnosed cancer patients are at increased risk for a condition called arterial thromboembolism, which occurs when blood flow is blocked by a clot that's traveled from another part of the body, such as the legs. The potential heart threat is higher "especially during the first six months after diagnosis," said a team led by Dr. Babak Navi, of Weill Cornell Medicine's department of neurology in New York City. Looking through a 2002-2011 database of about 140,000 cancer patients and an equal number of people without cancer, Navi's team found that cancer patients had twice the risk of an arterial thromboembolism in the six months after cancer diagnosis than patients without cancer. The study ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, Ischemic Stroke, Heart Attack, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Transient Ischemic Attack, Lung Cancer, Colorectal Cancer, Zocor, Lovastatin, Myocardial Infarction, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis

Heart Risk Up if Hospitalized for Pneumonia or Sepsis

Posted 11 days ago by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 11, 2017 – Adults who've been hospitalized with pneumonia or sepsis have a higher risk of heart disease, a new European study reports. Researchers examined data from nearly 237,000 Swedish men. They were followed from age 18 into middle age. The study found that those admitted to the hospital with pneumonia or sepsis (a bacterial infection of the blood) had a six times higher risk of heart disease in the following year. The rate dropped significantly during the second and third years, but was still more than double. And, by the fourth and fifth years, the risk remained almost two times higher in those who'd been hospitalized for sepsis or pneumonia compared to those who hadn't. The study was published recently in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. While most patients with sepsis or pneumonia recover from these conditions, many still have inflammation after the ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Obesity, Lisinopril, Hypertension, Heart Disease, Losartan, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Benicar, Pneumonia, Diovan, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Angina, Ramipril, Cozaar, Valsartan, Micardis, Enalapril

Less Than Half of U.S. Stroke Patients Get Rx for Statins

Posted 3 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 2, 2017 – Fewer than half of U.S. stroke survivors are prescribed cholesterol-lowering statins, a new study finds. Statins are recommended for patients who have had an ischemic stroke or mini-stroke (transient ischemic attack) to reduce their risk for a repeat stroke or other cardiovascular events, according to the American Heart Association. Ischemic strokes, the most common kind, are caused by blocked blood flow to the brain. But a 10-year analysis of data from 323 ischemic stroke survivors found only 49 percent were prescribed statins when they were discharged from the hospital. The findings were published Aug. 2 in the Journal of the American Heart Association. The research also found that prescribing statins varied by patients' geographic location, gender, age and race. In particular, the researchers looked at the so-called Stroke Belt – the southeastern part of ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Transient Ischemic Attack, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol XL, Mevacor

Is the 'Anti-Statin' Trend Threatening Lives?

Posted 25 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 24, 2017 – A wave of anti-science skepticism may put people with high cholesterol at risk if they're convinced to quit life-saving statin medications, heart experts warn. An "internet-driven cult" is attacking the safety and effectiveness of cholesterol-lowering statins, despite mounds of clinical trial data showing the drugs work and produce minimal side effects, said Dr. Steven Nissen, chairman of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic. "Unfortunately, we're in an era now where, with the internet, people with fringe views like this can gain the upper hand," Nissen said. "They've been very aggressive promoting to the public the idea that these drugs that are responsible for saving millions of lives are somehow bad for you." Most side effects associated with statins are minor and can be addressed by adjusting the dose or switching to another type of statin, Nissen ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Livalo, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Red Yeast Rice, Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIa (Elevated LDL), Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIb (Elevated LDL + VLDL), Lescol XL

A Reminder That Meds and Grapefruit Don't Always Mix

Posted 23 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, July 23, 2017 – If you like grapefruit juice, you need to be aware that it can affect the way some medications work, especially those used to treat high blood pressure or an irregular heart rhythm. That's the message from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The FDA requires some prescription and over-the-counter drugs taken by mouth to include warnings against drinking grapefruit juice or eating grapefruit while taking the drug. In most types of medications that interact with grapefruit juice, "the juice lets more of the drug enter the blood. When there is too much drug in the blood, you may have more side effects," the FDA's Shiew Mei Huang said in an agency news release. Examples of types of drugs that can be affected by grapefruit include: Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, such as Zocor (simvastatin) and Lipitor (atorvastatin). High blood pressure drugs, such as ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Grapefruit, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Allegra, Amiodarone, Zocor, Lovastatin, Fexofenadine, Restasis, Rosuvastatin, Cyclosporine, Allegra-D, Pravachol, Livalo

Study Hints at Link Between Some Statins, Parkinson's Risk

Posted 20 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 20, 2017 – People on cholesterol-lowering statins may have a slightly increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease, a new study suggests. Researchers said the finding doesn't prove statins are to blame. But, they added, the findings undercut the notion that statins might help protect against Parkinson's. Where does that idea come from? Past research has shown that people with high cholesterol tend to have a lower risk of Parkinson's, explained Dr. Xuemei Huang, a professor of neurology at Penn State College of Medicine. Since many of those people are treated with statins, that led to speculation that the drugs – rather than high cholesterol itself – might be protective. But so far, studies have come to mixed conclusions, according to Huang. Some have tied statins to a lower Parkinson's risk, while others have found either no connection or an increased risk. Enter ... Read more

Related support groups: Lipitor, Simvastatin, Parkinson's Disease, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Vytorin, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Caduet, Simcor, Parkinsonian Tremor, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Parkinsonism

Healthy Dietary Fats Help Beat High Cholesterol

Posted 15 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 15, 2017 – Replacing saturated fats with healthier ones found in some vegetable oils can reduce cholesterol levels and heart disease risk as much as statins, a new American Heart Association (AHA) advisory says. Those healthier fats are poly-unsaturated fats and mono-unsaturated fats. Poly-unsaturated fats are found in corn, soybean and peanut oils. Mono-unsaturated fats are found in oils such as olive, canola, safflower and avocado. Saturated fats are found in meat, full-fat dairy products and tropical oils such as coconut and palm. Recently, questions have been raised about recommendations to limit foods high in saturated fats, so the AHA ordered a review of current evidence. "We want to set the record straight on why well-conducted scientific research overwhelmingly supports limiting saturated fat in the diet to prevent diseases of the heart and blood vessels," lead ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Dietary Supplementation, Pravastatin, Vitamin/Mineral Supplementation and Deficiency, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Fluvastatin, Altoprev, Pitavastatin

New Cholesterol Fighting Meds Target Key Gene

Posted 25 May 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 25, 2017 – New gene-based therapies appear to significantly decrease cholesterol levels in people, and could even cut down on arterial plaque, according to results from two early drug trials. Both treatments improve the body's ability to break down cholesterol by targeting a specific gene that inhibits that function, researchers reported. The angiopoietin-like 3 (ANGPTL3) gene normally restrains proteins involved in the breakdown of cholesterol, said Dr. Frederick Dewey, lead researcher of one of the trials. He is senior director and head of translational genetics at the Regeneron Genetics Center in Tarrytown, N.Y. Two separate research groups say they've successfully reduced cholesterol in humans by using different methods to block ANGPTL3: Evinacumab – an antibody-based therapy developed by Dewey and his team – reduced levels of triglycerides up to 76 percent and ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Fluvastatin, Altoprev, Pitavastatin

Study Casts Doubt on Need for Statins in the 'Healthy Old'

Posted 22 May 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 22, 2017 – Senior citizens with no history of heart problems appear to gain no health benefit from cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, a new study suggests. People 65 and older treated with pravastatin (Pravachol) as part of a major clinical trial had about the same risk of death as people in a placebo group, according to the results. They also appeared to suffer strokes and heart attacks at about the same rate. "Our study shows there may not be any benefit for taking a statin therapy for primary prevention for people who are over the age of 65," said Dr. Benjamin Han. Statins might even pose a risk to people 75 and older, added Han, an assistant professor of medicine and population health at New York University School of Medicine. "There was some suggestion the statin group had a little bit higher mortality than the placebo group" at that age, Han said. But, this result was ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Hypertension, Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Red Yeast Rice, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Lescol, Ischemic Heart Disease, Lescol XL

Many Heart Attack Patients Fail to Stick With Statins

Posted 19 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 19, 2017 – High doses of powerful statin drugs have been shown to avert future heart problems, including heart attack and stroke. Yet many heart attack patients stop taking these medicines as recommended, a new study reveals. Researchers examined data for heart attack patients who had a prescription for a "high-intensity" statin filled within 30 days of being discharged from the hospital. Two years later, only 42 percent were taking these medicines regularly, the study found. Thirteen percent switched to a low- or moderate-intensity statin, while 19 percent weren't taking a statin regularly. Close to 1 in 5 stopped taking any statin altogether, the researchers said. The lack of adherence to recommended high-intensity statin therapy is short-sighted, suggested study lead author Dr. Robert Rosenson. "The message is that the benefits of statins continue to accrue over ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Transient Ischemic Attack, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Livalo, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Red Yeast Rice, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Thromboembolic Stroke Prophylaxis

Conflicting Statin Guidelines Leave Millions in 'Gray Zone'

Posted 18 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 18, 2017 – Conflicting guidelines on statin use could leave about 9 million Americans unsure about treatment, a new study suggests. Researchers estimate that if all doctors followed the latest guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) for the cholesterol-lowering drugs, the number of Americans aged 40 to 75 on statin medications would rise by 16 percent. In absolute numbers, that would mean another 17 million statin users. If that sounds like a big jump, consider what would happen if all doctors followed the advice of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association: Statin use would climb by 24 percent – for an additional 26 million Americans on the drugs, the study authors estimated. The difference between the two sets of guidelines leaves 9 million Americans in a statin "gray zone." So, which guidelines are "right"? That's not ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Vytorin, Rosuvastatin, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Caduet, Simcor, Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia

Keys to Heart Disease Care: Communication and Trust

Posted 4 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 3, 2017 – People with heart disease may fare better when they feel they can trust and talk to their doctor, two new studies suggest. In one study, researchers found that heart patients who thought their doctors were good communicators were more likely to take aspirin and cholesterol-lowering drugs. They were also less likely to land in the ER. In the other study, patients were more apt to take their blood pressure medication if they generally trusted the medical profession. It's no secret that communication and trust are important in any doctor-patient relationship, according to Dr. Victor Okunrintemi, the lead researcher on the communication study. What's not clear is how those things affect heart patients' health, said Okunrintemi, who is based at Baptist Health South Florida in Miami. The new findings, he said, don't prove that doctors can keep their patients out of ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Excedrin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Aggrenox, Rosuvastatin, Alka-Seltzer, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Arthritis Pain, Pravachol, Livalo, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Red Yeast Rice

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