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Drug Combo for Irregular Heartbeat Might Raise Bleeding Risk

Posted 14 days ago by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 21, 2016 – Because the irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation can trigger stroke-inducing clots, many patients are prescribed a blood thinner. But a new Canadian study suggests that combining one blood thinner, Pradaxa, with certain statin medications could raise the odds for bleeding in these patients. "An increase in the risk of bleeding requiring hospital admission or emergency department visits was seen with lovastatin [Mevacor] and simvastatin [Zocor] compared with the other statins," said study author Tony Antoniou, a pharmacist at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. His team tracked outcomes for nearly 46,000 patients ages 65 and older. All had atrial fibrillation and took Pradaxa (dabigatran) to reduce their risk of stroke. Those who also took either lovastatin or simvastatin had a 40 percent higher risk of bleeding than those who took other statins, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Bleeding Disorder, Atrial Fibrillation, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Pradaxa, Zocor, Lovastatin, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Vytorin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Caduet, Simcor, Lescol, Lescol XL

Coming Soon: Lower Cholesterol From a Twice-a-Year Shot?

Posted 20 days ago by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 15, 2016 – Instead of popping a pill every day, people might soon control "bad" LDL cholesterol by getting an injection at their doctor's office two or three times a year. Researchers testing a new injectable drug called Inclisiran found it cut LDL cholesterol by half or more. According to early clinical trial data, the effect could last for four to six months. Inclisiran produced "significant and durable reductions in LDL cholesterol, and thus could potentially impact cardiovascular events," said study presenter Dr. Kausik Ray, a professor of public health at Imperial College London in England. Such long-lasting effects could provide a major advance in preventing heart disease, heart attack and stroke, by helping reduce hardening of the arteries, the researchers said. The trial results were presented Tuesday at the American Heart Association annual meeting in New ... Read more

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

Statins May Boost Survival Odds After Cardiac Arrest

Posted 13 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, Nov. 12, 2016 – The odds of surviving cardiac arrest seem higher for patients who've been taking cholesterol-lowering statins, a new study shows. Researchers in Taiwan studied the medical records of nearly 138,000 cardiac arrest patients. Those already using statins such as Lipitor (atorvastatin) or Crestor (rosuvastatin) were about 19 percent more likely to survive to hospital admission and 47 percent more likely to be discharged. Also, they were 50 percent more likely to be alive a year later, the study found. "When considering statin use for patients with high cholesterol, the benefit of surviving sudden cardiac arrest should also be considered, as statin use before cardiac arrest might improve outcomes of those patients," said study author Dr. Ping-Hsun Yu. Yu is a researcher from the National Taiwan University Hospital and College of Medicine in New Taipei City. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Heart Disease, Heart Attack, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Myocardial Infarction, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Cardiac Arrest, Myocardial Infarction - Prophylaxis, Altoprev

High-Dose Statins Boost Survival: Study

Posted 9 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 9, 2016 – Higher doses of the cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins appear to boost survival slightly for certain people, a large new study reports. The study followed more than 509,000 patients with various forms of cardiovascular disease. The researchers found that survival increased by 9 percent when people took high versus moderate doses of statin for a little over a year. High doses – also called high-intensity statin therapy – included 40 to 80 milligrams (mg) of atorvastatin (Lipitor) or 20 to 40 mg of rosuvastatin (Crestor) daily. Examples of moderate doses include 10 to 20 mg of Lipitor and 5 to 10 mg of Crestor, the study reported. Unlike some previous studies, this study included adults over age 75. The study showed that people over 75 also have a survival benefit with high doses compared to moderate doses, said study author Dr. Fatima Rodriguez. ... Read more

Related support groups: Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Red Yeast Rice, Caduet, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Lescol, Mevacor, Lescol XL, Atorvastatin/Ezetimibe, Amlodipine/Atorvastatin, Altoprev

Take Meds as Directed to Boost Survival After Heart Procedures

Posted 24 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Oct. 20, 2016 – Taking medications as prescribed improves outcomes for heart procedure patients, a new study finds. Researchers looked at 973 heart bypass patients and 2,255 patients who underwent angioplasty and stenting to reopen clogged heart arteries. Heart bypass surgery is when surgeons take a piece of blood vessel from somewhere else in the body to bypass a blocked portion of the heart's artery. Angioplasty is performed using a thin catheter that's threaded through the blood vessels to the heart. A balloon on the end of the catheter is inflated to open the narrowed blood vessel. Sometimes a stent (a mesh or wire tube) will be left in the blood vessel to keep it open. Prescribed medications in the study included cholesterol-lowering statins, blood thinners and beta blockers. Follow-up information was collected 12 to 18 months after the heart procedures. Overall, ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Aspirin, Metoprolol, Atenolol, Lipitor, Propranolol, Simvastatin, Crestor, Bystolic, Atorvastatin, Carvedilol, Pravastatin, Excedrin, Bisoprolol, Inderal, Coreg, Sotalol, Zocor, Lovastatin, Toprol-XL

Statins Often Interact With Other Heart Drugs

Posted 17 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Oct. 17, 2016 – Cholesterol-lowering statins can interact with other drugs prescribed for heart disease. But there are ways to navigate the problem, according to new recommendations from the American Heart Association. Statins are among the mostly widely prescribed drugs in the United States. Roughly one-quarter of Americans age 40 and up are on a statin, according to a 2014 study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The drugs are prescribed to people who either have atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) or are at risk of it, which means many statin users also take other cardiovascular drugs, the heart association says. The benefits of those drug combinations will generally outweigh the risks, said Barbara Wiggins, a clinical pharmacy specialist in cardiology at the Medical University of South Carolina. But doctors and patients should be aware of how the drugs ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Amlodipine, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Diltiazem, Atorvastatin, Verapamil, Norvasc, Pravastatin, Amiodarone, Digoxin, Nifedipine, Cardizem, Zocor, Azor, Lovastatin, Exforge, Rosuvastatin

Are There Alternatives to Statins?

Posted 27 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 27, 2016 – Statins are the go-to therapy for lowering "bad" LDL cholesterol, but other treatments also can effectively reduce risk of future heart problems, a new evidence review reports. These alternative therapies – including a heart-healthy diet, other cholesterol-lowering medications, and even intestinal bypass surgery – seem to confer the same level of heart health protection as statins when cholesterol levels decrease, according to the findings. Nonstatin therapies reduced the risk of heart problems by 25 percent for each 1 millimole per liter (mmol/L) decrease in LDL cholesterol levels. That's very similar to the 23 percent reduction per 1 mmol/L decrease seen with statins like atorvastatin (Lipitor) and simvastatin (Zocor), the researchers said. What's more, the benefits of these therapies stack up if more than one proves effective at lowering a person's ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Welchol, Zocor, Cholestyramine, Lovastatin, Zetia, Vytorin, Rosuvastatin, Gastric Bypass Surgery, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Hypertriglyceridemia, Questran, Pravachol, Livalo, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous

Many With Diabetes Missing Out on Statins

Posted 12 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Sept. 12, 2016 – Nearly all middle-aged patients with diabetes should be taking cholesterol-lowering statins, but cardiologists fail to prescribe these medications for 2 out of every 5 diabetics in their care, a new study finds. Multiple prior studies have shown that diabetics have a lower risk of heart attack and stroke if they take a statin, even those with no history of heart problems, said senior study author Dr. Salim Virani, a cardiologist at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston. "That's not debatable at this point," said Virani, who is also an associate professor at Baylor College of Medicine. "They should all be on statins." But analysis of data from 204 cardiology practices across the United States revealed that 38 percent of middle-aged diabetics have not been prescribed statins. The American College of Cardiology, the American Heart Association and the ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Altoprev, Fluvastatin, Baycol

Could Statins Help Fight Cancer?

Posted 8 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 8, 2016 – Some cancer patients who take cholesterol-lowering statins may live longer than those not on these heart medications, a study from Britain suggests. While it did not prove a cause-and-effect connection, the study of nearly 1 million cancer patients found that those taking statin drugs such as Lipitor and Crestor appeared to have: a 22 percent lower risk of dying from lung cancer, a 43 percent lower risk of dying from breast cancer, a 47 percent lower risk of dying from prostate cancer, and a 30 percent lower risk of dying from colon cancer. "We need to further investigate the reasons for patients with high cholesterol having improved mortality in four of the most common cancers," said senior researcher Dr. Rahul Potluri, a clinical lecturer at Aston University School of Medicine in Birmingham. Potluri cautioned, however, that this study can't prove that statins ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Breast Cancer, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Prostate Cancer, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Colorectal Cancer, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Altoprev

Just a Little of Statins' Effect Enough to Help Heart: Study

Posted 20 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 20, 2016 – Giving high doses of statins to patients with heart disease doesn't lower the risk of future heart trouble any more than moderate doses of the cholesterol-lowering drugs do, a new study finds. Having heart disease raises the risk of heart attack and stroke, as blood vessels become clogged and cut the normal flow of blood and oxygen to the heart. These patients are typically prescribed statins on a long-term basis, to lower levels of vessel-clogging LDL ("bad") cholesterol. But experts remain conflicted about exactly how low LDL cholesterol levels should go. "Our study demonstrates that physicians treating patients with heart disease and elevated levels of cholesterol with statins have to ensure that patients meet a target of less than 100 mg/dL to prevent future [heart] events," said study author Dr. Morton Leibowitz. He is a senior physician with the Clalit ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Vytorin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Red Yeast Rice, Caduet, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Simcor, Lescol, Mevacor, Lescol XL

No Statins Before Heart Surgery, Study Suggests

Posted 4 May 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 4, 2016 – Taking cholesterol-lowering statins right before heart surgery, once touted as a way to prevent common postoperative complications, has no benefit and may even cause harm, a new study suggests. In that setting, Crestor (rosuvastatin) did not prevent either the abnormal heart rhythm known as atrial fibrillation or heart damage, and it was linked to a slightly increased risk of kidney damage, researchers said. "There are many valid reasons why one may want to take statins, but prevention of postoperative complications in cardiac surgery is not one of them," said lead researcher Dr. Barbara Casadei. She is a professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Oxford in England. "Our study is consistent with the idea that well-established beneficial effects of statin therapy, such as the reduction in heart attacks and strokes, are only achieved by long-term ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Heart Disease, Atrial Fibrillation, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Renal Failure, Zocor, Lovastatin, Chronic Kidney Disease, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Lescol, Ischemic Heart Disease

Many Heart Bypass Patients Don't Take Needed Meds

Posted 4 May 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 4, 2016 – Many heart bypass patients are skipping medications meant to maintain smooth blood flow in their repaired veins, a new study finds. "It is important for patients to understand that bypass surgery is a second chance, not a cure for their disease," Dr. Michael Savage, a professor of cardiology at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, said in a university news release. Research has shown that taking statins and aspirin helps keep vein grafts used in bypass surgery open over the long term, and the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association recommend taking both medications unless they are unsafe for a patient. But among the more than 400 patients in the study, only 52 percent were taking the recommended combination of statins and aspirin. Sixty-seven percent were taking just a statin and 75 percent were using aspirin only. Those who ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Heart Attack, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Angina, Excedrin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Aggrenox, Alka-Seltzer, Myocardial Infarction, Rosuvastatin, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Pravachol

Statins Might Not Lower Colon Cancer Risk: Study

Posted 26 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 26, 2016 – Long-term use of cholesterol-lowering statins does not appear to reduce the risk of colon cancer, but a person's cholesterol levels might affect risk, a new study suggests. Both statins and cholesterol levels have been linked with lower colon cancer risk, but pinpointing which one is actually responsible has been difficult, the University of Pennsylvania researchers explained. So, they compared statin use and cholesterol levels in more than 22,000 British patients with colon cancer and more than 86,500 without the disease. The results confirmed findings from previous studies that showed a lower risk of colon cancer in people who take statins. But the risk was not significantly different between people who kept taking statins and those who stopped taking the drugs. Instead, the higher the cholesterol level, the lower the colon cancer risk for patients, ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Colonoscopy, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Colorectal Cancer, Zocor, Lovastatin, Vytorin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Caduet, Simcor, Lescol, Mevacor, Lescol XL

Skipping Meds Greatly Ups Heart Patients' Risk of Stroke: Study

Posted 28 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 28, 2016 – People at risk for heart disease are much more likely to die from a stroke if they don't take cholesterol-lowering statin drugs and blood pressure medications as prescribed, a new study reports. Folks with high blood pressure and high cholesterol had a seven times greater risk of suffering a fatal stroke if they didn't follow their drug regimen to lower cholesterol and blood pressure. The study findings were published online March 28 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Fatal stroke risk also increased if these patients stuck to one type of medication but not both, the researchers found. For example, if patients kept taking blood pressure medication but dropped their statins, their risk of dying from a stroke increased by 82 percent. Turning the tables, they had a 30 percent added risk of stroke if they took their statins but didn't take their ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Metoprolol, Atenolol, Heart Attack, Ischemic Stroke, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Propranolol, Simvastatin, Crestor, Bystolic, Atorvastatin, Carvedilol, Pravastatin, Excedrin, Bisoprolol, Coreg, Inderal, Sotalol, Transient Ischemic Attack

Gaps in Care Can Harm Patients After Heart Attack

Posted 23 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 23, 2016 – Heart attack patients who wait a long period to have a follow-up medical appointment after leaving the hospital are less likely to take their medications as prescribed, endangering their health. That's the finding of a new study of 21,000 Medicare patients over 65 who survived a heart attack. One heart doctor said timely care is key to a good recovery for these patients. "Many patients with heart attack are treated with coronary stents, and in those patients, missing their medications for more than a couple of days can be life-threatening," said Dr. Lawrence Ong, a cardiologist at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, N.Y. The new study was led by Dr. Tracy Wang, of Duke Clinical Research Institute in Durham, N.C. The researchers noted that of the estimated 1 million Americans hospitalized with heart attack each year, 470,000 are expected to have another heart ... Read more

Related support groups: Aspirin, Heart Attack, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Excedrin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Aggrenox, Alka-Seltzer, Myocardial Infarction, Rosuvastatin, Fiorinal, Excedrin Migraine, Pravachol, Livalo, Ecotrin

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High Cholesterol, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIb (Elevated LDL + VLDL), Hyperlipoproteinemia, Hyperlipoproteinemia Type IIa (Elevated LDL)

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