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Is the 'Anti-Statin' Trend Threatening Lives?

Posted 2 days 14 hours ago 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 4 days ago 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, Grapefruit, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Allegra, Pravastatin, Amiodarone, Zocor, Lovastatin, Fexofenadine, Restasis, Cyclosporine, Rosuvastatin, 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, Vytorin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Caduet, Simcor, Lescol, Parkinsonian Tremor, Parkinsonism, Lescol XL, Mevacor

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, Pitavastatin, Fluvastatin, Altoprev

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, Pitavastatin, Fluvastatin, Altoprev

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, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Red Yeast Rice, 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, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Red Yeast Rice, 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

Guidelines May Miss Need for Statins in Many U.S. Blacks

Posted 19 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, March 18, 2017 – U.S. medical organizations have conflicting guidelines on the use of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs in blacks, a new study finds. Researchers say that about one in four black Americans who are recommended to take a statin under guidelines from the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association would no longer qualify for such therapy under new guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF). The USPSTF is an influential government-appointed group whose decisions often influence health care, including insurance coverage. The new study was led by Dr. Venkatesh Murthy of the University of Michigan, in Ann Arbor. His team noted that while many studies have used artery scans to assess the need for statins by white patients, no such studies have focused on black patients. However, compared with whites, black Americans are at higher ... Read more

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

New Cholesterol Drugs May Beat Statins, But Price Tag Is High

Posted 17 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, March 17, 2017 – Two different injectable drugs can lower cholesterol levels even further than statins do, potentially warding off future heart attacks or strokes, new research suggests. However, some heart experts question whether the pricey medications, one of which costs roughly $14,000 a year to take, perform well enough to make them worth the extra money. In fact, some cardiologists said the drugs should be reserved only for patients with the highest heart risks. The drugs, evolocumab (Repatha) and inclisiran, both work by targeting PCSK9, an enzyme that regulates the liver's ability to remove "bad" LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream. By blocking the enzyme, the medications spur the body to screen out more cholesterol. Clinical trial results showed that evolocumab was linked to a 15 percent reduction in the risk of major heart events in patients who are already taking ... Read more

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

Taking Statins May Boost Heart Surgery Outcomes

Posted 16 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 16, 2017 – Heart surgery patients taking statins should keep taking those cholesterol-lowering drugs, even on the day of their operation, because doing so may improve their chances of survival, a new study suggests. "Based on our findings, we would advise patients to continue taking their statin medication all the way up to and including the day of surgery," said study author Dr. Wei Pan. Statins are one of the most widely prescribed drugs in the United States. One in four Americans 40 or older takes a statin, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In the new study, Pan's team looked at more than 3,000 patients who underwent coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Pan is a cardiovascular anesthesiologist at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston. The findings showed that the rate of death from all causes within 30 days was about 2 percent for ... Read more

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

'Red Yeast Rice' Statin Alternative Not Harmless Either, Study Says

Posted 24 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 24, 2017 – A natural cholesterol-lowering supplement called red yeast rice could pose the same health risks to users as statin drugs, a new study contends. Red yeast rice could increase risk of muscle injury or liver damage, Italian researchers reported after reviewing 13 years of patient data. "These findings raise the hypothesis that the safety profile of red yeast rice is highly similar to that of synthetic statins and warrants further investigations to finally characterize the safety profile of red yeast rice," the researchers concluded. American heart experts said it's not surprising that the researchers discovered adverse reactions to red yeast rice that are similar to those produced by statins. That's because one of the compounds in red yeast rice – monacolin K – has the same chemical structure as the statin drug lovastatin, said Dr. Paul Thompson. "Statins ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Advicor, Altoprev, Pitavastatin, Fluvastatin

Many Young Adults With High Cholesterol Not on Statins as Recommended

Posted 4 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 4, 2017 – Too few Americans who need them – especially young adults – are getting cholesterol-lowering statin medications, a new study suggests. The study of nearly 3 million adults found that more than half of younger patients under 40 with too-high blood levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol are getting statins as recommended. "This article clearly articulates the under-usage of statins in young people with severe elevations of LDL cholesterol," said heart specialist Dr. Carl Reimers. Reimers is associate chair of cardiovascular medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He reviewed the new findings but wasn't involved in the research. Reimers said that younger patients often show early signs of heart trouble linked to cholesterol, but too often aren't treated with statins. That's a shame, he said, because "it is well-established that treating these patients with ... Read more

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

Prices Skyrocket on Drugs Widely Used by Seniors: Report

Posted 14 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14, 2016 – The prices of brand-name drugs used by many older Americans rose nearly 130 times faster than inflation last year, a new study reports. "This new report once again highlights the high and unrelenting price increases that are shockingly common in the pharmaceutical market," said Debra Whitman. She is chief public policy officer at AARP, a nonprofit organization focused on social welfare issues. "What's particularly remarkable is that these incredibly high price increases are still occurring in the face of the intense public and congressional criticism of prescription drug pricing practices," Whitman said in an AARP news release. The researchers examined the prices of 268 brand-name prescription drugs widely used by seniors, including 49 in drug categories that are used to treat common and often chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Hypertension, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Diabetes, Type 1, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Pravachol, Diabetes Mellitus, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Lescol, Lescol XL, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance

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Pravastatin Patient Information at Drugs.com