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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, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Hypertriglyceridemia, Gastric Bypass Surgery, Questran, Pravachol, Livalo, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous

Genetic High-Cholesterol Condition More Common Than Thought

Posted 14 Mar 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, March 14, 2016 – Twice as many people as previously thought are genetically predisposed to develop dangerously high cholesterol levels, new research suggests. Familial hypercholesterolemia, as this condition is called, significantly ups the risk for an early heart attack. The study found it affects about one in every 250 American men and women, rather than one in 500. The new numbers don't reflect a problem on the rise, however, said study author Dr. Sarah de Ferranti, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Instead, the condition was previously "under-recognized," she explained. For those who have this potentially deadly condition, "it is extremely important to get early, consistent preventive care," de Ferranti said. "The key is for you and your clinician to understand and distinguish between mild to moderately high cholesterol that comes on in middle ... Read more

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

Negative News on Statins Tied to Dropped Prescriptions

Posted 2 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2, 2015 – News reports on the downsides of statins may push some people to stop taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs, a new study hints. The findings, published Dec. 2 in the European Heart Journal, cannot prove that media stories drive statin users to give up their prescriptions. Instead, Danish researchers found a broad correlation between "negative" media coverage and people's odds of quitting a statin within six months of their first prescription. But even without a clear cause-and-effect connection, experts said it's reasonable to assume that media stories had an influence over some statin users in the study. It rings true to Dr. Thomas Whayne Jr., of the Gill Heart Institute at the University of Kentucky. "I've seen this happen a lot," said Whayne, who was not involved in the study. "News stories come out, and you have patients saying, 'I'm not going to take ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Muscle Pain, Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Atorvastatin, Pravastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Zetia, Pre-Diabetes, Vytorin, Rosuvastatin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Pravachol, Livalo, Red Yeast Rice, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Can U.S. Health-Care System Afford New, Improved Cholesterol Drugs?

Posted 18 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, June 18, 2015 – A new class of powerful cholesterol drugs is poised to hit the market, and doctors are both hopeful about their potential, and worried that insurers won't pay for them. The drugs, known as PCSK9 inhibitors, can drastically cut LDL cholesterol – the "bad" kind linked to increased risks of heart attack and stroke. And they are expected to open up a new option for people who cannot take statins, the drugs that have been the standard for cholesterol-lowering since the 1980s. Last week, an advisory panel to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended the agency approve two PCSK9 inhibitors: alirocumab (Praluent) and evolocumab (Repatha). The FDA, which usually follows the recommendations of its advisory panels, is expected to OK both drugs. Some cardiologists have heralded PCSK9 inhibitors as a breakthrough – particularly for patients who can't take statins ... Read more

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

Staying Fit May Delay Onset of High Cholesterol, Study Finds

Posted 11 May 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 11, 2015 – Men who keep fit may find they delay normal age-related increases in blood cholesterol levels by up to 15 years, a new study suggests. It is common for cholesterol levels to rise with age and then decrease later in life, the study authors explained in background notes. Previous studies have shown that high cholesterol levels can be a risk factor for heart disease. Regular physical activity can lower this risk, the researchers said. "Exercise and being fit helps keep arteries clear by lowering 'bad' [LDL] cholesterol and boosting 'good' [HDL] cholesterol," explained study author Dr. Xuemei Sui, an assistant professor at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. "It also reduces other risk factors for atherosclerosis [narrowed arteries] and blood clots, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and stress," Sui ... Read more

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

FDA Approves Merck’s Liptruzet (ezetimibe and atorvastatin), a New Product That Can Help Lower LDL Cholesterol

Posted 6 May 2013 by Drugs.com

Friday, May 3, 2013 - Merck, known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Liptruzet (ezetimibe and atorvastatin) tablets for the treatment of elevated low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in patients with primary or mixed hyperlipidemia as adjunctive therapy to diet when diet alone is not enough. Liptruzet (pronounced LIP-true-zett) contains ezetimibe, an efficacious LDL cholesterol lowering therapy, and atorvastatin, currently one of the most widely prescribed statins in the U.S.[1] Once-daily Liptruzet treats two sources of cholesterol by inhibiting both the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract – through ezetimibe – and the production of cholesterol in the liver – through atorvastatin. No incremental benefit of Liptruzet on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality over and above that de ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Atorvastatin, Zetia, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Ezetimibe, Hyperlipidemia

New Study Raises New Questions About Cholesterol Drug Zetia

Posted 1 Dec 2009 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, Nov. 15 – A new study raises more questions about ezetimibe (Zetia), a drug used by millions of Americans in tandem with statins to lower LDL, or "bad," cholesterol. The trial, known as ARBITER-6 HALTS, was stopped early in June after it was discovered that LDL-cholesterol-lowering Zetia was less effective than extended-release niacin (Niaspan), which raises HDL, or "good," cholesterol levels, in reducing plaque build-up in the arteries. Clinical trials are generally terminated early if a safety issue arises, less so when a measure of success is achieved. The niacin combination also reduced the number of heart attacks and deaths. "This trial provides a clear and undeniable statement on the superior clinical effectiveness of niacin over ezetimibe," study principal investigator Dr. Allen Taylor, director of Advanced Cardiovascular Imaging and the Lipid/Prevention Clinic at ... Read more

Related support groups: Zetia

FDA Medwatch Alert: Ezetimibe/Simvastatin (Vytorin); Simvastatin (Zocor); and Ezetimibe (Zetia)

Posted 21 Aug 2008 by Drugs.com

[Posted 08/21/2008] FDA informed healthcare professionals that the Agency is investigating a report from the Simvastatin and Ezetimibe in Aortic Stenosis (SEAS) trial of a possible association between the use of Vytorin and a potentially increased incidence of cancer. Vytorin is a combination product of simvastatin and ezetimibe used to decrease the production of cholesterol by the liver and inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine to reduce LDL-cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular events. Recently, FDA obtained preliminary results from the SEAS trial. The clinical trial tested whether lowering LDL-cholesterol with Vytorin would reduce the risk of cardiovascular events in individuals with aortic stenosis. A lower overall cardiovascular risk was not found with Vytorin. However, there was an additional observation that a larger percentage of subjects ... Read more

Related support groups: Zocor, Zetia, Vytorin

FDA Medwatch Alert: Ezetimibe/Simvastatin (marketed as Vytorin), Ezetimibe (marketed as Zetia), and Simvastatin (marketed as Zocor)

Posted 25 Jan 2008 by Drugs.com

[Posted 01/25/2008] FDA provided healthcare professionals with an early communication about an ongoing data review for Ezetimibe/Simvastatin (marketed as Vytorin), Ezetimibe (marketed as Zetia), and Simvastatin (marketed as Zocor). This early communication is in keeping with FDA’s commitment to inform the public about ongoing postmarketing drug issues.Merck/Schering Plough Pharmaceuticals reported preliminary results from the Effect of Combination Ezetimibe and High-Dose Simvastatin vs. Simvastatin Alone on the Atherosclerotic Process in Patients with Heterozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia (ENHANCE) trial. This trial was designed to evaluate the amount of atherosclerotic plaque in blood vessels located in the neck based on images obtained through ultrasound in patients treated with Vytorin (ezetimibe plus simvastatin) or simvastatin alone.  Merck/Schering Plough ... Read more

Related support groups: Zocor, Zetia, Vytorin, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous

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High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, High Cholesterol, Sitosterolemia

Zetia Patient Information at Drugs.com