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What You Should Know When Taking A Statin Drug

 All About Statin Drugs

Statin drugs, also known as HMG-CoA (3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A) reductase inhibitors, are named so because of the -statin ending that exists on the end of the name of each drug in this family. They include medications such as:

  • lovastatin (Advicor®,Mevacor®, and Altocor®)

  • fluvastatin (Lescol®)

  • atorvastatin (Lipitor®)

  • pravastatin (Pravachol® and Pravigard®)

  • simvastatin (Zocor®)

They are the most commonly used drugs in the fight against high cholesterol in the United States today. What Do Statin Drugs Do?

All About Statin Drugs

Statin drugs work by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme that is the principle regulator in cholesterol synthesis in the body.They work by decreasing LDL (the bad cholesterol) and triglyceride levels and increasing HDL (the good cholesterol) levels in the body. (cholesterol screening at home).

What You Should Know When Taking A Statin Drug

How to take your statin drug:

  • Take with food.

  • Do not take with grapefruit juice, since this could affect how the drug is absorbed into the body.

  • If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If your second dose is a couple of hours before you remember it, just take your second dose and omit your skipped dose. DO NOT DOUBLE DOSE.

  • Take this drug exactly as your physician prescribed. Your physician may require extra visits to monitor your cholesterol and liver enzyme levels to adjust your medication appropriately.

  • Still remember to exercise and continue to follow a healthy diet regimen---this drug is not a substitute for these!

Let your physician know if you are taking one of the following drugs. They may affect how your statin drug is absorbed into your body:

  • Antifungals with their generic names ending in -azole

  • Fibric Acid Derivatives

  • Cyclosporine

  • Digoxin

  • Erythromycin

Let your physician know if you have any of the following conditions before you take a statin drug, as taking a statin drug could alter these conditions:

  • History of alcohol abuse

  • History of liver disease

  • Seizures

  • Low blood pressure

  • Infection

  • Pregnant or nursing

Common symptoms suffered when taking statin drugs:

  • headache

  • dizziness

  • heartburn

  • constipation

  • nausea

  • skin rash

  • abdominal pain or discomfort

  • pain or tenderness around eyes and cheekbones

  • hoarseness

  • runny or stuffy nose

***Let your doctor know if you suffer from muscle weakness while on statin drugs--this could signify a rare condition known as rhabdomyolysis, which could result in kidney failure or death.