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How to Lower Triglycerides with Medications?

These days people are addicted to pills in a literal sense. Indeed, we are used to take drugs in every situation, without doing the least thinking whether we really need them, or maybe, health in some cases can be improved without them. Perhaps, the ads work so effectively or maybe we are just too reluctant to think of some other way of overwhelming health disorders and to try the other, natural methods of eliminating the illnesses. By the way, doctors confirm that in many cases life-style changes are really enough to solve the problem.

High triglycerides level is one of the health conditions where simple changes in the usual way of living and giving up some bad habits work for many people just fine.

For those whose triglycerides levels are extremely high, or do not respond to any dietary changes and exercising, a number of medications can be used to help improve the situation. In general, the drugs to lower bad cholesterol levels are also used to reduce triglycerides. Some of them proved to be more effective in this aspect while others are less effective.

Statins

Out of quite a wide range of statins (simvastatin (Zocor), pravastatin (Lipostat), fluvastatin (Lescol/Lescol XL), lovastatin (Mevacor), and rosuvastatin (Crestor)) atorvastatin (Lipitor) works best for triglycerides reduction.

Statins act in the liver interfering with the production of blood fats. These drugs’ main side effects are headaches, flu-like symptoms, gastrointestinal problems, and muscle aches (myopathy – a dangerous health disorder).

Niacin

Nicotinic acid is also known as vitamin B3. These days drugs containing niacin as the active ingredient are Niacin, Niaspan, Nicotinex, Niacor, and Slo-Niacin. Nicotinic acid helps dilate blood vessels and improve digestion. It also plays role in fat synthesis and protein and carbohydrate breakdown. However, scientists admit that they still do not understand the exact mechanism of its action.

Though niacin is effective in triglycerides levels reduction, it produces many side effects (headache, flushing, dizziness, palpitations, nausea, shortness of breath, sweating and insulin resistance) due to which its use is limited.

Fibrates

Fibrates are the most effective drugs in the battle against the raised levels of triglycerides. They inhibit the production of very low-density lipoprotein and fasten triglycerides removal from the blood, having, in addition, anti-inflammatory effect on the blood vessels. Fibrates include such agents as fenofibrate (Tricor, Lofibra, Triglide), gemfibrozil (Lopid), ciprofibrate (Modalim), bezafibrate (Bezalip/Bezalip Mono), and clofibrate (Atromid-S) which, however, is rarely used nowadays.

The most common side-effects of fibrates are nausea, stomach pain, allergy, dizziness, fatigue and muscle pain. Sexual function may be impaired and kidney and liver may be affected due to the use of these drugs.

Fish Oils

Fish oils and supplements are also potent triglycerides reducers due to omega-3 triglycerides found in them. For example, Maxepa – a fish oil preparation – works quite effectively producing, at the same time, very few side effects.

In many cases combinational therapy is prescribed to reduce triglycerides blood levels. The best-working combinations are: statin + nicotinic acid (Advicor) and fibrate + statin. Though the latter therapy is characterized by the large number of adverse reactions, it is nevertheless used if the expected benefits overweigh the potential risks (for example, the development of severe pancreatitis attacks).

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Some doctors practice adding pioglitazone (Actos) – anti-diabetic medication – in the course of triglycerides lowering therapy, and they state this agent shows its ability to reduce blood fats levels.

As in the case with the elevated bad cholesterol, lowering triglycerides is never fulfilled without lifestyle changes, which include the improvement of the diet plan, starting exercising, giving up smoking and alcohol consumption, etc. It is always underlined that pills alone will not help if a patient does not take any effort to eliminate the disease and improve his or her health.

 
Ivanna


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