Side Effects of Cholesterol Lowering Drugs
The following is an excerpt from Dr. Dzugan’s book “The Magic of Cholesterol Numbers” and goes into detail about how cholesterol-lowering drugs (or CLDs) can change your quality of life:
Where do cholesterol-lowering drugs (CLD) come into the picture? After all, these drugs are the things that all the fear against cholesterol is leveraged for. Do they directly work to fix the issue which causes the rise in cholesterol? Or perhaps by lowering cholesterol they enable a mechanism to go into action to restore cholesterol to previous normal levels, which by extension fixes the issue that was associated with the abnormal level of cholesterol in the first place? Such an effect from these agents certainly would be wonderful. It would be wonderful if this is also what actually happened.
Delving into the world of CLDs, it quickly becomes apparent that there is no single CLD, but instead we find out that CLD is a blanket term for several types of agents.
Statins, which are HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, are perhaps the more famous ones if by fame we can refer to a beastly income coupled with a large advertising budget. Statins also pack the greatest punch, as they affect the basic mechanisms of cholesterol synthesis in a major way. They actually cut off cholesterol before it can be made.
The most common side effects of CLD include chest pain, dizziness, weakness, fatigue, fibromyalgia, headaches, insomnia, and upper respiratory tract infections. Statins and fibrates may cause erectile dysfunction. This one, in particular, is important, and not just for the men. Earlier we noted studies where high cholesterol was present in men with erectile dysfunction. If high cholesterol was the actual cause of this issue, wouldn’t it stand to reason that a lowered level of cholesterol would help with this instead of being a cause of it? Adverse events from CLD include reduced quality of life, eczema, skin rashes, severe rhabdomyolysis (the breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue), renal failure, and death.
To read more about the world of Cholesterol numbers, get Dr. Dzugan’s book “The Magic of Cholesterol Numbers.”
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