Cholesterol Medicines/ Cholesterol Lowering Medicines
This leaflet contains important information regarding a group of medicines. This leaflet is not a substitute of discussing the condition and medicines with the doctor. All medicines have benefits and risks. Doctors prescribe medicines by weighing the risks and the expected benefits of the medicine. Patients are advised to follow the instructions of their doctor and pharmacist regarding the use of medicines. This guide can be used to discuss with doctor or pharmacist regarding how to use cholesterol medications to control cholesterol. If you have any concerns about taking this medicine, ask your doctor or pharmacist.What is Cholesterol? Cholesterol is a fatty chemical, known as lipid. It is carried through blood supply to all parts of the body in the form of particles called lipoproteins. Our body cells make some cholesterol that is required for normal functioning, for e.g. making hormones and vitamin D. Additionally, cholesterol is also present in many food we eat for e.g. egg yolk, fatty part of the meat and cheese & butter. Some people have genes that cause them to make more cholesterol than required. Required level of cholesterol is good for our body but too much cholesterol can deposit in the arteries called plaques. Overtime, these plaques restrict the blood flow in the arteries resulting in heart diseases and stroke. There are two main types of lipoproteins that contain cholesterol. High density lipoproteins (HDL): HDL brings the cholesterol from cells back to liver. The liver helps in removing the cholesterol from the body. HDL helps in preventing plaque formation and therefore are considered as good cholesterol. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL): LDL carries the cholesterol to the cells and when there is too much LDL, it starts to deposit in arteries which can lead to plaque formation and eventually heart disease and stroke. LDL is much more in quantity than HDL. High level of LDL encourages plaque formation. LDL is therefore considered as bad cholesterol. Triglycerides are one other form of fats present in our bodies. They are used to produce energy.