What is high cholesterol?
Lowering your cholesterol
Good and bad cholesterol explained
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For two out of three people with high cholesterol, changes to diet and exercise regimes alone aren't enough to control cholesterol and a cholesterol-lowering medicine may be needed. Your doctor is also likely to prescribe a cholesterol-lowering medicine to reduce your risk of heart attack or stroke if you are known to be at risk of heart disease, regardless of your cholesterol level.
You're at risk of heart disease if you have:
The main treatment of choice in managing high cholesterol is a type of medicine called statins. These have been shown both to lower cholesterol and to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Taken as tablets, statins work by reducing the production of cholesterol in your liver and lowering the amount of 'bad' LDL cholesterol in your blood.
There are different intensities of statins. Your doctor may consider changing you to a stronger dose of statin or may prescribe additional treatments such as fibrates or bile acid sequestrants as well as your statin if your cholesterol is not adequately controlled
Many people, who have experienced a heart attack or unstable angina (chest pain that comes even at rest), may be put on high dose statins regardless of their cholesterol level, because their risk of having further complications is high.
You usually need to take statins for life as cholesterol levels start to rise again once you stop taking them.
Treating familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH)
If you have FH, it's likely that you'll need to take treatment for life to reduce the danger of heart attack or stroke. Normally, you'd be asked to try a statin, and your doctor will be aiming to reduce your cholesterol by 50%.
Succeeding in lowering cholesterol and reaching your target
level is a great achievement, but maintaining it is just as
important. Remember that it's vital to continue taking the
medication that your doctor has prescribed to control your
cholesterol. Even though you probably won't feel any healthier
while you're taking your medication, the chances are that it is
still helping to protect you against heart attack and stroke, and
if you stop taking it, your cholesterol levels are likely to
rise again quickly.
Whatever medicines you take, it's always a good idea to read the information leaflet inside the packet to make sure you understand what you are taking and any side effects that might affect you.
If you are pregnant or thinking of starting a family, it's
important you let your doctor know, as some medicines can be
harmful during pregnancy.
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Pfizer life is brought to you by Pfizer limited. CA0001135 date of preparation May 2011.
The information provided on this site is intended for general information and education and is not intended to be a substitute for advice provided by a doctor or other qualified healthcare professional
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