Possible side effects when taking lipid-lowering drugs

The article was professionally consulted by Associate Professor, Doctor, Doctor Hoang Dang Mich - Head of Department of Medical Examination & Internal Medicine - Vinmec Ha Long International General Hospital
High blood fat is a dyslipidemia related to cardiovascular diseases, obesity, diabetes... When blood cholesterol levels increase, doctors will prescribe patients to use lipid-lowering drugs to reduce cholesterol levels. complications prevention.

1. Mechanism of action of blood lipid-lowering drugs

Patients can take lipid-lowering drugs as prescribed by the doctor.
Statins inhibit HMG-CoA reductase, do not create cholesterol in the liver, and reduce cholesterol in the blood. Besides, it also works to increase the number of receptors of LDL-cholesterol, increase the degradation and reduce this harmful cholesterol to the lowest level. At the same time, statins also increase HDL-cholesterol (the type of cholesterol that is good for the body).
Lipid-lowering drugs work to lower blood cholesterol and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease or stroke. There are many classes of lipid-lowering drugs used, such as bile acid-binding resins (cholestyramine), fibrates (fenofibrate, clofibrat, gemfibrozil), niacin (vitamin PP), statins, and the new drug ezetimibe.
Among them, the statin drug group (including simvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, fluvastatin, atorvastatin, rosuvastatin) is the most commonly used. In fact, about 28% of people over the age of 40 are taking this drug.
Drugs for dyslipidemia work to help fats in the blood such as total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL-cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol return to normal limits.
Các tác dụng có thể gặp khi dùng thuốc hạ mỡ máu
Thuốc hạ mỡ máu có nhiều công dụng đối với bệnh nhân bị rối loạn lipid máu

2. Side effects of blood lipid-lowering drugs

After using drugs to treat dyslipidemia for a long time, patients may experience some mild to severe side effects.
● For the liver and biliary tract Side effects of the drug are possible liver dysfunction, increased liver enzymes SGOT/SGPT, leading to hepatocellular necrosis. When the liver enzymes SGOT/SGPT increased to 3 times normal, the patient was forced to stop taking the drug. If while taking the drug, the patient has fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, upper abdominal pain, yellow skin, yellow eyes, dark urine,... it is necessary to notify the doctor immediately.
Cases with acute or chronic hepatitis, with prolonged elevation of liver enzymes contraindicated using lipid-lowering drugs.
● For the digestive system Blood lipid-lowering drugs can cause patients to have digestive disorders such as indigestion, constipation, when taking fibrates; flatulence, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, loss of appetite when taking statins,...
● For the nervous system When taking statins, some people may experience memory loss. memory, confusion, angioedema, cramps, peripheral neuropathy,...
● For skin, muscles, bones, joints Fat-lowering drugs can cause muscle pain, muscle weakness, aches and pains in the joints. joints, skin allergies, itching, urticaria.
Các tác dụng có thể gặp khi dùng thuốc hạ mỡ máu
Nhức mỏi các khớp là một tác dụng phụ thường gặp khi sử dụng thuốc hạ mỡ máu

Note: Not everyone who takes drugs to treat high blood fat will experience the above side effects. People at high risk for side effects are: taking multiple cholesterol-lowering drugs at once, women, people with kidney or liver disease, over 65 years old, people who drink too much alcohol,...

3. Note when using blood fat-lowering drugs

Cases with mild dyslipidemia, no diabetes, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, and non-smokers should only use statins when following a diet and exercising but still not lowering blood lipids. to the desired level.
Drugs to treat hyperlipidemia are contraindicated for pregnant and lactating women. Fibrates should be taken during or after a main meal. Statins should be taken before or after meals. While taking statin drugs, still strictly maintain the recommended diet and exercise. Patients should limit animal fat, foods high in cholesterol, should eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, olive oil, nuts, beans and fish, ...
Các tác dụng có thể gặp khi dùng thuốc hạ mỡ máu
Khi dùng thuốc hạ mỡ máu vẫn cần duy trì chế độ ăn theo khuyến cáo và vận động

Do not take grapefruit while taking statin drugs because grapefruit juice contains a chemical that can bind to enzymes that break down statins in the digestive system. Drugs that can interact with statin drugs, increasing the risk of side effects include: amiodarone, clarithromycin, cyclosporine, itraconazole, gemfibrozil, saquinavir, ritonavir... To limit side effects, patients should share Talk to your doctor about the disease you are suffering from and give a list of drugs you have been taking so that the doctor can advise you on the use of suitable lipid-lowering drugs. Take a short break when applying statin therapy to improve health due to drug side effects. Exercise gently, gradually improving exercise intensity to avoid muscle pain. No alcoholic beverages, no smoking. Because all blood lipid-lowering drugs have side effects, people with mild high cholesterol should not buy drugs on their own, but need to consult a specialist.
Besides, the best treatment for high blood fat is a combination of taking medicine with healthy eating and following a scientific exercise regimen. At the same time, patients should also have regular health checks to closely monitor their own health and promptly have a treatment plan if the disease has bad developments.
Vinmec International General Hospital offers customers a screening package for diabetes, blood lipids to help check quantitative, body indexes along with performing a blood sugar tolerance test (for customers with high blood sugar levels). suspect fasting blood sugar). To diagnose and develop a scientific treatment plan.

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