Since rhabdomyolysis may be fatal, unexplained joint or muscle pain that occurs while taking statins should be brought to the attention of a health care professional for evaluation. Unlike statins, fibrates, resins, and ezetimibe, niacin (nicotinic acid) is available without a prescription. Niacin and the fibric acid drugs (lipid-lowering agents) can cause rhabdomyolysis or liver failure when used alone, and combining them with statins increases the likelihood of rhabdomyolysis or liver failure. Normally, niacin is derived from foods like chicken and tuna. blood vessels in the body, which protects you against heart attack, stroke, and It is common for doctors to prescribe more than one cholesterol medication. They work by reducing the amount of cholesterol made by the liver and by helping the liver remove cholesterol circulating in the blood. High levels of LDL and low levels of HDL cholesterol put a person at risk for heart attack, stroke, transient ischemic attack (TIA or mini stroke), and peripheral artery disease. Niacin carries the risk of overdose, which can cause the following complications: Another safety issue with niacin is that some supplements may be tainted with unknown ingredients. In many cases, you’ll have to make intense and substantial lifestyle changes in order to no longer need the medication to lower your cholesterol. All rights reserved. Adverse side effects are milder with Niaspan. There are a variety of causes that can lead to high cholesterol. The first type of interaction involves the enzymes responsible for the elimination of statins by the liver. Rhabdomyolysis is a rare serious side effect which involves damage to muscles. “The benefit data behind statins is actually quite strong, especially in individuals with heart disease, those with diabetes and those with persistently very high LDL (bad) cholesterol levels (over 190 mg/dL). It’s also recommended for everything from … Cholesterol occurs naturally in the body. The four groups most likely to be prescribed statins are: Utilizing statins are often considered to be a lifetime commitment. To start viewing messages, select the … Statins help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides (blood fats), while raising HDL (good) cholesterol. cholesterol through the veins and arteries of the body. Omega-3: It’s fish oil and you can get a lot of it in salmon. Statins, which work by reducing the liver's production of cholesterol, were taken by more than one-quarter of U.S. adults aged 40 and over during 2011-2012, according to a national survey. Niacin should be discontinued if liver tests are greater than three times the upper limit of normal, are persistently elevated, or are accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or weakness. I am interested in taking statins, but I am hesitant to make a lifelong commitment to a drug. Statins are primarily used to help lower LDL cholesterol. Those at greatest risk for experiencing side effects from statins include people who are already taking other medications, people 65 years and older, people with small frames, and women. Taking a statin is not a magic cure. Niaspan is the extended release form and doses range from 0. Uses, Benefits, and Food List, Both Red and White Meat Raise Cholesterol Levels, Study Finds, Teens’ Cholesterol Levels Improve, but Only Half Have Ideal Numbers, Hate Statins? Certain groups of patients are more likely to be prescribed statins than others. Women are less likely to be prescribed statins than men. Drugs or agents that block these enzymes include: Lovastatin and simvastatin should not be combined with the following drugs: Another important drug interaction occurs between statins and niacin and fibric acids, for example, gemfibrozil (Lopid), clofibrate (Atromid-S), and fenofibrate (Tricor). It occurs more often when statins are used in combination with other drugs that themselves cause rhabdomyolysis or with drugs that prevent the elimination of statins and raise the levels of statins in the blood. Eating a healthy diet, moderate exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight are still very important lifestyle choices. may worsen the narrowing of the blood vessels in the body, which puts you at a What are the side effects of statins and niacin? MedicineNet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The jury is out when it comes to combining statins with niacin. High cholesterol can be lowered by eating foods that lower cholesterol, for example, eat more high soluble fiber foods (oatmeal, oat bran, vegetables, and certain fruits), use olive oil, eat foods fortified with plant sterols and stanols, soy, nuts, and omega-3 fatty acids. Both medications lower LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood and triglycerides (fats), and raise HDL (good) cholesterol. The most common side effects of niacin are: Flushing may be reduced by taking 325 mg of aspirin 30 minutes before the niacin and by increasing the dose of niacin slowly. Statins must not be used during pregnancy because of the risk of serious adverse effects to the developing fetus. Niacin can raise HDL levels more than statins can. 4. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. your "total" blood cholesterol. Other fibric acids and niacin are used, with caution, in combination with statins. Having kidney or liver disease and drinking too much alcohol also increase your risk. Liver tests should be measured before statins are started and if there is a medical concern about liver damage thereafter. Rhabdomyolysis often begins as muscle pain and can progress to loss of muscle cells, kidney failure, and death. Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Possibilities include niacin, bile acid sequestrants, cholesterol absorption inhibitors, and fibrates. The time to find out if Medicare covers ambulance service is before you need one. (see Reference #1) This article discusses vitamin F, including what it is, how it…, New research suggests that white meat can have a similar effect on blood cholesterol levels as red meat. Statins can lower LDL cholesterol better than niacin can. Niacin doesn't directly address the problem of high cholesterol. We explain the rules for ambulance service and Medicare. Therefore, drugs that block the action of these liver enzymes increase the levels of simvastatin, lovastatin, fluvastatin, and atorvastatin (but not pravastatin or rosuvastatin) in the blood and can lead to the development of rhabdomyolysis. 5. “So even though it may lower cholesterol, the net benefit is more neutral for niacin than for statins. home/cholesterol health center/cholesterol a-z list/statins vs niacin article. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. What is Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride and Is It Safe? You should see changes within two to four weeks of taking statins or niacin. Mostly used for lowering triglyceride levels in patients whose levels are very high and could … It also supports good digestion and your nervous system. Exercise, weight loss, bariatric surgery, and liver transplantation are treatments for fatty liver disease.

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