What are Cholesterol Medications with Least Side Effects?

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When it comes to lowering cholesterol with medical intervention, there is a chance for this option to cause some side effects. But if you are looking for cholesterol medications with least side effects, lifestyle approaches and heart-healthy diet are the best answer you should prioritize. These approaches are not only good in helping to lower your LDL (low density lipoprotein – commonly considered as ‘bad cholesterol) but also great ones for your entire health in long term.

Unfortunately, sometimes lifestyle approaches are not enough to help deal with. In such case, medical intervention is required.

Which one that comes with least side effects?

Two individuals with high cholesterol who take the same medication may experience different side effects. So, the answer of that question may vary from patient to patient.

Overall, you doctor should clearly understand treatment that meets with your body needs most. Therefore, for in-depth information and more advice about this issue, discuss with your doctor /healthcare provider!

Furthermore, while each medical intervention has side effects, sometimes doctors prescribe a combination of different medications which means may cause more side effects. Whatever it is — this should provide more advantages that outweigh than disadvantages /side effects that may occur during and after the treatment.

The following are some common cholesterol medications and their side effects.


They may be the most common choice of medication prescribed by doctors for most people with high cholesterol, which are also pretty common used for the first line of treatment. When this option doesn’t work, doctors may prescribe other medications to treat the problem more effectively.

The side effects that may include muscles tenderness (in very rare cases), liver damage, and problems of intestine [1] .

The effectiveness of statins has been confirmed by some studies. Statins may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems such as heart disease and heart attack because they decrease LDL and triglyceride (another kind of bad cholesterol).

They may also cause a mild effect to boost the level of HDL (high density lipoprotein or often called as ‘good cholesterol’).

How do they work? In general, they decrease LDL level by blocking and inhibiting the production of cholesterol in the liver.

You should not use statins without recommendation from your doctor because they may interact with certain medications that you are taking.

Furthermore, some studies found that the use of statins may also cause raised blood sugar, mental confusion, or memory loss [2]. Examples of statins that are commonly prescribed by doctors include Crestor (Rosuvastatin), Pravachol (Pravastatin), Lescol (Fluvastatin), Zocor (Simvastatin), and Lipitor (Atorvastatin).

Bile-acid resins

They can bind to the bile produced by the liver, which is helpful to prevent bile from being reabsorbed into the system (cardiovascular system).

If bile can be prevented to be reabsorbed in your cardiovascular system, it would help decrease the chance of your LDL to rise.

Bile that comes from the liver is made largely from cholesterol. This means that you can deplete your body’s supply of cholesterol when the reabsorbing mechanism of your bile can be eliminated.

Since bile-acid resins work inside the intestine, the most common possible side effects that occur are problems associated with digestive system such as upset stomach, bloating /gas, and constipation [3].

WelChol, Colestid, Questran and Questran Light are some prescribed medicines categorized into bile-acid resins.

Nicotinic Acid

Basically, it is a kind of B-complex vitamin and therefore you can find it naturally in certain foods. But it is now also available in the tablet /capsule form (at high doses by prescription).

It is not only intended to help lower LDL but also to help boost HDL. Niaspan and Nicolar are some examples of this medication. And for side effects – these may include headache, itching, and tingling.

Inhibitors for cholesterol absorption

As the name suggests, these inhibitors are intended to help prevent the cholesterol absorption into the cardiovascular system. Zetia is one of the common choices for this kind of medication.

It can help lower LDL by restricting and preventing the absorption of dietary cholesterol. It may be used with statins.

And for the side effects that may occur, these include digestive problems, stomach pain, and muscles pain.

What is the conclusion?

Overall, the tolerance of each cholesterol medication can vary from person to person. And you doctor can give the best advice for which one or a combination of different medications that meet to your body needs.

Since each medication can be potential to cause side effects, your doctor usually will ask and learn your personal medical history before making a prescription. If necessary, she /he may also recommend you to take a test to analyze the function of your liver.

*Again — for in-depth information about the side effects of cholesterol medications, consult more with your doctor!

Lifestyle approaches is the best choice in long term

Again, medical interventions mentioned before are commonly used to treat high cholesterol when the problem doesn’t respond to lifestyle approaches. These options are also usually necessary when your doctor think that your cholesterol too high and should be lowered immediately.

Since these options can cause side effects, they are not commonly prescribed to be used in long term – unless if you have certain health conditions and your doctor believe that the advantages of taking certain medical intervention in long term are greater than the potential of side effects that may occur.

The takeaway, your doctor should have a strong medical reason when he or she recommends you to take a cholesterol medication in long term.

Weight control

We all agree that it’s very important to get and stay at your best shape and weight. It’s not only about your physical appearance – but the most important thing is to improve your overall health, including for lowering your risk of high cholesterol.

In general, there are two crucial things you need to concern to lose weight; boost your physical activity and appropriately cut your calories intake.

If you are being overweight, visit here for more detailed information on how weight loss can help lower your LDL!

Appropriate dietary approaches

There are many foods high in saturated fats and cholesterol that can trigger your LDL to rise. But fortunately, you also have plenty options of healthy foods that can help boost your HDL and lower your LDL.

Here is a completely guide on how to lower LDL with dietary approaches.

How about with lowering-cholesterol supplements? Which one that works?

While most cases of high cholesterol treatment often involve lifestyle approaches, there are also some supplements that may help.

Some of these supplements (according to the Cleveland Clinic Department of Nutrition) include:

  1. Jackie Pryor
    May 9, 2018 | Reply
  2. Jackie Pryor
    May 10, 2018 | Reply
    • HClop
      May 20, 2018 | Reply

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