Is there an alternative to statins for high cholesterol? I have always eaten well and get exercise, but was put on lovistatin for high cholesterol years ago and chalked it up to heredity. Now both my uncle and mother can't walk because of statins. My un
Yes, . Yes, there are alternatives to statins for high cholesterol. In fact, there are many options depending on your specific cholesterol profile and your cardiovascular risk. But it is important to understand that statins have an extraordinarily safe track record and they are the absolute best cholesterol drug we have for reducing cardiovascular death. Severe reactions are very rare, but of course it is possible that one or more of your relatives had one of these unfortunate reactions. Rarely, statins can cause muscle damage (rhabdomyolysis). More commonly, they cause reversible muscle aches and pains (myalgias) without actual damage. They can also cause irreversible liver damage, but this is also extremely rare. Assuming your family is indeed predisposed to statin reactions, there are a few options for you. First, Lovastatin is an intermediate potency statin and may be less likely to cause dangerous side effects. Since you have been fine, you could continue it with careful monitoring from your doctor. Or, if you choose to discontinue statins altogether there are other options. Diet control and exercise may be enough. Or there are other drugs. Niacin, is a natural product that has modest effects on lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) and is excellent at raising HDL (good cholesterol). Ezetemibe is a drug that prevents the absorption of dietary cholesterol, and is safe although there are no studies that proves it has good clinical outcomes (e.g. Prevents death or heart attack). Fenofibrate also can lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides while raising hdl. So, you have lots of options. You should have a careful discussion with your doctor revolving around the potential benefit for you of cholesterol lowering vs. The risk of each of these drugs.