Statins for High Cholesterol: Lipitor and Generic Statins

High cholesterol as it relates to heart health is on everybody’s minds these days. It certainly has been on mind. I found out years ago that my total cholesterol level was nearly 300. So I knew I was likely headed toward some heart disease issues if I didn’t do something.

I first tried to lower it through eating a low fat diet and by getting more exercise. It didn’t work. The total cholesterol level did go down but the ratios between good and bad cholesterol did not change significantly. Plus I lost so much weight that while I may have been more healthy internally, externally I looked sick.

So in my case, my doctor recommended statins and I started taking Lipitor. My doctor has told me that Lipitor has many studies showing its effectiveness and that it is proven to reduce cholesterol levels preventing damage to the heart and other arteries.

How do statins do their job? By keeping your liver from producing so much cholesterol. The bad cholesterol (LDL) causes the build up of plaque in the arteries. That blockage is what can cause a heart attack or stroke. The clinical studies have further shown that the good results can come pretty quickly.

Something that I did know until recently is that most cholesterol is produced at night. Therefore you are usually advise to take your statins at night to do the most good. However my doctor told me that Lipitor is good taken any time of the day. Other statins such as the generics are better taken at night. By the way, it about 18 months there will be generic version of Lipitor and the other generics will likely not be available anymore. But the Lipitor generic will be cheaper.

Once I started taking statins, the doctor told me that we would need to do follow blood tests to see how well the drug was working. He also wanted to check on any possible side effects which can include muscle problems. The doctor wants to know if there is any pain or soreness of muscles. It generally only takes from 6 to 8 weeks for the statins to start working.

Taking statins is most effective when used along with changes in one’s diet and exercise. Your doctor can recommend diets that are good for your heart and what kind of exercise you could do given your age and general health.

High cholesterol is something that everyone should take seriously. And statins aren’t the answer to everything, but they have been found very useful to many. My own doctor is somewhat aggressive in looking at heart health and recommended that I see another doctor who did a sonar test which found some build up in the arteries in my next. That build up of plague is predictive of plague build up in the heart.

So along with the statins I’m taking, he has recommended taking a number of vitamins. While he was in medical school, he was taught that once there was plague build up there was no way to remove it. Fortunately, that has changed. With the proper medications and vitamins the damage can be reversed. Along with vitamins for the heart, for vitamin D deficiencies, he has me taking that the D supplement as well.

So it is advisable that you see your doctor, have the proper tests done and if needed let your doctor give you a strategy for keeping your heart healthy.

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