Triglyceride Medications, Side Effects & Safe Alternatives

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There are several conventional triglyceride medications available in the market used for triglyceride-lowering purposes.

More than 85 million Americans with elevated triglyceride and /or cholesterol levels seek medical help in the U.S alone per year.

Good or Bad? Check your Triglyceride level:    mg/dl    

The American Cholesterol Education Program Expert Panel's current policy on fasting blood triglyceride levels in adults recommends medical intervention in patients with triglyceride levels in the range of 200 - 499 mg/dL (2.3–5.64 mmol/L).

Following are the triglyceride-lowering drugs you can find on the market.

1. Triglyceride Medication – Group 1 - Statins

Statins belong to a famous class of cholesterol-lowering drugs commonly prescribed for cholesterol and triglyceride level reduction.

Statins block a key liver enzyme involved in the production of cholesterol in the liver thus slowing down its production. Statins enhance the uptake of bad cholesterol (LDL-cholesterol) by the liver and remove extra cholesterol from the blood.

Another important use of statins is in people at high risk of developing heart disease particularly those with: high blood pressure, a family history of heart disease, diabetes, and high levels of bad cholesterol.

1.1 Statins: Side-Effects

Statins are safe and free of side effects. However, in some people following side- effects have been observed:

• Gastrointestinal upsets

• Skin rash

• Sleep disturbances

• Headache

- Statins are not recommended in:

• Person allergic to any of its components

• Patient with advanced liver disease

• Pregnant or breast feeding women

1.2 Statins: Brands Available

There are number of statins available in tablet or capsule form including:

Zocor, Lescol, Lipitor, Mevacor, Pravachol, and Crestor.

Zocor is the most famous and one of the best-selling statins around the world. It is added to the diet, if diet control alone has failed to achieve target levels.

1.3. Statins + Grapefruit Juice: Not a Good Idea

If you are using statins as Triglyceride medication to lower high cholesterol and/or triglyceride levels, you should not use Grapefruit juice.

Grapefruit juice is known to contain a chemical that deactivates the liver enzymes required to break down the statins.

This can lead to abnormally higher concentrations of drug in the blood causing toxicity.

2. Triglyceride Medication – Group 2 – Fibrates

Fibrates are a group of triglyceride-lowering drugs known to reduce the triglyceride levels by 20 to 50 percent. Fibrates are available in capsule and tablet form and the most common brand is Lopid (Gemfibrozil).

Lopid is a prescription-only drug used as a triglyceride medication and used primarily in patients having raised cholesterol levels associated with high levels of triglycerides.

Lopid is also given in patients with very high levels of triglycerides thus at risk of developing inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis) and blood clotting problems. Another benefit of fibrates is that they increase your good cholesterol (HDL) by 10-15 percent.

Fibrates are commonly prescribed in patients with hyperlipidemia in diabetes. In these patients, abnormal levels of lipids are often associated with high levels of triglycerides and low levels of good (HDL) cholesterol.

2.1 Fibrates: Side-Effects

Only minimal side-effects of Fibrates are known and include:

• Nausea

• Vomiting

• Gastrointestinal discomfort

• Headache

• Skin rashes

• Muscle aches

• Liver disturbances

3. Triglyceride Medication – Group 3 - Nicotinic Acid Derivatives

Commonly called niacin (Vitamin B3), nicotinic acid derivatives are both cholesterol and triglyceride lowering drugs. Niacin is available in capsule, tablet, or solution form and the most common brands include Niaspan, Niacor, Slo-Niacin, Nicolar, and Nicotine.

Niaspan is approved in the U.S. for increasing good (HDL) cholesterol and it is known to increase HDL levels by 14-32 percent. Patients using Niaspan may experience flushing on the face, chest, neck, and back. However, in most cases, flushing sensation lasts only for one hour or so.

Niaspan is not prescribed in patients with active liver disease, bleeding disorder, and peptic ulcer. Diabetics using Niaspan also need to monitor their blood glucose levels regularly as it causes an increase in blood sugar levels.

Conclusion

You can find only a few conventional triglyceride medications in the market sold to be used in patients with high triglyceride and/or cholesterol levels.

Commonly, these drugs are prescribed only after exercise, lifestyle changes, and diet control has failed to achieve the normal triglyceride levels.

None of these triglyceride-lowering drugs is without side effects and you should not use any of these without prior consulting your healthcare provider.

You will hear every health professional saying that exercises, changing the life-style and diet changes are essential for lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

And more you read, you will find that “NO SINGLE” conventional medicine is without side effects. Now, the missing part of the Jigsaw puzzle is the ultimate “ALL NATURAL” supplement formula that promotes well-being and healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Packed with a blend of natural ingredients, it provides you maximum results without all those long-list of side effects. 

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