What Drug Can I Use Instead Of Lipitor

Question

Asked by bj

What Drug Can I Use Instead Of Lipitor

Answer

bj,

Thanks for your question. There are several different classes of drugs with many choices within each class to choose from.

Lipitor is a statin medication, which works in the liver to reduce the production of cholesterol products that wind up in the bloodstream. This reduces the plaque formation within arteries. In addition to Lipitor, other commonly used statins include zocor (now available as generic), crestor, and pravachol, and mevacor (also available as generic). Of these, crestor, zocor and Lipitor are the strongest in this class.

Zetia is a cholesterol lowering drug that works in the intestinal tract rather than the liver. This drug can be used alone, or as an add on to another drug that is already in used to obtain better results.

Nicotinic acid, and its longer acting form, niaspan, work to reduce cholesterol, raise HDL and lower LDL in the blood. Flushing can be an issue that lasts about two to three weeks, which in many cases can be aborted by taking aspirin, ibuprofen, or Benadryl prior to dosing the medication.

There are drugs called fenofibrates that also work by binding cholesterol. They work to lower cholesterol, raise HDL, but are especially effective for triglycerides. Tricor is an example of a drug in this class.

And then there are over the counter medications like Omega 3 fish oil tablets that have show benefit in improving cholesterol numbers.

The best this for you to do is to sit down with your doctor and first discuss your objections to taking Lipitor - whether it is side effects, or cost factors. Together, you and your physician should easily come up with an alternative that will fit your situation.

Best wishes.

Martin Cane, M.D.