Sometimes one medicine doesn’t lower your cholesterol enough to lower your risks of heart attack or stroke. If you have heart disease or high risk for heart disease, your doctor may suggest a heart-healthy diet and a statin medicine to lower your risk.
Other medicines can be added if statins don’t lower your cholesterol enough. Getting your cholesterol down is very important. Lowering it reduces your risk of a heart attack or stroke. This is especially true if you already have heart or blood vessel disease or diabetes.
To lower these risks, you must lower your LDL-C (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol). This is the “bad” type of cholesterol. Doctors often want to see your LDL-C level cut in half. This is especially true if your level is very high or after a heart attack or stroke. They do this with statins. If statins are not enough, they may add another drug called ezetimibe. If your risk of another heart attack or stroke is very high, your doctor may add a newer drug called a PCSK9 inhibitor, too.
Some people still have high LDL-C after these medicines have been tried. Others may not be able to tolerate statins. The doctor may prescribe a medicine called a bile acid sequestrant for those people. High triglycerides are another type of abnormal lipid level in your blood. For high triglycerides, the doctor may give you a medicine called a fibrate.
If you have high cholesterol, talk to your doctor. Find out what you can do to lower it and lower your risks.
Lowering your cholesterol lowers your risk of heart attack and stroke!