What Are Statin Drugs Made from – Dangerous Ingredients Alert!
What are statin drugs? Well, they are medications that are used to lower the levels of bad cholesterol in the blood. Doctors use them to help lower the risk of cardiovascular disease in people who have high cholesterol or those that are at high risk. Most statin drugs are used in conjunction with dietary and lifestyle changes for the most benefit and the best chances of reducing the risk of serious health problems, like heart attacks.
According to Wikipedia, lipid lowering medications work to reduce the amount of cholesterol that the liver produces. They accomplish this by slowing down the HMG-CoA enzyme that is important to the body’s manufacturing of cholesterol. This technical explanation of the method in which lipid lowering medications work may sound complicated, but understanding what are statin drugs means understanding how they work within the body to accomplish their functions.
The medications are important. After all, LDL cholesterol (which stands for low density lipoprotein) can cause serious long term consequences when it builds up in the body. WebMD explains the effects of LDL cholesterol, highlighting its main negative trait, which is its tendency to contribute to atherosclerosis by building up in blood vessel walls. Blood clots formed suddenly when these build ups lead to blockages which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
However, exploring what are statin drugs cannot truly be done without exploring what they are made of and what effects they can lead to. In general, high cholesterol medications share many similar side effects. Most notably problems with the liver and muscle pain, which are common among many of the most popular and commonly prescribed medications. However, there are other side effects that can occur with statin medications. For instance, Pravachol side effects can include gastrointestinal problems as well as fatigue in some users. Rare side effects can also occur with statin medications as well. Rare Zocor side effects can include pancreatitis, cataracts and even arthritis.
Medications are made from both inactive and active ingredients. The active ingredients in medications are what make the medicine work for the condition that it is indicated for. The inactive ingredients in medicines are what lend to characteristics like texture and color. They also may include preservatives. Understanding just what are statin drugs means also understanding the inclusion of these inactive ingredients. They vary from medicine to medicine and from manufacturer to manufacturer. Not all inactive ingredients can lead to side effects. However some can. One of the most common of these is an allergic reaction. Some inactive medicine ingredients can lead to undesirable reactions in people who are sensitive to them. However, aside from a rash and hives, some inactive ingredients found in statins may be dangerous or potentially dangerous. For instance, Zocor, one of the most popular cholesterol lowering medications, contains butylated hydroxyanisole. Wikipedia refers to a study conducted by The National Institutes of Health that points to the ingredient’s potential to act as a carcinogen to humans, based on animal research. The inclusion of Polysorbate 80 in Lipitor’s ingredient list may not seem very dangerous, as the inactive constituent is commonly used in many foods. However, as Wikipedia points out, those with Crohn’s disease may be among those most sensitive to it and the most likely to negatively react to it.
It is hard to put together an all encompassing list of what are statin drugs made of. With well over a handful of approved popular cholesterol medications, and each formulation varying per the manufacturer, independent consumer research is needed to determine exactly what is in each one and whether those ingredients will contribute to the risk of side effects. Sometimes, one medication may cause side effects in one individual, and another will not. This is why often doctors will try another statin drug if the one they initially prescribed tends to cause unwanted side effects before eliminating medications altogether in favor of other treatments like plant sterols and stanols.
So, what are statin drugs? Well, they are among the most prescribed medications in the United States and are used to lower bad cholesterol numbers. Like other medications, they contain both active and inactive ingredients. These formulations can contribute to side effects in some individuals. However, they are prescribed to people by physicians when their benefits to health are thought to outweigh their potential risks, and they should not be discontinued without medical advice. If you are concerned about the medication that you are taking or have been prescribed, it is important to discuss these concerns with a health care provider, along with any side effects that you may be encountering. Your doctor may decide to change your medication or eliminate it entirely should dangerous, unpleasant or unrelenting side effects occur due to the composition or effects of the drug.