Types of Common Medication Used for Treating High Cholesterol

Although medication seems to be the first stop for people looking to sort a problem, when it comes to cholesterol, there is nothing more effective than a healthy lifestyle and regular exercise. If you follow a balanced diet, exercise regularly and still find it a struggle to keep your cholesterol levels under control, then medication is a feasible option for you. This article will teach you some of the more common medications used for treating high cholesterol.

Just like any other types of medication, please seek professional advice from your doctor before proceeding consumption, especially if the problem is on-going, like cholesterol is.


Probably the most common and most popular medication for helping treat high cholesterol levels, is Niacin. B Vitamins are usually deficient in many people’s diets, but if you are serious about reducing your cholesterol levels, then Niacin is a must for you.

Unlike many other medicines, Niacin aims to increase the levels of HDL (the good cholesterol) in your system. The main goal for most people trying to lower cholesterol levels is lowering LDL cholesterol, as these are considered the ‘bad type’. Whilst this is definitely true, you must not forget the importance of HDL: With its ability to prevent the absorption of LDL into the bloodstream, and its ways of removing LDL from your system through excretion, increasing HDL cholesterol should be a main priority too.

Niacin has been reported to help increase levels of HDL in the bodies system by up to 35%! Having more HDL in your body will mean having less LDL also, making Niacin the first stop for many people trying to control cholesterol levels.


Although the major reason for high cholesterol levels is the individual’s diet, some blame can be aimed at the liver, as this organ is responsible for creating its own LDL cholesterol: Just enough to be healthy. If reducing your body’s stores of cholesterol, it can be effective to target the liver, by preventing it from making as much LDL. This is where Statins come in handy.

Statins work by blocking the action of a chemical enzyme, needed in order to let the liver create cholesterol.  Blocking this enzyme will lead to no cholesterol being created by your liver, ultimately stopping further production of LDL. Mixing Statins with a good diet and regular exercise is proven to drastically decrease your LDL levels, reducing your risk of heart disease, strokes and heart attacks. Statins are available in many different varieties, including atorvastatin, fluvastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin, and simvastatin.

Bile Acid Sequestrants:

Usually combined with Statins, Bile Acid Sequestrants are used to help lower LDL cholesterol levels in your system. Sequestrants are recommended for people with medium to high cholesterol levels.

Bile Acid Sequestrants work differently than most other medicines used to treat high cholesterol. The ingredients bind to bile acids in your intestines, preventing them from being absorbed into your bloodstream. Due to the loss of bile acids, the liver then works hard to create more, and for the liver to make bile, it needs cholesterol, which it finds in your blood, taking it away from where it is harmful and using it to create the bile. This process helps remove excess cholesterol from your arteries and digestive system, ultimately lowering your LDL levels.

Taking a prescribed dosage of Bile Acid Sequestrants have been shown to help decrease LDL cholesterol by up to 30%, and increase the amount of HDL cholesterol by up to 5%.

Nicotinic Acid:

An uncommon, but very effective medicine to help treat high cholesterol levels in Nicotinic Acid. The water based Vitamin B is responsible for reducing both triglycerides and LDL, whilst simultaneously increasing levels of HDL. The recommended dosage is anything from 1-3 grams per day, and this is known to help reduce triglycerides by up to 50%, LDL cholesterol up to 30% and increase HDL cholesterol by up to 35%.

Fibric Acid Derivitives:

Although they are known to have little, to no effect on LDL cholesterol levels, Fibric Acid Derivitives are scientifically proven to reduce triglycerides and increase HDL cholesterol. Derivitives are usually only prescribed to people with very high triglycerides, and when following the recommended dosage, you can expect a reduction of between 25 and 50%, plus an increase in HDL cholesterol by up to 35%.

Even though the chances of experiencing any side effects are slim, there are a few common ones which may occur in a few people. They are nothing very serious, and the benefits definitely outweigh the small side effects but you should call your local GP if you experience anything like headaches, gas, stomach ache and vomiting.