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Livalo Lowers Cholesterol With Fewer Interaction Problems

Wednesday, 19 Oct 2011 07:41 AM

Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, which are the largest selling class of prescription drugs in the United States, are being credited in a report released last week with helping to reduce the number of deaths of people with heart disease.

But these lifesaving drugs do carry a risk for adverse side effects, especially when combined with other medications. However, one relatively new statin to consider is Livalo by Eli Lilly, which, when it was introduced last year was touted as having fewer interaction problems than other drugs of its type.

Chauncey Crandall, M.D., one of the country’s top cardiologists, treats some of his patients with Livalo (pitavastatin).

“One of the issues with statins is that they have a high rate of interactions,” Dr. Crandall, chief of the cardiac transplant program at the world-renowned Palm Beach Cardiovascular Clinic in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., told Newsmax Health. “When other statin therapy has failed, we have used Livalo successfully.

He noted that the drug seems to help those who have a problem with muscle cramping, a common side effect of statin drugs. “There appears to be less of this with Livalo,” added Dr. Crandall, author of Newmax’s “Heart Health Report.”

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report showing that 6 percent of adults in the United States had heart disease in 2010, compared to 6.7 percent the year before. Although heart disease remains the No. 1 killer in the United States, the report said the significant decline was due to better cholesterol management, high blood pressure treatment, and less smoking.

Along with diet changes, statins are the key tool in fighting high cholesterol. However, the medications do not do any good if patients cannot stay on them because of drug interactions or adverse side effects. This is a particular problem of people with heart disease, who often also must take multiple medications for other conditions, like diabetes and high blood pressure.



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