Day after day, the need for discovering new cholesterol lowering drugs increases.
High blood cholesterol level or hypercholesterolemia increases the risk for developing cardiovascular diseases, which are considered to be one of the most leading causes of death in the United States.
Therefore, 1ry and 2ry preventive measures utilizing 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme-A reductase inhibitor (known as statins) have clinically proved lowering the LDL “Bad” cholesterol levels in the blood; consequently, this has a significant influence in reducing death rates due to CVD.
Unfortunately, only forty percent of patients treated with statins will achieve their LDL targets.
Furthermore, this percentage will markedly decrease (reaching eighteen percent or less) in patients who already suffer from CVD.
This wide gap in achieving LDL targets with old cholesterol lowering drugs, like statin, is mainly due to inadequate starting doses and inability of many patients to tolerate high doses or combination therapy plans of these drugs.
Clinically, the side effects of most cholesterol-lowering regimes are directly proportional with dose taken; the higher the dose, the more the adverse effects.
Because of the limits of the present cholesterol-lowering medications, new cholesterol lowering drugs with similar mechanisms corresponding to statins, but with improved side effects can definitely help a lot of patients to achieve their LDL targets.
Selective cholesterol absorption inhibitors are a new cholesterol lowering drugs which can possess these criteria.
Ezetimibe is the first drug of this class approved by FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia in USA; it can be used as mono-therapy or in combination therapy.
Brand names of combination products
Ezetimibe mode of action is performed by the inhibition of the absorption of dietary cholesterol from the small intestine, while the absorption of fat soluble vitamins, bile acids, or triglycerides is not affected.
The efficiency and safety of the dose of 10 mg/daily ezetimibe have been clinically proved. In fact, ezetimibe was tested as monotherapy, or combination therapy with statins or fenofibrates, and it was used for treating patients with primary hypercholesterolemia, familial hypercholesterolemia and sitosterolemia.
Ezetimibe is found to lower LDL “Bad” cholesterol by 15-20%, elevate HDL “Good” cholesterol levels by 2.5-5%, while it has no effect on triglycerides. As ezetimibe is minimally absorbed by the body, it shows minimal side effects as well as deceased drug interaction.
These new cholesterol lowering drugs are ideal for reaching LDL targets in patients who can’t tolerate high doses of statins or for those who requireadditional reduction in their LDL levels despite taking maximum dosage of statins.
Ezetimibe can cause some side effects, including; headache, dizziness, diarrhea, sore throat, running nose, sneezing, painful joints, rashes, itching, swallowing and breathing difficulties, swelling of face and extremities, buffing of the eyes, extreme weakness, gastric upset, loss of appetite, bleeding and bruising.
Livalo is one of new cholesterol lowering drugs approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration in august, 2009.
It has approved 4 milligram of Livalo (pitavastatin) maximally for the treatment of patients with high blood cholesterol levels.
Livalo belongs to statin group, thus it mainly reduces the liver's capability of making cholesterol by inhibiting HMG Co-A reductase enzyme.
Livalo efficacy and safety are clinically proved to be better than the 3 statin drugs found currently in the market. Livalo main side effects include pain in back, muscles, and joints, besides constipation.
Crestor Lawsuit - How everything started?
All this rumor is because of some severe side effects of Crestor drug. Crestor (rosuvastatin calcium) is a statin drug, used to reduce the elevated levels of cholesterol.
They have similar mechanism of action. They influence one very important enzyme in the cholesterol metabolism. That’s why the production of cholesterol within the body is reduced dramatically.
However, everything has its price. The price for this great result is the possibility to experience one or several (severe) side effects, associated with Crestor.
The approval of this drug has been delayed by one year by Food and Drug Agency (FDA). The main concern was related to the 80 mg dosage of the drug. This dosage was considered rather dangerous.
The possibility some of the side effects to be experienced, when taking 80 mg dosage is greatly increased. FDA recommended some changes to be made in the drug.
However, a year later, in 2003, the drug was approved by FDA. Five months were enough to collect enough data about patients, who have experienced severe side effects.
Statins have similar side effects. However, the reason for Crestor recall is that some of the patients have suffered from the most severe side effects.
1. Rhabdomyolysis - this is a process, where the muscle cells are destroyed. The patient could feel severe pain in the muscle, which is affected. The muscle cells consist of big proteins. These big proteins could stop the blood flow in certain areas of the body.
2. Kidney failure - this is a result of the destruction of the muscle cells. The big proteins stop the blood flow in the kidney and some part of the kidneys are left without blood supply. They will inevitably die.
It is a result from the severe side effects. Doctor needs to examine the patients, who claims that they have experience side effects, specific for Crestor.
Also, the doctor needs to examine the reasons for patient’s death and he/she must estimate whether they are related to the intake of Crestor.
Second ingredients and price are not a reasonable reason to start a lawsuit. These things are rather not important for the patient’s health status.
Crestor recall by FDA was necessary due to the many reports of patients, who have experienced the side effects, specific for Crestor.
That’s how many patients were saved and they did not have the chance to experience some or all of the side effects, which are associated with Crestor.
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