Alternatives to statins may reduce pain in patients with high cholesterol.
High cholesterol is a well-known health risk, as it is long been associated with heart disease. Given the widespread nature of cholesterol problems in modern society, treating this condition early on (as soon as it’s identified) is important – and statins are typically the drug of choice for the job. Unfortunately, statins do cause side effects in some patients, which can make them difficult to use over the long run, and many people would like to make a switch to an alternative if given the opportunity. New research is showing that such an opportunity for lowering cholesterol may soon be available.
Both statins and bempedoic acid have the ability to lower cholesterol, but they do it in different ways. Specifically, bempedoic acid goes after the process in the liver a bit earlier than what is accomplished with the use of statins. In the end, this form of medication is able to inhibit cholesterol production by working against adenosine triphosphate-citrate lyase, which is an enzyme.
Taking a different approach doesn’t mean that bempedoic acid is necessarily better than statins, and in fact, statins are likely to deliver better results overall. With that said, because of some of the issues highlighted below, some patients will want to look into this possibility.
The performance of statins against cholesterol has been proven over the years to be excellent, but some people deal with serious side effects that degrade their quality of life too significantly to continue with the medication. Specifically, it’s the onset of muscle pain that makes statins not really work for them anymore. If the pain that comes from taking these is so significant that the individual can’t go about their day-to-day life, it only makes sense to see if another solution could work.
While getting away from statins is appealing because it could offer relief from muscle pain while still lowering cholesterol levels, bempedoic acid can feature its own side effects. Some of those can include stomach pain, symptoms that mimic a cold, and even pain again – specifically, back pain. It’s hard to know exactly how a medication is going to impact a person until it is tried in real-world application.
With that being said, because of the way that bempedoic acid works in the body, the side effects patients deal with tend to be less severe than what can happen with statins. Each case is unique, so some trial and error with different medications may be needed before the right solution is uncovered.
Of course, just because there’s a new alternative for lowering cholesterol being considered, statins aren’t going anywhere in the treatment of high cholesterol. Drugs in this category remain an excellent option for many patients and may be the treatment that provides the greatest results. Statins don’t work for everyone, however, so bempedoic acid may wind up becoming a common alternative treatment that can deliver acceptable results and hopefully without some of the side effects that statins can produce.
It should also be noted that a fair number of people have found they’ve been able to lower cholesterol levels naturally, too, through regular exercise and eating foods known to do the job, including avocados and those containing omegas 3 and 6. Supplements are also prevalent, and these have proven to be successful.