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Choosing drug therapy for patients with hyperlipidemia

, : Choosing drug therapy for patients with hyperlipidemia. American Family Physician 61(11): 3371-3382

Almost 13 million American adults require drug therapy to meet the low-density lipoprotein goals set by the National Cholesterol Education Program. Attempts to achieve these goals through diet and exercise are often unsuccessful. Major studies in recent years have demonstrated that statins decrease low-density lipoprotein levels, coronary events and overall mortality. Statins are the most commonly prescribed lipid-lowering agents because they are effective, well tolerated and easy to administer. Niacin has beneficial effects on all of the main lipid components, and new extended-release tablets have fewer adverse effects. Fibrates remain the most effective agents in lowering triglyceride levels and should be limited to this use. Bile acid sequestrants are seldom prescribed because of their adverse gastrointestinal effects and cumbersome administration.


PMID: 10865931

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