The Truth About Consuming Statins and Fibrates

 The Truth About Consuming Statins and Fibrates Together


There are many different medications that your doctor may prescribe to help adjust your lipid levels. Statins and fibrates are two of the most common cholesterol management medications, and your doctor may prescribe both depending on your medical needs.


The Truth About Consuming Statins and Fibrates

1. How do statins and fibrates differ?

Statins are enzyme-inhibiting medications that are the best cholesterol drugs for lowering low-density lipoproteins. They have some success at raising high-density lipoproteins and removing triglycerides from the blood as well. Fibrates belong to another class of medication that has some success at raising your HDL levels, while lowering triglycerides. They do not have much effect on your LDL cholesterol and may actually cause it to rise.


2. Is it safe to take statins and fibrates simultaneously?

Conventional wisdom says that it is not ideal; however, many doctors are beginning to believe that the benefits of taking these two different medications outweigh the risks of potential drug interactions. There are side effects that you may experience while taking these two drugs together.


BY THE NUMBERS

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than one in three Americans have high LDL levels. However, one of three of those people affected do have the condition under control.


3. What are the side effects of taking statins and fibrates together?

The primary concern is damage to muscle tissue, which causes weak, sore muscles. Certain fibrates interfere with your body's ability to break statins down. This causes high levels of statins in your blood, which leads to muscle toxicity. A common sign of this is brown urine, as it signifies muscle proteins in your bloodstream. These proteins can damage your kidneys as well.


4. Are there ways to make taking fibrates and statins together safer?

Not all fibrates and statins interact badly with each other. Gemfibrozil is a common fibrate that should not be taken with many common statins. However, fenofibrate does not interact with statins, so it is a safe choice if you need both of the medicines.


If your doctor puts you on both of these medications, monitor your body and urine for symptoms of muscle damage. If you experience anything that indicates a potential drug interaction complication, speak to your doctor immediately.


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