Statin Therapy: The Primary Treatment

Statin Therapy:

The Primary Treatment for Lowering Cholesterol and Reducing Heart Disease Risks
Statin therapy is considered the primary pharmacological treatment for reducing cholesterol levels and mitigating the associated health risks, such as heart and vascular diseases. These medications have demonstrated efficacy in numerous clinical studies, contributing to a decreased risk of angina, stroke, and improved lifespan in patients with cardiovascular diseases.

This class of drugs inhibits cholesterol synthesis in the liver (yes, most cholesterol is produced internally rather than being ingested). The liver, which requires cholesterol primarily for bile acid synthesis, begins by actively extracting cholesterol from the blood in the form of low-density lipoproteins. Over time, this leads to a gradual reduction in blood cholesterol levels, with up to a 50% decrease from baseline achievable with sufficient statin doses.

About Statins

The first statins were discovered from fungal culture, and subsequent generations have been developed through chemical advancements. Among the prominent statins used in treatment are atorvastatin and rosuvastatin. Numerous clinical studies involving thousands of patients convincingly demonstrate the ability of these drugs not only to lower blood cholesterol levels but more importantly, to significantly reduce the risk of angina and stroke, and most importantly, to increase the lifespan of patients with cardiovascular diseases (especially those who have previously experienced angina, as well as individuals with other forms of ischemic heart diseases).

Atorvastatin stands out as one of the most effective statins, available under brand names like “Lipitor” from Pfizer. Rosuvastatin is also among the effective statins, available under brand names like “Crestor” from AstraZeneca.

  • Typical doses in modern cardiology for atorvastatin are around 40-80 mg, while doses for rosuvastatin range from 20-40 mg.
  • Additionally, ezetimibe is used as adjunctive therapy to lower cholesterol levels, distributed under brand names like “Zetia.”

In addition to statins, PCSK9 inhibitors are used as a new treatment to lower cholesterol levels, serving as an option for cases inadequately responsive to statins. Among the approved PCSK9 inhibitors, evolocumab can be mentioned as an example.

Ultimately, individuals should understand the importance of balancing benefits and risks when using statins or any other treatment to improve cardiovascular health and communicate with their doctor to make the best decisions based on individual health status and needs.