Lipona and Cholesterol

(Animated Illustration)

Cholesterol is a solid fat carried in blood by lipoproteins and deposited in the walls of arteries which therefore narrow and when they block completely cause heart attacks and strokes.
The other term used for all the cholesterol types in the blood is "lipids" and the blood cholesterol test is often called a "fasting blood lipid test" and high cholesterol is often called a "lipid disorder". The lipids commonly measured in the blood test are the Total Cholesterol.

The sub-fractions of total cholesterol called:
  • HDL (high density lipoprotein) also sometimes called "good cholesterol" from exercise, weight loss is good.
  • LDL (low-density lipoprotein) also sometimes called "bad cholesterol" means too much cholesterol going to the arteries. Reducing LDL cuts the risk of myocardial infarction - mi. LDL if below 0.8 can lead to zero mi risk!
  • Triglycerides another fatty substance often called " ugly cholesterol" - hence the saying "the good, the bad and the ugly"when interpreting blood lipid reports.

is a fatty sludge that can form inside the tubular lining of the blood vessels carrying high pressure blood (the arteries) and can partially block an artery making it difficult for blood to flow and also making it likely that the blood will clot at that point. If this happens to an artery in the brain, a stroke occurs; if it happens to an artery around the heart then a heart attack (myocardial infarction) will occur.

The risk factors for formation of atherosclerosis include:
  • Certain chemicals from cigarette smoke which get into the bloodstream through the lungs
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • Lack of exercise
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Diabetes
  • High animal fat in diet
  • Family history for some people
  • Age 45 years or older for men; 55 years or older for women, or premature menopause.

Desirable: Less than 200 mg/dL
Borderline high risk: 200–239 mg/dL
High risk: 240 mg/dL and over

Atorvastatin (Lipona):
Is a drug used to lower high levels of cholesterol and other fat-like substances in the blood. It acts both by reducing the production of cholesterol and increasing its rate of removal from the body.
It is given by mouth to people who have hypercholesterolemia - high cholesterol levels in the blood - to help prevent the development of atherosclerosis.
Atorvastatin (Lipona): is therefore given long-term to prevent a stroke or a heart attack both for people who have had one before and for those who are judged to have high risk factors for such an event in the future.
These are usually measured after an overnight fast. This is to give more accurate results. It is important not to do the test too close to flu or other illness.
There is no point taking Atorvastatin (Lipona) unless you try hard to reduce animal fat and excess sugar in your daily diet. If you think that you can safely eat the wrong foods because the Atorvastatin (Lipona) will compensate, then you are fooling yourself because Atorvastatin
(Lipona) can only carry out its prevention job when other risk factors for atherosclerosis are under control.

Who should not take Atorvastatin (Lipona)?
  • Those with active liver disease or with unexplained persistent raised liver enzymes in the blood
  • Pregnant or breast feeding women.

Who should be careful taking Atorvastatin (Lipona)?
  • Patients with a past history of liver disease.
  • Patients with a heavy use of alcohol.
  • People who have unexplained aching muscles.
What are the possible side effects?

Minor side effects

- Tummy upsets such as constipation, flatulence, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, dyspepsia.
- Headache
- Insomnia

Potentially serious side-effects

- Muscular disorders - aching/weakness of muscles with rise in muscle enzymes in the blood. This is more likely to happen in those on therapy with fibrates, immunosuppressant or lipid-lowering doses of nicotinic acid, erythromycin or azoles antifungal.
- Fatigue.
- Fever in conjunction with muscle pain, tenderness or weakness, malaise and raised blood levels of muscle enzymes.

What is the dosage?
The usual dose range for adults is between 10-80 mg once daily, usually taken with the evening meal. We usually begin at 10 mg once daily, and measure fasting lipid levels within 4 weeks and adjust dosage according to the response.
The maximum daily dose is 80 mg per day.
Lipona comes in 10 mg and 20 mg.

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