Drugs, statin
A class of drugs that lower cholesterol. There are currently at least 5 statin drugs on the market in the U.S., including: Lovastatin (brand name: MEVACOR), Simvastatin (brand name: ZOCOR), Pravastatin (brand name: PRAVACHOL), Fluvastatin (brand name: LESCOL), Atorvastatin (brand name: LIPITOR), and The major effect of the statins is to lower LDL-cholesterol levels, and they lower LDL-cholesterol more than other types of drugs. Statins inhibit an enzyme, HMG- CoA reductase, that controls the rate of cholesterol production in the body. These drugs lower cholesterol by slowing down the production of cholesterol and by increasing the liver's ability to remove the LDL-cholesterol already in the blood. The large reductions in total and LDL-cholesterol produced by these drugs in research studies resulted in large reductions in heart attacks and heart disease deaths. Thanks to their track record in these studies and their ability to lower LDL-cholesterol, statins have become the drugs most often prescribed when a person with heart disease needs a cholesterol- lowering medicine. Studies using statins have reported 20 to 60% lower LDL-cholesterol levels in patients on these drugs. Statins also produce a modest increase in HDL- cholesterol and reduce elevated triglyceride levels. The statins are usually given in a single dose at the evening meal or at bedtime. It is important that these medications be given in the evening to take advantage of the fact that the body makes more cholesterol at night than during the day. Results from the statins start to be seen after several weeks, with a maximum effect in 4 to 6 weeks. The statins are generally well tolerated by most patients, and serious side effects are rare. A few patients will experience an upset stomach, gas, constipation, and abdominal pain or cramps. These symptoms usually are mild to moderate in severity and generally go away as your body adjusts. Rarely a patient will develop abnormalities in blood tests of the liver. Also rare is the side effect of muscle problems. The symptoms are muscle soreness, pain, and weakness. Statins may also strengthen bone tissue. Thus, people over 50 taking statins (to lower cholesterol) had fewer hip fractures, as was reported in 2000 in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • statin — [stat′ n] n. any of a class of drugs, as lovastatin, that lower the levels of LDL and cholesterol in the blood, commonly used in treating heart disease * * * stat·in (stătʹn) n. Any of a class of lipid lowering drugs that reduce serum cholesterol …   Universalium

  • statin — [stat′ n] n. any of a class of drugs, as lovastatin, that lower the levels of LDL and cholesterol in the blood, commonly used in treating heart disease …   English World dictionary

  • Statin — This article is about the group of cholesterol lowering drugs. For the amino acid, see Statine. Lovastatin, a compound isolated from Aspergillus terreus, was the first statin to be marketed. Statins (or HMG CoA reductase inhibitors) are a class… …   Wikipedia

  • Statin development — The discovery of HMG CoA (3 hydroxy 3 methylglutaryl CoA) reductase inhibitors, called statins, was a breakthrough in the prevention of hypercholesterolemia and related diseases. Hypercholesterolemia is considered to be one of the major risk… …   Wikipedia

  • statin — Any of a group of drugs that lower the amount of cholesterol and certain fats in the blood. Statins inhibit a key enzyme that helps make cholesterol. Statin drugs are being studied in the prevention and treatment of cancer …   English dictionary of cancer terms

  • statin — noun Etymology: from statin (as in lovastatin) Date: 1986 any of a group of drugs (as lovastatin and simvastatin) that inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol and promote the production of LDL binding receptors in the liver resulting in a usually… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • statin — stat·in stat ən n any of a group of drugs (as lovastatin and simvastatin) that inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol and promote the production of LDL binding receptors in the liver resulting in a usu. marked decrease in the level of LDL and a… …   Medical dictionary

  • statin — noun Any of a class of drugs (chiefly lactones or pyrroles) that lower the amount of cholesterol in the blood by inhibiting an enzyme involved in its biosynthesis …   Wiktionary

  • statin — [ statɪn] noun Medicine any of a group of drugs which act to reduce levels of cholesterol in the blood …   English new terms dictionary

  • statin — n. any one of a class of drugs that inhibit the action of an enzyme involved in the liver s production of cholesterol (see HMG CoA reductase). Statins can lower the levels of low density lipoproteins (LDLs) by 25–45% and are used mainly to treat… …   The new mediacal dictionary

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