Millions of Americans take medicines for many different health conditions. Many do not understand the seriousness of the health conditions being treated or the importance of the medicines that have been prescribed. This lack of understanding about health conditions is called medical illiteracy and is a significant contributor to noncompliance – or people failing to take their medicines and incorporate diet and lifestyle changes as prescribed by their healthcare providers. Chronic health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and increased cholesterol or hypercholesterolemia are significant contributors to worse events such as heart attack, and CHF if not appropriately managed.
Statins are a potent class of medications used to treat high cholesterol.
- Why Statin Based Pills Are Prescribed?
Statins are a potent class of medications used to treat high cholesterol. Commonly prescribed statin based pills end in the letters -statin and include simvastatin, atorvastatin, and pravastatin. They work by blocking the enzyme HMG-COA reductase that results in reduced formation of cholesterol in the liver.
- Possible Side Effects
Most people who are prescribed these medications are able to enjoy their beneficial effects without experiencing bothersome side effects. Unfortunately, a small percentage of people taking statins may experience muscle aches, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and abnormal liver functions tests. Liver functions tests should be checked before starting a statin drug, six months after starting it, then periodically as determined by your health care provider. Ensure that you discuss any potential side effects with your healthcare provider immediately who may need to choose an alternative medicine to treat your condition.
- The Importance of Compliance
Seeing your healthcare provider on a routine basis is not enough if you do not follow the instructions that have been given once a health and wellness concern is identified. One of the most important steps that you can take to prevent worsening of your health is to take any medications that are prescribed. Most people will require lifetime treatment with medications for certain chronic diseases, but some will be able to eventually stop taking their medicines if strict compliance with diet and lifestyle changes can be maintained.