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Cholesterol Lowering Medication; Bile Acid Resins

Bile acid resins are another cholesterol lowering medication besides statins and nicotinic acid. Bile acid resins usually in the form of powder (some are shaped tablet) mixed with drinks or liquids to drink. Bile acid resins are also quite popular because of its use has been used for more than 30 years without showing the danger of this type of cholesterol treatment.

Bile acid resins work by binding to bile acids in the intestine and then discarded along with human feces. Bile acid resins specifically bind bile acid substance which has a high cholesterol level and can be absorbed in the human blood circulation. Therefore, this treatment is more targeted to lower cholesterol levels originating from bile acid. Bile acid which already bound in the intestines by bile acid resins make the liver produces new bile acid by absorbing cholesterol in the blood circulation, since bile acid are made from high level of cholesterol. Proven by bile acid resins effectiveness, human cholesterol level could go down to 20%, to be noted the cholesterol level that going down are the LDL (low Density Lipoprotein) or the other name is the “bad cholesterol”. When the treatment combined with statins, the cholesterol level could decrease up to 40%.

Bile acid resins are the safest cholesterol treatment compared to other cholesterol medication (statins, fibrates and nicotinic acid) and also does not give negative effects to the liver. It’s just that the level of success in lowering the cholesterol level in the blood is not as good as the others. Bile acid resins can be used as an alternative treatment for patients with cholesterol who cannot tolerate statins well.

Bile acid resins have some brand name prescription drugs, such as

  1. Welchol
  2. Locholest
  3. Colestid
  4. Prevalite

This is a prescription drugs and not over the counter drugs, require a written prescription for its use. Consult to your doctor if you believe need to use this type of treatment. If you have a condition such as high triglycerides, severe constipation and lipid disorder you may need to tell your doctor as well as the treatment may be less suitable for you.

In general, bile acid resins also have side effects that are minor, it should be noted that the side effects are usually not harmful and the benefits of the drug is much better than the side effects. After using bile acid resins, the possible side effects that could occur likely are:

  • Stomach pain
  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Constipation

To bear in mind in addition to the side effects, the use of bile acid resins could also led to the use of the other drugs become ineffective. So there are times when you need to give a distance between use of bile acid resins with use of other drugs for about 1 to 4 hours either before or after use of the previous treatment. Consult this with your doctor, tell all the treatments and medications that you are currently using. This will help your treatment and provide you with the best result needed by your body.