DOCTOR'S VIEW ARCHIVE

The Statins...Doing More Than Lowering Your Cholesterol?

PARIS - This is about the "statins", an important group of drugs that lower cholesterol. They may do much more, it appears, than just reduce cholesterol, as if that were not enough!

The statins are grouped together as "Antilipemic Agents" by the PDR (Physicians' Desk Reference). Lipemia is an excess of lipid (fat) in the blood, so an antilipemic agent obviously acts to reduce lipids. Among the different types of "Antilipemic Agents", the PDR has the "HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors", better known as the statins. The statins now on pharmacy shelves in the U.S. (putting the brand name first in capital letters followed by the generic name in parentheses) are:

More about the statins later. First for some background beginning with the prime target of the statins, cholesterol.