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14 Nov

How Do Hyperlipidemics Work

Hyperlipidemia, hyperlipoproteinemia, or hyperlipidaemia (British English) is abnormally elevated levels of any or all lipids and/or lipoproteins in the blood.  It is the most common form of dyslipidemia which includes the abnormal production of lipids, fats and cholesterol.

Hypolipidemic agents, or antihyperlipidemic agents, are a diverse group of pharmaceuticals that are used in the treatment of hyperlipidemias. About 1 million people in the US, are having a problem of hyperlipidemia. They either treat this problem by taking anti-hyperlipidemics or by having surgeries like liposuction etc. Hypolipidemics either work by decreasing the triglycerides synthesis in the liver or by reducing the cholesterol level by Inhibiting the production of HMG-CoA reductase, which is a enzyme used by the liver to produce cholesterol. Some of them, combine with bile acids and form insoluble complex which prevents the resorption of bile acids from small intestine. They are also called lipid-lowering drugs.


Antihyperlipidemic or hypermipidemics agents promote reduction of lipid levels in the blood. Some antihyperlipidemic agents aim to lower the levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, some reduce triglyceride levels, and some help raise the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. By reducing the LDL cholesterol, they can prevent both the primary and secondary symptoms of coronary heart disease.


  • Reduce the level of fats, lipid and cholestrol in the bloood.
  • Treat hyperlipidemia and hyperlipoproteinemia
  • Prevent heart disease
  • According to Ignatavicius and Workman, Medical-Surgical Nursing: Critical Thinking for Collaborative Care, 2005, the risk for coronary heart disease is three times greater if the cholesterol level is at or above 260 mg/dL compared to a person with a level of200 mg/dL or lower.


There are various types of hyperlipidemics, that work differently to reduce the fat and lipids. These include:

  • Fibric acid derivatives

They reduce the synthesis of triglycerides in the liver. They work by decreasing the VLDL and LDL  and they increase the level of HDL.

Side effects:

  •     Nausea
  •     Flatulence
  •     Bloating
  •   Diarrhea
  •     liver changes


  •     Fenofibrate (Tricor)
  •     Gemfibrozil (Lopid)
  •     Clofibrate (Atromid-S)


HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (HMGs or statins)

They reduce the cholestrol level by Inhibiting the production of HMG-CoA reductase, which is a enzyme used by the liver to produce cholesterol. They lowers the rate of cholesterol production

Side effects:

  •     Liver changes
  •     GI upset
  •     Constipation
  •     Diarrhea


  • Fluvastatin (Lescol)
  • Lovastatin (Mevacor)
  • Simvastatin (Zocor).
  • Pravastatin (Pravachol)
  • Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
  • Niacin (nicotinic acid)

They are required in higher doses than when used as a vitamin. They work by decreasing the triglycerides. They increases the level of HDL. They are very effective and inexpensive. They are often used in combination with other lipid-lowering agents.

Side effect

  • Hypotension from vasodilation


  • Niacin (Niaspan)
  • Bile acid sequestrants

They are necessary for absorption of cholesterol. They work Combining with bile acids and form insoluble complex.  They prevent resorption of bile acids from small intestine.


  •     Cholestyramine (LoCHOLEST)
  •     Prevalite
  •     Questran
  •     Light
  •     Colestipol HCl (Colestid)
  •     Colesevelam HCl (Welchol)


There are some side effects associated with hyperlipidemics which include:

  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Nausea
  • Increased risk of gallstones
  • Prolonged prothrombin time
  • Dysfunctional changes in liver
  • Elevated enzymes in liver
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