Cholesterol Drugs

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The most common cholesterol-lowering drugs are called statins.

Statins disrupt production of cholesterol by blocking an enzyme inside the liver cells. This results in less cholesterol being released into the bloodstream.

Some statins also reduce the inflammatory process in the vessel wall. When the body has a reduced reaction to the invading cholesterol, fewer macrophages travel into the artery wall to form foam cells and plaque. When plaque stops growing inside an artery, the fibrous outer coating remains strong and is less likely to rupture. This is called a stable plaque.

The cholesterol content within the American Heart Association's Watch, Learn and Live Interactive Cardiovascular Library was made possible with funding from AstraZeneca.
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