Classified as a statin, Lipostat is a medicine commonly prescribed for the treatment of high cholesterol. Available in the form of a tablet in numerous strengths (depending on the concentration of active ingredient pravastatin sodium), Lipostat is, similarly to most other medicines belonging to the same class of pharmaceutical compounds, issued in the lowest dose which is gradually increased if there’s the need to do so.
What’s on this page?
As a more or less typical high cholesterol treatment, it is intended to be used in tandem with a wider cholesterol-reducing programme involving dietary changes and light exercise. As a branded medicine developed and marketed by Bristol Myers Squibb, Lipostat is a reliable and highly efficient treatment for people struggling with high cholesterol.
High cholesterol: What is it and how is it diagnosed?
High cholesterol is a medical condition that can be surprisingly hard to identify as it produces no noticeable signs and symptoms on its own. However, what makes it especially dangerous is the fact that it can lead to numerous serious and potentially even life-threatening complications and conditions including a heart attack and stroke.
High cholesterol is marked by the heightened levels of a particular type of fat called low density lipoproteins (LDLs). While they can be found in numerous types of food and hence absorbed through the small intestine, a vast majority of LDLs is actually produced by the body in the liver.
It might be surprising for some to learn that cholesterol in itself is not harmful – on the contrary, it is absolutely essential for the proper functioning of the body and especially for the maintaining the integrity of the cellular structure and formation of healthy cell tissue. After being generated by the liver, these fats are bound to proteins (thus making lipoprotein compound) and are then transported throughout the body until they reach cells that need them. However, if there is an excess abundance of cholesterol, the cells won’t absorb it all and the substance will start accumulating in the blood vessels, narrowing them and causing congestion.
These processes will, in turn, lead to decreased blood flow and blockages, eventually leading to a number of cardiovascular and respiratory problems including angina and even heart attack or a stroke. This is why lowering cholesterol is absolutely essential in preventing these conditions and complications.
What are the causes of high cholesterol?
The most common causes of high cholesterol are harmful lifestyle choices and practices, most notably
- Diet rich in saturated fats
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Lack of physical activity and exercise
Because of this, the first thing that your doctor will recommend after diagnosing high cholesterol is making an effort to change these habits. In some milder cases, just lifestyle changes can be enough to bring the condition under control. However, if the cholesterol has already started accumulating in the blood vessels, prescription medicine might be necessary in order to prevent further complications.
Lipostat as a high cholesterol medication
Statins are most commonly prescribed medicines for the treatment of high cholesterol and Lipostat also belongs to this class, together with drugs such as Lescol, Lipitor or Fluvastatin. With pravastatin as an active ingredient, Lipostat is highly adept at reducing the cholesterol levels by limiting lipid production in the liver. It achieves this by inhibiting the activity of a specialised liver enzyme that is tasked with cholesterol production.
Once this process is limited, the levels of cholesterol will steadily drop and eventually return to normal, thus reducing the risk of associated conditions.
How is Lipostat used?
In order to optimise the results of Lipostat treatment while at the same time minimising the risk of side effects, you should follow the directions provided by your prescriber exactly. In addition to this, the official patient information leaflet that is issued within every pack of the medicine will also provide you with the valuable information regarding the use of this medicine.
Here we have compiled a short and very general overview to help you get an idea of how Lipostat treatment will look like.
- Take in line with prescribers instructions
- Regardless of the severity of your condition, the starting dose will be 10-20mg daily
- Usually, the dose will be adjusted over the course of the treatment
- Make sure to monitor your cholesterol levels while the treatment lasts
- Prescribed dose should be taken as a single daily dose, ideally in the evening
- Take the tablets whole with water
- Never exceed the prescribed amount
- If you miss a dose, do not try to compensate – just continue with the course as usual
Keep in mind that this is just an illustration and not a comprehensive guide. For a more detailed overview, consult with your doctor or refer to the official patient information leaflet.
What are Lipostat side effects?
While only a fraction of those using Lipostat will experience some side effects, it is still important to get familiar with the details so you can easily differentiate between potentially dangerous adverse effects that will require immediate medical assistance and those which are somewhat uncomfortable, but otherwise completely benign.
You should immediately contact the emergency services if you notice any signs and symptoms indicative of:
- Allergic reaction
- Muscle pain, tenderness or weakness
- High temperature
Other side effects that you should keep in mind include:
|Frequency of occurrence||Side effects|
|Uncommon (1 in 100 users)||Dizziness, tiredness, headache, insomnia, blurred vision, indigestion, itching, pimples, hives, sexual difficulties, hair loss, muscle and joint pain, bladder issues|
|Very rare (1 in 10.000 users)||Tingling or burning sensations or numbness in the extremities, lupus-like symptoms, abnormal blood tests, inflammation of the liver or pancreas|
Keep in mind that this is not a complete list of known side effects – for a more comprehensive overview, please refer to the official patient information leaflet.
Is Lipostat safe for me? Lipostat contraindications
As is the case with all prescription medications, Lipostat isn’t suitable for everybody and there are some scenarios when its use will be contraindicated. This can be the case, for example, if you are currently taking some other medicines that might adversely interact with Lipostat. These include:
- Other cholesterol treatments
- Products containing nicotinic acid
- Resin-type drugs
Alternatively, some other medical condition might make Lipostat use dangerous for you. The conditions to be aware of include:
- Liver disease
- Kidney disease
- Muscle disorder caused by a hereditary condition
Finally, Lipostat should not be used by women who are pregnant, are trying to conceive or are currently breastfeeding.1