Not all cholesterol medication will actually help improve the health of your heart.
While many cholesterol medications developed to lower high cholesterol do truly work, a recent study on a drug called evacetrapib showed that while it may lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol, the cholesterol medication fails to improve a patient’s heart health.
Evacetrapib is a medication classified as a cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) inhibitor. This specific type of cholesterol medication is used to interrupt the natural creation of LDL cholesterol from HDL cholesterol.
There have been 2 previous types of CETP cholesterol medications tested; one had to be discontinued because it had negative effects on the heart and caused death in a few situations. The other drug resulted in zero effect on the patients who took it.
For 18 months, approximately 12,000 patients from roughly 540 health centers who were at high risk for cardiovascular health issues were given either 130 mg of evacetrapib or a placebo daily. Participants were chosen at random to receive one of the pills.
Most of the patients were conjointly taking statins or similar cholesterol medications during the 18 months. Despite the possible help from other medications, patients taking evacetrapib decreased their LDL levels on an average of 37% and increased their HDL levels by 130% in comparison to patients taking the placebo.
Researchers found that the cholesterol medication fails to improve heart health despite the result of higher HDL and lower LDL levels. For reasons still unknown to the researchers, evacetrapib did not decrease the risk of stroke, heart attack, or increase the time patients had until death caused from cardiovascular complications.
A couple theories as to why this particular cholesterol medication fails to improve heart health include the idea that statins are effective enough that the added CETP does not perform as well. Another possible explanation is that more may be required of the medication than raising HDL and lowering LDL.
Though researchers were perplexed by these results, new medications will be tested and continue to solve the issues that arose from this study and hopefully provide the desired results of better heart health.
This study showed that despite having a seemingly positive influence in overall heart health, not all medication will thoroughly work. If you feel that your cholesterol medication fails to improve heart health, be sure to tell your doctor so you can receive the best treatment.