triglycerides are still high after you make lifestyle
changes, you may need to take medicine as well. Whether your doctor prescribes
medicine for high triglycerides depends on more than just your triglyceride
number. Your doctor will also look at your cholesterol levels and other risk
factors for heart disease before prescribing a medicine for high
If you have high cholesterol and other risk factors
for heart disease, you may need a combination of medicines that target the
different types of cholesterol. The medicines that you might take are:
Statins are used to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. Statins
may also lower triglycerides. If you have both high LDL cholesterol and high
triglycerides, your doctor may first prescribe statins to lower your LDL and
later prescribe a medicine to lower your triglycerides.
triglycerides are very high even after lifestyle changes, your doctor may first
use medicine to lower your triglycerides to prevent damage to your
Fibrates (fibric acid derivatives) should be used with
caution by people who are also taking statins. There is a greater risk of
developing a life-threatening muscle problem called
rhabdomyolysis, which can lead to kidney failure. So
it is important that your kidneys and liver are healthy before you take this
combination of medicines. If you have any muscle problems or pain, report it
immediately to your doctor.
Treatment if the condition gets worse
If you have
not previously been taking medicines for high
triglycerides, you probably will start. If you have
been taking medicines but they have not been effective, your doctor may change
your dosage or add new medicines. The medicines that you might take are:
If you are taking a statin, you need to be extra careful
if you are also taking fibrate medicines. There is a greater risk of developing
a life-threatening muscle problem called
rhabdomyolysis, which can lead to kidney failure.
Before you can take this combination of medicines, your kidneys and liver must
be healthy and function normally. If you have any muscle problems or pain,
report it immediately to your doctor.
Your doctor may prescribe
an omega-3 fatty acids medicine (such as Lovaza). You can get omega-3 fatty
acids from eating oily fish like salmon or tuna. But this medicine is a highly
concentrated form of omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower triglyceride levels.
This medicine is used in combination with diet and lifestyle changes for high
triglycerides. This medicine may raise LDL cholesterol levels slightly, so your
doctor may closely watch your cholesterol levels if you take Lovaza.
You may need to think about how well you are able to follow your plan for
making lifestyle changes. You may need to get some help to meet your goals.
Consider meeting with a registered dietitian or nutritionist who can work with
you to make healthier food choices. Do not overlook the importance of
increasing your activity-join a health club or consult a personal trainer who
can design a program for you to help make exercising interesting, fun, and more
effective. You may want to choose walking to help increase activity in your
- Fitness: Walking for wellness