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Non-statin drugs also can fight cholesterol

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY

October 28, 2002|Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon Special to The Times | Special to The Times

Are there any drugs for cholesterol that aren't statins? My doctor says, "Not really." But I know statins haven't been around all that long, so there must have been something to control high cholesterol. I can't tolerate statins and would welcome an alternative.

You're right that doctors used to prescribe other medicines for high cholesterol. Statin medications such as Zocor, Pravachol and Lipitor are so effective at lowering cholesterol that many doctors stopped using drugs like Questran or Colestid. But these medications, and a newer one called WelChol, are options for people who can't tolerate statin drugs. Other possibilities include Lopid or Tricor.

With the fuss about the dangers of hormone replacement therapy, I stopped taking hormones. Now I have developed vaginal dryness. What can I do about this?

Ask your doctor whether Estring would be a safe alternative for you. This prescription vaginal ring lasts three months after insertion. It releases 2 milligrams of estrogen over that time, which is much lower than typical oral doses of estradiol.

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