Heart Disease Home > What Is Pitavastatin Used For?
If you have high cholesterol and high triglycerides, you may benefit from using pitavastatin. This prescription medication works by blocking a certain enzyme responsible for producing cholesterol in the body. It is only approved for use in people age 18 years old and older. Older adults may need a lower dosage of this medicine, as they may have an increased risk for side effects or kidney problems.
An Overview of Uses for PitavastatinPitavastatin (Livalo®) is a prescription medication approved to treat high cholesterol and high triglycerides, in combination with a low-cholesterol diet. Specifically, this medication is designed to:
- Reduce total cholesterol
- Reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or LDL ("bad cholesterol")
- Lower apolipoprotein B (ApoB) cholesterol (another type of "bad cholesterol")
- Lower triglycerides
- Increase high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or HDL ("good cholesterol").
Using Pitavastatin to Treat High Cholesterol and TriglyceridesCholesterol is a type of fat found in some foods. It is also made in the body. While the body needs some cholesterol to work right, too much cholesterol can be harmful. When the amount of cholesterol in the blood gets too high, you are said to have high cholesterol, also known as hyperlipidemia.
Triglycerides store fat in the body and are used by most body cells for energy. Triglycerides are found in the fats in foods. They are also made in the body. Both triglycerides and cholesterol are fatty substances, or lipids. Hyperlipidemia refers to increased levels of lipids in the blood, including cholesterol and triglycerides.
Some people may also have low HDL levels. HDL cholesterol is often referred to as "good" cholesterol, because it picks up the extra cholesterol in the blood and brings it to the liver to get rid of or repackage for later use. Having low HDL levels, in addition to high cholesterol or triglycerides, is sometimes called dyslipidemia.
Hyperlipidemia itself does not cause symptoms; so many people are unaware that they have it. The only way to know for sure is to have your blood cholesterol checked with a blood test. Most people get checked for high cholesterol every five years. However, people who are at risk for heart disease should get their cholesterol checked more often.
Even though high cholesterol doesn't cause symptoms, too much cholesterol in the blood can be serious. This is because high cholesterol increases your risk for atherosclerosis, which can lead to serious medical problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attacks, and strokes.
Medications like pitavastatin are used to lower cholesterol in people who cannot lower cholesterol through lifestyle changes alone. Specifically, it is indicated to treat hyperlipidemia and dyslipidemia, in combination with diet. Pitavastatin can lower total cholesterol, LDL ("bad cholesterol"), and triglycerides. It can also increase HDL ("good cholesterol").