Cholesterol Treatment

Connection between Lipitor and the Immune System

There are a number of reasons that result in elevated levels of serum cholesterol. What you eat, how much you exercise, your stress levels are just a few of the reasons that may contribute to high cholesterol levels

Reducing high levels of cholesterol can be achieved by changing one’s lifestyle and diet. This can be achieved over a period of time by exercising, eating right, quitting smoking and moderating the intake of alcohol.

There are circumstances where a doctor may want to try to medically control high cholesterol levels. This could be due to certain reasons. A doctor might want to control and bring down the cholesterol levels in a short span of time. The patient may be genetically prone to high cholesterol.

As is the case with any drug, drugs for treating cholesterol may also have certain side effects. Certain drugs are known to reduce the chances of one particular disease at the expense of creating a totally different health problem.

Lipitor is a brand name of the oral drug atrovastatin of the family of drugs called statins that are known for lowering LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol and triglycerides and to a lesser extent for increasing the levels of HDL (high density lipoprotein). The drug works primarily by inhibiting the functioning of an enzyme that is required by the body to produce cholesterol.

It is a very effective drug but may have side effects.  One of the possible side effects of Lipitor is that it may suppress the functioning of the immune system.  Studies are underway to determine the effects of Lipitor on the immune system. There has been research on links between the two, but the results are inconclusive.

On the one hand, suppressing the effect of the immune system may be beneficial in the case of a transplant patient it may have other undesirable consequences for other patients.

As is the case with all prescription drugs, Lipitor should only be taken under the care and supervision of a physician who is familiar with your medical history and current conditions.  When taken as directed the side effects are usually minimal.