Latest posts by Makeba Giles (see all)
- Book Review: Higher is Waiting by Tyler Perry - November 17, 2017
- Expert Advice: Taking a Positive, Active Approach to Managing COPD - November 17, 2017
- Holiday Decor Made Easier with At Home: My Favorite Things - November 16, 2017
This post was sponsored by Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. Personal opinions and thoughts are my own.
Now that I’m in my 40s, I have become more focused on my heart health. I’ve established a routine for adequate amounts of sleep. I make it a priority to exercise daily, even if it’s just taking a walk in the neighborhood or riding my exercise bike.
I schedule moments in my day, week, and month for real downtime. I do things daily to help minimize my stress levels. In other words, I’m not superwoman and I can’t do it all. I need to delegate and ask for help when I need it.
Most importantly, I now make better, healthier choices for meals and snacks. I’ve always mostly cooked at home, but now I’m more cautious with what I feed my body. I am particularly watchful about foods that could elevate my cholesterol levels.
I took it upon myself to learn my individual cholesterol numbers and the risks associated with high LDL-C (or, bad cholesterol). Bad cholesterol is nothing to play with, so I take every necessary step to keep it properly managed and under control. Doing so has made a positive change in the state of my overall health.
That is why I am proud to help increase awareness of high cholesterol, which affects more than 100 million adults in the U.S. High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease and the leading cause of death in America. Unfortunately, less than one third of people with high LDL cholesterol don’t have the condition under control according to the CDC2.
Untreated high cholesterol can increase the risk of developing heart disease and even having a heart attack. To lower cholesterol levels, doctors often prescribe a medicine called a statin. Surprisingly, at least 50 percent of people stop taking their prescribed statin within one year of starting it. Why? Some reasons may include lack of understanding about the importance of the medication, potential side effects or concerns about drug interactions.
Particularly when it comes to drug interactions, it’s important for people to talk to their doctor about all of the medications they take, including dietary supplements and over-the-counter and prescription medicines. In a survey of more than 10,000 previous and current statin users in the U.S., on average, patients used three products with the potential to interact with their statin treatment.3
I learned about a statin that has a lower risk of unpredictable drug interactions is LIVALO® (pitavastatin). LIVALO, along with a heart-healthy diet and regular exercise, can improve cholesterol levels. LIVALO is also metabolized or processed in the liver differently than most other statins, and may be less likely to interact with other medications. And because of the way LIVALO is processed in the liver, patients are also able to eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice, which can potentially interfere with the action of some prescription drugs.
I hope that if you have high cholesterol, you take steps to get it under control including eating a healthy diet, exercising and talking to your doctor.
I encourage you to talk to your doctor to learn more about your cholesterol numbers, and the risks associated with high LDL (bad) cholesterol in order to get heart-healthy and remain that way not just for the year ahead, but also for years to come.
If you or someone you love wants to learn more about LIVALO and its cost-savings program, visit www.LIVALORx.com.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. and should not be construed to constitute medical advice. My personal story and opinions are my own. I am not a medical professional and am not qualified to give medical advice. Please talk with your doctor about your individual medical situation.
Important Safety Information for LIVALO® (pitavastatin) tablets
Who should NOT take LIVALO?
LIVALO is not right for everyone. Do not take LIVALO if:
- You have a known allergy to LIVALO or any of its ingredients.
- You have active liver problems, including some abnormal liver test results.
- You are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant, as it may harm the baby.
- You are currently taking cyclosporine or gemfibrozil.
What is the most important information I should know and talk to my doctor about?
- Call your healthcare provider or get help right away if you experience any symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as rash, itching, or hives.
- Muscle problems may be an early sign of rare, serious conditions. Tell your doctor right away if you have any unexplained muscle pain, weakness, or tenderness, particularly if accompanied by malaise or fever, or if these muscle signs or symptoms persist after discontinuing LIVALO.
- Serious liver problems have been reported rarely in patients taking statins, including LIVALO. Your doctor should do liver tests before you start, and if you have symptoms of liver problems while you are taking LIVALO. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you feel more tired than usual, have a loss of appetite, upper belly pain, dark-colored urine, or yellowing of the skin or eyes.
- Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications you take including nonprescription medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.
- Increases in blood sugar levels have been reported with statins, including LIVALO.
- Tell your doctor about your alcohol use.
What are the most common side effects of LIVALO?
The most common side effects of LIVALO in clinical studies were:
|· Back pain||· Muscle pain|
|· Constipation||· Pain in the legs or arms|
This is not a complete list of side effects. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of all drugs to the FDA.
Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
How should I store and take LIVALO?
- Store LIVALO tablets at room temperature, in a dry place, and out of the reach of children.
- LIVALO can be taken at any time of day, with or without food.
- Swallow the tablet whole. Do not split, crush, dissolve, or chew.
Other important information I should know about LIVALO.
- LIVALO has not been studied to evaluate its effect on reducing heart-related disease or death.
- LIVALO is available by prescription only.
For additional information please see the full Prescribing Information or visit www.LivaloRx.com.
© Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. (2017) – LIV-RA-0109 PI of 11/2016
LIVALO prescribing information
CDC. National Health Report: Leading Causes of Morbidity and Mortality and Associated Behavioral Risk and
Protective Factors—United States, 2005–2013. MMWR. 2014;63(04);3–27.
Statin Usage Survey, http://www.statinusage.com/Pages/about-the-survey.aspx
Wei et al. Journal of Clinical Lipidology (2013) 7, 472-483.
Harvard Health Publication. “Grapefruit juice and statins.” http://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/grapefruit-
juice-and-statins. Accessed May 26, 2017.
CDC, “September is National Cholesterol Education Month.”
https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/cholesterol_education_month.htm. Accessed May 26, 2017.
Budinski D, Arneson V, Hounslow N, Gratsiansky N. Pitavastatin compared with atorvastatin in primary
hypercholesterolemia or combined dyslipidemia. Clin Lipidol. 2009;4(3):291-302.
Ose L, Budinski D, Hounslow N, Arneson V. Comparison of pitavastatin with simvastatin in primary hypercholesterolaemia or combined dyslipidaemia [published correction appears in Curr Med Res Opin.
2010;26(5):1046]. Curr Med Res Opin. 2009;25(11):2755-2764.
9. Stender S, Budinski D, Gosho M, Hounslow N. Pitavastatin shows greater lipid-lowering efficacy over 12 weeks than pravastatin in elderly patients with primary hypercholesterolaemia or combined (mixed) dyslipidae Eur J Prev Cardiol. 2013;20(1):40-53.