Summary for the Laboratory Professional

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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Pharmacology of Antihyperlipidemic Medications for Laboratory Professionals. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Summary for the Laboratory Professional

Drug ClassExample DrugPrimary UseLaboratory Implications
Statins Atovastatin
  • Dramatic reduction of LDL
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Often first line treatment
  • ALT increase of 0.5-3.0%, especially in patients with pre-existing liver disease
  • Benign increase in CK
  • Rhabdomyolysis (rare)
Bile acid resins Cholestyramine
  • Moderate reduction of LDL
  • Small increase in HDL
  • Vitamin K and folate abnormalities possible
Cholesterol Absorption Inhibitors
Ezetimibe
  • Usually combined with a statin in patients needing further decrease in LDL than a statin alone provides
  • Generally, well tolerated
  • Increased risk of liver toxicity in patients taking as statin simultaneously
Niacin Niacin
  • Popular over-the-counter medication to lower LDL and triglycerides while increasing HDL
  • Possible increase in serum liver enzymes, glucose, and uric acid
Fibrates Gemfibrozil
  • Treats hypertriglyceridemia
  • Often used as an add on to other lipid-lowering medications
  • Serum creatinine monitoring needed for those with renal disease
  • Decreased WBC count and HCT (rare)
PCSK9 inhibitors Evolocumab
  • Used in combination with a statin in patients needing a further decrease in LDL than a statin alone can provide
  • No muscle or liver injury noted
  • Generally, well tolerated