6.11 Antilipemics

Open Resources for Nursing (Open RN)

Antilipemic agents reduce hyperlipidemia that may lead to additional health problems such as stroke, myocardial infarction, angina, and heart failure. Medications should be used in adjunct with a healthy diet and exercise regime approved by the patient’s health care provider.

Atorvastatin

Mechanism of Action

Atorvastatin inhibits HMG-CoA reductase and cholesterol synthesis, which reduces LDL (low density lipoprotein).

Indications for Use

This medication is used for hyperlipidemia and the prevention of cardiovascular disease.

Nursing Considerations Across the Lifespan

Do not use with patients who have hepatic disease.

This medication is contraindicated with patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Do not give to patients under 10 years of age.

Use caution with geriatric patients due to increased risk for myopathy.

Adverse/Side Effects

Patients who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take this medication. A health care provider will assess routine liver function for a patient taking atorvastatin. Nausea, diarrhea, dyspepsia, increase in blood glucose, rhabdomyolysis, myalgia, or muscle spasms may be produced by taking this medication. Rhabdomyolysis is a condition in which damaged skeletal muscle breaks down rapidly, causing muscle pain and weakness. Some of the muscle breakdown products are harmful to the kidneys and can cause kidney failure. There may be tea-colored urine or an irregular heartbeat with rhabdomyolysis. [1]

Patient Teaching & Education

Patients should take the prescribed medication as directed and avoid consuming grapefruit juice during drug therapy.  The medication should be used with dietary modifications.  If the patient experiences muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, these should be reported to the healthcare provider.[2]

Now let’s take a closer look at the medication grid on atrovastatin in Table 6.11a.[3]

Table 6.11a Atorvastatin Medication Grid

Class/

Subclass

Prototype-

generic

Administration Considerations Therapeutic Effects Adverse/Side Effects
HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors atorvastatin Take at the same time each day, with or without food

Report muscle weakness, feeling tired, abdominal pain, or yellowing of skin or eyes

Reduce LDL Rhabdomyolysis, myalgia, and muscle spasms

Abnormal liver enzymes

May increase blood glucose

Nausea, diarrhea, and dyspepsia

 

Ezetimibe

Mechanism of Action

Ezetimibe blocks the absorption of cholesterol in the small intestines to reduce LDL.

Indications for Use

This medication is used for treatment of hyperlipidemia and familial hypercholesterolemia.

Nursing Considerations Across the Lifespan

If medication is combined with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, do not give to pregnant or breastfeeding patients.

Adverse/Side Effects

Use with caution when ezetimibe is combined with additional medication. Patients may experience arthralgia, rhabdomyolysis, hepatic impairment, dizziness, upper respiratory infections, or diarrhea if they are taking this medication. Minimal side effects were reported with monotherapy. [4]

Patient Teaching & Education

Patients should take the prescribed medication as directed and avoid consuming grapefruit juice during drug therapy.  The medication should be used with dietary modifications.  If the patient experiences muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, this should be reported to the healthcare provider.[5]

Now let’s take a closer look at the medication grid for ezetimibe in Table 6.11b.[6]

Table 6.11b Ezetimibe Medication Grid

Class/

Subclass

Prototype-

generic

Administration

Considerations

Therapeutic Effects Adverse/Side Effects
Cholesterol Absorption Inhibitor ezetimibe Take at the same time each day, with or without food

Report muscle weakness, feeling tired, abdominal pain, or yellowing of skin or eyes

Reduce LDL Arthralgia, rhabdomyolysis

Hepatic impairment

Dizziness

Upper respiratory infection

Diarrhea

 


  1. This work is a derivative of Daily Med by U.S. National Library of Medicine in the public domain.
  2. uCentral from Unbound Medicine. https://www.unboundmedicine.com/ucentral
  3. This work is a derivative of Daily Med by U.S. National Library of Medicine in the public domain.
  4. This work is a derivative of Daily Med by U.S. National Library of Medicine in the public domain.
  5. uCentral from Unbound Medicine. https://www.unboundmedicine.com/ucentral
  6. This work is a derivative of Daily Med by U.S. National Library of Medicine in the public domain.

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Nursing Pharmacology by Open Resources for Nursing (Open RN) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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