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Are Lifestyle Changes Enough to Lower Your Cholesterol?

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(BPT) - Pam and her husband always lived a very busy lifestyle, even in retirement. They spent their time boating, fishing and enjoying the company of their children and grandchildren. Pam couldn’t wait to watch her grandchildren grow up, go to college and become successful in life. She assumed that because she avoided unhealthy habits, she could accomplish that goal, until the day she received her high cholesterol diagnosis, and everything changed.

If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone — Pam is among more than 93 million American adults with high cholesterol.i Knowing her family’s history of heart disease, Pam did not take her diagnosis lightly. Shocked and scared of becoming another statistic, she dedicated herself to healthier lifestyle choices. She began to follow a strict heart-healthy diet and began to exercise more regularly.

Despite her lifestyle change and best efforts, each year Pam’s cholesterol levels continued to rise. Finally, her doctor recommended a statin to aid in lowering her cholesterol levels, because for some people, like Pam, a healthy diet and exercise alone aren’t enough to reduce cholesterol to healthy levels. Statins work by reducing the cholesterol levels made by the liver and by helping remove cholesterol that’s already in the blood.ii

Statin therapy can be a critical part of achieving lower cholesterol levels, in addition to healthy diet and regular exercise. Statins are proven to help reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.ii In fact, approximately 38.6 million Americans are taking statins, with over 1/4th of Americans over 40 currently on a statin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).iii

However, among patients prescribed a statin, studies indicate that more than half of them stop taking that statin within the first year, often without discussing it with their doctors.iv This can be incredibly dangerous, as high cholesterol doesn’t have any physical symptoms but is a major risk factor for heart attack or stroke — and then it may be too late.v

It’s important to keep an open dialogue with your doctor about your experience taking your statin medication. Many do not know that there are multiple statin options available and they aren’t all the same.iv How someone responds to a statin can vary from person to person. Individual factors may include medical history, other ongoing medications or supplements, age, and ethnicity.vi

Pam began taking her statin and has been on it ever since. She says that it has given her the extra help she needed to lower her cholesterol levels into a healthy range where they’ve remained! She has continued to keep an active lifestyle and is able to focus on her family and doing the things she enjoys.

High cholesterol can be managed with the right treatment plan, but it’s vital to work with your doctor to find a statin that's best for your unique needs. Hear more about Pam's story and learn more about LIVALO® (pitavastatin) and how it can help you lower your cholesterol at LivaloRx.com.

Important Safety Information for LIVALO® (pitavastatin) tablets

What is LIVALO?

  • LIVALO is a cholesterol-lowering medication called a “statin” for adults with high cholesterol that, along with a heart-healthy diet, helps to lower total cholesterol, “bad” cholesterol (LDL-C), triglycerides, and Apo B and to raise “good” cholesterol (HDL-C).
  • LIVALO has not been studied to evaluate its effect on reducing heart-related disease or death.

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.
  • Tell your healthcare provider of a known or suspected pregnancy.

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
  • Diarrhea

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 prescription 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, protected from light, and keep out of the reach of children.
  • Take LIVALO orally once daily with or without food at the same time each day.
  • Swallow the tablet whole. Do not split, crush, dissolve, or chew.
  • The maximum recommended dosage is LIVALO 4 mg once daily.
  • If you take too much LIVALO or you or someone else takes an overdose, call your doctor and/or local Poison Control Center.

Other important information I should know about LIVALO.

  • LIVALO is available by prescription only.

For additional information please see the full Prescribing Information or visit www.LivaloRx.com.

© Kowa Pharmaceuticals America, Inc. (2021) - LIV-RA-0142 PI of 09/2020

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i Virani SS, Alonso A, Benjamin EJ, Bittencourt MS, Callaway CW, Carson AP, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2020 update: a report from the American Heart Association. Circulation. 2020;141(9):e139–e596.

ii American Heart Association. Cholesterol Medications. http://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cholesterol/prevention-and-treatment-of-high-cholesterol-hyperlipidemia/cholesterol-medications. Accessed January 12, 2021

iii Gu Q, Paulose-Ram R, Burt VL, Kit BK. Prescription cholesterol-lowering medication use in adults aged 40 and over: United States, 2003–2012. NCHS data brief, no 177. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2014.

iv Cohen JD, Brinton EA, Ito MK, Jacobson TA. Understanding statin use in America and gaps in patient education (USAGE): an internet-based survey of 10,138 current and former statin users. J Clin Lipidol. 2012;6:208-215.

v American Heart Association. What is Cholesterol? http://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cholesterol/about-cholesterol. Accessed January 12, 2021.

vi Mayo Clinic. Statins: Are these cholesterol-lowering drugs right for you? https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/statins/art-20045772. Accessed January 12, 2021.