University of Michigan Medical Center, Department of Urology, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
There are a variety of agents, dosages, and mechanisms involved in reducing cholesterol.

Statins are the most well-known class and three of the six currently available agents have now lost patent protection. Thus, large reductions in price are expected in 2006-2007 across the entire class.

The other classes of cholesterol-lowering agents include targeted triglyceride reducers and high-density lipoprotein boosters; two other classes include primarily cholesterol absorption inhibitors.

A recent addition to the cholesterol-lowering prescriptions include prescription omega-3 products, which are highly concentrated, have excellent quality control, and are used to reduce abnormally high levels of triglycerides.

All of these agents can be used in some restricted combination, or individually to significantly impact the various forms of lipids in the bloodstream. The bottom line is that practitioners have a large diversity of medications available for cholesterol lowering, and this is enormously exciting at a time when these agents have such profound effects in a variety of disciplines.