Drugs for the Treatment of Hyperlipidemia

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Hyperlipidemia is a major risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease. Considerable evidence suggests that drugs with the ability to lower low density lipoprotein-cholesterol also lower cardiovascular deaths. This review will focus on new developments in the design of pharmacological agents and therapies that can favorably affect hyperlipidemia. A broad range of therapeutic agents will be discussed, including food additives, nutraceuticals, conventional pharmaceuticals as well as gene therapy. The potential adverse effects caused by these agents will also be discussed. Appetite suppressants, intestinal lipase inhibitors, inhibitors of dietary cholesterol absorption, inhibitors of chylomicron assembly, HMG CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) and adenovirus-mediated gene therapy are specifically discussed in detail. Treatments and issues specific to the elderly and to children are also described. The specific application of pharmacogenics to the problem of hyperlipidemia is presented as a likely direction for future research emphasis.

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