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Super High Cholesterol & Lipitor
Jan 6, 2000

Hi. I've read some of the other questions concerning elevated cholesterol and triglyerides with some concern; I too have had the same problem. However, my numbers are MUCH higher than what others in the forum have mentioned. While the average seems to be around 270-280, my cholesterol is steady at 620! Is this common? I'm on d4t, Zerit & Viramune. I've just been put on 20 mg of Lipitor by my doctor (a week ago). Is there a chance this will lower my numbers to a safer level, and by how much?

Response from Dr. Pavia

It sounds like you may have a familial hypercholesterolemia syndrome that is not related to HIV (in English: a genetic problem with high cholesterol. Although there is controversy about which drugs cause changes in lipids and how much of a role HIV by itself plays, your combo or d4T, Zerit, and Viramune is relatively unlikely to raise lipids.

With a cholesterol that high it is very important to get it under control. I am assuming you have had the test repeated and have had a full lipid profile done while fasting. You will probably need higher than normal doses of a statin (like Lipitor), and a visit to a good dietician is in order. If you smoke stop, and weight loss and excercise are key (even if not as sexy as statins). There are docs who specialize in lipid disorders, and can also check on the genetic aspects of it, since other family members may have the same problem. These are usually cardiologists or endocrinologists. Good luck


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