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Healthy Heart Reports

Drugs That Raise Homocysteine

A study from Tulane shows that several drugs used to prevent heart attacks, raise blood levels of homocysteine and therefore may actually increase risk for heart attacks.

High blood levels of homocysteine increase your risk for a heart attack. The vitamin, Folic acid, is necessary to lower blood levels of homocysteine. Anything that lowers blood levels of folic acid increases your risk for a heart attack. Glucophage, used to treat diabetes, and cholestyramine, used to treat high triglycerides, block the absorption of folic acid from the intestines to raise blood levels of homocysteine. Niacin, used to treat high cholesterol, and methotrexate, used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, block metabolism of folic acid in the body to lower blood levels of folic acid. To prevent heart attacks, doctors should prescribe folic acid along with any of these drugs: methotrexate for rheumatoid arthritis, Glucophage (metformin) for diabetes, cholestyramine for high blood triglycerides, or niacin for high cholesterol.

Treatment with folate or vitamins B6 and B 12 lowers plasma homocysteine levels effectively. Drugs affecting homocysteine metabolism - Impact on cardiovascular risk. Drugs, 2002, Vol 62, Iss 4, pp 605-616. C Desouza, M Keebler, DB McNamara, V Fonseca. Fonseca V, Tulane Univ, Sch Med, 1430 Tulane Ave SL-53, New Orleans,LA 70112 USA


Copyright 2002
Dr. Mirkin's opinions and the references cited are for information only, and are not intended to diagnose or prescribe. For your specific diagnosis and treatment, consult your doctor or health care provider.

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