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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - Angioplasty

These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

Question:What can you tell me about probucol,in reducing the number of angioplasties. My mother is 69 & had a blockage in the main artery that feeds blood to her heart. She had 2 shunts put in one in Dec. 96 & the other July 97....there is a good chance for another cleaning of her artery within 6 months... Does probucol help at all?...any inf. would be greatly appreciated.

Answer: Probucol is a cholesterol lowering agent that belongs to the general class of drugs called HMG Co A reductase drugs. These drugs lower cholesterol by inhibiting the enzyme in the liver that is responsible for cholesterol metabolism. It like its cousins is the most effective class of agents for lowering cholesterol. There have been several studies showing an improvement in survival and lowering 2nd heart attacks in patients who lower their cholesterol after bypass surgery. This has been consequently been thought to lower 2nd heart attacks in angioplasty and shunt placements. The data here is less well done than in bypass patients; but, most physicians assume there is the same effect. It appears in bypass patients to help if it lowers cholesterol below 200. Lowering below 200 appears less certain-although I routinely do it and so do many other physicians.

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