Pharmacology Cholesterol Lowering Agents #2

Question

Which laboratory result best indicates that lovastatin therapy has produced the most desired effect?

Answers

  1. HDL level of 95 mg/dL
    • Rationale:

      This answer is correct because a HDL of 95 mg/dL is above 40 mg/dL and is the most desired laboratory value in the scenario. Keeping a level of 40 mg/dL or greater will reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.

  2. LDL level of 125 mg/dL
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because a LDL level of 125 mg/dL is higher than recommended for optimal health. Keeping the LDL level at 100 mg/dL or less will reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.

  3. Cholesterol level of 275 mg/dL
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because the total cholesterol level of 275 mg/dL is significantly higher than recommended for optimal health. Maintaining a total cholesterol level of between 125 – 200 mg/dL will greatly reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.

  4. Triglyceride level of 268 mg/dL
    • Rationale:

      This answer is not correct because a triglyceride level of 268 mg/dL is higher than recommended for optimal health. Maintaining a triglyceride level of 150 or less will reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.

Overview

“Statin medications” or HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, such as lovastatin, help to decrease total cholesterol levels, decrease LDL, and increase HDL. Understanding normal and abnormal levels helps the nurse monitor and report results.

Explanation

Learning Outcomes

Lovastatin is a cholesterol-lowering medication in the medication class of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. This medication class is designed to help the client reach healthy levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, and HDL. The healthy, desired range for these laboratory blood tests are:
– HDL: 40 mg/dL or higher
– LDL: 100 mg/dL or less
– Total cholesterol: 125- 200 mg/dL
– Triglycerides: 150 mg/dL or less

A client should strive to maintain healthy levels through diet, exercise, and cholesterol-lowering medications, if needed, to reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease.

Test Taking Tip

The nursing student will find that understanding and knowing major normal laboratory levels will be very helpful to pass NCLEX. These will be utilized on NCLEX and in nursing practice.

Video Rationale