• Policosanol is a dietary supplement that may help in cholesterol reduction.
• It is a natural product obtained from plant sources such as sugarcane and beeswax.
Policosanol is prescribed to decrease the amount of cholesterol in the blood by reducing the cholesterol synthesis in the liver and increasing the breakdown of bad or LDL cholesterol.
It is also recommended for improving blood circulation by reducing the platelet adherence or stickiness in patients with atherosclerosis, stroke (narrowing of blood vessels causing reduced blood flow or oxygen supply) or intermittent claudication (pain in the legs due to the obstruction of arteries).
Policosanol should not be used in patients who are:
• Allergy to the policosanol drug
• Pregnant or plan to become pregnant
• The recommended initial adult dose of policosanol is 5 to 10 mg once daily taken with the evening meal since the hepatic synthesis of cholesterol is expected to occur at night.
• The maximum dosage is 20 mg daily usually taken as 10mg in two divided doses.
• The usual adult dose in treating intermittent claudication is 10mg two times daily with food.
• Policosanol comes as a capsule or tablet which should be taken by mouth.
• It must be swallowed whole with a sufficient quantity of a glass of water preferably taken before bedtime.
• Dietary changes and regular exercise are needed along with the policosanol adjunctive therapy.
• Gastrointestinal: Diarrhea, nausea, constipation, stomach pain, heartburn, increased appetite
• Cardiovascular system: Abnormalities in blood pressure level
• Central Nervous System: Headache, somnolence, dizziness, sleeplessness, nervousness
• Skin: Rashes, skin irritation and pruritus
• Others: Weight loss, joint pain, increased urination, bleeding from the nose and gums, raised level of liver enzymes
• Policosanol should not be used as a first-line treatment for treating hypercholesterolemia but may be regarded as a second line agent in patients who cannot take HMG Co-A reductase inhibitors or other lipid-lowering medications.
• Store at a room temperature below 25°C away from excess moisture and light.
• Keep out of reach of children.