Where to Buy Affordable Cholesterol Medicine in Singapore

High cholesterol is a common condition that requires long-term medication on top of diet and lifestyle changes. Find where you can buy affordable cholesterol medication in Singapore.

by Grace Koh

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a type of fat found in our bodies. Normally, most people obtain 20% of cholesterol from what they eat, and the other 80% is made within the body by the liver. Cholesterol is crucial for healthy cell development, and is used to build cell membranes. There are two types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL), known as ‘bad’ cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or ‘good’ cholesterol. LDL causes a build up of fats in the arteries, while HDL prevents the build-up of fats in the arteries. 

Managing a healthy cholesterol level involves preventing total cholesterol levels from becoming too high. Excess cholesterol is deposited in the arteries, which causes them to narrow and become less efficient in pumping blood to the heart. This could eventually lead to a heart attack or other problems. 

Testing for high cholesterol

To test for cholesterol levels, a type of blood test called a lipid profile can be taken. While collecting a lipid profile, blood will be drawn from a vein in the arm and taken for testing in a laboratory. Through this blood test, different amounts of HDL and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides (a type of fat found in the blood), as well as overall cholesterol, are measured. In Singapore, cholesterol levels are classified as below: 

Chart of healthy and unhealthy cholesterol levels

If high cholesterol levels are detected, lifestyle changes to reduce cholesterol are normally the first steps suggested by the doctor. This includes changes such as implementing a healthier diet and regular exercise. In the event that lifestyle modifications do not help, the doctor will prescribe medication to help to manage cholesterol levels. 

Can you get cholesterol medicine over the counter? 

No, you cannot get cholesterol medicine over the counter in Singapore. This is because cholesterol medicine can only be obtained via a doctor’s prescription.

Where to get cholesterol medicine in Singapore? 

You can get cholesterol medicine from local pharmacies, polyclinics, or public hospitals in Singapore. Remember to bring along your doctor’s prescription in order to purchase medicine. 

Types of cholesterol medications

There are different types of medication to reduce cholesterol levels. Here are some of the commonly prescribed medications in Singapore. Remember to follow the advice given by your healthcare provider, as some medications may not be suitable for some people. 

Types of high cholesterol medicationCommon brand namesWhat it does
Statins

Lipitor
Lescol
Pravachol
Crestor
Vytorin
Zocor
Statins are presently the medication which has the best evidence for good cholesterol reduction. They work by reducing the amount of cholesterol made by the liver, and helps the liver to remove excess cholesterol from the blood.

Most people can take stains without any side effects, but some are susceptible to the below possible effects:
- Issues with muscles
- An increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes

FibratesBezalip
Modalim
Apo-Feno-Micro
Lipanthyl
Lopid
Fibrates work to lower a person’s amount of blood fat. They have a generally mild effect on lowering cholesterol levels.

Side effects of using fibrates can include nausea, diarrhoea, and an upset stomach. Side effects are usually mild.

Nicotinic acid (Niacin)

Olbetam
Niaspan
Niacin is a type of vitamin B. It has a mild effect on LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol and can help lower triglycerides as well. However, it should only be consumed as prescribed by a doctor, as it can be harmful to the liver.
Some possible side effects include:
- Upset stomach
- Flushing
- Itching
Combination calcium channel blocker and statins

Caduet

A combination of calcium channel blockers and statins are sometimes used in the treatment of high cholesterol. These can help with both cardiovascular disease and cholesterol management by lowering cholesterol levels and treating hypertension (high blood pressure) and coronary artery disease.

Medication may be consumed in a single pill, or two different medications may be used to get the combinatory effects.

Side effects may include:
- Fatigue
- Nausea
- Diarrhoea
- Constipation
- Rashes
- Headaches
- Dizziness
- Flushing
Rapid heartbeat

Cholesterol medicine prices in Singapore

What are the prices of medications? Here are some drugs available at the pharmacy and their price ranges. Do note there are some medications which you cannot get over the counter, and may have to obtain via prescription or a doctor’s request.

Drug TypeBrand NameDrug NameDose TypesPrice Range per Pill (SGD)
StatinsLipitorAtorvastatin10 - 80 mg2.50 - 8.95
LescolFluvastatin20 - 80 mg1.85 - 4.10
-*Lovastatin20 mg0.50 - 1.85
-Pravastatin10 - 20 mg1.30 - 2.10
CrestorRosuvastatin10 - 20 mg3.04 - 4.80
VytorinSimvastatin10 - 20 mg3.80 - 5.15
-Simvastatin10 - 20 mg0.47 - 1.50
ZocorSimvastatin5 - 40 mg2.00 - 4.35
NiacinOlbetamAcipimox250 mg1.60
NiaspanNicotinic Acid tablet375 - 1000 mg1.50 - 1.80
Combination calcium channel blocker and statinsCaduetAtorvastatin Calcium 10 mg Amlodipine Besylate tabletsAmlodipine Besylate 5 - 10 mg3.90 - 4.90
CaduetAtorvastatin Calcium 20 mg Amlodipine Besylate tabletsAmlodipine Besylate 5 - 10 mg4.05 - 4.80
Fibrates-Cholestyramine

4 g per sachet1.60 - 1.85
ModalimCiprofibrate100 mg1.60 - 1.75
Apo-Feno-MicroFenofibrate200 mg0.85 - 1.10
Lipanthyl Penta 145Fenofibrate145 mg1.75 - 2.00
Generic-IpolipidGemfibrozil300, 600 mg0.35 - 0.90
LopidGemfibrozil600 mg0.95

*  ‘-’ means that there are many generic brands out there for this drug, and the prices across these brands are comparable. 

As a home care provider, Homage can support you or your loved one with daily living activities at home by preparing light meals, giving medication reminders so that you do not miss a dose of your cholesterol medication, providing companionship, and more.

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References

1. 2020 Hyperlipidemia Compiled Price – Pharmaceutical Society Singapore. (2021). https://www.pss.org.sg/sites/default/files/Price_list/2020_hyperlipidemia_compiled_price_list.pdf

2. Cholesterol Management. (n.d.). https://www.singhealth.com.sg/patient-care/conditions-treatments/cholesterol-management

3. Fletcher, J. (2022, July 29). Everything to know about cholesterol medications. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/cholesterol-medications

4. Francis, R. E. N. (2022, May 30). High Cholesterol (Hyperlipidemia): Symptoms, Causes & Medication. Homage. https://www.homage.sg/health/hyperlipidemia/[/references]

About the Writer
Grace Koh
Grace is a healthcare writer who has experience in hospital settings and community agencies. Apart from reading, singing, and plodding up muddy trails, Grace enjoys scribbling notes and thinking up a storm.
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