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HomePopularWhen Should You Take Cholesterol Medication

When Should You Take Cholesterol Medication

How Should This Medicine Be Used

Mayo Clinic Minute: Should You Take Statins?

Atorvastatin comes as a tablet to take by mouth. It is usually taken once a day with or without food. Take atorvastatin at around the same time every day. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take atorvastatin exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.

Your doctor may start you on a low dose of atorvastatin and gradually increase your dose, not more than once every 2 to 4 weeks.

Continue to take atorvastatin even if you feel well. Do not stop taking atorvastatin without talking to your doctor.

Statin Guidelines: A New Prescription

The new guidelines recommend a daily statin for individuals who fall into thefollowing four risk categories:

  • anyone who has cardiovascular disease, including angina , a previous heart attack or stroke, or other related conditions

  • anyone with a very high level of harmful LDL cholesterol

  • anyone with diabetes between ages 40 and 75

  • anyone with a greater than 7.5% chance of having a heart attack or stroke ordeveloping other forms of cardiovascular disease in the next 10 years.

Can I Take My Cholesterol Medication In The Morning Instead Of At Night

Dr. Brown answers the question: ‘Cholesterol Medication At Night/Morning?’

& #151 — Question: I have been told to take my cholesterol medication at night. Can I take it together with my other medications in the morning, instead?

Answer: So, your doctor says you must take these cholesterol medicines at night. Now, that’s — must be some reason for that. Why would the doctor say that if it wasn’t necessary? And the answer is that the body makes when there’s none in your stomach, and so, if you’ve just eaten, the liver, the main organ that makes cholesterol, takes a rest and absorbs cholesterol from the dietary source.

But once you’ve stopped eating for awhile, then the liver turns back on and starts doing its job to maintain levels of cholesterol in the blood. So, taking that pill at night actually times it with the onset of the liver’s activity. The liver goes to work while you’re , and what the do is slow down the liver and reduce the amount of cholesterol that the liver makes, and that ultimately reduces the amount of cholesterol in your circulation in your bloodstream.

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What Is Sirna How Does It Treat High Cholesterol And Who Is It For

Small interfering RNA is the latest class of cholesterol-lowering medications aimed at blocking the production of PCSK9.

It stops the translation of PCSK9 messenger RNA, which can lead to lower levels of PCSK9. As a result, siRNA can lower LDL levels.

Inclisiran is the first drug in this class of medications. Its been shown to cause a 30 to 46 percent decrease in LDL levels at 1 year.

It hasnt received FDA approval for consumer use in the United States, but its been approved in Europe.

Statins are usually recommended to treat high cholesterol. If youre unable to tolerate statins, your doctor may recommend cholesterol-lowering medications, such as:

  • fibrates
  • citrate lyase inhibitors
  • bile acid sequestrants
  • fish oil

Your doctor may also prescribe one of these medications in addition to a statin if you have both high LDLs and high triglycerides .

Yes, high cholesterol medications are generally safe.

Up to of people may experience muscle aches on statins. This is known as a myopathy. Your doctor will ask you whether youre experiencing muscle pains after you start a statin.

Up to 5.5 percent of people may develop liver injury with statin use. Your doctor will also check for liver damage by testing liver enzymes with a blood test.

If you show any signs of myopathy or liver damage, your doctor can lower the statin dose or prescribe a different cholesterol medication.

Best At Night: Rheumatoid Arthritis Meds

Should You Take a Cholesterol

The problem with taking a steroid-based pain reliever like prednisone when you wake up is that most arthritis sufferers experience joint stiffness and pain in the morning. If you take your medication at nightideally, a low-dose, delayed-release formula that takes effect around 3 can curb the inflammation that happens while youre sleeping and ease those morning symptoms. Thats what Italian researchers found: They say this timing takes the bodys circadian rhythms into account and can help tamp down inflammatory substances like cortisol and cytokine that can peak during the night. Other research suggests taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories such as Motrin and Aleve at night may also reduce pain symptoms before they really kick in.

Also Check: How Often To Check Lipid Panel On Statin

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How High Cholesterol Medication Is Used

The treatment of high cholesterol is a two-pronged approach focused on lowering bad LDL cholesterol and increasing good HDL cholesterol.

Your healthcare provider will typically recommend treatment with high cholesterol medications, aimed at lowering your total cholesterol and, more specifically, your LDL levels. An elevated total cholesterol level is usually defined as a level above 200 milligrams per deciliter , or an LDL level above 130 mg/dL, but these cutoffs may vary based on your risk for coronary artery disease. In general, lower is better when it comes to LDL cholesterol.

Statin medications are often the first medications used for high cholesterol. Therapy with statins is divided into low-, medium-, and high-intensity levels. The higher the intensity level, the greater the targeted reduction in LDL levels.

Depending on the severity of your high cholesterol levels, other cholesterol-lowering medication may also be prescribed.

Personal Care Assistant Services

As you age, you are not always able to care for yourself and do all the things you were once able to do on your own. Your diet can sometimes suffer because of this. Centric Healthcare offers Personal Care Assistant services that can help. PCA services are social care programs which assist with non-medical needs of persons who arent getting around as well as they once did and allow them to live in their own home instead of being placed in an institution. PCAs can help you meal plan, grocery shop, prepare your meals and assist you with many other basic activities of daily living.

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Side Effects And Risks

As with many prescription medications, the most common risk associated with high cholesterol medication is the potential for liver damage. To prevent this complication, your healthcare provider will monitor your blood work for changes in your liver enzyme levels after you start these medications and may change your medications, if necessary.

Physical side effects of high cholesterol medications vary by the type of drug and include:

Atorvastatin May Cause Side Effects Tell Your Doctor If Any Of These Symptoms Are Severe Or Do Not Go Away:

High Cholesterol – Do I Need To Take Medication?
  • diarrhea
  • swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • hoarseness

Atorvastatin may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.

If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online or by phone .

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Can Statins Damage My Liver

Liver damage from taking statins is extremely uncommon. We used to test patients for liver damage throughout the course of statin treatment, but because of the rarity of that potential side effect, the Food and Drug Administration determined that regular monitoring of liver function tests is unnecessary for patients taking statins. Now, we check a patients liver enzymes before we begin statin therapy to ensure the liver is healthy before treatment begins, and we dont put anyone through unnecessary testing during treatment, unless symptoms arise.

Interestingly, there is a statin study examining people who already had abnormal liver function tests and fatty liver. Roughly half of the participants took a statin medication, and the other half took a placebo. The people who took statins actually had improvements in their liver function compared to the placebo group and had a lower risk of cardiovascular events. People who have blood sugar issues, have insulin resistance, and are obese or have other risks for heart disease often have fatty liver and abnormal liver function tests. The study suggests that these people may need statins the most.

What Do Your Cholesterol Levels Tell You

If you have high cholesterol, your doctor may recommend you take medication. This chart explains what your cholesterol levels tell you:

If your Total Cholesterol level is:

This is considered:

OK, but less than optimal

60 mg/dL and above

Good, helps lower risk

The numbers alone wont tell you or your doctor the entire story, however. If the only risk factor you have is high cholesterol, you may not need medication. Often high cholesterol can be lowered by exercise and a healthy diet. High cholesterol is only one of a number of risk factors for heart attack and stroke. Other risk factors include:

  • Family history of high cholesterol or cardiovascular disease
  • Inactive lifestyle
  • High blood pressure
  • Ageolder than 55 if youre a man, or older than 65 if youre a woman
  • Poor general health

Inhibits production of triglycerides in the liver


Belching, fishy taste, increased infection risk

*Livalo became available on the market in mid-2010. Livalo is new and does not have the long track record of some of the other statins, so you may want to avoid this drug until more is known about it.

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Other Ways To Help Reduce Cholesterol

While statins can be very effective in lowering LDL cholesterol, you can also manage your cholesterol using alternative treatments or through lifestyle modifications.

Diet plays an important role in blood cholesterol levels. Your diet should be packed with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish. Try to reduce your intake of saturated and trans fats, and increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids. You should also go easy on salt and refined carbohydrates.

Make exercise a part of your daily routine and try to sit less. You can also lower your risk for heart disease by not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight.

While statins are often prescribed when your cholesterol cant be controlled through diet and exercise alone, it never hurts to eat well and exercise more.

What Does The Latest Evidence Say

Is It Okay to Stop Cholesterol

The latest analysis revisits selected results from a large trial completed some 13 years ago. The researchers considered data from 2,867 participants over 65 without any evidence of heart disease who were randomly assigned to the statin pravastatin or usual care, then followed for over 4.5 years.

The researchers looked at the effects of the statin on deaths from any cause, and deaths from heart disease and heart attacks in people aged 65-75 and over 75. They found no difference in any of these outcomes for either of the age groups and even raised concern of the potential for harm in people aged over 75.

The study authors concluded that the benefits previously ascribed to statins may have been overstated for older people.

To gauge what these new findings mean, we first need to consider the statin used in the study, pravastatin. Doctors dont prescribe this so commonly to lower cholesterol nowadays because it has been replaced by stronger statins.

Second, by the end of the study many people in the statin group had stopped their treatment while people in the usual care group had started treatment, either on pravastatin or another statin. This makes it very hard to see which outcome could be the result of the drug itself.

Also, the study may not have included enough older people. Studies aiming to prevent disease in healthy people need many thousands as most will not suffer heart attacks and strokes irrespective of which treatment group they are in.

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Do Statins Cause Muscle Pain And Weakness

Muscle aches occur in about 10 percent of people who take statins. Its the most common side effect of statins, but another way to look at it is that nine out of 10 patients dont experience it at all.

When patients do have muscle pain:Actual muscle damage occurs in only 1 in 10,000 patients. In the rare event that muscle damage occurs, it is almost always reversible. To correct it while still protecting you from heart attack or stroke, we can adjust your medication or try a different statin. There also are many strategies to effectively manage muscle symptoms while continuing to take your medication.

If you experience muscle pain while taking a statin, dont stop taking it without first talking with your doctor. For almost all patients, were able to find an effective medication that the body can tolerate. If you simply cant tolerate statins, there are other cholesterol medications we can prescribe.

  • The symptom is often resolved by adjusting the medication dosage or switching to a different statin.
  • Occasionally, the statins have to be stopped altogether.
  • When the medication is switched or stopped, the symptoms go away and there is no damage to the muscle.

What About Using Red Rice Yeast Or Plant Stanols Instead Of Prescription Drugs To Lower Cholesterol

Many people say they prefer to take natural medicines over prescription drugs. However, just because something is natural doesnt mean that its safe. The United States doesnt regulate supplements as closely as medicines. Supplements can also interfere in dangerous ways with medications that you already take.

However, red rice yeast extract does contain the same chemical thats in certain prescription statins like lovastatin. In some cases, you and your healthcare provider might agree that you should try the supplement with monitoring.

Plant stanols are another nonprescription choice for lowering cholesterol. Plant stanols stop your body from absorbing cholesterol in your intestines. You can buy capsules or get plant stanols in some margarine substitutes.

Also Check: How To Interpret Cholesterol Panel

Can Statins Increase My Risk For Memory Loss Or Dementia

Memory and cognitive symptoms from statin use are very uncommon, and it is unclear if statins are really the culprit. When symptoms have been reported, theyre typically not severe and usually resolve when the statin dosage is adjusted or the medication is switched.Affected patients have reported feeling unfocused or fuzzy in their thinking, but these experiences are rare. Concerns about long-term cognitive problems and memory loss due to use of statins have not been proven. On the contrary, most recent data actually point to potential prevention of dementia due to statin use.These data are logical because one of the major causes of dementia is atherosclerosis, which is hardening of the arteries in the brain. There is strong evidence that statins protect against atherosclerosis. Its one of the invisible benefits of taking a statin medication.Also, keep in mind that increasingly high cholesterol and memory problems both are common symptoms of aging. Sometimes its difficult to disentangle these two, and thats why statin use and memory problems may seem related at times.If youre concerned about statins and memory loss, dont stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor. There may be other reasons for your memory symptoms, or alternate treatments for your high cholesterol can be considered.

Statins You Can Take In The Morning

Should I take a Cholesterol Medication to Protect my Heart? With Dr. Rita Redberg

Studies show that some of the newer statins can be just as effective when taken in the morning. HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors such as atorvastatin and rosuvastatin are more potent than older statins. They have half-lives of at least 14 hours.

Extended-release fluvastatin, or Lescol XL, can be taken at any time of day.

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What You Need To Know About Taking Statins

The most important thing you need to know is that statins arent all the same. Thats why you should thoroughly read the materials that come with your prescription. Follow directions carefully for maximum effectiveness.

Your doctor knows your personal medical issues and is your best source for information. Always ask if your statin should be taken with food or at a specific time of day.

Get Medical Advice From Your Doctor Not The Internet

There is no reason to be afraid of taking statins if you are at high risk for heart attack or stroke. Whats really scary is the amount of inaccurate information out there that keeps so many people from getting the protection they need!

The risks and side effects associated with statins are real they arent zero, but theyre very small. However, the benefits of statins for high-risk patients are substantial, and theyre invisible. Patients often dont consider that they didnt have a stroke or heart attack last year theyre too busy living and enjoying their lives while the statin medication protects them behind the scenes.

Statins are not for everyone, and there are complementary ways to lower your risk for heart disease. But for high-risk patients, the benefits of statins far outweigh the risks, and statin medications have a very important role in protecting their hearts and their lives. Its vital that you get medical advice from a doctor instead of trusting potentially misleading information on the Internet.

Though statins are incredibly effective, there are many different forms of heart disease. Heart disease is still the No. 1 killer of men and women in our country, and the epidemic is spreading throughout the world. As long as the battle continues, well continue researching new ways to prevent and treat heart disease.

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What Should I Tell My Doctor Before Taking Rosuvastatin

Before taking rosuvastatin, tell your healthcare provider about all or your medical conditions, including if you:

  • have unexplained muscle aches or weakness
  • have or have had kidney problems
  • have or have had liver problems
  • drink more than 2 glasses of alcohol daily
  • have thyroid problems

Also tell your healthcare provider if you are 65 years of age or older or are of Asian descent.


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