Author: James Anderson

Statins: Are these cholesterol-lowering drugs right for you?

what is statin drugs

You may think that if your cholesterol goes down, you don’t need a statin anymore. But if the medicine helped lower your cholesterol, you’ll likely need to stay on it long term to keep your cholesterol down. If you make significant changes to your diet or lose a lot of weight, talk to your healthcare professional about whether it might be possible to control your cholesterol without medicine. If your cholesterol — particularly the LDL (“bad”) type — stays high after you make healthy lifestyle changes, statins might be an option for you. In 1971, Akira Endo, a Japanese biochemist working for the pharmaceutical company Sankyo, began to investigate this problem.

what is statin drugs

But even if you start taking a statin, remember that you’ll get the best results if you keep staying active and eating healthy while taking the medicine. Ask your provider if you have questions about ways to keep your heart healthy. The label on your medicine bottle will tell you if you need to take your statin medication at a certain time of day. Statins that stay in your system for a short time work best if you take them in the evening (before your body starts making cholesterol overnight). Statin drugs that stay in your system longer work just as well if you take them at other times of the day. There also has been evidence that statins may help with brain function — in people with dementia, for example.

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Only a few cases of rhabdomyolysis occur per million people taking statins. Rhabdomyolysis can occur when you take statins in combination with certain drugs or if you take a high dose of statins. We do think that people who have experienced a heart attack or have a stent may benefit from a statin as long as the side effects of the drug are not intolerable. You may wish to discuss this new study with your health professional to get her reaction.

  1. We would also be grateful if you would vote on this article at the top of the page.
  2. You may also want to ask your provider if you need to avoid grapefruit or pomegranate or their juices, or if it’s OK to have a small amount.
  3. That’s because the total cholesterol number is considered a better tool for guiding the doctor in planning the best patient care and helping patients understand their health risks.
  4. Statins are prescription medications that people take to bring their cholesterol down to normal levels.
  5. This creates obstacles that make it harder for your blood to get through your blood vessels.

So, when people with pretty serious heart problems took simvastatin for nearly six years they lived almost one month longer than those on placebo. That’s something, but not nearly as impressive as most people have been led to believe. When your cholesterol is checked, you get a number for total cholesterol, one for the HDL level, and one for the LDL level. Your total cholesterol will be more than the sum of the HDL and LDL numbers. Cholesterol is a fatty substance that naturally occurs in human blood. In fact, cholesterol helps form the structure of every cell in your body.

Statins: Are these cholesterol-lowering drugs right for you?

This results in a net effect of less LDL circulating in blood. provides accurate and independent information on more than 24,000 prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and natural products. This material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Data sources include Micromedex (updated 3 Mar 2024), Cerner Multum™ (updated 17 Mar 2024), ASHP (updated 10 Mar 2024) and others. You should avoid statins if you’re pregnant, nursing or have certain types of liver disease. If you’re already at risk for diabetes, statins can add to your risk of getting it.

If your risk is very high — for example, you’ve had a heart attack in the past — a statin may be helpful even if you don’t have high cholesterol. Sometimes, a statin is combined with another heart medicine. Examples are atorvastatin-amlodipine (Caduet) and ezetimibe-simvastatin (Vytorin). Statins may also affect some diabetes markers (such as HbA1c or fasting glucose), and may not be suitable in those with liver or kidney disease.

what is statin drugs

“I was placed on statins several years ago and after a few months experienced muscle and nerve problems which stopped my daily walking. “The last year I was experiencing severe neuropathy in my legs and feet. I was tested by my neurologist and he diagnosed me as having neuropathy. Doing some research I discovered that some statins do cause pain such as what I experienced. The benefit of HDL lies in the fact that it carries bad cholesterol back to the liver.

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Either a high HDL number or a high LDL number can make your total cholesterol number high. If it’s high because of a high HDL number, your health is not necessarily in danger. However, if it’s high because your LDL cholesterol level is high, it’s important to talk with your doctor about your health . Some people have reported memory loss and thinking problems after using statins.

Statins also may help reduce the risk of certain blood clots. Although side effects believed to be caused by statins can be annoying, consider the benefits of taking a statin before you decide to stop taking your medicine. Remember that statins can lower your risk of a heart attack or stroke, and the risk of life-threatening side effects from statins is very low.

So can simple carbohydrates and food that are high in sugar. Also, when you eat more calories than you burn, your triglyceride levels may soar. Also, ask your healthcare professional if the statin you use will interact with any other medicines or supplements you take.