Everything You Need To Know About Cholesterol Medication

People who have had a heart attack or stroke, adults with diabetes, a fatty liver, or higher cholesterol levels than normal are often prescribed cholesterol-lowering medication. Among the many drugs on the cholesterol medications list, statins are the most common. Aside from maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, statins also reduce the risk of heart disease. 

For those taking this medication, you may still have questions about statins and how they should be properly taken. We have taken the time to answer them in this article. Read on for everything you need to know about statins.

Are all statins the same?

Statins have different doses categorized as high, moderate, and low-intensity. They are prescribed depending on how much low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol your body needs to drop. The medication dose is also adjusted according to other existing health issues of a patient. 

When should I take statins?

People who have medications should know the best time to take their medicine and be very strict in following them. For those with high cholesterol, it is recommended to take your medication at night when cholesterol production is at its highest. Newer statins take longer to be broken down and metabolized by the body, and hence, should be taken earlier. 

Longer-acting statins such as Atorvastatin, Rosuvastatin, Pitavastatin, and extended-release fluvastatin may be taken anytime of the day. Meanwhile, Simvastatin, Lovastatin, Pravastatin, and immediate-release fluvastatin are better taken at night because of its short-acting effect

If you are unsure about when to take your cholesterol medication, it is best to consult your physician and stick to their prescribed schedule. You can use a medicine tracker to help make sure your intake is on track.

Are statins effective?

Your doctor will not prescribe anything that is bad for your health. Statins are so effective that they can help drop your bad cholesterol by up to 60% when taken correctly and consistently.

Can I take statins on an empty stomach?

Taking some medicines before or after meals will significantly impact their effect on the body. But for cholesterol-lowering medicines, regardless if you are full or hungry, that does not affect your medicine’s effectiveness in lowering your bad cholesterol. But if your doctor prescribes a specific schedule for you, make sure to follow their instructions to the letter.

Are statins bad for my liver?

Statins rarely harm the liver—less than 1% of patients experience any decrease in liver function. You will undergo regular blood tests through the first 12 weeks of your prescription, and if there are signs that your liver is affected, then your physician will prescribe something else. If there is a problem with your liver, it will be caught early and monitored closely as you move forward with your treatment.

Will I ever stop taking statins?

Statin drugs are not the same as painkillers in that you cannot stop taking them even as your body achieves equilibrium. Cholesterol-lowering medication should be taken as maintenance for patients who need it, and unfortunately, you have to take it for the rest of your life. If you stop taking statins, your cholesterol will rise again within a few weeks. 


Any medication that is given by a physician is meant to make you feel better and healthier. However, you should be careful in taking the proper dosage and be strict in following your medication schedule. If you are taking cholesterol-lowering medications, it is best to consult your doctor about the proper intake. 

MedManage is the best medication tracker app for patients to manage their medicine intake easily. You can log all of your medication and set corresponding reminders using this app. You can also talk to a pharmacist directly if you want to know more about your medication. Install MedManage through the Google Play Store or App Store today!

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