Many people who have excess LDL cholesterol also need to take medicine to lower their cholesterol levels at some point. This is especially true for people with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease or those who are at high risk for developing it.
Statins—in combination with lifestyle changes—are still the drug treatment of choice. Research has shown that the use of statins can reduce the risk of cardiac events like heart attack, stroke and related death. There are at least seven statins available, and they work in different ways; for example by:
As with any medication, it is important to tell your doctor about any side effects or problems from statins. Though side effects are not common, your doctor may decide to:
No matter which medication your clinician prescribes, take your medications exactly as directed—that’s the only way to make sure they work as intended. If you have side effects or concerns, talk with your health care provider before making any changes. Your pharmacist is also a good resource if you have questions.
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