Statins are also called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. They are the medicines of choice for lowering cholesterol.
When Are Statins Prescribed?Your doctor is likely to prescribe a statin to help lower your cholesterol if any of the following apply to you.
- You have high LDL - known as the bad cholesterol.
- You have severe high cholesterol or coronary heart disease, called CHD.
- You are middle-aged or older and have multiple risk factors for heart disease.
- You have diabetes.
- You have certain types of inherited high cholesterol or high cholesterol caused by the kidney disease called nephrotic syndrome.
Common Names of StatinsThe following table shows some of the most common brand and generic names for this type of medicine.
How to Take ItStatins are usually taken by tablet or capsule once a day, usually in the evening.
How Statins WorkStatins work by blocking a substance that your liver needs in order to make cholesterol. That means less cholesterol is released into your circulating blood. Statins are very effective in lowering LDL - the bad cholesterol - by 18% to 55%. They may also raise HDL - the good cholesterol - by 5% to 15%. In addition, they may decrease triglycerides by 7% to 30%.