Cholesterol Lowering drugs
Statins (cholesterol lowering drugs) are medicines, which inhibit our bodies from making cholesterol, so that levels in the bloodstream fall. They are effective at reducing total cholesterol and the bad LDL-cholesterol.
This means they reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in people who have already had a previous heart attack or similar event, or who have high risk. People with type 2 diabetes are at also at high risk and cholesterol lowering drugs are recommended for this group.
Healthy diet and exercise is a vital part of heart disease prevention and good health generally. Statins are used together with a healthy diet and exercise.
Examples of statins currently used in Ireland are:
People who are prescribed with a statin usually start on a smaller dose. This can be increased if the target cholesterol levels are not being achieved. The medicine works best when taken at bed-time, but can be taken at any time of the day.
Statins cannot be used by anyone suffering from acute liver disease, or in pregnancy or while breast-feeding. For most people, however, they are safe and effective.
There are other medications that can be added to a statin when target levels for cholesterol cannot be achieved with a statin alone.