How Do They Work?
Statins work by inhibiting a particular enzyme, HMG-CoA reductase, which controls the rate of cholesterol
production in the body. This causes the liver to make less cholesterol. Statins also:
- Increase the liver's ability to collect and get rid of LDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol)
- Increase HDL cholesterol ("good" cholesterol)
- Decrease triglycerides.
When and How to Take Statins
Some general considerations to keep in mind when taking statins include the following:
- Statins come in tablet or capsule form. They are taken once or twice a day, depending on the particular product.
- Short-acting statins must be taken in the evening (near bedtime), while long-acting statins can be taken at any time of the day. Either way, make sure to take your dose at the same time each day.
- Some statins can be taken with or without food; others must be taken with food.
- For these medications to work properly, they must be taken as prescribed.