What Are Statins Used For?

How Do Statins Work?

Statins work by inhibiting a particular enzyme (HMG-CoA reductase) that 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.
     

Are Statins Used in Children?

Some (but not all) statins have been approved to treat high cholesterol in children with a condition known as heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia. There are specific age ranges for each statin, and, in general, statins are not approved for use in young girls who have not yet started their periods.
 
Talk with your child's healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using statins in children.
 

Off-Label Uses for Statins

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend statins for something other than high cholesterol (this is known as an "off-label" use). Researchers are examining statins for a variety of different uses, such as for cancer prevention, but at this time there are not yet any universally accepted off-label statins uses.
 
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Statin Medication Information

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