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How can I get the most benefit from my statin medication?

Anthony L. Komaroff, MD
Internal Medicine
You can do several things to make sure your particular statin is working as well as it can.
  • Take lovastatin with food. This almost doubles the amount of medication that gets into your bloodstream.
  • It's best to take lovastatin, simvastatin, or fluvastatin with your evening meal. That's because these statins block a key cholesterol-making enzyme in the liver that is most active at night. Atorvastatin, pravastatin, and rosuvastatin last long enough in the body that it doesn't matter when you take them.
  • Grapefruit juice increases blood levels of lovastatin, simvastatin, and atorvastatin, but doesn't usually affect the other statins. While this can make the drug work better, it can also lead to a potentially dangerous build-up of the drug that can damage muscles and sometimes lead to death.
  • Beware of drug interactions. Mention all other medications you are taking when talking with your doctor about a statin to avoid potentially harmful interactions. If you are on other medications, you may want to try pravastatin, which is less likely than the other statins to interact with other medications.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.