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Health 08.02.18 

Should Your Statins Be Taken at Night?

What are Statins?

Statins are a group of medicines that can help lower the level of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the blood. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is often referred to as “bad cholesterol”, and statins reduce the production of it inside the liver.  Statins do this by inhibiting enzymes in your body that are needed to create cholesterol and can also reduce plaque inside your arteries that is made up of cholesterol.  Therefore, statins lower the risk of chest pain (angina), heart attack, and stroke.

When are Statins Usually Taken? 

Most statins should be taken every 24 hours; however, some people may have to take them twice a day.  So, why do people take statins at night? Many statins work more effectively when they are taken at night.   This is because the enzyme which makes the cholesterol is more active at night. Also, the half-life, or the amount of time it takes for half the dose to leave your body, of some statins is short.

Should Your Statins Be Taken at Night?

Some statins have half-lives of less than six hours. These statins are best taken at night.  Simvastatin, pravastatin & fluvastatin are statin’s that work better if taken in the evening. Studies show that when simvastatin is taken at night, there is a greater reduction in LDL cholesterol than when the statin is taken in the morning.  Lovastatin should be taken with dinner. However, the extended-release version of lovastatin, Altoprev, should also be taken in the evening, preferably at bedtime.  Finally, Fluvastatin has a half-life of about three hours, so this statin should also be taken at night.

If you take statins or are about to start taking them, it is important for you to be aware that not all statins are the same.  Therefore, ensure you have spoken to your doctor about when is best for you to take them, whether it is with a meal or at night.  Your doctor will also be able to tell you if there are any drugs that may interfere with your statins and recommend certain foods that may clash with the drug (studies have previously proven that grapefruit juice may counteract the drug).  It is also extremely important to remember that it is crucial to be consistent with statins, as they are more effective when you take them at the exact same time each day.

Therefore it is vital that you never run out of statins and keep on top of your prescriptions.  Companies such as RXLive provide prescription management services that allow you to order medication from the comfort of your own home.  The company also delivers all prescriptions to your chosen delivery address completely free within 48 hours.  Therefore, you may wish to sign-up for the free service to ensure you never miss a statin again!

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