Which health condition is treated using statins?
Statins are a group of medicines that can help lower the level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the blood. LDL cholesterol is often referred to as "bad cholesterol", and statins reduce the production of it inside the liver. Having a high level of LDL cholesterol is potentially dangerous, as it can lead to a hardening and narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis) and cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Statins come as tablets that are taken once a day. You usually have to continue taking statins for life because if you stop taking them, your cholesterol will return to a high level within a few weeks.
Many people who take statins experience no or very few side effects. Others experience some troublesome, but usually minor, side effects, such as diarrhoea, a headache or feeling sick. Your doctor should discuss the risks and benefits of taking statins if they're offered to you.