Medication for Cholesterol Control

Cholesterol is a waxy substance in your bloodstream. If there is too much of it in your blood, it can build up in the walls of your arteries. Medication can give you the extra help you need to control your cholesterol.Close up of senior man taking a pill with a glass of water.

How medication helps

There are different kinds of medications to help with cholesterol levels. Some help lower your LDL (bad cholesterol). Some help raise your HDL (good cholesterol). And some do both. It may take some time to find the right medication for you. Taking medication will be only one part of your cholesterol control plan. You will still need to eat right and get regular exercise.

Taking your medication

It is important to:

  • Tell your doctor about any other medications you take. This includes over-the-counter medications. It also includes vitamins and herbs.

  • Take your medication exactly as directed. This helps ensure that it works as it should.

  • Do not skip a dose.

  • Do not stop taking it if you feel better.

  • Do not stop taking it when your cholesterol numbers improve.

  • Order your refill before your medication runs out.

Side effects

Medications can cause side effects. These often occur at the start of taking a new medication. Side effects can include headache and upset stomach. These should go away in a few weeks. Tell your health care provider about any side effects you have.

When to call your health care provider

When taking your medication, let your health care provider know if you have:

  • Yellowing of the whites of eyes

  • Blurred vision

  • Muscle aches

  • Trouble breathing