Choosing Medications For High Cholesterol

Whether you need to take medication for cholesterol will depend on a number of factors, such as your age, overall health and how your cholesterol levels respond to lifestyle changes. Your doctor may want you to start taking high cholesterol medications if you smoke, or if you have high blood pressure, low HDL cholesterol, diabetes or a family history of heart disease.

Selecting High Cholesterol Medications: First Steps

Your specific high cholesterol treatment will depend on your risk factors and current cholesterol levels. When deciding which high cholesterol medications to take, discuss options with your doctor. Be open and honest about your health so she is able to prescribe the most effective medication for you.

Statins are the most common high cholesterol medications, but your doctor may also recommend absorption inhibitors, bile-acid-reducing resins or triglyceride-lowering drugs as part of a high cholesterol treatment plan.


Statins, one of the most effective drugs for high cholesterol, prevent your liver from making cholesterol. When the liver cannot make its own cholesterol, it absorbs cholesterol from the blood and can even remove some of the LDL cholesterol that has become “caked” onto the walls of your arteries. Statin drugs include:

  • Altoprev