Statins that you should take at night
Some statins have half-lives of less than six hours. These statins are best taken at night.
Simvastatin is an example of a statin that works better if taken in the evening. Studies show that when simvastatin is taken at night, there’s a greater reduction in LDL cholesterol than when it’s taken in the morning.
Lovastatin should be taken with dinner. However, the extended-release version of lovastatin, Altoprev, should be taken at bedtime.
Fluvastatin has a half-life of about three hours, so it should also be taken at night.
Statins you can take in the morning
Studies show that some of the newer statins can be just as effective when taken in the morning. HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors such as atorvastatin and rosuvastatin are more potent than older statins. They have half-lives of at least 14 hours.
Extended-release fluvastatin, or Lescol XL, can be taken at any time of day.
What you need to know about taking statins
The most important thing you need to know is that statins aren’t all the same. That’s why you should thoroughly read the materials that come with your prescription. Follow directions carefully for maximum effectiveness.
Your doctor knows your personal medical issues and is your best source for information. Always ask if your statin should be taken with food or at a specific time of day.
If time of day isn’t an issue with your statin, choose the time you’re most likely to remember to take it. Statins work best when taken at the same time each day. Once it becomes part of your routine, you’re less likely to forget.
Some substances can interact with statins
With some statins, drinking grapefruit juice, or eating grapefruit, is a bad idea. Grapefruit juice can cause that statin to stay in your body much longer, and the drug can build up. This can increase the risk of muscle breakdown, liver damage, and even kidney failure. If your prescription label doesn’t mention grapefruit juice, be sure to ask your doctor about it.
Statins can also interact with other medications, so tell your doctor about all the drugs you take. That includes supplements, over-the-counter medications, and prescription drugs.
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