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Medicines for high cholesterol - High cholesterol

Medicine to lower your cholesterol

You might need medicine to lower your cholesterol if:

  • your cholesterol level has not gone down after changing your diet and lifestyle
  • you're at a high risk of having a heart attack or stroke

Ask your doctor about the medicines you can take.

Statins

Statins are the most common medicine for high cholesterol.

They reduce the amount of cholesterol your body makes.

You take a tablet once a day. You usually need to take them for life.

Read more about statins, including the types of statin you can get and possible side effects.

Other medicines for high cholesterol

Other medicines may be used if statins do not work or you do not want to take statins.

These include:

  • other tablets – such as ezetimibe, fibrates and bile acid sequestrants (also called resins)
  • injections – such as alirocumab and evolocumab

Heart UK has more on medicines for high cholesterol.

Page last reviewed: 15 April 2019
Next review due: 15 April 2022