The fear of high cholesterol can make it difficult to even look at dessert or other cholesterol-laden treats without worrying about clogged arteries, a heart attack, or other problems brought on by high levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. A healthful diet and exercise can help, but some people might also need a medication called a statin.
If you have to lower your cholesterol by more than 30 percent, you should choose a more potent statin, such as simvastatin (Zocor and generic). If you have diabetes or heart disease or have suffered a heart attack, that could also affect your decision. For some statins there is stronger evidence that they reduce the risk of a heart attack, a stroke, or death for those people.
Statins can cost from a few dollars per month to a couple hundred. Because many people stay on them for years, cost is important. If you experience muscle aches, pain, or fatigue when taking a statin, contact your doctor.
Not all cholesterol-lowering statins are the same. Inexpensive generics are the best option unless you have had a heart attack or have another heart problem.
|Brand-name or top-selling drug||CR Best Buy Drug||Monthly savings|
|Lipitor One 10-mg pill per day $112/month||
Lovastatin (generic) One