Product Reviews
Take Action

Fight for Fair Finance

Tell the administration and Congress to stand up for the consumer watchdog that protects you from financial fraud and abuse.
Take Action
Why Do We Have Campaigns?
We're fighting to ensure you and your family can get a fair deal in the marketplace, especially on the choices that matter most: health care, privacy, automobiles, food, finances and more. Join our campaigns and together, we'll hold corporations and lawmakers accountable.

Q&A: Stopping statins?

Consumer Reports News: July 19, 2010 10:24 AM

Once you start taking a statin drug to lower your cholesterol, can you ever stop? —K.M.L., St. Petersburg, Fla.

Sometimes, if you’re careful and work hard at it. Statins don’t "cure" high LDL (bad) cholesterol; once you stop, it usually goes back up. But certain lifestyle changes might reduce or even eliminate your need for a statin, in two ways. First, switching to a diet that’s low in saturated and trans fat and high in fiber can lower LDL. Second, whether you need a statin depends on not just your LDL but also your overall heart-attack risk. So if you lose excess weight, stop smoking, and lower your blood pressure you might reduce your need for the drug.

If you’ve made those changes and your LDL has dropped, talk with your doctor about lowering your dose and perhaps eventually eliminating the drug. But don’t alter the dose without consulting him or her, and never stop abruptly. That could trigger a heart attack.

For more on when to take a cholesterol-lowering drug and when to stop, take a look at our Best Buy Drugs special report on statins.

Aaron Bailey

E-mail Newsletters

FREE e-mail Newsletters! Choose from cars, safety, health, and more!
Already signed-up?
Manage your newsletters here too.

Health News


Cars Build & Buy Car Buying Service
Save thousands off MSRP with upfront dealer pricing information and a transparent car buying experience.

See your savings


Mobile Get Ratings on the go and compare
while you shop

Learn more