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Medicines for high cholesterol

View original article on NHS Choices

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 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.

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.

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