How To Stop Taking Statins?
Statins are prescription medications that lower cholesterol levels. The most popular statins are atorvastatin (Lipitor), and simvastatin (Zocor).
Statins have two effects. First, they stop the production of cholesterol in the body. Second, they help to reabsorb cholesterol that has accumulated in the walls of the arteries. This reduces the risk of blood vessel blockages that can cause heart attacks.
In general, statins are very effective at lowering cholesterol, but they are only effective while you are taking them. Therefore, most people who start taking statins will probably take them for the rest of their lives.
If you are taking a statin and want to stop taking it, follow your doctor’s advice. It can be dangerous to stop taking statins. These drugs are very effective in preventing heart disease, including heart attacks and strokes. In fact, according to the American Heart Association (AHA), they can reduce the risk of these and other cholesterol-related problems by up to 50 percent. The AHA is considering stopping the use of these effective drugs, doubling the risk of these health problems.
Read on to learn how to safely stop using statins.
How to Safely Stop Statins
While some people can safely stop taking statins, they can be especially dangerous for others. For example, if you have a history of heart attacks or strokes, it is not recommended that you stop taking these drugs. In fact, if you stop taking statins, you are more likely to have the same problem again.
However, if you do not have a history of heart attack or stroke and want to stop taking statins, you must first talk to your doctor. He or she can help you understand what your risk factors are and whether it is safe for you to stop taking statins.
If your doctor thinks it’s safe for you to stop taking statins, he or she may recommend a plan to do so. This plan may include stopping statins altogether or reducing statin use. Another option is to continue taking statins, but add supplements. Either option has the potential to solve all of your problems with taking statins.
Stop taking statins
If your doctor is willing to help you stop taking statins altogether, he or she may recommend a medication change or a lifestyle change.
Diet and exercise plan
Your doctor may recommend that you make some lifestyle changes before you stop taking statins, or that you make some lifestyle changes directly instead of medication. These changes may include adopting an exercise program or changing your diet. For example, the AHA recommends following a Mediterranean diet or a vegetarian diet.
However, it is important to remember that these changes may not be as immediate or effective as cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. A healthy diet and exercise program can have many benefits for your overall health, but may not be enough to replace the cholesterol-lowering effects of statins.
You and your doctor need to carefully monitor your diet and exercise changes to see if they are having the necessary impact on your cholesterol levels.
Reducing the use of statins
Your doctor may recommend that you reduce the amount of statins you take, rather than stop using them altogether. Fewer medications mean fewer side effects, which may still be enough to help control your cholesterol levels.
Your doctor may also recommend adding another medication or supplement to reduce the amount of statin you take. This may address your concerns about taking the medication, especially if there are side effects.
Adding other cholesterol medications
Adding L-Carnitine Supplements
L-carnitine supplementation is another option, especially for diabetics. L-carnitine is an amino acid derivative that is produced by the body. Preliminary studies have shown that taking L-carnitine twice daily may improve the effects of statins on LDL and prevent elevated blood sugar levels.
Adding CoQ10 supplements
Another option is to supplement with CoQ10, an enzyme that the body naturally produces to compensate for the reduction in statin medication.
In one case study, a man reported that he stopped taking a statin because of side effects. When plaque levels in his blood vessels began to rise, he began taking low doses of statins every other day in addition to daily doses of CoQ10. With this regimen, his plaque levels dropped to a healthy level.
Continued use of statins and supplements
If you are concerned about the side effects of statins, your doctor may recommend that you continue taking the same number of statins, but with additional CoQ10 supplements.
Some studies have shown that this plan can help reduce side effects. This may be because statins lower the level of CoQ10 in the body and cause side effects such as muscle problems; taking CoQ10 supplements may help reverse these side effects.
Why you should stop taking statins
Not everyone needs to stop taking statins. Many people have been taking statins for decades without any side effects or problems. For these people, the drugs can be a very effective way to treat or prevent cholesterol problems.
Others may not have experience with statins. People who decide to stop taking statins may have many reasons. Here are some of the most common reasons for stopping statins
Statins can cause some side effects. Many of these side effects are mild, such as muscle aches and cramps. Other side effects may be more serious, such as liver damage, muscle damage, and kidney failure.
Mild side effects can be managed, but moderate or severe side effects can be problematic and potentially dangerous. If you and your doctor decide that the danger or damage from statin side effects outweighs the benefits of the drug, you may need to stop taking it.
There are many types of statins available, and most of them are covered by health insurance plans. However, if you can’t afford to continue taking the statin your doctor has prescribed, talk to your doctor. He or she can help you develop an alternative treatment plan.
Reduce your risk for heart attack
Lowering your cholesterol levels through diet, exercise and weight loss can help you avoid taking statins or other cholesterol medications. If you can do this, that’s great. Lowering your cholesterol levels in this way can reduce your overall risk of heart attack, stroke and clogged arteries, and you can take one less medication.
However, don’t stop taking statins just because you think your cholesterol levels will automatically get better with a lifestyle change. The only way to find out if your cholesterol is in a healthy range is to have a blood test. Your doctor can do a blood test and tell you if it’s safe for you to stop taking statins.
If you want to stop taking a statin for any reason, you should talk to your doctor. If your doctor thinks it’s safe to consider changing your statin use, he or she will guide you through the process. You can reduce your dose, add supplements, or even stop the medication altogether.
Overall, the most important thing is to get your cholesterol levels under control. Simply giving up statins will not help you achieve this goal and may lead to serious health risks. Work with your doctor to develop the treatment plan you need to keep your cholesterol healthy and safe.