Side effects and concerns about side effects are a common roadblock to successful cholesterol treatment. Follow these steps to reduce your risk of side effects and manage them if they do occur:
- Ask your doctor whether you are on the most appropriate dose of your cholesterol medication. There is a link between increased dosing and side effects: higher doses generally cause more side effects. Reducing the dose can help with many cholesterol medication side effects. You may need to try different doses (as recommended by your doctor) until you find the dose that controls your cholesterol without causing bothersome side effects.
- Take your medication exactly as directed. Follow your doctor or pharmacist's instructions for what to do if you miss a dose so that you don't accidentally take a double dose. If you're having trouble remembering whether you took your medication, ask your pharmacist about using a dosette or other methods to help you remember to take your medication.
- Know which side effects to watch for – to learn more about possible side effects from your cholesterol medication, see Using medication as directed or read the drug factsheet for your medication.
- Be on the lookout for side effects when a new medication is started or when your dose is increased.
- If you notice any side effects or other changes that worry you, talk to your doctor. Most side effects can be managed.