Alert
Close

Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'

HIGHLIGHTS

Open
America's Winter Escapes Sweepstakes
Introducing RealPad by AARP
You and Your Town Contest-You could win an AARP RealPad

AUTO BUYING PROGRAM

AARP Auto Buying Program

Download the ipad App

AARP-iPad-ePub-app

DRIVER SAFETY

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and
Sweeps

Safe Driving in 2014 Sweepstakes

Learn how AARP Driver Safety can help you stay safe—and enter for a chance to win $1,000. See official rules. 

KEEP BRAIN ACTIVE!

AARP Games - Play Now!

AARP BOOKS

Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

Get expert advice on planning for your own or a relative’s future care needs.

Webinars

Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.

 

Arthritis

Heart Disease

Diabetes

Most Popular

Viewed

share your thoughts

What does the health care law mean to you? Your story is important. We read and learn from every story and it helps us in our educational efforts. We may even use your comments (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

Finding Your Way

Treating High Cholesterol

An up-to-date guide explains the condition and the different medicines to treat it

Most people start with a medicine called a statin, which works to lower bad (LDL) cholesterol. If your bad cholesterol remains high, your doctor or nurse may increase your statin dose or add a different kind of medicine to help you reach healthy levels.

Our guide, “Treating High Cholesterol,” based on a review of more than 100 research studies of cholesterol medicines, shows that all such medicines can cause minor side effects. These side effects include heartburn, upset stomach and diarrhea. These problems often go away and are not usually serious. But you should tell your doctor if any symptoms do not disappear.

It’s important to talk with your doctor or nurse about your high cholesterol. Good topics include:

  • Diet and exercise. Everyone with high cholesterol should be on a cholesterol-lowering diet. Exercise helps, too. Ask if diet and exercise alone can help meet your cholesterol goals.
  • Medicines. Talk to your doctor about how and when to take cholesterol medicines. Once you start taking medicine to lower cholesterol levels, you will probably need to continue.
  • Cost. Some medicines are available as generics, which cost less than brand-name drugs. Check with your health insurance plan about the cost. Our guide offers resources if you need help paying for your medicines or have other questions.
  • Other steps for a healthy heart. Lowering high cholesterol is vital. But it’s also important to control other health problems, like diabetes and high blood pressure. Stopping smoking will also help.


AHRQ’s guides can help make complex decisions—including how to treat high cholesterol—easier to understand. By understanding the benefits and risks of treatments, you can work with your doctor to make decisions that are right for you.

I’m Dr. Carolyn Clancy, and that’s my advice on how to navigate the health care system.

Carolyn M. Clancy, a general internist and researcher, is an expert in engaging consumers in their health care. She is the director of the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Reading eyeglasses eyemed 6 membership benefit health

Members save 25% on orders of $200 or more and get 25% off lens upgrades at glasses.com.

AARP/Walgreens Wellness Bus Stops in Clarksdale, MS

Members can get exclusive points offers from Walgreens and Duane Reade.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Rewards for Good

Your Points Balance:

Learn More

Earn points for completing free online activities designed to enrich your life.

Find more ways to earn points

Redeem your points to save on merchandise, travel, and more.

Find more ways to redeem points