• Expert advice
    Your GP will advise you
    if you need to take a
    medicine and might refer
    you to a lipid clinic for
    more expert advice.
Understanding Statins
Understanding Statins

Statins are cholesterol lowering drugs. Find out more about how they work, if you should take them and if they cause side effects

Essential Downloads

Click on the links below to download our fact sheets.

» Medicines

» Statins

» Fibrates

» Resins

Helpline Module

Lines open Mon-Fri 10am-3pm
Punjabi, Urdu & Hindi spoken on Tuesdays


Calls to our 0345 helpline costs no more than calls to geographic (01 and 02) numbers and must be included in inclusive minutes on mobile phones and discount schemes. Calls from landlines are typically charged between 2p and 10p per minute while calls from mobiles typically cost between 10p and 40p per minute. Calls from landlines and mobiles to 0345 numbers are included in free call packages. 

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Cholesterol treatments

Eating a healthy diet, not smoking and being physically active are important in helping to keep your cholesterol and other blood fats low. However for some people this may not be enough.

Taking medicines to lower blood fats

Your doctor will advise you if you need to take a medicine. They will based this upon an assessment of your overall risk of heart and circulatory disease.

There are a number of different types of medicines that can help you to manage your cholesterol level and the levels of other blood fats. Those most commonly prescribed are statins and these work by blocking cholesterol production in the liver. You can find out about statins and other medicines by visiting our section on understanding statins here.

If you have been prescribed a statin or another cholesterol lowering medicine it is still important to eat healthily and be active. This will help to reduce the amount of medicine you need.

Statin treatment

Statins are generally very safe and well tolerated. However a few people may have difficulty taking them. If this is the case for you, talk to your doctor about other statins or medicines that you might try. Your GP can refer you to a lipid clinic for more expert advice. 

Not everyone can take statins. They are not suitable for women who are trying to conceive, are pregnant or breastfeeding and they are not routinely prescribed for young children.

For very small number of people with very high cholesterol statins may not be effective. As a result they may need a treatment called LDL apheresis, You can learn more about apheresis here.

Further Help & Advice From HEART UK - the Cholesterol Charity

If you are concerned about your cholesterol treatment or would just like more information, HEART UK offers a Cholesterol Helpline offering friendly, impartial advice from dietitians and specialist cardiac nurses?

Whether your call is about yourself or someone you care about, we're here to help you. 

Please note that this is not a diagnostic service.  Our helpline aims to complement the information and support people have already received from their health care professional, not replace it.

Call 0345 450 5988 Monday to Friday 10am – 3pm (answerphone outside these hours), dietetic advice is also available in Punjabi, Urdu and Hindi on Fridays.

2015 - UCLP© foundation diet
UCLP© essentials

Explore the 5 food groups and discover how to incorporate these into your UCLP foundation diet.

LDL - Find a unit
Find a unit

Use our clickable map to help you locate your nearest Lipid Clinic and Apheresis Unit within the UK.

LDL-apheresis (link)

LDL-apheresis is a type of ‘extracorporeal’ procedure to remove LDL cholesterol from the blood.

Familial Hypercholesterolaemia Sanofi Booklet
Inherited Cholesterol Guide

Download our easy to read pictorial guide to Familial Hypercholesterolemia. Find out more about inherited high cholesterol.