Statins can lower heart disease risk dramatically, but certain cautions apply.
Nearly a quarter of all adults over age 40 take medication to treat high cholesterol, and most often, it’s a statin drug. However, with such widespread use, especially among people who may have other cardiovascular risk factors, an un-wanted interaction between a statin and another medication can occur. For this reason, the American Heart Association recently issued a statement to help doctors better navigate medication choices for their patients.
What is a drug interaction?
The term “drug interaction” is somewhat misleading. Typically, drugs do not chemically react with each other in the body. Instead, a drug, supplement, or food may affect how long a medication stays in the body, often by stimulating or inhibiting the production of specific enzymes in the liver or intestine (see “The truth about grapefruit juice”).
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.