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Ask the doctor: Does it matter when I take a statin?

Updated: April 01, 2007

Ask the doctor

Does it matter when I take a statin?

Q. My doctor put me on a statin and told me to take it after dinner. I would rather take it with breakfast. Does it matter?

A. Statins block an enzyme that helps the liver make cholesterol. In most people, cholesterol production peaks late in the evening. The body breaks down fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (generic, Mevacor), pravastatin (generic, Pravachol), and simvastatin (generic, Zocor) fairly quickly. So taking them in the evening ensures that you have enough medicine on board when you need it the most. Two other statins, atorvastatin (Lipitor) and rosuvastatin (Crestor) aren't broken down as readily, so you can take them any time.

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