9 doctors weighed in:

If you have high cholesterol does it mean you have to take cholesterol medication daily?

9 doctors weighed in
Marianne DiNapoli
Obstetrics & Gynecology
5 doctors agree

In brief: It depends.

If you are otherwise healthy, high cholesterol can be controlled with lifestyle changes alone, such as weight loss and exercise.
However, if you have other diseases in addition to high cholesterol, such as diabetes or coronary artery disease, your doctor may recommend starting medication. Each patient is different, and should discuss their options with their doctor.

In brief: It depends.

If you are otherwise healthy, high cholesterol can be controlled with lifestyle changes alone, such as weight loss and exercise.
However, if you have other diseases in addition to high cholesterol, such as diabetes or coronary artery disease, your doctor may recommend starting medication. Each patient is different, and should discuss their options with their doctor.
Marianne DiNapoli
Marianne DiNapoli
Answer assisted by Marianne Di Napoli, Medical Student
Thank
Dr. Maureen Mays
Clinical Lipidology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Maybe?

First get a lipid panel that shows the ldl-c (bad cholesterol), hdl-c (good-c) and the triglycerides (tg=little fats).
The "total" is just the good+bad+1/5 of the fats, so it's a useless number. For example, if you have: LDL = 210, HDL = 40, tg = 100 that is a very bad total of 270. On the other hand: LDL = 140, HDL = 110, tg = 100 is a super healthy total of 270. Go to lipid.Org for more.

In brief: Maybe?

First get a lipid panel that shows the ldl-c (bad cholesterol), hdl-c (good-c) and the triglycerides (tg=little fats).
The "total" is just the good+bad+1/5 of the fats, so it's a useless number. For example, if you have: LDL = 210, HDL = 40, tg = 100 that is a very bad total of 270. On the other hand: LDL = 140, HDL = 110, tg = 100 is a super healthy total of 270. Go to lipid.Org for more.
Dr. Maureen Mays
Dr. Maureen Mays
Thank
Dr. Doug Hansen
Family Medicine

In brief: Sometimes

First, you and your doctor must decide if you should be on cholesterol medication.
The most frequently prescribed regimen is daily. However, some of the current cholesterol medications on the market are broken down by the body very slowly. There is evidence that some of these medications work very well if taken every other day or in some cases even once weekly.

In brief: Sometimes

First, you and your doctor must decide if you should be on cholesterol medication.
The most frequently prescribed regimen is daily. However, some of the current cholesterol medications on the market are broken down by the body very slowly. There is evidence that some of these medications work very well if taken every other day or in some cases even once weekly.
Dr. Doug Hansen
Dr. Doug Hansen
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Keegan Duchicela
Board Certified, Family Medicine
10 years in practice
16M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors