Can I Take My Cholesterol Medication In The Morning, Instead Of At Night?

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Question: I have been told to take my cholesterol medication at night. Can I take it together with my other medications in the morning, instead?

Answer: So, your doctor says you must take these cholesterol medicines at night. Now, that's -- must be some reason for that. Why would the doctor say that if it wasn't necessary? And the answer is that the body makes cholesterol when there's none in your stomach, and so, if you've just eaten, the liver, the main organ that makes cholesterol, takes a rest and absorbs cholesterol from the dietary source.

But once you've stopped eating for awhile, then the liver turns back on and starts doing its job to maintain levels of cholesterol in the blood. So, taking that pill at night actually times it with the onset of the liver's activity. The liver goes to work while you're sleeping, and what the pills do is slow down the liver and reduce the amount of cholesterol that the liver makes, and that ultimately reduces the amount of cholesterol in your circulation in your bloodstream.

On the other hand, this is not a hard and fast rule. Some people, for one reason or another, can't take the pill at night. Talk to your doctor and ask him if you can take it at different times during the day, and the doctor will suggest perhaps a better time for you to take that medication -- and this differs with the different medicines, as well. So, it isn't a one-shoe-fits-all situation; you can actually modify it if necessary.

Next: Why Do Some Patients Have To Take Coumadin After A Heart Attack And Others Do Not?

Previous: Why Do I Have To Get Blood Drawn Regularly While On Cholesterol Medication?

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