I’ve written extensively on statins. I consider them our most powerful tool for preventing and treating atherosclerosis, the disease that blocks off arteries and causes heart attacks and strokes.
Like all medications, they need to be used wisely and after a process of shared-decision making with the patient in which a realistic discussion of the risks and benefits takes place.
Coronary Calcium Scans To Aid in Statin Decision
The decision on whether or not to take a statin drug for primary prevention is a difficult one. For those who have not had heart attacks, strokes, bypass surgery or stents I utilize coronary calcium testing to determine if we are dealing with advanced or premature build up of plaques in the coronary arteries.
Go to the coronary calcium page for all my posts on that subject.
If you have evidence for coronary disease or atherosclerosis which is not that advanced you may end up being on the fence about taking a statin.
Costs of Statins
Although Big Pharma has profited from brand name statins in the past, all of the major statins now are generic and should be cheap.
Our most powerful statin (brand name Crestor, generic rosuvastatin) went generic a few years ago and we are still working out how to find the cheapest version.
See here for a discussion on why rosuvastatin for some is expensive and be sure to check reader comments on ways to source cheaper rosuvastatin.
A Song About Statin Songs by Dr. P and the Atherosclerotics