Once a patient starts on simvastatin (or other statins) is it lifelong treatment?


I'm curious if there is anything about this drug that says that it must be lifelong? If treatment is stopped is the risk that the cholesterol will have some sort of crazy rebound like when you abruptly stop betablockers and get uncontrolled htn? I'm just trying to understand the rationale for lifelong treatment.

TazziRN, RN

6,487 Posts

No, no rebound. Some people are put on statins and with weight and diet change can keep the levels down without meds, and the meds can stop. There are some, like me, that cannot get the levels down no matter what, and for us meds will be lifelong.


63 Posts

Thanks, that confirms what I saw in my research. Seems like the answer is that most people will be on it but there is a chance that things could improve to the point of not needing meds with lifestyle modification.

TazziRN, RN

6,487 Posts

Right. Some of it is hereditary, some is choice of lifestyle. For those of us who fall into the hereditary column, we're stuck.

Jo Dirt

3,270 Posts

Has 9 years experience.

My father-in-law was taking it for awhile but got tired of paying for it and quit taking it. He is still around 3 yrs. later.

TazziRN, RN

6,487 Posts

I stopped taking mine because we were trying to get pregnant. My doc put me on Colestid, but I was put up to the max dosage and my levels were still climbing. 3-4 years later my cholesterol was almost 400 and my lipid levels were enough to make you cringe. I had to go back on my meds or risk problems. If your FIL is willing to take the risk of stroke or MI, that's his choice, but I have too much going for me to take that risk.

Lorie P.

754 Posts

Specializes in Med/Surge, Private Duty Peds.
right. some of it is hereditary, some is choice of lifestyle. for those of us who fall into the hereditary column, we're stuck.

hereditary plays a major role for some of us. i have been taking cholesterol lowering drug for 8 years and will continue them till my time of death. my body makes too much on its own, so matter what i do, eat right, exercise, keep the weight down, none of that works. so with meds i am able to keep my totals below 150 and lipids below 145. right where they need to be.

yes, i too know of people that have stopped taking their meds, but i will not due to having 2 open-heart surgeries and the risk factors i have no control over, plus a 8yo daughter that needs her mother around for a few more years.

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

153 Articles; 21,231 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 31 years experience.

Its also important to be under the care of a physician/health care provider while on statins in order to monitor lipid panels and liver function tests.


4,491 Posts

I've had patients whose physicians took them off the medications due to liver or muscle damage.

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