• Side effects and concerns about side effects are a common roadblock to successful cholesterol treatment. Follow these steps to reduce your risk of side effects and manage them if they do occur: Ask your doctor whether you are on the most appropriate dose of your cholesterol medication. There is a link between increased dosing and side effects: higher doses generally cause more side effects.

  • If you don't know where you are going, how will you get there? Research shows that people who know their goals, follow their cholesterol levels over time, and keep track of their progress tend to stick to their treatment. Do you know your treatment goals? Ask yourself these questions: Do I know what I'm trying to achieve with my cholesterol treatment? In other words, do I know which tests my doctor is following, and what targets I am aiming for? Do I understand my treatment plan, including which medications I should be taking, how to use them, and what lifestyle changes to make? Do I know how often I should be having my cholesterol checked? Do I need any other medical tests? Do I know how close I am to meeting my treatment goals? If you answer "No" to any of these questions, talk to your doctor to discuss your treatment goals and learn how to evaluate the success of your treatment.

  • Healthy eating and exercise? Medications every day? If you're like most people, you may find it a challenge to take your cholesterol medication every day when you can't even feel a difference. Only about half of people with a prescription for a cholesterol medication actually take it as prescribed. And the diet and exercise changes are no picnic either! But sticking to treatment is well worth the effort.

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