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HF 7924

Statins (Oral) – Pediatrics

Your child has been prescribed _________________________________________.

About Your Child’s Medicine

  • Statins are used to decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol levels in the blood.

  • Statins stop the liver from making cholesterol. They also help remove LDL from the blood and protect the lining of blood vessels. 

  • They may also lower triglycerides and slightly increase HDL (good) cholesterol levels. 

  • Statins have been shown to reduce the risk of early heart disease in adults, such as heart attacks and strokes.

Before Using This Medicine

Always tell your child’s provider if your child:

  • Is allergic to any medicines.

  • Is taking any other medicines.

  • Is taking any vitamins or supplements.

  • Has any other health problems, including liver problems.

  • May be pregnant.

How to Use This Medicine

  • These medicines do not replace a heart healthy diet and exercise! They don’t work as well if you still eat a diet high in saturated fat (red meat, fried foods, butter, whole milk, cheese, oils that are solid at room temperature). 

  • Treatment is often long-term. When the cholesterol reaches a healthy level, your child may still need to take the medicine. If the medicine is stopped, the cholesterol level may will rise again. 

  • Your child will start with the lowest dose that should lower the LDL to their goal level. If the cholesterol level is not lowered enough, the dose may be slowly increased. 

  • Grapefruit and grapefruit juice may interact with statins. Talk to your child’s provider about eating or drinking grapefruit products while taking this medicine. 

Side Effects

Side effects are very, very rare in children. Rarely, liver enzymes (AST, ALT) will increase. We check liver enzymes when your child’s cholesterol panel is checked. If your child has any of these symptoms, report them to your child’s health care provider:

  • Sore or weak muscles (severe pain all over the body)

  • Abdominal pain

Girls/Women

  • Girls who have had a period will need a urine pregnancy test before starting a statin.

  • Stop the statin right away if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Taking a statin while pregnant could harm the unborn baby.

  • If you have sex, you must use a form of birth control while taking a statin.

  • Women who breast feed should not use statins. 

Follow-Up 

  • Fasting blood tests are needed 6-8 weeks after starting the medicine to see if the statin is lowering the cholesterol to the goal level.

  • Once your child has reached the goal cholesterol level, blood tests are done twice a year until your child is 18 years old.