Abandoning drugs that eliminate harmful cholesterol is considered harmful
According to research at Queen Mary University of London, patients who stop taking cholesterol-lowering drugs lose the protection they provide to their heart.
Scientists say this is because the primary benefits of these cheap pills don't show up until later in life.
About 8 million Britons and 32 million Americans take statins daily to treat heart problems caused by high blood pressure.
But about half of the patients are believed to stop taking the drug because of its side effects. These disadvantages include muscle aches, digestive problems and headaches.
The study's lead author, Dr. Rungu Wu, from Queen Mary University, said that stopping treatment without a doctor's advice is not a wise decision.
Statins are a combination of drugs that prevent the liver from making harmful cholesterol.
An increase in bad cholesterol over time can lead to hardened and narrowed arteries and heart disease, which is one of the leading causes of death in the world.
Doctors prescribe statins for people who are currently diagnosed with the disease or have had it in a family member in the past.
Patients who stop taking these drugs have their cholesterol return to normal within a few weeks. However, many people do not use it regularly or stop using it for fear of harm.