Your biological clock has a lot to say regarding taking your medications. Micheal Smolensky, professor at the University of Austin, told AARP, “Some drugs are not as effective or as well tolerated if they’re taken at the wrong biological time. It’s not that they’re not effective at all, but they’re certainly much less effective.” Statins are one such drug.
According to Clinical Correlations, the mechanisms that create cholesterol in the liver have the most significant activity at night. Additionally, a 2003 study in the British Medical Journal tested the effectiveness of taking simvastatin (a popularly prescribed statin) in the morning and at night. The research showed that “change in blood lipids was normally distributed and switching taking simvastatin from in the evening to in the morning resulted in statistically significant increases in total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.” Therefore, it was concluded that taking this statin in the evening provided the best effect.
In addition to the body mechanisms, the medication’s half-life also comes into play. According to Healthline, statins can have a half-life of only six hours or less, so taking them before bed allows them to be the most effective in reducing cholesterol. Medications with extended release might be taken at dinner, but taking them sometime in the evening ensures they have the most effect on cholesterol numbers.