Effects of morning vs evening statin administration on lipid profile: A systematic review and meta-analysis

J Clin Lipidol. 2017 Jul-Aug;11(4):972-985.e9. doi: 10.1016/j.jacl.2017.06.001. Epub 2017 Jun 13.


Background: Evidence about the optimal time of day at which to administer statins is lacking.

Objective: The objective of this study is to synthesize evidence about effects of morning vs evening statin administration on lipid profile.

Methods: We searched PubMed, SCOPUS, Web of Science, and Embase databases (from inception up to July 24, 2016) to identify the relevant studies. Mean differences (MDs) between the change scores in lipid parameters were pooled using a fixed-effect model.

Results: Eleven articles with 1034 participants were eligible for the analysis. The pooled analysis comparing effects of morning vs evening administration of statins on plasma total cholesterol (TC; P = .10), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P = .90), and triglycerides (P = .45) was not statistically significant. Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) lowering was statistically greater in the evening-dose group (MD: 3.24 mg/dL, 95% CI: 1.23-5.25, P = .002). Subgroup analysis according to statin half-lives showed that evening dose of statins was significantly superior to morning dose for lowering LDL-C in case of both short and long half-life statins (MD: 9.68 mg/dL, 95% CI: 3.32-16.03, P = .003 and MD: 2.53 mg/dL, 95% CI: 0.41-4.64, P = .02, respectively) and also for TC reduction in case of short half-life statins only (P = .0005).

Conclusions: LDL-C and TC lowering was significantly greater in the evening dose than in the morning dose in case of short-acting statins. Besides slight but significant effect on LDL-C, the efficacy of long-acting statins was equivalent for both regimens. Therefore, long-acting statins should be given at a time that will best aid compliance. Short-acting statins should be given in the evening.

Keywords: Cholesterol; Half-life; Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase inhibitors; LDL; Lipids.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Lipids / blood*


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Lipids