What is a reasonable amount of time to wait to determine the effect of introducing a change in lipid medication (statins \ fenofibrate).

For example, if on January 1 one measures Triglycerides and Cholesterol are high (beyond reference range) and fenfibrate is introduced: how many days should the medication be used before re-testing to measure efficacy?

If you have experience with managing your Triglyscerides \ Cholesterol please state this in your response and along with any lessons-learned: thank you.

  • 1
    You can see the effect of an intervention within 2 weeks. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15015151 and probably earlier. I typically retest people at three weeks to provide reinforcement for the dietary intervention. Feb 23, 2017 at 20:17
  • I suspect some testing is governed by what an insurance company might think is a reasonable retest interval. Feb 23, 2017 at 21:26
  • @GrahamChiu: if you promote your response to an answer I will grant credit as the accepted answer
    – gatorback
    Feb 26, 2017 at 2:00

2 Answers 2


I am not clear as to how soon an intervention results in changes but in some trials people have tested within 2 weeks.

I typically retest people at three weeks to provide reinforcement for a dietary intervention.


The quality of evidence is not really the best (taken from a management guideline) but I frankly doubt there is any better-quality evidence to answer this question:

https://guideline.gov/summaries/summary/48406 says,

Follow-up of People Started on Statin Treatment

Measure total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol in all people who have been started on high-intensity statin treatment at 3 months of treatment and aim for a greater than 40% reduction in non-HDL cholesterol. If a greater than 40% reduction in non-HDL cholesterol is not achieved:

  • Discuss adherence and timing of dose
  • Optimise adherence to diet and lifestyle measures
  • Consider increasing the dose if started on less than atorvastatin 80 mg and the person is judged to be at higher risk because of comorbidities, risk score or using clinical judgement. [new 2014]

Which is pretty much consistent with what I have seen and done managing patients with dislipidemia.

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