As you know statins have been used successfully for many years to help reduce cholesterol levels and therefore reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke.
Side effects associated with the use of statins include muscle cramps, soreness, muscle weakness, fatigue and in some cases rapid muscle breakdown. These side effects can vary from person to person. Although myalgia, muscle pain, is a commonly reported side effect true muscle toxicity is rarely due to statin use alone. Sometimes the risk of muscle toxicity can be increased when other medicines are used alongside a statin. Your pharmacist would often spot these and point these out to you. However, because these types of side effects can occur after some time after starting a statin, the drug interaction can be missed.
When your doctor suspects that a statin is responsible for muscle pain or weakness. He/she would ask for a CK, creatinine kinase, levels to be checked via a blood test. CK levels are usually checked before starting the statin. The CK levels following muscular problems are compared to the baseline. If the CK levels are raised by more than 5 times the upper normal limit then it is thought that the muscular problems are due to the statin. In this case your doctor will stop the statin temporarily and review the pain. Your doctor may then prescribe it again, a process known as rechallenge, if the muscular aches and pains have stopped. They may also vary your exercise routine. If on restarting the statin the pain returns then your doctor will stop the statin. He/ She may prescribe a water soluble statin such as Rosuvastatin or Pravastatin. You will be monitored for any side effects.
Performing scans are unlikely to show any muscle effects. In clinical trials performed so far, the muscle weakness and other related symptoms have returned to normal within three months of stopping the treatment. I was unable to find any data that relates to statins having a lasting effect on the muscle.
The decision of whether you continue with treatment with a statin or not rests with your doctor and yourself. The decision will be based on factors such as your overall health, other medical conditions you may have, any other medications you may be taking and your family history. The other group of medicines that help reduce cholesterol are called fibrates. Your doctor has your full medical history so will be in a position to decide if an agent from this group is appropriate for you.
Answered by Health at Hand nurses.
We’re here to help you take care of your health - whenever you need us, wherever you are, whether you're an AXA PPP healthcare member or not.
Our Ask the Expert service allows you to ask our team of friendly and experienced nurses, midwives, counsellors and pharmacists about any health topic.
The fluttering feeling in your rib cage could be heart palpitations.Read More
It’s always important to get breast lumps checked out but it is also important to remember that most breast lumps are not cancerous.Read More
In short, yes, but it certainly isn’t always fatal as long as you get the right treatment early enough.Read More
The most commonly used implant in the UK is silicone...Read More
Burning legs may be due to a circulation problem that impairs blood flow to the legs...Read More
It’s important to understand the differences, or similarities, between an osteopath and chiropractor...Read More
There are several reasons why skin can become irritated and itchy...Read More
Often eczema related allergy is known as contact dermatitis or atopic dermatitis...Read More
Myeloma as you probably know is a cancer that arises from and affects the bone marrow...Read More
An anal abscess is a painful condition where a collection of pus develops near the anus...Read More
One of our AXA Health Tech & You Award winners, HealthUnlocked, brings together health and wellbeing articles from leading organisations to help you get the right information when you need it most.
Find out about the help and support available for you and your family when you have cancer.Read More
Useful tips for people who have cancer to have a safe and pleasant journey.Read More
Supporting and helping someone with cancer can be rewarding and challenging. To be able to do this you need to take care of yourself. Find out how.Read More
Find out where to get financial support if you have cancer or you care for someone with cancer.Read More
The side effects you might have vary from person to person and depend on the cancer drugs you are taking.Read More
See how you can get travel insurance when you have cancer.Read More
Information on how to travel safely and healthily when you have diabetesRead More
Explore tests for Pre-diabetes and know more about each of them.Read More
There are a range of tests which will need to be done to monitor your health and your diabetes. Some of these, such as your blood glucose levels, you will be able to do yourself.....Read More
Being diagnosed with diabetes is a life-changing event. For many, it takes time to accept their new reality and be ready to share with others.Read More
Find out how to manage your arthritis with your work and what support is available to help you do this.Read More
Pain can be a major symptom of arthritis and related conditions, and it can affect your life in different ways. In this section we give you information and self-help tips on both....Read More
Show an employer your strengths – and get the best out of yourself and your job.Read More
Why Having Arthritis Can Cause Fatigue. Learn how your inflammatory disease and other factors may be causing your extreme tirednessRead More
This short test is aimed at women who are worried they may be having problems getting pregnant. It will assess their situation and let them know if they should seek further....Read More
As with any illness, treatment should be tailored to a specific diagnosis. A treatment plan for a diagnosis of depression and an anxiety disorder should be designed to help a....Read More
There are things you can do to help yourself to manage your emotions.Read More
You can do practical things to help yourself cope with cancer. Understanding your illness and treatment can help. Many people join a support group.Read More