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Lynn asked...

Under active thyroid

I have an under active thyroid. Do all statins do harm?

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The answer

All Statins are likely to cause side effects. However, most individuals tolerate them well and don't experience any problems.

If you have an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism), treatment may be delayed until it is treated because having an underactive thyroid can lead to an increased cholesterol level, and treating hypothyroidism may cause a decrease in your cholesterol level, without the need for statins. Statins have been known to increase chances of muscle damage in those with an underactive thyroid.

The prescriber often carries out blood test to test for a substance called creatine kinase (CK), which is released when muscles are inflamed. If taking statins and the CK levels in the blood exceeds five times the normal level, the doctor may advise you to discontinue the statins. When levels return to normal, and the need for statins exists, they may put you back on a statin but a lower dose.

Manufactures’ literature of all statins advises that caution should be exercised in patients with pre-disposing factors for rhabdomyolysis. In order to establish a reference baseline value, a CK level should be measured before starting a treatment in those with hypothyroisdism.

It is prudent to discuss your options with your doctor and risks and benefits prior to initiation of treatment.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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