Although gentle stretching may relieve muscle cramps, beginning a new vigorous exercise regimen while taking a statin may increase the risk of muscle pain. The paper also reviewed the research on other reported or rumored side effects and safety concerns—including neurological problems, cognitive impairment, peripheral neuropathy, cataracts, cancer, erectile dysfunction, kidney problems, and tendon ruptures—and found no convincing evidence that statins increased these risks. That often helps. Cookie Preferences Statins are usually continued throughout a person’s life. Statins are a class of drugs that lower LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol levels in the body by preventing production in the liver, where the majority of the…. Any disease affecting kidney or liver function. Consider other cholesterol-lowering medications. The key finding was that among the 11,000 people who reported stopping statins because of adverse effects, more than 90 percent of those who were re-challenged with a lower dose or different statin were able to continue it long term. In 2017, a second study by the same researchers in the same journal found that among 28,000 people who reported adverse reactions to statins, 71 percent were able to continue taking the same or a different statin. Most often the problem is mild and manifests itself as muscle discomfort or weakness. This article first appeared in the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter. Resources such as the National Lipid Association’s Statin Myalgia Clinical Index Score focus on location, symmetry, and timing of muscle pain as well as response to dechallenge and challenge, producing statin myalgia likelihood score. If you continue the drug, the damage may progress and become severe and even possibly lead to rhabdomyolysis. Cardiovascular health among youths still has…, In a pair of articles published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers tout the potential of bempedoic acid as a powerful new tool…, As far as natural alternatives to chemical ingredients go, capric acid and caprylic triglyceride is one of the cleanest ingredients that you can find…. Myalgia:This type of muscle pain usually feels like mild soreness in the shoulders, arms, hips or thighs. Depending on these and other factors, along with the severity of your symptoms, you may be advised to continue the statin, perhaps at a lower dose, to see if the symptoms go away, or to switch to another statin. The clearest risk from statins is muscle damage resulting in weakness, tenderness, or pain. Many doctors prescribe statins, or cholesterol-lowering drugs, to help reduce your risk of stroke or heart attack. Advertising Policy About 1 in 10,000 develop rhabdomyolysis. The symptoms usually begin within the first few weeks or months of treatment (or after an interacting drug is started) but sometimes start later, and in some cases can be precipitated by increased physical activity. Our website services, content, and products are for informational purposes only. Liver damage used to be a major concern, but research has found that statin-related liver problems are rare and seldom progress to serious disease. About Us Nearly one-fifth of all patients reported adverse effects, usually muscle pain, which often led to stopping the drugs. Keep in mind that statins are not a substitute for heart-healthy lifestyle changes such as improved diet, exercise, and weight control. This suggests that the adverse effects were not caused by statins, were mild enough to be tolerable, or went away when patients switched to a lower dose or different statin. Commit to an exercise routine, lose weight if you need to, and adopt a heart- healthy eating plan such as the Mediterranean diet. Fewer than 1 in 1,000 develop muscle symptoms accompanied by elevated blood markers for muscle damage (myopathy). In those serious cases, treatment is needed to help clear up the infection. These symptoms commonly occur in large muscles in the legs, chest, upper arms, shoulders, or lower back, but can occur elsewhere. What Is Vitamin F? Statins may cause a dose-related rise in blood markers for liver damage in about 1 percent of people, but this alone does not indicate clinically significant liverinjury. These potentially life-saving medications have some important medical uses, but the downside is that they could also cause muscle pain or muscle cramps—also known as statin-induced muscle pain. Myositis: Myositis, a type of myopathy, causes muscle pain and inflammation, as well as an elevation in CK (a muscle enzyme) levels in the blood. Seven people developed rhabdomyolysis. SAMS can vary in frequency and severity. Pink eye in babies is common but can sometimes be more serious. Uses, Benefits, and Food List, Both Red and White Meat Raise Cholesterol Levels, Study Finds, Teens’ Cholesterol Levels Improve, but Only Half Have Ideal Numbers, Hate Statins? Your doctor might temporarily stop your treatment for a couple of weeks so you’ll have time to compare how you feel when you are and aren’t taking the medication. A Harvard study looked at what happens in the real world when people develop statin-related problems. Healthline Media does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. In contrast, in large observational studies as well as clinical practice, anywhere from 5 to 20 percent of people (or possibly even more) report muscle symptoms that are ascribed to statins, according to Ronald Krauss, MD, director of Atherosclerosis Research at Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute and a member of our Editorial Board, “and that is likely an underestimate of more subtle effects of statins on muscle biology.”. So why do many people fear statins and refuse to take them—or start and then stop taking them? Taking certain other medications, such as some antibiotic, antifungal, or HIV drugs. And with only one exception, the trials were not specifically designed to examine the effect of statins on muscles. The most serious (and least common) muscle disorder caused by statins, called rhabdomyolysis, can also damage the kidneys and lead to kidney failure. 2. This study adds to the growing body of…, A new report on childhood cholesterol levels delivers some promising news, but it's not time to cheer. Your doctor should also make sure that other drugs you’re taking are not boosting the blood level of your statin. In statin users, symptoms such as unusual fatigue, loss of appetite, or yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, particularly in people with pre-existing liver disease, require medical attention. Symptoms related to a nocebo effect are real (not imagined), can be severe, and should never be dismissed by doctors and other health care providers, according to the AHA. Unfortunately, statin usage can present certain side effects. Another established adverse effect of statins is a modestly increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, especially in women and in people who already have risk factors for it, such as being sedentary or obese. Statins do cause muscle pain in some people, though an exact reason isn’t clear. According to the AHA, clinical trials indicate that statins may increase the risk by 10 to 20 percent over five years, which works out to about 2 extra cases of diabetes per year in 1,000 statin users in the general population. If you have muscle weakness with or without pain, you need to contact your doctor now. The statin may not be to blame, or other factors may be involved. The clearest risk from statins is muscle damage resulting in weakness, tenderness, or pain. Besides doing a physical exam, your doctor will test your blood level of creatine kinase, an enzyme that can indicate muscle damage. UCB School of Public Health More serious muscle damage causes moderate to severe pain. The AHA states that there may be a slightly increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke (caused by a rupture of an artery in the brain) in people who have already had one, but the benefit in reducing ischemic strokes (far more common, caused by blood clots) and heart attacks generally outweighs that risk. Statins are one of the most popular classes of prescription drugs. Statins Can Reduce Risk of a Heart Attack for Adults of All Ages, Providence Medicare Advantage: A Guide to Your 2021 Plan Options, Debra Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, R.N., CNE, COI, What to Do If Your Baby Shows Signs of Pink Eye, severe muscle pain throughout the entire body, advanced age, particularly age 80 and older, excessive cranberry or grapefruit juice intake, drug interactions, namely with medicines used to treat, dietary supplements, including vitamin E, coenzyme Q10, and niacin. If this is the case for you, your doctor will likely start by ruling out other factors that might be contributing to your pain, such as: Sometimes a brief break from statin medication is needed in order to determine if the muscle aches you’re experiencing are due to statin usage or just a part of the natural aging process.