August 14, 2018

Statin Side Effects

Individuals with high cholesterol are often prescribed a statin to lower their cholesterol levels such as simvastatin and pravastatin.  High cholesterol has been linked to an increased risk of strokes and heart attacks. In some studies, patients reduced their risk of heart attack or stroke up to 35 percent while they were on statins.

This class of drugs works by block an enzyme in the liver that makes cholesterol. By lowering the levels of cholesterol, statins prevent hardening of the arteries and blood clots. Individuals who are already on a statin should make sure to eat healthily, exercise and avoid smoking. For the best results, individuals should also avoid drinking alcohol.

Statin Side Effects

Like every drug, statin can produce side effects in patients who take it. Some people may experience headaches, muscle aches, rashes, muscle weakness and problems sleeping. According to the warning label on most statins, patients might experience dizziness, high blood sugar, constipation, diarrhea, flushing of the skin, memory loss and mental confusion. There are also reports of individuals feeling drowsy, bloated or nauseous.

The overall list of side effects of statin drugs includes:

– Dizziness
statin side effectsHeadache
– Feelings of confusion
– Drowsiness
– Muscle aches
– Problems falling asleep at night
– Rashes
– Type 2 diabetes
– Elevated levels of creatine kinase
– Rhabdomyolsis
– Abdominal aches or cramps
– Constipation
– Memory loss
– Bloating
– Flatulence
– Diarrhea
– High blood sugar
– Liver damage
– Jaundice
– Dark-colored urine

Patients should contact their doctor if they have any of these symptoms. If individuals are suffering from unexplained muscle pain, they should visit their doctor because this could be a sign of something worse.

Serious Side Effects of Statin

Although serious side effects are rare, they do happen to a select number of patients. These side effects can be life threatening, so patients should immediately visit their doctor if they any symptoms. Patients who take statins may develop myositis. This side effect is an inflammation of the muscles. Normally, myositis develops in patients who taking a statin and a fibrate. If a patient develops myositis and takes both of these drugs, they are at a higher risk of permanent muscle damage.

Some individuals may also experience rhabdomyolysis. Another disorder related to the muscles, this condition causes muscles all over the body to become weak and inflamed. As the muscles become damaged, they create a protein that ends up pooling in the kidneys. When kidney tries to breakdown the proteins, they may become damaged. Untreated rhabdomyolsis can cause kidney failure or death.

Over time, patients can also develop elevated levels of creatine kinase. This enzyme is produced in the muscles. It can make the patients muscles feel inflamed, weak or painful. Although it is generally not life threatening, patients should immediately visit their doctor to start the recovery process.

 

Contraindications

side effects dangerWomen who are pregnant or nursing should not take statins unless a doctor tells them to. Any medication taken during pregnancy or while nursing can be transferred to the baby and may cause problems. Individuals who have a history of liver disease should not take statins. In addition, patients should always tell their physician if they are taking any other medication, herbal supplement or over-the-counter drugs.

Most people will be able to take a statin without any issues. Certain patients are at a higher risk of symptoms and side effects. Individuals who are older than 65, are taking multiple medications or having a history of kidney disease can increase the patients risk. Patients who have type 1 or 2 diabetes are also more likely to have issues while taking statins.

Individuals who have a higher risk factor should always discuss their concerns with a doctor. Statins should only be taken under a doctor’s care and guidance. If the patient begins experiencing side effects, they should immediately make an appointment to see their doctor. In cases of serious side effects, patients should go to the emergency room and report their symptoms to the FDA.

Related Posts

Simvastatin Side Effects

Pravastatin Side Effects