STATINS are a group of medicines that can help lower the level of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the blood. Like many medicines, statins can cause side effects in some people. You may have been advised to take statins if you’ve had a heart attack or stroke in order to reduce your risk of another cardiac event.
Whether you need to be on a statin depends on your cholesterol levels and other risk factors. In most cases, you’ll need to take statins for life. This is because even though statins lower your cholesterol, it will rise again if you come off the medication.
If you’re taking simvastatin or atorvastatin, avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice as they can increase your risk of side effects, according to the British Heart Foundation (BHF).
The charity states: “If you do experience side effects, or if your side effects change or become worse, tell your GP.”
Heart UK says that some people may experience muscle ache and pain.
The charity says that the pain that some people say they get with a statin use are typically “a generalised muscle discomfort, lasting more than a couple days”.
The organisation says: “It is usually all over and does not just affect one part of the body. It is not joint pain or localised cramp.”
If you experience this “don’t ignore it” says the charity, you should talk to your doctor.
Nonetheless, it notes that in the vast majority of cases these symptoms will disappear.
“Your doctor may suggest stopping the statin for a short period of time to see if the symptoms go away,” the advice reads.
The NHS says side effects can vary between different statins, but common side effects include headaches, dizziness and feeling sick.
Other common side effects include feeling unusually tired or physically weak, and digestive system problems, “such as constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion or farting”.
Some people also have the side effects of sleep problems and low blood platelet count.
There are also some uncommon side effects listed by the NHS
The uncommon side effects include being sick, memory problems, hair loss and pins and needles.
You may also experience inflammation of the liver, inflammation of the pancreas and skin problems, like acne or an itchy red rash.
Other people report sexual problems, such as reduced sex drive or erectile dysfunction.
The NHS also notes that there are some rare side. “Brinkwire Summary News”.