Friday, June 9, 2023

What are the side effects of statin drugs?

 Statin drugs are commonly prescribed to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. However, like all medications, statins can cause side effects. The most common side effects of statins include:

  • Headache
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Flushing of the skin
  • Muscle aches, tenderness, or weakness (myalgia)
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Abdominal cramping or pain
  • Bloating or gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Rash
  • Low levels of blood platelets
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It's important to note that not everyone who takes statins will experience side effects, and some people may be at a greater risk than others. Risk factors for developing statin side effects include taking multiple medications to lower cholesterol, being female, having a smaller body frame, and having kidney or liver disease

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Less common side effects of statins include being sick, memory problems, hair loss, pins and needles, inflammation of the liver (hepatitis), inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), skin problems such as acne or an itchy red rash, and sexual problems such as loss of libido or erectile dysfunction

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Serious side effects of statins are rare but can include muscle pain and damage, liver damage, increased blood sugar or type 2 diabetes, and neurological side effects

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If you think you're experiencing side effects from statins, don't stop taking the medication without talking to your doctor. They may be able to adjust your dosage or switch you to a different type of medication

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It's important to weigh the benefits of taking statins against the potential risks of side effects. Statins can reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke, but they may not be right for everyone. Be sure to discuss your options with your doctor

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Sources:

  1. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/statins/side-effects/
  2. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/statin-side-effects/art-20046013
  3. https://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/side-effects-of-statin-drugs
  4. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/22282-statins
  5. https://www.goodrx.com/classes/statins/statin-side-effects

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