What To Do About Statin Induced Myalgia Or Muscle Problems
The first thing to do is talk to your doctor. They should suggest a lower dose, switching to a new medication, or discontinuing altogether. If left untreated, it will typically get worse so action is needed. Every medication has a risk to benefit ratio and it is important to weight those options in an educated way.
Checking for deficiencies in the above nutrients and vitamins as well as checking for hypothyroidism are very important factors. Our approach is to try to avoid statin medications altogether by taking a broader perspective on the cardiovascular system. Lipids are important aspect of cardiovascular disease but equally important are blood sugar levels, inflammation, family history and personal history. With the goal of reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease we can use other herbal, nutrient, and metabolic factors to accomplish this.
To learn more about our approach to cardiovascular related health issues or for treatment related to statin induced muscle pain click on the link below for a free consultation.
If you have a personal history with statin induced muscle pain, share your experience in the comment section. We would love to hear from you!
There Are Several Things You Can Do To Prevent Or Minimize The Aches And Pains That Might Accompany Statin Use
If you’re not taking a statin now, you may well be soon. These medications are commonly prescribed to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and have been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death. They are routinely recommended for people who have cardiovascular disease and for many people ages 40 to 75 who don’t have cardiovascular disease but have at least one risk factor and a 7.5% or greater risk of a stroke or heart attack in the next decade. Moreover, recent research indicates that they may benefit high risk individuals over age 75 as well.
Side Effects Not Requiring Immediate Medical Attention
Some side effects of rosuvastatin may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.
Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
- tender, swollen glands in the neck
- voice changes
- accumulation of pus, swollen, red, or tender area of infection near a tooth
- arm, back, or jaw pain
- burning feeling in the chest or stomach
- burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, “pins and needles”, or tingling feelings
- excess air or gas in the stomach or bowels
- excessive muscle tone
- feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
- feeling of warmth or heat
- feeling sad or empty
- flushing or redness of the skin, especially on the face and neck
- general feeling of discomfort or illness
- lack or loss of strength
- pain or swelling in the arms or legs without any injury
- pain or tenderness around the eyes and cheekbones
- passing gas
- stomach discomfort, tenderness, or upset
- stuffy nose
- swelling of the breasts or breast soreness in both females and males
- unsteadiness or awkwardness
Applies to rosuvastatin: oral capsule, oral tablet
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Muscle Pain And Other Statin Side Effects
Taking a statin may give you some assurance that you’re doing all you can to avoid heart attack and stroke, but you may also experience side effects. Reported side effects include an increased chance of developing diabetes which is largely restricted to people who are already at risk for diabetes, and who can be monitored with glucose or hemoglobin A1c tests. Statin use has also been associated with difficulties with memory and reasoning, although there is no clear evidence that the drugs were responsible. In very rare cases, statins may cause liver problems or a potentially life-threatening breakdown in muscle cells.
However, the most common side effect is muscle pain and cramping. “In the real world about 15% to 20% of patients report myalgias, or muscle-related symptoms, with women reporting such symptoms more than men do,” says Dr. Samia Mora, a cardiologist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. It is unclear why these symptoms may be more common in women, but it could be because they tend to be older, have smaller bodies, and more additional health issues than men do when they begin to take the medications. Women are also more likely than men to have undiagnosed low levels of thyroid hormone, which increases the risk of statin-related side effects.
Should You Take Statins For Rheumatoid Arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that causes the immune system, which normally fights infection, to attack healthy joints. This produces inflammation in the joints, resulting in pain, swelling, and ultimately the destruction of cartilage and bone. A recent study, published in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism, found that the disease is on the rise among women they make up about 75 percent of the more than 1.3 million people with rheumatoid arthritis in the U.S.
Treatments have improved significantly in recent years, but patients still face an increased risk of disability and premature death. Surprisingly, the No. 1 cause of their shortened life span is not rheumatoid arthritis but a heightened risk of cardiovascular disease associated with it. There appears to be a link between chronic inflammation that leads to joint damage in people with rheumatoid arthritis and damage to the heart and blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
The cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins are FDA-approved to reduce elevated levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood, which can build up on artery walls and trigger a heart attack or stroke. These drugs also appear to reduce inflammation in the body for some people. In doing so, the drugs might offer dual benefits for people with rheumatoid arthritis, reducing both their disease and their increased cardiovascular risk.
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Will The Muscle Pain Go Away
Generally, symptoms of SAMS resolve on their own if a person stops taking statins.
Instead of stopping statins entirely, doctors will first:
- remove any factors that could be contributing to muscle pain
- try alternative statins
- try different dosages
If these measures do not prove effective, a doctor may suggest an alternative to statins. People should not stop or change the dosage of medications unless advised by a healthcare professional.
How To Protect Yourself From This Life
If you have muscle pain or weakness while taking a cholesterol-lowering statin drug, such as atorvastatin or simvastatin , contact your doctor right away. Muscle aches, soreness, and tenderness due to statins are usually not serious, but in rare cases, those can be a sign of a life-threatening condition.
Its not always obvious if the muscle pain is due to the statin or something else, so it’s best to tell your doctor about any muscle pain or fatigue you have, says Steven Nissen, M.D., chairman of the department of cardiovascular medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation.
The thighs, shoulders, and upper arms are common places for statin-related muscle problems to occur, Nissen says. “People typically complain that the muscles in their thighs or upper arms are either painful or weak,” he says. “They often feel like they don’t have strength in those muscles.” Pain, tenderness, and weakness can also occur in other areas, including the lower back and calves.
If those symptoms are really due to a statin, they usually go away within a week or so after stopping the drug . If they persist, your doctor will check you for a type of muscle breakdown called rhabdomyolysis that can lead to permanent kidney damage, coma, and death.
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Managing Muscle Pain Related To Cholesterol Medication
The treatment of high cholesterol has improved care for many people. Most people who have diabetes or those who have had a stroke or heart attack benefit from lower cholesterol levels. Medications called statins are the most commonly prescribed drugs used to reduce cholesterol. Some examples of statin medications are Lipitor® , Pravachol® , Zocor® , Livalo® and Crestor® .
Unfortunately, some people may experience muscle pain or weakness while taking statins. The pain may be minor such as soreness or stiffness. However, muscle pain, particularly if severe and accompanied by dark-colored urine, may be an indication of a more serious, life-threatening problem called rhabdomyolysis.Older age and a low body weight are risk factors for developing statin-induced muscle pain. Both the medication dose and the fact that it might be interacting with other medicines a person takes can cause the side effect of muscle pain.
People who take statins and drink large quantities of grapefruit juice may be at increased risk for muscular side effects. People with liver and thyroid problems may also develop muscle pain while taking statins. Finally, new research indicates that genetics may play a role in determining who may develop muscle pain with statins.
What Are Statins And Why Are They Used In The Treatment Of Lupus
Statins are medications that lower the level of cholesterol in your blood by reducing the production of cholesterol in the liver. Cholesterol is a natural component of the fats in your blood stream and the cells of your body. However, people with high levels of cholesterol in their blood face an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, which can lead to chest pain, heart attack, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.
When too much cholesterol circulates in the blood, the substance can cause deposits to form on your artery walls. Plaque is dangerous because it can block the flow of blood to various parts of your body, including your heart and brain. Studies have shown that people with lupus are more likely to have clogged arteries that can lead to heart attack and stroke at a younger age. This increased risk is caused by elevated cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, diabetes, and inflammation, conditions that occur often in people with lupus. Certain medications, such as corticosteroids can provoke or compound these symptoms. For this reason, the cholesterol-lowering properties of statins are commonly called upon for lupus patients.
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Breast Cancer Medications Anastrozole Exemestane Letrozole
Anastrozole , exemestane , and letrozole are medications used in the treatment of breast cancer. They belong to a group of drugs known as aromatase inhibitors that either block estrogen hormones from being made or block estrogens effect on the body. These three medicines are usually taken for years to prevent breast cancer from recurring. Half of all women taking them experience joint pain.
Dont Worry About Cholesterol Inflammation Is Your Biggest Problem
Cholesterol is good for you it performs so many vital functions in your body.
Inflammation raises your risk of just about every serious disease, including heart attacks and strokes. If you want to look after your health, youd better keep inflammation at bay!
Each week we see a number of patients who are seeking help for their high cholesterol level. They can quote the cholesterol figure in their last blood test and desperately want to lower it without the use of medication. Many of our patients have tried cholesterol lowering drugs in the past and werent happy with the side effects. They are even more worried about the potential long term effects of these drugs on brain function and the nervous system.
I think they should also be worried about having abnormally low levels of cholesterol, which these drugs tend to induce. Several studies have shown that people with slightly higher cholesterol actually live longer than those with low cholesterol .
People with low cholesterol seem to be more prone to cancer and mental health problems.
For years weve been told to eat less fat if we want to stay slim and keep our cholesterol level in check. I have a problem with that advice for a few reasons:
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How Do Statins Work
Statins work by blocking the enzyme in the liver that is responsible for making cholesterol. This enzyme is called HMG-CoA reductase, so statins are referred to by scientists as HMG-coA reductase inhibitors. By reducing the production of cholesterol by the liver, statins slow the formation of new plaques and reduce the size of plaques that may already exist. Statins also help to stabilize plaques and make them less likely to rupture and form clots. New research also shows that statins reduce inflammation in arterial walls, which is important for people with lupus, since they are more likely to have clogged arteries due to inflammation caused by the disease.
What You Can Do About Muscle Pain From Statins
Keep track of any new symptoms that develop when you begin taking a statin, and report them to your doctor. Some symptoms may go away as you continue to take the medication. If you’re taking the statin preventively, your doctor may try to determine if your muscle pain symptoms are actually due to the statin by suggesting a brief holiday from the drug to see if they disappear when you’re not taking it. However, don’t stop taking a statin without telling your doctor. Although there are no proven remedies for statin-related muscle pain, the following may help.
Exercise. There is some evidence that people who have exercised regularly before taking statins are less likely to experience muscle pain and cramping. Although gentle stretching may relieve muscle cramps, beginning a new vigorous exercise regimen while taking a statin may increase the risk of muscle pain.
Ramp up your lifestyle changes. Commit to an exercise routine, lose weight if you need to, and adopt a heart- healthy eating plan such as the Mediterranean diet. Doing so may enable you to reduce your statin dosage, or possibly even lower your cholesterol enough to enable you to stop the statin. Even if a healthier lifestyle does not lower your lipid levels, it may still lower your long-term risk of heart disease and stroke.
Have a thyroid blood test. If you have a low thyroid hormone level, taking replacement thyroid hormone pills may alleviate muscle pain and can also improve your lipid profile.
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What Are The Potential Side Effects Of Statin Therapy
Statins are tolerated well by most people, but they are associated with some side effects. Some of these side effects will go away as your body adjusts to the medication. Side effects include muscle and joint aches, nausea, diarrhea, and constipation. In addition, statins are associated with two potentially serious side effects, liver damage and muscle problems.
People who take statins should have periodic liver function tests, because occasionally statins can cause an increase in liver enzymes. If this increase is slight, you can continue with your recommended statin therapy. However, if it is high, your doctor will most likely recommend that you discontinue taking the medication, since increased liver enzymes can lead to permanent damage. Certain drugs can increase the risk of liver damage in people taking statins these medications include gemfibrozil and niacin, so talk to your doctor if you take either of these medications.
What Other Options Can You Try
Starting drug treatment for RA soon after you’re diagnosed might help. Taking a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug early on helps prevent irreparable joint damage that might occur if DMARD use is delayed. They include hydroxychloroquine sulfasalazine minocycline or methotrexate . Prompt treatment is also associated with lower cardiovascular risk.
Use the lowest possible dose of corticosteroid medications like prednisone for the shortest time possible. Those drugs reduce inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis but might enhance cardiovascular risk.
Ask your doctor to assess your cardiovascular risk each year.
If your risk score is sufficiently high to require statin treatment based on established guidelines, make sure you receive it. A recent study found that the drugs are underprescribed for high-risk RA patients.
Engage in low-impact aerobic exercisesâsuch as walkingâand muscle-strengthening exercises. They lower cardiovascular risk and reduce pressure on the joints. But if a joint is swollen and inflamed, do gentle range-of-motion exercises to keep it flexible, and rest.
Quit smoking. It’s a major cause of heart disease and might increase the severity of RA.
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Cholesterol Drugs Linked To Muscle Joint Problems
But heart benefits of statins outweigh risks, expert says
MONDAY, June 3 — People taking statin drugs to lower their cholesterol may slightly increase their risk for muscle and joint diseases as well as strains and sprains, a new study suggests.
Statins, such as Zocor and Lipitor, are widely used to reduce cholesterol levels and help prevent heart disease. But they’re also thought to contribute to muscle weakness, muscle cramps and tendon problems.
This new study, based on nearly 14,000 U.S. active-duty soldiers and veterans, confirmed an association between the drugs’ use and musculoskeletal injuries and diseases. But the findings need to be replicated in other types of studies and should not deter people at risk of heart disease from taking the medications, said lead researcher Dr. Ishak Mansi, from the VA North Texas Health Care System in Dallas.
“Do not stop taking statins these medications have been life-savers for some patients,” Mansi said. “But talk to your doctor about the benefit-risk ratio for you.”
Whether statins should be prescribed universally in people without risk factors for heart disease, as some in the health care field suggest, is another matter, Mansi said.
“The side effects of statins are not totally known yet,” Mansi said. “Advocating widespread use, specifically for primary prevention in otherwise healthy subjects, is unsound.”