Statins Side Effects. Statins may lower your bad cholesterol but what are its side effects that you should watch out for? We are republishing below the NHS.UK list of the common, uncommon, and rare statins side effects.
Common side effects may affect up to 1 in 10 people, uncommon side effects are reported among 1 in 100 people, while rare side effects may affect up to 1 in 1,000 patients.
The COMMON STATINS SIDE EFFECTS (may affect up to 1 in 10) include:
- sore throat
- a runny or blocked nose (non-allergic rhinitis)
- feeling sick
- problems with the digestive system, such as constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion or flatulence
- muscle and joint pain
- increased blood sugar level (hyperglycaemia)
- an increased risk of diabetes
UNCOMMON SIDE EFFECTS (may affect up to 1 in 100 patients):
- being sick
- loss of appetite or weight gain
- difficulty sleeping (insomnia) or having nightmares
- dizziness – if you experience this, do not drive or use tools and machinery
- loss of sensation or tingling in the nerve endings of the hands and feet (peripheral neuropathy)
- memory problems
- blurred vision – if you experience this, do not drive or use tools and machinery
- ringing in the ears
- inflammation of the liver (hepatitis), which can cause flu-like symptoms
- inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), which can cause stomach pain
- skin problems, such as acne or an itchy red rash
- feeling unusually tired or physically weak
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Finally, RARE SIDE EFFECTS (may affect up to 1 in 1,000 patients) are:
- visual disturbances
- bleeding or bruising easily
- yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)
Do note that the above list is not exclusive. Be sure to inform your doctor or healthcare provider of any side effects you experience from your use of statins.
Now, if you think the above potential side effects are easy-peasy, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a patient advisory on very serious but rare statins side effects. According to the agency, patients taking in statins should be aware of the following:
- There have been rare reports of serious liver problems in patients taking statins. Patients should notify their healthcare professional right away if they have the following symptoms: unusual fatigue or weakness; loss of appetite; upper belly pain; dark-colored urine; or yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes.
- Memory loss and confusion have been reported with statin use. These reported events were generally not serious and went away once the drug was no longer being taken.
- Increases in blood sugar levels have been reported with statin use.
- Potential for muscle damage. Some drugs interact with statins in a way that increases the risk of muscle injury called myopathy, characterized by unexplained muscle weakness or pain. For this reason, the FDA is revising the drug label for Lovastatin to clarify the risk of myopathy. The label will reflect what drugs should not be taken at the same time, and the maximum lovastatin dose if it is not possible to avoid use of those other drugs.
Note: Statins include atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Altoprev), pitavastatin (Livalo), pravastatin (Pravachol), rosuvastatin (Crestor) and simvastatin (Zocor).
Statins Side Effects: Constipation, Liver Damage, Blurred Vision posted 6 October 2016. Last update on 6 October 2016.