Doctors urged to lower statin dose after new health scare

Doctors are being urged to choose the lowest-possible dose when they prescribe cholesterol-lowering statins after a study discovered the drugs cause a range of health problems, including serious liver and kidney failure. Statins have been considered to be a safe drug group, and are routinely prescribed to the over-50s to prevent heart disease – but a new study from Nottingham University has discovered that they are an unsuspected cause of serious liver and kidney dysfunction and failure, and they can also be a cause of myopathy, the muscle disease, and cataracts. The risks were similar across the whole range of statins, although the risk of liver disease was highest among patients taking fluvastatin. (Source: British Medical Journal, 2010; 340: c2197).