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August 2019 (Vol. 4 Issue 6)

It’s not in the head—statins really do cause bad muscle pain
About the author: 
Bryan Hubbard

It’s not in the head—statins really do cause bad muscle pain image

They’ve often been dismissed as imagining it—but people taking cholesterol-lowering statins really are experiencing bad muscle pains and weakness, an independent study has concluded.

And it’s a common problem, with around 42 per cent of users complaining of ‘intolerable’ muscle pains, say researchers from the Cleveland Clinic. For many, it’s the reason they stop taking the drugs within the first year.

In the new study, which involved 511 people, more than 80 per cent had reported intolerance to three or more different statin drugs.

One option is to try a non-statin drug to reduce levels of the so-called ‘bad’ cholesterol, LDL (low-density lipoprotein), such as Repatha (evolocumab), an injectable drug—although UK authorities have not recommended its use. Another approach is to just change your diet, and eat less processed foods.


References

(Source: Journal of the American Medical Association, 2016; doi: 10.1001/jama.2016.3608)

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