Thursday, 28 Oct 2021

Statins side effect: The ‘all over’ body pain you shouldn’t ignore – ‘talk to your doctor’

This Morning: Dr Chris reveals grapefruit can affect statins

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Whether you need to be on a statin depends on your cholesterol levels and other risk factors. In most cases, you’ll need to take statins for life. This is because even though statins lower your cholesterol, it will rise again if you come off the medication.

If you’re taking simvastatin or atorvastatin, avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice as they can increase your risk of side effects, according to the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

The charity states: “If you do experience side effects, or if your side effects change or become worse, tell your GP.”

Heart UK says that some people may experience muscle ache and pain.

The charity says that the pain that some people say they get with a statin use are typically “a generalised muscle discomfort, lasting more than a couple days”.

The organisation says: “It is usually all over and does not just affect one part of the body. It is not joint pain or localised cramp.”

If you experience this “don’t ignore it” says the charity, you should talk to your doctor.

Nonetheless, it notes that in the vast majority of cases these symptoms will disappear.

“Your doctor may suggest stopping the statin for a short period of time to see if the symptoms go away,” the advice reads.

The NHS says side effects can vary between different statins, but common side effects include headaches, dizziness and feeling sick.

Other common side effects include feeling unusually tired or physically weak, and digestive system problems, “such as constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion or farting”.

Some people also have the side effects of sleep problems and low blood platelet count.

There are also some uncommon side effects listed by the NHS

The uncommon side effects include being sick, memory problems, hair loss and pins and needles.

You may also experience inflammation of the liver, inflammation of the pancreas and skin problems, like acne or an itchy red rash.

Other people report sexual problems, such as reduced sex drive or erectile dysfunction.

The NHS also notes that there are some rare side effects that can occur.

These rarer side effects include loss of sensation or tingling in the nerve endings of the hands and feet and tendon problems.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine you’re taking.

It’s run by a medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The purpose of the scheme is to provide an early warning that the safety of a medicine or a medical device may require further investigation.

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