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A 34-year-old member asked:

what are the downsides of using statins?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ankush Bansal
Internal Medicine 17 years experience
Many!: Liver disease, diarrhea, muscle aches (one form called myopathy can be quite serious). It's not a benign drug by any stretch. That is why lifestyle changes are still recommended as the first step. The problem is that most people won't do that. However, changing your diet and lifestyle is far cheaper, safer, and longer-lasting.
Dr. Michael Rothman
Internal Medicine 35 years experience
Several: Statin drugs can definitely cause muscle pain. This occurs for multiple reasons. One mechanism is that statins reduce the endogenous production of coq10, a vital anti-oxidant and important component of energy producing processes within the mitochondria inside your cells. If you take Lipitor (atorvastatin) you should definitely also take coq-10. Also statins can injure your liver and low cholesterol is ng.

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CA
A 45-year-old member asked:

Are there any major side effects from statins?

2 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Francis Uricchio
Cardiology 38 years experience
Yes: The most common side effects from statins include 1) myalgia and increased CPK from skeletal muscle and 2) elevated liver function tests reflecting liver inflammation. A vast majority of these side effects are benign. There have been instances of severe skeletal muscle damage or severe liver damage but these episodes are very unusual.
Dr. Charles Jost
Cardiology 36 years experience
Women, in particular, have also reported some loss of cognitive function on Lipitor. However this has ameliorated within 10 days of discontinuing the drug. I have not seen studies supporting these anecdotal claims, which is not to discount individual reactions.
Nov 17, 2011
Portland, OR
A 48-year-old male asked:

Are statins safe?

2 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Kenneth Cheng
Family Medicine 31 years experience
Yes: Statin medications used to treat high cholesterol are considered safe. As with all medications and medical procedures, we weigh the risks vs. The benefits. The risks of statins is very low (may adversely affect the liver but this is rare) and the benefits are great (significant reduction in heart disease and stroke.) discuss this with your doctor, in light of your individual medical conditions.
A 81-year-old member asked:

Do statins reduce the power of the immune system or enhance it?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gerald Lee
Allergy and Immunology 17 years experience
Anti-inflammatory: Statins not only reduce cholesterol but they also appear to reduce inflammation caused by the immune system. Unfortunately clinical trials for diseases like asthma have not found benefit. Some patients get more nasopharyngitis or urinary tract infections according to the package insert.
PA
A 67-year-old member asked:

What are the risks of takingi statin drugs, long term?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. James Huang
Family Medicine 22 years experience
Pros and Cons: Statins have been known to reduce the risk for coronary artery disease and cerebral vascular accidents (stroke). There are always side effects with pharmaceuticals, neutraceuticals, and vitamins. It is always wise to be monitored by your physician. Some side effects commonly associated with statins would be rhabdomyolsis, myalgias, fatigue, elevated liver function, diarrhea, and dark urine.
Afghanistan
A 92-year-old member asked:

Heard statins are poison. Why should I take it at 90?

1 doctor answer2 doctors weighed in
Dr. LUIS IRIZARRY
A Verified Doctoranswered
A US doctor answeredLearn more
Statin: Can cause muscle aches, elevated liver enzymes, abdominal pain , constipation, diarrhea. Simvastatin tend to cause more side effect but there many other statin to choose from. Overall they are very safe and effective. Set appointment to go over statin your meds and nothing else. That way doctor could explain a bit more and clarify doubts or myths.

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