Statins Cholesterol Side Effects

Statins are the common medications prescribed for lowering cholesterol which plays a role in raising HDL levels, lowering triglyceride and LDL levels. They also reduce the risk of heart disease. And also they prevent strokes and heart attacks. Even having many benefits, statins also have side effects. This article gives information about statins cholesterol side effects.

Statins Cholesterol Side Effects

Following are the side effects of the statins:

Liver enzyme elevation

Statin drugs elevate liver enzymes to some extent. Liver enzymes include alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase.
When standard doses of statins are given, these enzymes elevation can be seen in one percent of people who take statins.

Usually, this elevation is seen in first four months of therapy. The risk of developing liver enzyme elevation is dose-dependent. It means depending upon the dose of statins, you will experience an increase in liver enzymes, higher the dose higher will be increase.

Muscle Weakness and Pain

Muscle symptoms such as pain and weakness are the another reasons why people are avoiding statin therapy. Myopathies can range from muscle pains or mild myalgies to rhabdomyolysis, a life threatening condition. It is estimated that myalgia occurs in about 1 in 1,000 people who take statins.

You experience increased myopathies while using statins as you get older, with high doses or while using other medications which interact with statins. Usually, these symptoms will appear in four months of statin therapy initiation.

Rhabdomyolysis is another myopathy which may occur due to use of statins. It is characterized by:

  • Muscle pain
  • Weakness
  • Increase in creatinine phosphokinase enzyme in the body
  • Bloody urine (due to myoglobin release in the body and muscle breakdown)

If this condition is left untreated may cause serious problems, but often it is extremely rare. Incidence of rhabdomyolysis is 1 in 10,000 people taking statins.

Benefits Surpass the Risks

Although statins are associated with side effects, these can be considered uncommon. Statins reduce the cholesterol level and lowers the risk of heart disease. If you experience any side effects while using statins, make sure you consult your doctor immediately.

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