Statins are medications prescribed to the lower blood cholesterol. Too much of cholesterol in the blood is affecting your blood vessels. They might become narrow or blocked, causing heart problems and stroke.
Statins are inhibitors of the enzyme important for cholesterol synthesis, called HMG-CoA reductase (3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-Coenzyme A reductase or HMGR). These medications decrease the levels of “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides and increase the “good” (HDL) cholesterol. Also, statins slow the buildup of plaques in the blood vessels, preventing the heart attack or stroke.
In the United States (US) there are several of statins approved to be used. The list include: Crestor (rosuvastatin), Lescol (fluvastatin), Lipitor (atorvastatin), Mevacor or altocor (lovastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin), and Zocor (simvastatin).
Studies reveal that statins reduce the risks of severe heart conditions by 25 to 35%, and lower the risks for reoccurring stroke or heart attack by 40%.
To lower your cholesterol, it is necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle, while using the medications. Eat healthy, exercise regularly and avoid the overuse of alcohol. People diagnosed with high cholesterol shouldn’t smoke.
Stattins are usually well tolerated, but some patients experience side effects when using these drugs. Most people complain about headaches, nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps and gases. Some patients experience sleepiness or sleeping problems and dizziness, and some digestion problems, like diarrhea or constipation. Rash and redness of the skin are also some common symptoms of statin use. Sometimes, patients have issues with the muscles, feeling aches, tenderness oar muscle weakness.
More serious adverse effects include: muscle inflammation (myositis), muscle pain (myalgia) and rhabdomyolysis.
Myalgia is a rare statin side effect. Patients experience the pain in the muscles, but, once the treatment is stopped the uncomfortable feeling goes away. This side effect does not harm the muscles.
Myositis is inflammation of the muscles, often found in patients who use both statins and some other medications to lower blood cholesterol. This condition may seriously damage the muscles, and the risk is especially high if patient use statins and fibrates, for instance.
Elevation of creatine kinase (CPK) levels can also be one of the side effects of statins. The condition is characterized by inflammation, weakness and pain in the muscles, and may need time to be solved.
Rhabdomyolysis is the most serious side effect of statins. Patients experience pain and weakness throughout the body. The condition enormously elevates the levels of CPK, damages the muscles, leads to kidney damage and may cause kidney failure and death.
You should inform the doctor about the medicines or remedies
you have been taking.
Any joint or muscle pain you experience during the usage of
statins must be reported to your doctor.
These medications are not recommended to be used in pregnant women or patients with previous liver problems.