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Statins

Statins are medications prescribed to the lower bloodcholesterol. 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 cholesterolsynthesis, called HMG-CoA reductase (3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoenzymeA reductase or HMGR).These medications decrease the levels of “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and triglyceridesand increase the “good” (HDL) cholesterol. Also, statins slow the buildup ofplaques in the blood vessels, preventing the heart attack or stroke.

In the United States (US) there are several of statinsapproved 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 heartconditions by 25 to 35%, and lower the risks for reoccurring stroke or heartattack by 40%.

To lower your cholesterol, it is necessary to maintain ahealthy lifestyle, while using the medications. Eat healthy, exercise regularlyand avoid the overuse of alcohol. People diagnosed with high cholesterol shouldn’tsmoke.

Side Effects

Stattins are usually well tolerated, but some patientsexperience side effects when using these drugs. Most people complain about headaches,nausea, vomiting and abdominal cramps and gases. Some patients experience sleepinessor sleeping problems and dizziness, and some digestion problems, like diarrheaor constipation. Rash and redness of the skin are also some common symptoms ofstatin 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 experiencethe pain in the muscles, but, once the treatment is stopped the uncomfortablefeeling goes away. This side effect does not harm the muscles.

Myositis is inflammation of the muscles, often found inpatients who use both statins and some other medications to lower blood cholesterol.This condition may seriously damage the muscles, and the risk is especiallyhigh if patient use statins and fibrates, for instance.

Elevation of creatine kinase (CPK) levels can also be one ofthe 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. Patientsexperience pain and weakness throughout the body. The condition enormouslyelevates the levels of CPK, damages the muscles, leads to kidney damage and maycause kidney failure and death.

Warning

You should inform the doctor about the medicines or remediesyou have been taking.

Any joint or muscle pain you experience during the usage ofstatins must be reported to your doctor.

These medications are not recommended to be usedin pregnant women or patients with previous liver problems.

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