Arcus senilis: A sign of high cholesterol? Some drugs that may interact with statins and increase your risk of side effects include: There are many drugs that may interact with statins, so be sure your doctor is aware of all the medicines you take when being prescribed with statins. Accessed Jan. 24, 2019. Fortunately, side effects with statins are not common, occurring in only in up to 3% of people individuals in randomized clinical trials on statins and most are not serious The most common side effects … But some people have side effects. Try coenzyme Q10 supplements. Contact your doctor immediately if you have unusual fatigue or weakness, loss of appetite, pain in your upper abdomen, dark-colored urine, or yellowing of your skin or eyes. A single copy of these materials may be reprinted for noncommercial personal use only. A "nocebo" effect means people who have negative expectations about a medication report experiencing the potential side effect at higher rates than the drug should cause. European Heart Journal. Drug-induced diabetes mellitus: Evidence for statins and other drugs affecting glucose metabolism. If you have read about the potential side effects of statins, you may be more likely to blame your symptoms on the medication, whether or not they're truly caused by the drug. Adhyaru BB, et al. Serious side effects can occur. Cholesterol test kits: Are they accurate? Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier; 2019. Rarer side effects may include dark-colored urine, urinary tract infections, increased blood sugar or type 2 diabetes, and memory loss or confusion. Occasionally, statin use could cause an increase in the level of enzymes that signal liver inflammation. To relieve side effects believed to be caused by statins, your doctor may recommend several options. Our general interest e-newsletter keeps you up to date on a wide variety of health topics. It’s unclear why these issues happen. Check your other meds. If you decide to take cholesterol medication, your doctor might recommend periodic liver function tests to monitor the medication's effect on your liver. All rights reserved. Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. The power of a plant-based diet for heart health. Mayo Clinic does not endorse companies or products. Cholesterol-lowering drugs have benefits, but they also come with a few side effects, as do most medications. cholesterol lowering drugs, such as clofibrate (Atromid-S) and gemfibrozil (Lopid) drugs for the treatment of thyroid problems famotidine (Pepcid) and other medications that treat stomach … If you take cholesterol drugs and other medicines, you might be more likely to have side effects. Statin intolerance. The risk of very serious side effects is extremely low, and calculated in a few cases per million people taking statins. Having too much cholesterol in your blood increases your risk of heart attacks and strokes. The most common statin side effects include: The pain can be a mild discomfort, or it can be severe enough to make your daily activities difficult. Is there a risk of rhabdomyolysis from statins? While you won't need to eliminate grapefruit entirely from your diet, ask your doctor about how much grapefruit you can have. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns. © 1998-2020 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). Safety and efficacy of statin therapy. Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.2016;99:390. If the increase is only mild, you can continue to take the drug. Ferri FF. Rhabdomyolysis can cause severe muscle pain, liver damage, kidney failure and death. Fasting diet: Can it improve my heart health? Risks & Side Effects of Statins. Bempedoic acid is a new type of cholesterol-fighting drug that doesn't come with muscle-related side effects common with statins and could be an alternative. Statin-induced muscle syndromes. Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization and proceeds from Web advertising help support our mission. Mach F, et al. Tell your doctor how your medicine makes you feel. Doctors aren’t sure why it happens. The actual risk of developing muscle pain as a result of taking statins is about 5 percent or less compared with taking a pill that doesn't contain medication (placebo). Mayo Clinic offers appointments in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota and at Mayo Clinic Health System locations. Any use of this site constitutes your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy linked below. This may lead you to wonder if it's worth it. There has also been evidence that statins may help with brain function — in people with dementia, for example. The benefit of taking statins likely outweighs the small risk to have the blood sugar level go up. Rosenson RS, et al. Mayo Clinic does not endorse any of the third party products and services advertised. Diagnosis and management of statin intolerance. After a flood, are food and medicines safe to use? Discuss these steps with your doctor before trying them: Although side effects believed to be caused by statins can be annoying, consider the benefits of taking a statin before you decide to stop taking your medication. Switch treatments. Lower Your Cholesterol Fast With These 8 Easy Tips. Often, there are ways you can handle these side effects and still get the help you need for your cholesterol. Wilson's syndrome: An accepted medical diagnosis? Pomegranate juice: Can it lower cholesterol? 2019;26:e000. But for some people they can cause severe side effects like muscle damage and liver damage. In: Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2019. In other cases, you may have been taking cholesterol medication … Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. March 18, 2019. One of the most common complaints of people taking statins is muscle pain. If you take cholesterol drugs and other medicines, you might be more likely to have side effects. High cholesterol treatment: Does cinnamon lower cholesterol? Review side effects, drug interactions, dosing, storage, and pregnancy safety information prior to taking this medication. You may feel this pain as a soreness, tiredness or weakness in your muscles. If you’re taking medicine to lower your cholesterol, there may be times when it makes you feel less than your best. Rhabdomyolysis can occur when you take statins in combination with certain drugs or if you take a high dose of statins. Statins also are prescribed for preventing and treating atherosclerosis. Smart Grocery Shopping When You Have Diabetes, Surprising Things You Didn't Know About Dogs and Cats, Coronavirus in Context: Interviews With Experts. Statins prevent heart attacks in people with diabetes, so the relevance of the mild increase in sugar values with statins observed in some people is unclear. This is still being studied. See our safe care and visitor guidelines, plus trusted coronavirus information. Most cholesterol medications lower cholesterol with few side effects, but effectiveness varies from person to person. Check out these best-sellers and special offers on books and newsletters from Mayo Clinic. Statins may lower levels of a substance in your muscles called coenzyme Q10, and that can cause pain. Your doctor may be able to come up with an alternative treatment plan that can help you lower your cholesterol without uncomfortable side effects. Very rarely, statins can cause life-threatening muscle damage called rhabdomyolysis (rab-doe-my-OL-ih-sis). Drugs That May Help. Statins block a substance your liver needs to make cholesterol. Lopez-Jimenez F (expert opinion). Even if your side effects are frustrating, don't stop taking your statin medication for any period of time without talking to your doctor first. Niacin to boost your HDL, 'good,' cholesterol, Nuts and your heart: Eating nuts for heart health. There are a few ways they might be able to help you feel better: Take a brief break. Like all medications, these drugs can cause side effects. You wouldn't need any additional liver enzyme tests unless you begin to have signs or symptoms of trouble with your liver. American Academy of Family Physicians: “High Cholesterol: Cholesterol-Lowering Medicines.”, American Heart Association: “Drug Therapy for Cholesterol.”, American College of Cardiology: “Medications.”, Physicians’ Desk Reference: “Common Side Effects of Cholesterol Drugs.”, “CoQ10 and L-carnitine for Statin Myalgia?”. Hypothyroidism symptoms: Can hypothyroidism cause eye problems? WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. While statins are highly effective and safe for most people, they have been linked to muscle pain, digestive problems and mental fuzziness in some people who take them and may rarely cause liver damage. Most people who take statin drugs tolerate them very well. Sometimes, taking a combination of cholesterol drugs can provide the same result with lower doses of statins. Don’t stop taking your cholesterol drugs even if they don’t make you feel great. Doctors often prescribe statins for people with high cholesterol to lower their total cholesterol and reduce their risk of a heart attack or stroke.

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