Muscle weakness from statins can be a sign of a serious side effect, and should be brought to the attention of your doctor right away. In fact, due to severe muscle breakdown and even deaths, a popular statin called Baycol was recalled several years ago.
Muscle weakness is one of the most documented side effects from long term use of statin medications, with about 1 in 1000 patients experiencing the condition, known as myositis. This could lead to total muscle cell breakdown, called rhabdomyolysis, which could cause kidney failure and in some cases, death.
Why does statin muscle pain occur?
This is a very interesting question, and one that has not yet been answered conclusively. However, there are various theories as to why statin drugs cause muscle problems.
Some experts believe that cholesterol drugs directly influence a certain protein within the muscle cells, which may influence their growth. Others believe it is related to the fact that statins decreased your body’s levels of an important compound called CoEnzyme Q10, or CoQ10 for short.
CoQ10 helps all of your muscles, including your heart, produce energy. Without this compound, your muscle cells might not be able to perform optimally.
Whatever the reason may be, it is definitely a potential side effect which you need to be aware of.
What are the symptoms of statin induced myopathy?
If you start taking a statin medication such as Lipitor or Crestor, you’ll likely know very quickly if you are experiencing any muscle pain, especially if you are started on a higher dose.
You will have otherwise unexplained muscle pain in your arms, legs, neck or other areas of your body. Your muscles may feel sore, weak or tired.
The important thing to be aware of is if you feel any bit of weakness at all, you need to tell your cardiologist right away to avoid any further problems. Although complete muscle breakdown is rare, if left unattended you have a much higher risk of developing this problem.
Which cholesterol drugs are known to cause this problem?
All of the most popular statin medications, including Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor, Pravachol and Mevacor can potentially cause muscle problems, as they all act in a similar fashion. However, it is possible that you’ll experience muscle problems with one statin and not another. As such, your doctor might switch you over to another medication rather than take you off statins, especially if you really need to be on it.
However, keep in mind that just because you aren’t experiencing muscle pain, doesn’t mean that you won’t experience any of the other potential adverse reactions, including kidney and liver damage. Statin muscle pain is not the only concern with these medications.
What are some of the other statin side effects?
In addition to muscle weakness from using statins, side effects from long term use of statin drugs may include severe liver problems due to the medication’s effect on liver enzymes. Therefore, anyone with liver disease or prior liver issues probably should not take Lipitor, Zetia, Zocor and other cholesterol drugs… all of the manufacturers actually warn against it.
Although statin muscle pain and breakdown and liver problems are of the most concern, much research has shown that they can also cause sexual dysfunction and performance problems, as well as diabetes, memory loss, personality changes and irritability.
Some other things to be aware of:
1) While cholesterol lowering drugs do lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, they have limited effect on HDL (good) cholesterol, and no effect on triglycerides (fats), an equally important heart disease risk indicator.
2) As we mentioned above, statins decrease your body’s supply of CoEnzyme Q10 (CoQ10), an essential nutrient for cardiovascular strength and function.
3) There are natural cholesterol lowering ingredients, some of which have been shown to outperform statins in lowering cholesterol, without the possible statin muscle pain.
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The ingredients of this special formula have been shown to be much safer than the statin medications prescribed by many doctors. Some of the ingredients have actually matched or outperformed statins in clinical trials.
Take a look at this natural cholesterol lowering formula and find out how it can help significantly lower your cholesterol levels as well as promote overall heart health.
How can I avoid muscle weakness from statins?
Although statin drugs can reduce cholesterol levels, there are natural alternatives which may be a better, safer option for you. There are nutrients that have been shown to not only lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, but also lower triglycerides (fats) and increase the good HDL cholesterol.
Some of these nutrients have actually been proven to outperform statin medications, without the potential side effects from long term use of statin drugs. Take a look at some of these nutrients below:
Policosanol – a natural extract from sugar cane which has been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol levels as well as raise HDL (good) cholesterol. More importantly policosanol has been proven to be free of side effects, unlike the statins.
Guggulipid Extract – an ancient herb from India recently shown to lower cholesterol levels and can also reduce triglyceride levels, another risk factor for heart disease.
Tumeric Extract – much evidence points to the fact that tumeric may lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, in addition to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
Green Tea Extract – green tea is widely used for many medicinal purposes, and has been shown to reduce triglycerides as well as LDL cholesterol, and increase HDL (good) cholesterol. Green tea also has antioxidants that can prevent heart disease, cancer and other illnesses.
Read more about natural cholesterol lowering nutrients here.
As with all health supplements, make sure you consult your physician or qualified medical professional before taking any supplement to avoid statin muscle pain.