Statins Affect Energy Production in Muscles
Statins are prescription drugs used to lower "bad" (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides and raise "good" (HDL) cholesterol in the blood. As many as 75% of patients who take statins to treat high cholesterol levels may suffer from muscle pain. Many patients quit the drugs after experiencing debilitating muscle pain and cramps, which in some cases left them unable to carry out everyday tasks or even rendered bed-ridden. Research found 10% of people who took statins suffered side effects, and 30% of those said they had stopped taking them as a result.
There has been a large amount of test data on statins that questions their overall safety and the amount of negative side effects they can cause to the body with a wide range of possible negative side effects. They are commonly prescribed drugs that can help to lower your cholesterol. They work by blocking a substance your body needs to make cholesterol. Statins work by preventing formation of cholesterol in the liver.
Scientists at the Center for Healthy Aging at the University of Copenhagen have now identified a possible mechanism underlying this unfortunate side effect. Their work has now been published in the Journal of American College of Cardiology.
Scientists demonstrated that those who were being treated with statins had low levels of the key protein Q10. Q10 depletion and its affect on lowering energy production in the muscles could be the biological cause of the nagging muscle pain that is a problem for many patients.
About 40% of the patients being treated with statins in Denmark were only taking the one drug, so as to narrow down the causes of their pain. The positive effect of statins was marginal for those patients. An analysis showed a 0.5% reduction in mortality from all causes was seen, indicating that for every 200 patients taking statins daily for five years, one death would be prevented. With all of the other, less dangerous options for lowering cholesterol, this risk is now seen as unnecessary.
"Ask your doctor if statins are right for you.”
With the steady flow of commercials and advertisements for statin drugs such as Crestor, Pravachol, Lipitor, Zocor or Vytorin continuously touting their virtues, those looking to lower their cholesterol are often asking their doctors for these products as the ads direct them.
The Danish researchers will further study statin use from a medical point of view, and will also investigate the media's influence on patients' acceptance or rejection of statins as a treatment option. Many contradictory views find their way into the public discussion, and it can be difficult for patients to distinguish between fact and fiction.
The scientists will also have a look at how home-monitoring of cholesterol levels influences patients. For example, does it make patients feel more or less secure when they take responsibility for their own health? The Center for Healthy Aging is currently seeking funding for the research project.
Statins have also recently been linked to certain cognitive issues, such as forgetfulness and confusion. Many patients have reported these problems for years. In 2011, almost 21 million patients in the United States received prescriptions for statins. There are numerous side effects from statins that are under research right now. Sexual dysfunction, peripheral neuropathy (numbness and tingling in the hands and feet), depression, irritability, headache, and sleep problems have all been reported by many people while taking statins.
If you think your statin drug, whether it is simvastatin (Zocor and generic), atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol, Lescol XL), lovastatin (Altoprev, Mevacor and generic), pravastatin (Pravachol and generic), rosuvastatin (Crestor) or simvastatin/ezetimibe (Vytorin) is causing you muscle pain or muscle weakness, or you’ve recently experienced these symptoms, you should see your doctor right away.
There are many options for helping lower your cholesterol. Changing from an unhealthy diet to a healthy diet can reduce a cholesterol level. However, dietary changes alone rarely lower a cholesterol level enough to change a person's risk of cardiovascular disease from a high-risk category to a lower-risk category. However, any extra reduction in cholesterol due to diet will help.
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