Statins for High Cholesterol
How Statins Work
- Atorvastatin (Caduet®, Lipitor®)
- Fluvastatin (Lescol®)
- Lovastatin (Mevacor®)
- Pravastatin (Pravachol®)
- Rosuvastatin (Crestor®)
- Simvastatin (Vytorin®, Zocor®)
Statin Side Effects
Statins are relatively safe for most people, but some can respond differently to the drugs. Certain people may have fewer side effects with one statin drug than another.
The likelihood of experience side effects depends on several factors, including the type of statin used, the dosage and presence of other medical conditions. Some commonly reported side effects include:
- muscle and joint aches (most common)
- diarrhea or constipation
Recently, researchers have found that for a small number of people, statins are associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Researchers continue to evaluate these and other side effects.
Some statins, in particular lovastatin and simvastatin, also are known to interact adversely with other drugs.
Statins are not recommended for pregnant patients or those with active or chronic liver disease.
Talk to your doctor if you are taking a statin and are concerned about any possible side effects you may be experiencing.
Risks and Benefits of Statin Use
- Your blood cholesterol levels, particularly your LDL cholesterol level
- Your response to other lifestyle measure, such as diet and exercise
- Your personal history of a heart attack, chest pain (angina) or other signs of heart disease
- Your family history of heart disease
- Your age
- The presence of other medical conditions, such as diabetes or obesity, and use of tobacco products (smoking)
- Your use of other medications that may increase your risk of developing side effects from statin use
Reference: Food and Drug Administration (FDA)