Statin myopathy: A common dilemma not reflected in clinical trials
Cleveland Clinic Journal Of Medicine June2011 vol. 78 6 393-403
This is an interesting article pointing out that Statins are under prescribed because of concerns about muscle toxicity.
"25% of adults who start taking a statin stop taking them by 6 months, and up to 60 % stop by 2 years"
I was not to surprised to learn that only 50 % of people who could benefit from taking a statin are on one. My own little observational study found that only 37% of 110 diabetes patients admitted to our hospital for coronary bypass surgery were taking a statin. I should point out that John Nelson, PA in our Diabetes Department did all of the work on our study.
( page 47 DIabetes Office Visit , My thoughts on Lipids , Statins, and Diabetes )
Myalgia is common
Statin related muscle complaints are very common Myalgia is estimated to occur in 6 to 25 % of people taking statins. Accurate data is difficult to obtain because this symptom is usually not reported.
Research studies report < 5% of patients have myalgia which is not to different from those taking a placebo.
Rhabdomyolysis is rare
0.15 deaths / 1 million prescription
Rhabdomyolsis , is a potentially life threatening condition resulting from the breakdown of muscle tissue. This is most commonly seen in crush injuries , alcohol abuse , muscle over exertion , heat stroke, genetic disorders, some medications including Statins. The combination of Statins with other lipid lowering medication such as fibrates , niacin and common medications such as erythromycin may increase the risk.
The risk varies with different statins and seems to be dose related. Higher doses increase the risk. The percent of reported cases of Rhabdomyolysis as reported by the FDA
Rhabdomyolysis % cases reported deaths per million prescriptions
cerivastatin - 56.9%
Simvastatin ( Zocor ) - 18.3% 0.12 %
atorvastatin ( Lipitor ) - 11.5 % 0. 04%
pravastatin ( Pravachol ) - 7.3% 0. 04%
lovastatin ( Mevacor ) - 4.4 % 0. 19 %
fluvastatin ( Leschol ) - 1.6 % 0.00%
This study was done before rosuvastatin ( Crestor ) became available
It is always a good idea to check for drug interactions with any new medication you add to your treatment program. Your doctor , pharmacist and you can easily find this information
Early symtoms of rhabdomyolysis include dark tea colored urine , severe muscle pain and weakness over the entire body . The tea colored urine may be your first clue. Stop the medication and contact your doctor immediately.
Early diagnosis and treatment is very effective and full recovery can be expected.
Tomorrow- more on myalgia
Have Fun ,Be Smart and always contact your doctor before stopping your medication