However, in people already susceptible due to their genes or lifestyle, the leak caused by statins may overwhelm the muscle cells, giving rise to muscle pain and weakness. Dr Sarah Calaghan, Associate Professor in Cardiac Physiology from the University of Leeds said: "The idea that exercise makes statin side effects worse might be a misconception -- what really matters is the intensity of exercise. Have any problems using the site? Professor Metin Avkiran, Associate Medical Director at the British Heart Foundation said: "Statins are life-saving drugs and most people who take them don't experience side effects. Content on this website is for information only. Categories: Cholesterol | Tags: Cholesterol, Heart disease, Stroke. ... antidote to known statin side effect Date: August 26, 2019 ... discovered why some people experience muscle pain after taking statins. In the 2019 study conducted at the Duke Clinical Research Institute, researchers surveyed 5,693 people from the Patient and Provider Assessment of Lipid Management Registry. But after giving the patients an unmarked eight-month supply of statins and dummy pills -- four bottles of each -- the investigators found that 90% of the symptoms reported when taking the real drug endured, even when patients were taking a dummy, or placebo, pill. Symptom intensity was also pegged almost as bad during placebo consumption as it was during statin consumption, though it dropped by half when taking no tablets at all. A new study reverses current thinking on giving statins to people over 75, finding the cholesterol-lowering drugs benefit people of all ages with minimal risk. In 2017 I wrote a post entitled “Do Statins Cause Memory Loss?The Science, The Media, The Statin-Denialist Cult, and The Nocebo Effect” which concluded that there was no scientific evidence for cognitive side effects of the widely-utilized statin cholesterol lowering drugs.. These findings support the theory that muscle cells can tolerate the calcium leak, meaning only those who are susceptible experience symptoms. (accessed November 28, 2020). Of the 71 stoppages, 31 occurred while taking a placebo, and 40 were while taking a statin. "Scientists identify potential cause of statin-related muscle pain: Moderate exercise an antidote to known statin side effect." Note: Content may be edited for style and length. Most of the side effects commonly blamed on cholesterol-lowering statins may actually be the product of patients' imaginations, new British research claims. ScienceDaily, 26 August 2019. He and his colleagues published their findings this week in the New England Journal of Medicine. All rights reserved. After assessing your personal risk and advising on lifestyle changes, they will help you make an informed decision that is right for you.". It is not intended to provide medical or other professional advice. Your source for the latest research news. The proposed mechanism may also explain why heart muscle, which has different gatekeeper proteins for calcium release, is protected from any potentially harmful effects of statins. In fact, 90% as bad as they did on the statins.". statins, cholesterol, heart disease. "We found that patients felt quite well not taking tablets," said Howard, "but when they took statins they felt a lot worse. (2019, August 26). We know around 7 in 10 professional athletes can't tolerate statins -- and we know that intense endurance exercise has profound effects on the gatekeeper proteins targeted by statins. In fact, rats treated with statins ran twice as far as control rats. ScienceDaily shares links with sites in the. Those who do suffer muscle pain and weakness should always ask their doctor if a different statin or dose might solve the problem. This study was carried out by researchers from the University of Nottingham and was funded by the same institution. British Heart Foundation. ScienceDaily. Unregulated calcium leaks may cause damage to muscle cells, potentially leading to muscle pain and weakness. But as a measure of how disruptive the side effect experience can be -- whether real or perceived -- the team noted that 24 of the 49 patients temporarily stopped taking any tablet for at least a month, with 71 stoppages in total. In all, 49 patients completed the year-long trial, making note of symptoms throughout the study period. Howard said simply acknowledging the problem can help a lot. ScienceDaily. "The good news is, after twenty years of searching, we finally have an explanation for statin-associated muscle pain, along with a possible solution. The research, published in JACC: Basic to Translational Science, could help doctors prevent a known side effect of statins and ensure people are able to reap the benefits of the life-saving drugs. They added that research has found that statin use can be associated with a rare … Women with high cholesterol are less likely than men to be offered statins to reduce their heart disease risk. "Ultimately, everyone has control over the medications they choose to take. The issue of statin tolerance is a real concern, said Dr. Gregg Fonarow. The researchers also showed that exercise may prevent the changes which lead to calcium leaks from occurring, and it may be an effective way for people taking statins to avoid muscle symptoms. Despite this, a common concern of my patients when we discuss potentially utilizing statin … The added effect of statins could push muscles over the edge, leading to symptoms. Despite the cell changes, statins did not affect muscle function or strength in rats. . Statins reduce a person's risk of a heart attack or stroke by lowering the levels of so-called 'bad cholesterol' in the body. ", Howard said that the researchers "noticed that in old trials of statins -- when half the patients took statins and half the patients took placebo -- the side effects were almost identical for both groups. Patients then took nothing for another four months. Researchers based at the University of Leeds and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden investigated the effects of statins on muscle biopsies from patients taking statins long term and from rats treated with statins for 4 weeks. "Cardiovascular disease is the biggest killer worldwide, and statins are one of the best drugs we have at reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke," explained study author James Howard. British Heart Foundation. In 2017 I wrote a post entitled “Do Statins Cause Memory Loss?The Science, The Media, The Statin-Denialist Cult, and The Nocebo Effect” which concluded that there was no scientific evidence for cognitive side effects of the widely-utilized statin cholesterol lowering drugs.. Study participants were between the ages of 37 and 79, and all had stopped taking statins at some point between June 2016 and March 2019. The research… The researchers point out that they did not directly show that the cell changes lead to muscle weakness and pain in people, but note that this is likely. Copyright 2020 HealthDay. This made no sense if statin side effects were so common.". The study received no drug industry funding. Many people who take cholesterol-lowering statins may not benefit from them, researchers say. When rats were given free access to an exercise wheel, the statin-related changes to the gatekeeper proteins no longer occurred and pro-cell death signals were not elevated in the muscles. But for those whose symptoms are largely imagined, what can be done? And it can help "reassure patients regarding the safety and tolerability of statins," Fonarow added. We found that moderate exercise cancelled out the changes in muscle cells caused by statins. Statins reduce heart disease risk even in older adults, studies find, Three-drug combo reduces risk for lung cancer by 17%, study finds, Statins tied to significantly lower death rate from ovarian cancer, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The finding follows a study of 60 patients who had been taking statins but stopped because of reported muscle aches, fatigue or joint pain. Each patient was given four bottles of statins and four bottles of placebos, each containing identical-looking tablets to be consumed in random order over eight months. A total of 1,511 patients were not receiving statin therapy despite meeting eligibility requirements, and 59 percent of those people said they didn’t take the medication because it was never offered to them. According to the research, statins cause spontaneous and irregular leaks of calcium from storage compartments within muscle cells. But the latest finding suggests that it's possible to distinguish between those experiencing true side effects and those who aren't. British Heart Foundation. The new investigation revealed that "statin tablets do cause side effects, but most of these symptoms seem to be caused by the act of taking tablets, not the actual statin within them," he said.