Advertisement

What are the side effects of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

The results of any high cholesterol medications vary by person and may require a variety of combinations to work. Some of the side effects of these medications are muscle and abdominal pain, irregular bowel movements and liver dysfunction. Also, certain varieties of an alternative remedy called red yeast rice may contain other drug ingredients that are harmful to your health.

Dr. Jack Merendino, MD
Endocrinologist

Statin drugs are very powerful in cutting the risk of heart disease, but of course they're not perfect. Many people who take them complain of muscle pain, and people often say they feel the way they do the day after a hard workout, even when they haven't been physically active. Sometimes this just shows up as fatigue.

On rare occasions statins can cause muscle damage, so tell your doctor if the muscle pain is severe or persistent. Occasionally the drugs cause liver problems. Studies show that statin drugs can be used safely in people who have liver test abnormalities from fatty liver, and there is even some evidence that the drugs may improve the problem by lowering fat levels in the blood. Statin drugs have also been reported to cause cognitive impairment, such as difficulties with memory, and they may cause or worsen peripheral neuropathy in some people.

The Best Life Guide to Managing Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes

More About this Book

The Best Life Guide to Managing Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes

Bob Greene has helped millions of Americans become fit and healthy with his life-changing Best Life plan. Now, for the first time, Oprah's trusted expert on diet and fitness teams up with a leading...

Continue Learning about High Cholesterol

Best Food Combination to Lower Cholesterol
Best Food Combination to Lower Cholesterol
What Is the Best Way To Control Cholestrol?
What Is the Best Way To Control Cholestrol?
How Much Do You Blame American Culture for Our Childhood Obesity Epidemic?
How Much Do You Blame American Culture for Our Childhood Obesity Epidemic?
Why Are We Seeing More Chronic Illness at Younger Ages?
Why Are We Seeing More Chronic Illness at Younger Ages?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.