Take supplements. Take a break when you experience muscle pain can help you to determine the causes of muscle... Exchange to other drugs. Get your doctor's advice about taking either of these. To lower your cholesterol, statins cause your body to produce more of an inflammation-suppressing protein called glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper (GILZ). There is some evidence that people who have exercised regularly before taking statins are less likely to experience muscle pain and cramping. If, after a few weeks of statin use, you're still experiencing muscle pain or cramping, you and your doctor might consider going to a lower statin dose or switching to a different statin, possibly one that is designed to be taken less frequently. © 2010 - 2020 Harvard University. While it may be likely that it is indeed … Some men with an enlarged prostate gland (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH for short) eventually start to experience urinary incontinence, the involuntary discharge of urine. Change your prescription. Should I worry about a sudden swollen tongue? And what they discovered is that curcumin, which comes from the spice turmeric, appears to be able to help ease the agony many experience due to these drugs. Androgens, the family of male sex hormones that includes testosterone, function as a fuel for growth in normal development. Even if a healthier lifestyle does not lower your lipid levels, it may still lower your long-term risk of heart disease and stroke. Disclaimer: Reported side effects include an increased chance of developing diabetes — which is largely restricted to people who are already at risk for diabetes, and who can be monitored with glucose or hemoglobin A1c tests. Statins kill your muscle cells. It is unclear why these symptoms may be more common in women, but it could be because they tend to be older, have smaller bodies, and more additional health issues than men do when they begin to take the medications. Muscle pain associated with statins can be hard to manage, especially in a situation like yours where stopping the statin is not an option. Millions of Americans take statins because they effectively target all aspects of one's lipid profile by lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides while raising high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. They are routinely recommended for people who have cardiovascular disease and for many people ages 40 to 75 who don't have cardiovascular disease but have at least one risk factor (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, or smoking) and a 7.5% or greater risk of a stroke or heart attack in the next decade. Although gentle stretching may relieve muscle cramps, beginning a new vigorous exercise regimen while taking a statin may increase the risk of muscle pain. 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Here’s something you may not know…. Can a smart watch diagnose a heart attack? Most melanomas come in the form of a new spot on the skin, not changes to an existing mole. All rights reserved. Statins are usually continued throughout a person’s life. "In the real world about 15% to 20% of patients report myalgias, or muscle-related symptoms, with women reporting such symptoms more than men do," says Dr. Samia Mora, a cardiologist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital. An international group of researchers has suggested that a curcumin supplement could help ease statin-induced muscle pain ( Sahebkar et al, Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle , Feb. 2017 ). Some patients really do get side effects, such as muscle pain, from statins, but the trial suggests that '90% of this symptomatic burden is elicited by placebo tablets too,' researchers say. Ramp up your lifestyle changes. However, the most common side effect is muscle pain and cramping. The Harvard Medical School 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating, Improving Memory: Understanding Age-Related Memory Loss. Water is the best replacement fluid. Exercise. These medications are commonly prescribed to lower "bad" LDL cholesterol and have been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death. Although statins are lipid-lowering drugs that block cholesterol biosynthesis, but also exert immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory, anti-angiogenic and anti-proliferative functions (this means that they negative effect in the body by creating a cytotoxic effect). But because the risk of side effects from CoQ10 is low, many doctors would recommend a one-to-two month trial of the supplement (doses range from 100 to 200 mg daily) to help with statin-related muscle cramps, pain, or weakness. Hormone therapy and radiation may help with certain prostate cancer, Unlocking the mystery of chronic pelvic pain syndrome, Women with DCIS at increased risk for breast cancer death, A silent condition may be taking a toll on your health. How to prevent and relieve statins side effects Take a break from statins. If you have started statins and experience muscle pain, see your doctor. By activating your account, you will create a login and password. Although there are no proven remedies for statin-related muscle pain, the following may help. Doing so may enable you to reduce your statin dosage, or possibly even lower your cholesterol enough to enable you to stop the statin. Can adopting a healthier diet help fight prostate cancer? Why do my legs swell at the end of the day? If you have a low thyroid hormone level, taking replacement thyroid hormone pills may alleviate muscle pain and can also improve your lipid profile. Ask your provider about trying a different statin.. Let your healthcare provider know ASAP if you … No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. Because coenzyme Q10 plays a role in muscle cell energy production, some researchers have proposed that taking a coenzyme Q10 supplement might reduce the risk of muscle-related side effects. Adding another type of cholesterol-lowering drug called ezetimibe (Zetia), which hasn't been associated with muscle pain, may also allow your doctor to lower your statin dosage. Can acupuncture help my menopause symptoms? Taking a statin may give you some assurance that you're doing all you can to avoid heart attack and stroke, but you may also experience side effects. Get health information and advice from the experts at Harvard Medical School. Enter search terms and tap the Search button. Women are also more likely than men to have undiagnosed low levels of thyroid hormone, which increases the risk of statin-related side effects. You only need to activate your account once. Recently, a large group of scientists and doctors from locales as diverse as Australia, Italy, and Poland got together to try and solve the problem of statin-induced muscle pain. Moreover, recent research indicates that they may benefit high risk individuals over age 75 as well. If you have a low blood level of vitamin D, restoring it to normal with a supplement may help reduce muscle pain and cramping. Ramp up your lifestyle changes. There is no convincing medical evidence to suggest that coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) prevents muscle pain in people taking statins. If you're taking the statin preventively, your doctor may try to determine if your muscle pain symptoms are actually due to the statin by suggesting a brief holiday from the drug to see if they disappear when you're not taking it. 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