"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. 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. However, don't stop taking a statin without telling your doctor. Women are also more likely than men to have undiagnosed low levels of thyroid hormone, which increases the risk of statin-related side effects. 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. 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. Enter search terms and tap the Search button. Can adopting a healthier diet help fight prostate cancer? Muscle pain associated with statins can be hard to manage, especially in a situation like yours where stopping the statin is not an option. 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). Both articles and products will be searched. However, small clinical trials haven't substantiated the positive effects. There is no convincing medical evidence to suggest that coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) prevents muscle pain in people taking statins. Statin use has also been associated with difficulties with memory and reasoning, although there is no clear evidence that the drugs were responsible. Here’s something you may not know…. Get your doctor's advice about taking either of these. Statins are usually continued throughout a person’s life. 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. Although gentle stretching may relieve muscle cramps, beginning a new vigorous exercise regimen while taking a statin may increase the risk of muscle pain. Change your prescription. Commit to an exercise routine, lose weight if you need to, and adopt a heart- healthy eating plan such as the Mediterranean diet. 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If you have a low thyroid hormone level, taking replacement thyroid hormone pills may alleviate muscle pain and can also improve your lipid profile. Keep track of any new symptoms that develop when you begin taking a statin, and report them to your doctor. Can acupuncture help my menopause symptoms? 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. Even if a healthier lifestyle does not lower your lipid levels, it may still lower your long-term risk of heart disease and stroke. 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. 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. 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 ). Water is the best replacement fluid. While it may be likely that it is indeed … Statins kill your muscle cells. © 2010 - 2020 Harvard University. Although gentle stretching may relieve muscle cramps, beginning a new vigorous exercise regimen while taking a statin may increase the risk of muscle pain. These medications are commonly prescribed to lower "bad" LDL cholesterol and have been shown to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and death. If you subscribe to any of our print newsletters and have never activated your online account, please activate your account below for online access. To lower your cholesterol, statins cause your body to produce more of an inflammation-suppressing protein called glucocorticoid-induced leucine zipper (GILZ). Please note: If you have a promotional code you'll be prompted to enter it prior to confirming your order. Disclaimer: Some people over age 60 have few, if any, symptoms of an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism), while others experience the same symptoms younger people do. You only need to activate your account once. Statins inhibit the production of cholesterol in the cell, but it also inhibit an important element in the energy production in the cells' mitochondria. Should I worry about a sudden swollen tongue? In very rare cases, statins may cause liver problems or a potentially life-threatening breakdown in muscle cells. As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. The Harvard Medical School 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating, Improving Memory: Understanding Age-Related Memory Loss. However, the most common side effect is muscle pain and cramping. Can a smart watch diagnose a heart attack? All rights reserved. Your body needs a steady supply of fluid to make up for what's lost when you exhale, sweat, and urinate. 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. Ask your provider about trying a different statin.. Let your healthcare provider know ASAP if you … Moreover, recent research indicates that they may benefit high risk individuals over age 75 as well. Have a thyroid blood test. Hydration is a day-long process. Ramp up your lifestyle changes. Take a break when you experience muscle pain can help you to determine the causes of muscle... Exchange to other drugs. 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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. The muscle pain statin drugs cause is directly related to the way statin drugs work. Take supplements. Many doctors prescribe statins, or cholesterol-lowering drugs, to help reduce your risk of stroke or heart attack.