Statins Side Effects

Statins side effects are categorised in 1 of 4 categories
Statins side effects are categorised in 1 of 4 categories

Statins have attracted controversy in the past for their potentially dangerous side effects. Statins side effects usually fall into one of 4 categories.

The side effects categories are:

  • Easy to diagnose
  • Mild
  • Reversible
  • Rarely dangerous

Statins side effects and indeed the drugs themselves have been studied in detail, and are known to be safe.

Your GP or healthcare professional will be able to help you if you experience any statins side effects symptoms.

Used alongside blood glucose control, statins are medically proven to cut cholesterol levels and decrease the likelihood of a cardiovascular event.

Statins will commonly be prescribed to people that have already had a heart attack, stroke or peripheral artery disease.  

What are the side effects of statins?

Statins side effects may include the following:

  • Some studies have shown statins increase risk of depression and impair cognitive ability
  • One statin, simvastatin, could lead to a rare kidney problem
  • The FDA has warned that patients on statins are more likely to develop myopathy, including rhabdomyolysis in rare and serious cases
  • Liver function can sometimes be affected

Do statins increase risk of Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s?

There is currently no evidence of a link between statins and Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s.

Statins and blood glucose levels

Studies have indicated slightly higher fasting blood glucose levels in people with diabetes taking statins.

The effect may be more pronounced in people taking larger statins doses.

How are statins side effects influenced by the liver?

Statins target liver cells where cholesterol is produced by the body.

When your doctor is considering whether to put you on statins, you will have a blood test to check how well your liver functions.

If your liver is affected, your doctor may change your medication or reduce your dose.

I’m on statins, should I change my diet to lower the risk of side effects?

Your doctor should be able to advise you regarding your diet in relation to statins. The British Heart Foundation advises avoiding grapefruit and grapefruit juice as they can increase the risk of statin side effects.