A recent study showed that around 10 percent of the population exhibits statin intolerance, leading to a variety of unpleasant symptoms and even discontinuation in some cases.
What are statins?
According to the US National Library of Medicine, statins are a group of drugs that are used to lower cholesterol levels by blocking an enzyme in the liver that is needed to make cholesterol. Statins are typically prescribed to people who have high cholesterol levels and are at risk for heart disease.
However, statin intolerance affects around 3-7% of the population. This means that these individuals cannot tolerate statins due to the side effects, which can include muscle pain, weakness, fatigue, and digestive issues.
While the exact cause is unknown, it is thought to be due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors. If you think you may be intolerant to statins, speak with your healthcare provider about alternatives.
What is statin intolerance?
Statins are a class of drugs that are commonly prescribed to help lower cholesterol levels. It affects around 5-10% of the population. People who are statin intolerant may experience side effects such as muscle pain, fatigue, and nausea. In some cases, these side effects can be severe enough to make it difficult for people to continue taking the medication. There is currently no cure for statin intolerance, but there are some treatments that can help lessen the symptoms.
Who is affected by statin intolerance?
Around 10 percent of the population is affected by statin intolerance, according to a meta-analysis.
The study included data from 176 cohort studies, clinical trials, and case series with more than 4 million patients, statin intolerance was found to be present in approximately 9% of statin-treated patients. The study identified risk factors, including female sex (48%), obesity (30%), hypothyroidism (37%), diabetes (26%), alcohol use (22%), exercise (23%), chronic liver disease (24%), chronic kidney failure (25%), calcium channel blockers (35%), and high-dose statins (37%).
The study found that intolerance was more common in women than men, and that it was also more common in people of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity than in those of other ethnicities. It was also more common in people who were overweight or obese, and in people who had diabetes.
The study’s lead author said that the condition can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life, and that more needs to be done to identify ways to prevent or treat it.
What are the symptoms?
It is estimated that statin intolerance affects around 5-10% of the population. The most common symptoms of statin intolerance are muscle pain, weakness, and fatigue. Other less common symptoms include headache, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, and skin rash.
If you experience any of these symptoms while taking a statin medication, it is important to talk to your doctor. They may be able to adjust your dose or switch you to a different medication.
How is statin intolerance diagnosed?
There is no definitive test for diagnosing statin intolerance. A diagnosis is generally made after a person has tried taking a statin and experienced side effects that go away when the statin is stopped. If someone experiences muscle pain or other symptoms while taking a statin, they should talk to their doctor about whether they may be intolerant.
How is statin intolerance treated?
The most common symptom of statin intolerance is muscle pain. This can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or naproxen. If the pain is severe, your doctor may prescribe a stronger pain reliever.
There are also a few things you can do to lessen muscle pain from statins:
- Take the medication at night, so it has time to build up in your system before you need to use your muscles during the day.
- Exercise regularly. This will help increase your tolerance to the medication.
- Stretch and warm up before physical activity.
- You may take a CoQ10 supplement. This vitamin-like substance helps muscles function properly and may help reduce muscle pain from statins. Ask to your doctor before taking the supplement.