Statin side effects

The most common side effects of statins include:

  • headache,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • constipation,
  • diarrhea,
  • rash,
  • weakness,
  • muscle pain.

The most serious (but fortunately rare) side effects are liver failure and rhabdomyolysis. Rhabdomyolysis is a serious side effect in which there is damage to muscles. Rhabdomyolysis often begins as muscle pain and can progress to loss of muscle cells, kidney failure, and death. It occurs more often when statins are used in combination with other drugs that themselves cause rhabdomyolysis or with drugs that prevent the elimination of statins and raise the levels of statins in the blood. Since rhabdomyolysis may be fatal, unexplained joint or muscle pain that occurs while taking statins should be brought to the attention of a healthcare provider for evaluation. Statins must not be used during pregnancy because of the risk of serious adverse effects to the developing fetus.

Dr T


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