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Large study finds muscle soreness not caused by taking statins

Posting time:2022-12-06 01:12:00

Large study finds muscle soreness not caused by taking statins

A meta-analysis of data from 23 randomized clinical trials and more than 150,000 participants concluded that muscle pain or weakness is not a common side effect of statin therapy. This important finding suggests that the muscle problems that most people experience while taking statins are not caused by the drug, and they shouldn't affect whether a person stops treatment. Infographic It is estimated that about 1 in 5 people stop taking statins because they experience side effects, usually muscle pain. Although placebo-controlled clinical trials have not identified muscle problems as a statin-related side effect, the idea has become fairly common among many patients and clinicians. The new study hopes to settle the debate once and for all by carefully analyzing data from 23 large clinical trials -- including 155,000 participants and at least two years of follow-up. The 19 trials analysed were double-blind and compared placebo to statin therapy, and 4 trials compared high-dose and low-dose statin therapy. Across all placebo-controlled trials, the new study found that 27.1% of statin patients reported muscle pain or weakness, compared with 26.6% of patients in the placebo group who reported the same effect. The only sign of side effects the new study could detect was a slight 7 percent increase in reports of muscle problems in the first year of statin use compared to placebo. After the first year of treatment, all reports of muscle problems were similar between the placebo and statin groups. The study's lead investigator, Colin Baigent, said that means the vast majority of muscle problems in people taking statins are drug-independent. Only 1 in 15 reports of muscle pain while taking statins were attributable to the therapy, and that was only in the first year of treatment. "The protective effect of statins on cardiovascular disease is known to greatly outweigh the slight increase in the risk of muscle symptoms," Baigent noted. For example, for every 1,000 people taking moderate-intensity statins, the first year of Caused 11 episodes of generally mild muscle pain or weakness with no apparent excess in subsequent years. Over a five-year period, statins typically prevented 50 major vascular events in those with pre-existing vascular disease , while those without pre-existing vascular disease experienced 25 major vascular events, longer treatment durations yielded greater benefits." Nilesh Samani, from the British Heart Foundation, said the findings should help reassure patients, Statins are safe and effective. Therefore, if signs of muscle problems do appear while taking a statin, a patient should not immediately stop taking it because it is a side effect of the drug. Samani also noted that the findings suggest that muscle soreness is very common in older adults. And the new data doesn't mean these issues should be ignored by doctors and patients. "Almost 1 in 4 patients enrolled in the trial reported such symptoms, whether they were taking a statin or a placebo. It is critical not to ignore the real concerns of those who do experience muscle symptoms, and physicians should Continue to consult with these patients to ensure their medication is the most effective for them."

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