Statins are drugs that are prescribed to reduce the risk of heart problems by lowering the level of cholesterol in the blood – when this is elevated.
The most common side-effects of statins include adverse effects on skeletal muscle (myalgia = muscle pain, myositis = inflammation of muscle and occasionally rhabdomyolysis). Where muscle problems occur the drug may have to be discontinued.
People with pre-existing muscle disorders appear to be at increased risk of developing this side-effect. So this should always be taken into consideration before a statin is being considered.
Doctors have now been issued with comprehensive guidance on how to deal with patients who report muscle symptoms when taking statins
Anyone with ME/CFS who is taking statins and notices new muscle symptoms or an exacerbation of existing muscle symptoms should always consult their doctor – who will arrange for a blood test to measure the level of a muscle enzyme called CK (creatine kinase)
The MEA receives regular queries on the use of statins and has been sending out this information for some time!