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How safe are statins? (Part 2)

There is real concern when considering expanding their use to patients who are well

Published Fri, Oct 18, 2013 · 10:00 PM
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CHOLESTEROL lowering drugs, also called statins, are one of the most commonly used drugs. The commonest side effects, muscle pain and liver abnormalities have been described in greater detail in the previous article (The Business Times Weekend, Oct 5). The muscle aches are believed to be related to the statin effect of decreasing production of Coenzyme Q10, a catalyst in the cells which is responsible for speeding up the production of energy in cells. Supplementation with Coenzyme Q has been found to be able to alleviate the symptoms for those with mild muscle aches in some studies but the data has not been consistent. Of greater concern is a 2009 publication in the Canadian Medical Association Journal which reported that a significant number of the biopsies of muscle in those with statin related muscle pain had demonstrated structural damage to the muscles.

Cancer

One of the myths on statin is its relationship with cancer. The trials have dismissed this unfounded fear and there is absolutely no evidence that the incidence of cancer was any different between statin treated groups and those who were given placebos.

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