Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Statin Drugs and Muscle Aching
Despite that cardiologists often underplay the incidence and risk of muscle aching in patients taking statin drugs, the FDA recently reduced the allowable dose of simvastatin. Higher doses of the drugs have been associated with myalgias, especially in the first 12 months of therapy, in elderly female patients and in those who are also taking a calcium channel blocking drug (especially diltiazem). In severe cases, rhabdomyolysis can occur, which can be fatal. The risk of Diabetes also rises with increased doses of statins. Red yeast is a much safer, natural alternative. A novel approach of taking the drugs only on every other day has also been suggested. See Family Practice News, July 2011, p. 30.