Statin muscle pain is more common than you think. Will switching statins help?
March 25, 2021
“I feel pain and weakness in my muscles.”
If you have been taking a statin and you face the above situation, it is possible you may be experiencing a side effect from your statin.
What are statins?
It is alarming that more than 71 million Americans have been diagnosed with high cholesterol. There is no cure for high cholesterol, but you can control it. Statins have been around for 30 years and are considered the most trusted class of drugs that help to control your high cholesterol.
Are statins safe to use?
The short answer is yes, but like all medications, they are not without their risks. Through this article we will discuss both the risks and benefits of statin therapy.
Common statin side effects
Some of the most common side effects associated with a statin are:
- Muscle pain
Cause of these side effects
The risk of statin side effects increases as the dosage of the statin increases. The higher your statin dose, the higher the concentration of statin in your blood, leading to the higher the risk of a side effect.
What no one tells you
How statins help
Statins are clinically proven to reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events, including heart attacks and stroke*.
Statins are considered an effective class of drugs and have been around for over 30 years. The efficacy and utilization of statins across the globe clearly indicate that the potential benefits exceed their risk.
Statin dosage a problem
Statin dosage is an important factor that could increase the probability of statin side effects. Your doctor will help you decide your statin dose based on your cholesterol levels and your risk of developing heart disease.
If you are taking a higher dosage statin (e.g., 80 mg of atorvastatin), then there is a higher chance you may experience side effects.
If you experience side effects, you should talk to your doctor. Altering the statin dosage or changing to a different statin are effective ways of treating patients reporting such adverse side effects.
Pitavastatin – the newest statin to be approved – may be an option for you
Pitavastatin is a next-generation statin and the most recent to be approved in the U.S. Pitavastatin differs from other statins in the way our body processes it. At the highest dose (4 mg), only 3.1% of patients experience side effects from muscle pain.
In clinical studies, 4 mg pitavastatin was demonstrated to lower cholesterol:
- As effectively as atorvastatin 20 mg
- As effectively as simvastatin 40 mg
- Better than pravastatin 40 mg
Click here to learn more about Zypitamag (pitavastatin) tablets.
* The effect of pitavastatin on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality has not been determined.
This article contains information about an FDA-approved product, Zypitamag (pitavastatin) tablets. This medication is available by prescription only. Talk to your doctor to see if Zypitamag is right for you. Please refer to the Zypitamag (pitavastatin) tablets Important Safety Information below and Prescribing Information for more information.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION for ZYPITAMAG® (pitavastatin) tablets
Who should NOT take ZYPITAMAG?
ZYPITAMAG is not right for everyone. Do not take ZYPITAMAG if:
- You have a known allergy to ZYPITAMAG or any of its ingredients.
- You have active liver problems, including some abnormal liver test results.
- You are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant, as it may harm the baby.
- You are currently taking cyclosporine or gemfibrozil.
What is the most important information I should know and talk to my doctor about?
- Call your healthcare provider or get help right away if you experience any symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as rash, itching, or hives.
- Muscle problems may be an early sign of rare, serious conditions. Tell your doctor right away if you have any unexplained muscle pain, weakness, or tenderness, particularly if accompanied by malaise or fever, or if these muscle signs or symptoms persist after discontinuing ZYPITAMAG.
- Serious liver problems have been reported rarely in patients taking statins, including pitavastatin. Your doctor should do liver tests before you start, and if you have symptoms of liver problems while you are taking ZYPITAMAG. Tell your healthcare provider right away if you feel more tired than usual, have a loss of appetite, upper belly pain, dark-colored urine, or yellowing of the skin or eyes.
- Tell your doctor about all your medical conditions and medications you take including nonprescription medicines, vitamins, or herbal supplements.
- Increases in blood sugar levels have been reported with statins, including pitavastatin.
- Tell your doctor about your alcohol use.
- Tell your healthcare provider of a known or suspected pregnancy.
What are the most common side effects of ZYPITAMAG?
The most common side effects of ZYPITAMAG in clinical studies were:
- Back pain
- Muscle pain
- Pain in the legs or arms
This is not a complete list of side effects. Talk to your healthcare provider for more information.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of all drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
How should I store and take ZYPITAMAG?
- Store ZYPITAMAG tablets at room temperature, in a dry place, and out of the reach of children.
- Take ZYPITAMAG orally once daily with or without food at the same time each day.
- Swallow the tablet whole. Do not split, crush, dissolve, or chew.
- The maximum recommended dosage is ZYPITAMAG 4 mg once daily.
- If you take too much ZYPITAMAG or you or someone else takes an overdose, call your doctor and/or local Poison Control Center.
Other important information I should know about ZYPITAMAG.
- ZYPITAMAG has not been studied to evaluate its effect on reducing heart-related disease or death.
- ZYPITAMAG is available by prescription only.
For additional information, please see the full Prescribing Information.