Statin medications such as Lipitor and Crestor are among the most commonly prescribed medications in the world. Statins have been proven to reduce the incidence of both strokes and heart attacks as well as prolong patient life. Despite the multiple benefits of statins these medications have some very real side effects including statin myopathy. The muscle pain, aching and weakness of statin myopathy occurs in 5 to 20 percent of users depending on the medical study you're reading. The severity of statin myopathy varies from mild to disabling. How can you prevent or treat statin myopathy?
See your doctor before discontinuing your statin medication. It's likely that you'll have a blood test drawn to check for evidence of muscle damage which can accompany statin myopathy.
Stop taking your statin medication and monitor for gradual improvement and resolution of your statin myopathy symptoms. It can take 1 to 4 weeks to see improvement, occasionally longer.
Consider restarting your statin medication at a reduced dosage or even every other day to prevent a recurrence of your statin myopathy. You should discuss all your treatment options with your doctor.
Choose another statin medication if your medical circumstances require use of these medications. The generic statins pravastatin and fluvastatin typically have a lesser incidence of statin myopathy.
Add the vitamin-like supplement coenzyme Q10 to help prevent or treat statin myopathy. Though no medical studies have demonstrated it's efficacy for treating statin myopathy coenzyme Q10 is routinely recommended by nutritionists and doctors alike.
Avoiding grapefruit juice can possibly help to prevent statin myopathy. Chemicals in grapefruit juice can prevent the liver from adequately metabolizing statins which promotes higher statin blood levels and increases the risk for statin myopathy.
Make sure your doctor is aware of what medications and supplements you're currently taking to lower your risk for statin myopathy. Some medications indirectly interact with statins and increase your risk for statin myopathy.
Take vitamin D supplements daily to help prevent muscle pains, fatigue and weakness. Often if the muscle aches from statin myopathy are minor the addition of vitamin D may be sufficient to alleviate symptoms.