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FDA Warns about Simvastatin Side Effects

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Q. I've been on simvastatin (80 mg) for several years. I've had serious problems with leg cramps and now my tendons are affected from my toes to my knees. Could the medication be responsible?

A. The FDA has just issued a warning about simvastatin (Zocor). The agency is concerned about muscle damage linked to high doses (80 mg) of this cholesterol-lowering medicine. Doctors are not supposed to prescribe this dose to new patients. Only people who have not experienced muscle problems after taking it for a year should continue on the 80 mg dose.

Even lower doses of simvastatin may cause side effects. One reader shared his story: "I was started on simvastatin 20 mg, and by the third week I was in a lot of pain. My triceps and biceps hurt the worst, as though someone was ripping the muscles apart. I also had pain in my hips, legs and shoulders.

"I stopped the simvastatin, but my blood tests showed elevated CPK (muscle breakdown) and decreased GFR (kidney functioning). Six months later, the labs show my GFR is normal, but my CPK is still mildly elevated. When I try to exercise, my muscles get sore quickly and the soreness lasts longer."

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267 Comments

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Hi, The answer to both prevention and rectification of muscle problems with high doses of simvastatin may be Co-Q10 100 to 300mg per day. Alternatively, it may also be 3 grams of vitamin C per day to stimulate the body to produce Co-Q10 naturally. pg

I am on Simvastatin 20mg for several years. I also take fish oil, flax seed oil and 2 red yeast rice every day. When I went for my lab work on 6-1-2011, she wanted to raise my medicine and I told her no. I would like to get off altogether but she says no. I don't like the side effects and I have talked to her about this. My results are as follows:

Cholesterol 166
Trig 107
DLDL 105
Direct HDL 42
CHO/HDL 3.95

Do you think I should up my medication or stop the medication and just stay on the vitamins? I don't like taking vitamins and the medication. Please advise. Thank you.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: KEEP IN MIND THAT THE RED YEAST RICE YOU TAKE CONTAINS COMPOUNDS SIMILAR TO SIMVASTATIN. YOU MAY BE INTERESTED IN SOME OF OUR NON-DRUG APPROACHES TO LOWERING CHOLESTEROL,

In my opinion doctors do a terrible job of warning patients about the potential risk of muscle damage with any statin. I believe much additional agony would be prevented if people stopped the drug at the first sign of trouble and then got a blood test to check for damage. Statins are a lifesaver but muscle damage and kidney problems are real risks.

Doctors are also negligent in not putting every statin taker on CoQ10. There is no downside to taking this that is known and mounting evidence it is very helpful.
HJL

All you have to do to find out about the dangers of any drug is to put the phrase "dangers of" followed by the name of the drug into the search of any search engine. It's a learning experience into what you're not told when it's prescribed by your doctor. His education is usually from the detail person of the drug company along with the samples they would like you to get hooked on.

Any statin has the possibility to cause rhabdimylosis which is the breaking down of muscle tissue which then can cause kidney failure. Taking a large dose of Coenzyme Q10 each day helps to prevent this problem. Every muscle in your body needs it to function, especially your heart, and statins lower your liver from producing CoQ10.

What do you consider is a "large dose of Coenzyme Q10"?

I was on Lipitor for several years, felt that I was having problems from it, my Dr. switched me to Crestor, so far so good. I am interested in taking Coenzme Q10, but don't know how much is optimum.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: THE USUAL RECOMMENDATION FOR SOMEONE ON A STATIN IS 100 TO 200 MG/DAY.

Years ago I was on Tricor for cholesterol. Over time I started feeling more and more tired and weak. Talking with my doctor resulted in a string of blood test, urine tests, etc. Even had chest X-ray and heart tests. Nothing worked until... I read an article in the sports section of the newspaper about NASCAR driver Bill Elliot retiring due to fatigue. He later found out it was caused by his cholesterol medicine.

I stopped my medicine that day (not recommended that you stop that way) and started feeling better immediately. BUT I still have less energy than before the medicine and still somewhat weaker. Now I am on Pravastatin at 20mg, because diet and some exercise helped but didn't lower trigylcerides enough while it did help some with cholesterol. My doctor said that Pravastatin has these least side effects of all the statins. It is also a generic now so it is one of the cheapest. Haven't noticed any negative effects while on Pravastatin and it does help with cholesterol.

After angioplasty, my MD put me on Zocor. Immediately, I began to have
muscle pains. Peas prescribed walking for at least 1/2 hour. I could not
even keep up with my wife and any degree of rise on the street was almost
unbearable.

The symptoms progressed to the point that to put my pants on I had to lean
against the bed, like an old man (52 at the time). My doctors refused to believe
it was the Zocor. One even suggested that I see a psychiatrist.

Meds changed to Lipitor and increased to 80 mg. This was in 2002. By then I'd
started losing weight; I began having diarrhea 24/7; muscle pains continued and MD's still not wanting to even consider taking me off of mess.

Long story short in 2006, after losing over 55 lbs, I got off the meds. Within a day and a half diarrhea stopped. Only then did new doctor put me on non-statin meds
at

I've been on a STATIN med for the last 5 months. I have had severe pain in my ankles, knees, shoulders and wrists. I have had days of not being able to walk and that was enough for me to stop the med's. It has been 3 days and I'm still not feeling great, but I think I might be getting a little better. Time will tell.

I understand that in Germany you automatically get a prescription for Coq10 when you are prescribed a statin.

It saddens me to read of long term problems people have with unresponsive doctors. People must insist on obtaining and reading the FDA information sheet available from your pharmacist for every med they take in addition to reading the paperwork the pharmacy customarily provides. People should insist to be taken off a med if they in their heart knows it is causing problems.

I previously advised that CoQ10 is required in Canada for everyone put on a statin and was not surprised that it is likewise required in Germany. I am mystified that it is not standard good practice in this country to instruct the patient on CoQ10 whenever a statin is prescribed. Note: no prescription is required for CoQ10.

If you feel lousy after starting a new med, educate yourself to the side effects and if the shoe fits and your doctor can not assure you it is just temporary, take the initiative. If it persists, again, do something. Doctors are not G-D and clearly some are better than others.

I have stopped taking my 20-mg statin to see if usual tests before yearly doctor's appointment will show that I don't need it. If I am required to take a statin again (with attendant loss of the sense of smell), which has the least side effects and what is CoQ10?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: UNFORTUNATELY, THERE ARE NO STUDIES TO COMPARE STATINS AND DISCOVER WHICH HAS FEWER SIDE EFFECTS. WE HAVE HEARD FEWER COMPLAINTS ABOUT PRAVASTATIN, BUT THAT MAY BE SIMPLY BECAUSE IT IS NOT PRESCRIBED AS FREQUENTLY.

COQ10 (COENZYME Q10, AKA UBIQUINONE) IS A COMPOUND MADE BY THE BODY AND USED BY THE MITOCHONDRIA IN EVERY CELL. STATINS DEPLETE COQ10, WHICH IS WHY WE SUGGEST SUPPLEMENTATION FOR THOSE ON STATINS.

Please google "The Lipitor Paradox" and you will find a wonderful, funny but sad cartoon on U-tube.
It`s a conversation between a patient and his doctor.

It doesn´t matter which statin you take - they side effects can be devastating.

Statins can have horrible side effects, you really need to be careful when taking them.

I have been on 40mg simvastatin for 5yrs. Recently I had rt upper quadrant pain and subsequently had my gallbladder removed because of a function problem-no stones. Postop, I still have pain in the same area and wondered if any studies have been done re: statins and liver problems. I have bloodwork done every 6mths for liver function and nothing has ever changed. Is there any correlation between RUQ pain and taking statins?

I've been on simvastatin many years due to high cholesterol. Three years ago I developed severe stomach pain, nausea and diarrhea. CT scan and ultrasound showed no gallbladder issues but did show enlarged lymph nodes and thickening of small intestine wall.

The pain eventually stopped and my doctor blew it off as "you must have had some sort of infection". Well, the stomach pain is back and I'm getting the same answers this time around. I am also tired all the time, have periods of dizziness, have back pain and seem to have lost strength in my limbs.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: ABDOMINAL PAIN AS WELL AS MUSCLE PAIN, MUSCLE WEAKNESS AND FATIGUE, CAN BE SIDE EFFECTS OF SIMVASTATIN. PLEASE DISCUSS THIS WITH YOUR DOCTOR AND DON'T LET HIM OR HER "BLOW IT OFF."

I intend to stop the medication because I can no longer deal the the abdominal pain. Has anyone had an experience like mine? I'm really concerned about the enlarged lymph nodes. The doctor says all my tests results are normal, but I feel terrible!

What is the safest way to stop taking simvastatin 20 mg to test if it is the true cause of the leg pains that are non stop?

Forgot to take it for two days and had the a day of no pain and a night without pain in legs. Had been on Lipitor with no problem for years but got switched to generic two months ago and on review that is when leg pain began.

I have been on Zocor 20 then Zocor 40 then generic simvastatin for a long time - like since 1994. Occasionally have what I think are tendon cramps on top of my left thigh only. This pain is severe and only occurs at night after several hours of sleep.

My Doctor said to try Calcium-Magnesium-Zinc pills and I did. No re-occurrence after a month so I hope that will continue.

I had a TIA stroke in 2002 and am not interested in stopping simvastin.

I was started on simvastatin 20mg, went to 40, then to 80mg. Since I have been on this, I have gotten plantar faciitis, trigger finger in both hands, carpal tunnel in my right wrist, and now both of my arms are messed up. I can barely even pick up a coffee pot it hurts so bad. At times I try to take a drink and I can't get the glass to my mouth because my arm won't let it go that high. When I try to sleep my hips hurt so much that I have to rotate sides all night. I am only 50 years old. Could these side effects be caused by that drug? If so, I am definitely going to see about getting off of this drug asap.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: ASK YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT A TRIAL PERIOD OFF THE DRUG. WITHIN TWO OR THREE MONTHS YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO TELL IF THE PROBLEMS ARE NEARLY GONE.

I have been on 60mg of simvastatin for 4 years. I recently have been having horrible charlie horses and calf muscle pain. Now I have developed muscle twitching and then eyelid droopy accompanied by pain around my left eye. I have stopped the simvastatin and doc put me on another kind. Hoping this will get rid of muscle and pain with eye. Anyone else have these issues that you have heard of??? Thanks

Dear Melissa,
Please read all of the comments in this thread. You will learn that what you are describing are well known possible side effects of statins. As suggested by the Graedons and mentioned by me above, over the counter CoQ10 supplementation may be helpful. When you get your new prescription ask for the FDA sheet and read it and read the info from your pharmacist. Some do better when switched to another statin but no one knows why. You might want to get a full explanation from your Dr. why you are on a statin and discuss the benefits and risks.

I'm wondering if lack of taste and a metallic, bitter mouth taste could be a side effect of taking 20 mg of simvastin for 3 months.

Eating anything sweet as well as dairy products leaves me with a bitter/metallic taste on my tongue. The bad taste remains when I'm not eating. This has been happening for about 1 1/2 months---and I just now reported it to my doctor who told me to stop the drug for awhile to see if normal taste returns. Has anyone reported this as a simvastin side effect?
Thank you!

I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the above discussion and information. I have been on 20mg Zocor for several years. At first I had good results lowering cholesterol with no noticed side affects. In the past year I have had progressively worsening hip and leg pain. It has begun to be a life-changing issue... limiting activities I enjoy. Tests run by my doctor showed nothing so I am using tylenol which helps some. After reading your posts, I am putting myself on half-dose Zocor then off completely to see what happens. I will continue with CoQ10. Having a plan is a huge morale booster. Thanks.

Yes, I have a metallic taste - plus all food tastes like cardboard. Plus mouth ulcers. Been taking 20mg for about 4 months. Am going to consult doctor. Have found reports that metallic taste rare side effect of statins, but not much info on Simvastatin. Also taking Clopidogrel 75mg.

I am so glad I found this site. A doctor put me on 20mg simsvastin because my lipoprotein particles were 2341 way over the 1,000 optimal range. (My total cholesterol was 189) but my lipoprotein particles were small ones, not big fluffy ones like they say we should have. I started getting back pain at first I did not think it was due to medication, however then I started getting hip pain in bed at night and tossing and turning didn't help.

I have been taking it for just over 1 month now. I have tried to put up with it, however this last week I have started feeling tired and nauseous in the morning, also I am getting terrible night sweats and hot flashes all the time. (I read this is another side effect of this drug). I stopped taking it yesterday and I will talk to my doctor, however I don't feel like going back on any of these statins, they seem to have such bad side effects. can you control cholesterol with natural products such as "Red Yeast Rice" and what other products work?

Just following up my previous comments. It seems the likeliest cause of the metallic taste and mouth ulcers is the other medication that I'm on, not the statin. Stopped taking the Clopidogrel on doc's advice a week ago and the symptoms are receding -- taste not quite normal yet but much improved.

How long does it take to feel better once you come off of the medicine? My mom is in horrible pain.

Has anyone had liver problems on Simvastatin? Especially with a "fatty" liver which is genetic and not caused by alcoholism?

People's Pharmacy response: According to the manufacturer, "Simvastatin is contraindicated in patients with active liver disease which may include unexplained persistent elevations in hepatic transaminase levels." Those last are the liver enzymes for which your doctor runs periodic tests.

I have been on simvastin for about 6 months and my groin started hurting so I told my doctor and he said it wasn't the medication keep taking it but the pain has gotten worse it gets so bad in my groin area I almost fall down if I don't have anything to hold onto now I feel it is starting to hurt when I sit down can I just taking the simvastatin

I have yet to see any citation, from a 'study', of how long it could take a statin, particularly simvastatin, to cause muscle/joint pain. Six months, two years, five years?? It appears that some people are affected almost immediately; some at six months; some at ..........????

Red yeast rice. It safe to use it instead of simvastatin 20mg? Do I have to use co q 10 with anyone?

People's Pharmacy response: Make sure your doctor is aware that you are substituting a supplement for the medication. One big drawback is that supplements are not really regulated and it is difficult to know the strength and purity of the RYR pills you take. We do think CoQ10 is a good idea with any statin, including the natural ones in RYR.

For the last two years, I have been taking Fenofibrate 200mg, Simvastatin 10mg and Fish Oil to keep my Triglycerides and Cholesterol under control. The regimen has succeeded in doing that but my whole body feels brittle. My body has aged by 10 years in 2 years. I even walk like an old man now. My muscles and joints hurt.

My doctor insists that I continue with the medications though. I discontinued them on my own for a few months but my Triglycerides shot up and I had to restart the medicines again.

Any suggestions about helping me ease my muscle and joint aches?

People's Pharmacy response: Coenzyme Q10 is definitely worth a try.

If you haven't talked to your Dr. about this, do!
You should also try taking CoQ10. It's OTC and available at any drug store and member clubs like Sam's etc.

I was put on Pravachol in early September after a blocked artery issue, and have been having muscle issues ever since. Everything cramps up -- I can't eat, brush my hair, walk the length of 3 houses without having to stop and give my muscles a rest. And the back pain, holy cow... Since your back muscles are always working, this has been the worst.

My cardiologist took me off the Pravachol for 2 weeks in late October and started me on CoQ10. Nothing changed at all. Was back on the Pravachol until just before Christmas, when my internist told me that maybe I just wasn't off it long enough the first time. It has been a full month as of today, and there is not even a miniscule change.

He wanted me to start on Simvastatin 2 weeks ago instead, but after researching that one it sounds worse than any of them. I go back to the Cardiologist next week. Could this be permanent?? I'm only 45 -- I don't want to think there's no end to this. I know drugs have side effects... I can put up with the annoying cough, the freezing hands and feet, etc. from the other meds, but this muscle thing is too much. And Pravachol is supposed to have the least side effects! =/

I'm at the end of my rope...


I was on Simvastatin 80 mg for 3 mo. and experienced weakness, so went to 40mg with no improvement and was taken off altogether and put on Welchol 3tablets 2X day. I have been on this for 1 month and my body is not accepting it very well. My CPK was low (62) Is it possible to take another type of statin if you have had some weakness with one before? My cholesterol is genetic from my father.

People's Pharmacy response: Occasionally someone who reacts to one statin will be all right on a different one at a lower dose. Welchol is not a statin, which is why your doctor probably thought it would be OK. Good luck.

Has anybody had difficulties with hives or a rash.? I have and it drives me crazy.
It is on my arms and is so itchy.

I have had the same issue and also had a lower functioning gall bladder removed. Started on 20mg simvastatin 2 mos. after sx due to high cholesterol. It dropped my chol. 80 points but I was miserable (hostage in the bathroom). Put up with this for a year and a half. Went off statins for a month and everything cleared up and went back to my pre-surgery normal. I am now trying Tricor which is a fibrate not a statin.

I have been taking simvastatin 20mg for about 4 month. Since then I have pain in my left wrist, plus I have trouble making fists. I do take liquid CoQ10. I would love to stop the statin completely. My cholesterol went down from 267 to 175 in 6 weeks. Should I stop the simvastatin completely or just take it every other day? I will ask my Dr for Pravastatin, smart move ?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Do talk with your doctor about pravastatin. It seems to be less likely to cause side effects, at least for some people. Joint and muscle pain could be a reaction to simvastatin. We don't recommend stopping on your own, however.

I have been taking simvastatin for several years and did not realize the connection with muscle aches. I have had terrible pain in right hip, lower back and now outer thighs. In the past 6 months have had two epidurals on lower back which did not help. The ortho-surgeons diagnosed muscle weakness. I have also had shoulder surgery (2003), and two recent MRIs showed a torn rotator cuff, but during surgery, surgeon said tear was not the problem... just muscle damage.

Still have moments of pain. My gastro-internist has taken me off drug due to low readings on Protime, INR, Lipase and high readings on Anion Gap, AST/ALT and Albumin. Would there be any connection with these results? I have been taking 2-650mg acetaminophen every 8 hrs but it does not help. It truly hurts to walk and bend. This is horrible for a 60 yr old who wants to play with grandkids!!

Been on Simvastin for years. Over the last couple of days have had pain in my feet or hands, not both together thank goodness. What a strange pain. Feels like they've been smashed by a massive hammer but when I squeeze my feet it gives some relief. Or walk on them gives relief. I rang NHS direct and she suggested it was the statins. I have stopped taking them as I can't tolerate pain like that. I have always taken co Q10 but on different ones now so don't know if they're not as effective? Can't get an appointment till Tuesday so will see what doc has to say. Just hoping the pain I had in my feet last night will not return!

I have been on simvastatin 20mg for 30 months. I have felt tired and loss of energy but put this down to old age (80) also my knees ached and my balance was not good when I stood up also I have been feeling slightly nauseous on waking, but 2 nights ago I woke in the night with a terrible pain in my right knee which has always been the most troublesome. I could not bend my leg and had to manually lift it up to get out of bed. I thought I had somehow dislocated my knee joint by turning awkwardly in bed. I found I could walk once upright but my whole leg felt paralysed. Because it was Saturday and my doctor unlikely to be available I decided to wait and see if the pain subsided. It gradually eased but there remained several movements which caused severe pain like raising my leg or bending my leg back or kneeling.

I was telling my neighbour who said she was on statins too and had similar pains. After looking up simvastin on this web site I am convinced that simvastin is causing my pain, I have stopped taking it an my leg is almost back to normal and I feel fine. I do not intend to take it again until I have seen my doctor.

MAC-- I was on 40mg of simvastatin every other day. I was taking it for less than a year but before that had tried 3 others with many side effects. I have the pain in neck and hip and leg pain is unbearable. I also am having much pain in stomach and abdomen and the upper right quadrant like u. it scares me because I can feel swollen lymph nodes in that area. This pain started about three days ago. I have been off of simvastatin for three weeks today. I am going through a lot of pain and anguish. I have a physical with my doc on 4/12. will let u know what becomes of my appt. good luck to u. chris

I I take 5mg Rosuvastatin daily and 35mg Risedronate Sodium weekly. Both medications have side effects of painful bones and muscles. As I experience these side effects how do I know which medication is causing the problem?

I have been off of it for a month and i think that I may even feel worse that I did when I first went off of it. I will see my doc on thurs. I will post updates.

I have taken 4 statin drugs. had problems with all of them but the last was simvastatin 40mg. every other day. I took them for about a year. I went off of them because of side effects a month ago and still no change. In fact, I think I may feel worse now. upon waking in the morning, I have to grab onto something to get out of bed. My legs just pain me all the time. exercise makes them feel worse. I have severe hip pain and neck pain. I am dizzy at times and I just don't feel myself at all. this last statin has done a number on me. I am 58 and I feel like I am 90. I just hope that some day I will be able to walk without a limp and get back to normal.

A few days ago I went to pick my perscription up from Rite Aid Drugstore. I was given a printed paper of the drug Simvastatin 80mg. It stated Recommended Patient Counseling. The Pharmacist had hand written Simvastatin should not exceed 20mg. I am taking 5 mgs of Norvac for high blood pressure. Apparently combined these two drugs could be dangerous.

Now they tell me after two years of the high dose of Simvastatin ...To tell you the truth I have not felt well for a long time. Maybe the side effects could have contributed to this? My Doctor has lowered the dose to 20mgs. I questioned why I was on such a high dose as my cholesterol was 186 at my last physical.
Best wishes from North Carolina.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Combining amlodipine and simvastatin can boost blood levels of the statin, making side effects such as muscle pain and weakness more likely to occur.

I have been taking simvastin 40 mg for about ? 2-3 years. I have had very strange muscle pains in my thighs and calfs. Recently I have had a slight muscle twitch in my tongue and on the right side of my mouth. My thinking had been "fuzzy" and some days I am so dizzy I have to fight mentally to stay upright. I also have had numbness and weakness in my extremities. I just had carpal tunnel surgery on my left hand!

I have stopped the simvastin and no amount of reasoning from any doctor will ever convince me to take any statin ever again!! I am so angry and I pray these symptoms go away... SHAME on the drug companies covering over all the complaints about the statins. I am 54 years old and feeling like I am ninety...... really irks the stuffin right out of me. I am an RN and will be educating my patients so they can make an informed decision!

mary lou,

I sure can sympathize with. How long have u been off of the simvastatin. I am now 6 weeks off and still have a lot of pain. I may have a day here and there where I feel almost human but it doesn't last.

Had a physical with doc and she is totally convinced that it is the medicine. I was so afraid of muscle damage so she did a blood test to rule that out. called me the following morning and said that my numbers were elevated more than they were on the other statin drugs and to give it more time and if I don't get better, call her.

I work every day and I am on my feet all day so I don't really rest my legs much. I still have hip pain and neck pain. Some things have gotten better. I can think clearer than I have been and I can eat a little better. Did u have problems with digestion? I was having gerd which I don't have normally and of course they wanted me to take another pill for that but I refused. I am not putting anything into myself until I am back to normal and my doc agrees.

Hope u r feeling better soon. I pray every night that tomorrow I will feel better and try to stay optimistic. take care and god bless

Hey guys... I have been prescribed simvastatin 20 mg for cholesterol... on my second day of taking it I have suffered diarrhea, stomach cramps, and calf pain... and I'm only 35... this will be my last day on meds. I will try to lower my chol. with a proper diet.

Hi Brian h,

Just a suggestion. U may want to try fish oil twice a day. My doc told me to start taking that again when I started feeling better. I was told to take 1000mg twice a day, but I am 58. some people are taking a non-statin medication. u should report to your doc and come up with a solution. exercise is so important also. good luck to u.

Can simvastatin cause a smell/scent of a curry like spice in your nose. I am on 80 Mg & have been experiencing this for a month. I can smell other things that are real.

Hi
I gave up statins at the beginning of the year after suffering all many side effects; aches, constipation, palpitations when resting, insomnia, weakness and tingling in left arm. After 4 months off Lipitor I have found two things that help relieve the continuing side effects. The first one is drinking green tea, the other is low dose aspirin. Not sure what doctors would say but they have definitely helped me. I remain optimistic that the remaining symptoms will eventually disappear completely. I am 54. I was taking Lipitor for 4-6 months only.

Have been on Lipitor, 40mg for the past 5 years after previously being placed on Mevacor and before that Zocor. I have noticed that over time, I have developed inexplicable pain at the base of my thumb on both hands. Further I have been having neck pains, often accompanied by tingling of my left arm and tension headache. lately I have experienced soreness in my right mid to upper right quadrant that radiates to the mid to lower back. I don't know if it's due to my lack of restful sleep (am lucky to get 3-5 hours sleep which has been going since I have taken over care giving chores for my 94 y.o. parent)

RST,

I have taken 4 statin medications for lowering cholesterol. Lipitor, crestor, vytorin, and simvastatin. I suffered leg pain with all of them. simvastatin being the worst. It gets deeper into your muscles. I also had the pain in the upper quadrant around to the back, also neck and hip pain. That is almost gone but I still have pain in my legs especially after being on them all day or doing a lot of walking.

I have been off of the simvastatin for 3 months. I am hoping some day that this will get better. The pain in the upper quadrant did go away, I was also very constipated. My Dr. advised me to use benefiber and increase my fiber intake. That may help. I am very sensitive to medication. You should check with your Dr. to see if maybe you can be switched to a different medication and start with a low dose and increase slowly if need be. Hope this helps and good luck to you. Exercise is important too.

I am in shock. I was prescribed Simvastatin 20 mg. daily... then these side effects have came... pain in my knees, neck, wrists, back, and nausea and weakness!! This evening I couldn't even hardly move out of my recliner! I am 51 years old. I thought I might have bone cancer or something. The pain was never there before then all of a sudden I have all this pain. Now that I have researched this medicine, I see the side effect warnings are EXACTLY what I am experiencing! I am getting OFF this medicine. I want some quality of life not just quantity. Pain like this is so not worth it. My right hand feel like someone has slammed a hammer down on it. I can't hardly make it... walking is a chore... this is so wrong.

TC,

I know what u r going through. I ended up with many side effects and the withdrawals were terrible. I still am suffering with pain from plantar fasciitis that was not bothering me before. It is now all the way up my leg to the knee and I walk with a limp. Maybe you can ask your Dr to switch to a medicine that is not a statin and start with a low dose.

I am very sensitive to all statins. I tried 4 of them and could not take any. I just want to be back to normal some day. I am on my feet for 8-10 hrs. and it is no picnic. Of all the cholesterol meds., simvastin is the one that penetrates into the muscles deeper. You're smart to switch now before that happens. good luck to you.
gramma71

I too suffer from plantar fasciitis. Although I generally don't like statins for most people, the statins may not have caused your plantar fasciitis. The general cause is a too tight Achilles tendon. Your knee problem may be caused by the P.F. causing your stride to be off. Try to find a doctor who specializes in treating P.F. You should be doing special stretches every morning and throughout the day to stretch the Achilles tendon. Magnesium supplements help relax muscles. Don't wear high heels and don't go barefoot.

OTC inserts such as made by PowerStep help create an arch and should be worn most of the day if you have flat feet.
Good Luck.
P.F. is very painful, but with a proper regimen can be managed.

I have also suffered with plantar fasciitis in the past but have had no problems in a couple of years. I wear inserts every day. I did a breast cancer walk on Sunday and have been suffering. I was hurting before this though. I am also considering buying a night splint hoping that will help. I will be contacting my doc today to see what she says.

Thank you for your input and just curious if u have ever worn a night splint. I think, too, I have been working many extra hours and am on my feet sometimes 10 hours a day. I have been doing some stretches but maybe not enough. have a good day!

Considered a night splint but never got one. If I sense a flare-up, I will sometimes strap my foot with adhesive athletic tape, but you have to know how to do it. Traditional epsom salt warm baths supply magnesium to muscles which helps them relax. It works for me. Key is knowing the right stretches to do and to do them many times a day, most importantly when you first wake up and right before you go to bed.

HJL

thanks for the tips. I will try them.

I have totally lost my sense of smell. I am on 20mg of simvastatin. Has anyone else experienced this side effect from taking this medication?

RD,

I did not lose my sense of smell, but I had trouble swallowing. I was always choking on something. sorry I couldn't be of more help. The statins can cause many things. try asking your doc.

BW

I am sorry to hear of all your side effects. I too had many from the statin drugs. I have been off of simvastatin, the last one that I took, and I was feeling pretty good, except my legs still hurt at times. my right leg especially. I try to exercise but the muscles in my legs just throb when I do so. I went on a breast cancer walk on mothers day with my daughter. I felt pretty good walking, but that night and the next day I suffered terribly.

I had the CPK test to see if my muscles are damaged and the doc said no, but I sure wouldn't want the pain if they were. I also suffer from plantar fasciitis. I had not had a problem with it before taking the statin, but now it has come back with a vengeance. I have been wearing orthotics for at least 2 years every day. I am now doing stretching exercises to relieve that pain.

I still get pain in my neck and hip but not as bad as it was. What I worry about is if this is the way that it is going to be forever. I walk with a limp and I try so hard not to, but I am on my feet 8-10 hrs a day with my job. Good luck to u, I hope everything gets better.
gramma71

I am back to report on stopping my simvastatin cold turkey. My thinking is so totally crystal clear... thank god! 5 weeks off this med! My dizziness has improved a great deal as well. The muscle weakness however has not... I wake up every morning and try to get a handle on what part of my arms or legs is going to be acting up today. My forearms feel weak, and sometimes the thought of writing or picking up my coffee cup is enough to want and make me stay in bed. I also have very weird sensations like a quiver in my tongue and superficial sensation of i don't know what on my right cheek. I am seeing my new doctor on Monday and I will be making it perfectly clear I will not be taking any cholesterol lowering anything and I will not have my cholesterol checked period! Oh.. I also still have the feeling like someone stuck a body part (different parts at random times) in a bucket of ice water. Thank you all for replies and prayers....we need to support each other, as it seems no one else will!

m.olier

so glad that u r feeling better. It really takes time to recover from this medicaiton. I have been off of it for over 2 months and am still having some muscle problems in legs. Other than that, I feel pretty good. I hope u will be back to normal soon. I, too, will not take cholesterol- lowering drugs again.

Hang in there,
gramma71

I was on simvastatin 40mg for 8 weeks. I have stopped them due to bad headaches and dizziness and have been off them for one week. The symptoms are still as bad and am wondering how long they will last for.

I have been on simvastatin 20 mg for over 5 years. Other than back pain and knee pain, I have not had any obvious side effects; however, after reading these other posts, I am rethinking everything!

I have always been a weight lifter and have noticed, my body does not respond the way it use to. Even after working out 3-4x per week, I can not improve muscle tone and strength. Fatigue is also a factor, but hey my numbers are good on the blood test!

My concerns are what damage am I doing to the muscles that are not so obvious... like the HEART?

Confused and a bit scared... I am strongly considering getting off the drug cold turkey and going the natural route; ie. Red Rice Yeast, Flax seed oil.

Any one have an educated opinion?

Thanking you in advance!

Trevor S . 47 yr. old SW Florida

Started on simvastatin 10 mg 6 weeks ago. Even at this low dose I am having a few issues. Knee and back aches are constant, although not debilitating. My main issue is odd weight gain and I am wondering if anyone else has had a problem with weight on a statin.

First few weeks my weight went up 6 to 8 pounds, after which I have been following a very strict diet. Weight hasn't budged and "belly fat" has significantly increased. (Can't even get on shorts I wore the week before meds, diet and exercise). Doctor said he will switch me Lipitor next week. Anyone have similar issues with fat gain?

Thanks for the help!

Karen, 51

Karen,

I took 40mg of simvastatin every other day for almost a year and i gained 35lbs. which I have finally taken off. I did have a lot of belly fat, too. I also had trouble with lipitor but i did not gain as much weight. Mostly body aches and leg, neck, etc. I have seen some comments about other people gaining weight on the statin drugs.

gramma71

I have been on Simvastatin for years and my cholesterol numbers are good but I get muscle cramps in my legs at night and have weakness in my legs and hands. I also do not have much energy. I have read recently that taking 3 tablespoons a day of coconut oil replace the need for taking statins. I am also trying to cut out most all foods with cholesterol. What do you think, can I stop taking Simvastatin if my numbers stay good. BEC

Yes, I lost my sense of smell before the horrible cramps and muscle aches.
Currently, I remain in a great deal of pain but my sense of smell returns periodically.

I was put on Zocor a year ago after being hospitalized with a toxic reaction to amiodorone. For the past year I have had very disturbing symptoms. My thought process is compromised, my head feel "foggy" or" fuzzy" ALL the time. I have a very difficult time describing how I feel. It is like I am inebriated on really bad days and hung over on not so bad days. I never have a good day.

I have always been a high energy person and now have to force myself to function. My vision is constantly obscured. I have sought help and have seen 2 neurologists, 2 ENT's, ophthalmologist, neuro ophthalmologist and have had numerous lab studies plus 2 cat scans- one without contrast and one with. I have had to quit work and am now becoming increasingly depressed. Most recently I have developed diarrhea 24/7.

My GI doctor sincerely feels my symptoms are caused by the Zocor. He has scheduled a colonoscopy to try to determine if it is medically induced. I am stopping Zocor on my own and wonder what the ramifications of stopping cold turkey are and how long it may take to see a difference in how I feel. I don't think it can be much worse because on so many days I am non functional.

My pharmacist said I could quit cold turkey as there was no need to taper off of Lipitor, Zorcor or simvastin. Just watch your fat intake and read labels on prepared foods to hold your levels down. There is a quantity to life and there is a quality to life. We do have to weigh the choice. Let us know how your tests come out.

I'm 51, female, overweight but in pretty good health for being heavy. I had always been able to go to bed at night a sleep soundly until the next morning... 10 pm until 6 am routinely. My doctor then prescribed me 20 mg Zocor. Prior to that prescription, I'd never been on any regular meds.

Within a week, I began waking up during the night with the worst leg and feet cramps imaginable. Never in my life had I ever experienced anything like it. The cramping was so bad that I could not even stand up next to my bed. Well, whether it was the right thing to do or not, I stopped taking the Zocor once I read online and determined that it was the cause of the cramps, and it was most definitely the cause. It's been 2 weeks now and I haven't had even one cramp.

I plan to contact my doctor to see if he can change the prescription. My husband experienced something similar and just took it upon himself to cut his pills into thirds. That was enough to stop the cramps. Yet I think I'll contact my doctor instead of simply resorting to reducing my dosages... although it's really tempting!

I have been taking Simvastin with Amias and Bisoprol for just over a year, and a Pacemaker fitted in March for low heart rate. This is working perfectly.
But since taking the tablets I have found it impossible to walk more than about 15 yards without having to stop, breathless. Also the muscles around my waist and hips have been exhaustingly painful. I have now been suffering with itching on my hands and up my arms, and on my face. I am constantly tired and wanting to sleep, even after a good night. My energy levels are now low, my thinking fuzzy and feeling depressed. Also leg muscle cramps at night in bed.

All this would never have described me a year ago. I have just made an appointment to see my doctor, as I feel my life is deteriorating rapidly! Could Simvastin be responsible for all this?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: It is possible. Your doctor should help you figure this out.

Muscle pain, cramps, weakness, back pain also assocoated with PRAVASTATIN? Even after years of taking? Just opened new bottle, bad batch?

I took 20 mg simvastatin for only 3 months 2 and 1/2 years ago. I have constant leg pain that has only been explained as a side effect from the simvastatin. different doctors have said it may last for 4 to 7 years but should go away eventually. nothing can really be done.

I have had all kinds of tests and they have shown that there is no permanent damage to my muscles or nerves --- but the pain in my shins, knees and thighs is so bad that my life has been effected in every aspect. I've taken CoQ10 and lots of other stuff - and still do, except the red rice yeast - I was told it could have the same side effects of the statins so i quit, just in case.

and there are class action law suits for people who have taken 80 mg of simvastatin -- but only 80 mg, less with bad side effects doesn't count! I know lots of people who take statins with no side effects -- but I would never recommend anyone taking them. My life - at least for the last 2 and a half years, has been unbelievably painful and so limited in what i do compared to my life prior to simvastatin. Good luck to everyone who has side effects from this drug -

Further to my blog of yesterday, and after reading the very helpful letters on this site, I went into town to do some shopping. Ha! I had to stop for breath 5 times in a medium sized store, and in the street three people stopped to ask if I needed any help! I came home and made a doctor's appointment for this morning. To cut a long story short, she told me to come straight off Simvastin, as there was no doubt that it was causing my symptoms!!

She advised a strict diet instead. If one has to weigh up the possible advantages of taking statins against a very low quality of life, then diet has my vote. My thanks to the People's Pharmacy for opening my eyes to the cause of my rapidly degenerating life!!

lz,

I am so sorry to hear of all your side effects from the simvastatin. I stopped taken it in march after a year of being on 40mg every other day. I suffered many side effects similar to what u r experiencing. I felt terrible. Most of them went away but I still have pain in my legs. Some days I still walk with a limp. I wonder if this will ever go away.
My prayers to u that u will feel better some day soon.

gramma71

I have been on simvastatin for about three weeks. I just started to experience stomach pains, tenderness, constipation, and sore muscles. I take only 20 mg. Tonight was my last dose until I discuss this with my doctor.

I have been on Zocor/Simvastatin since 2001 when Baycol (which had no side fx for me) was pulled from the market. Ever since, my brain has been a fog, my muscles have been weak, and I got depressed. My dcs would never blame the statin.

Finally, my new doc did. Now four weeks off this madness, my brain is back - wow. No more fogginess. But my body still wears out easily, although I get 'tired' now instead of 'exhausted'. I need help getting my body back!

Any ideas for statin recovery? I know about CoQ10, but what are your thoughts on L-Carnetine, Selenium, or anything else?

Thank you.

I was on 20mgs Lipitor for 10 years with no problem, that I know of. Switched to Atorvastatin and developed muscle aches and terrible mood swing the first week. Went off of it for 6 days and pains went away and back to old self. Switched to Simvastatin and developed severe memory loss with in two weeks. Stopped taken the Simvastatin and memory returned in two days. I'm not sure what I'm going to do now. Statins are some scary drugs.

I have been off Simvastatin for 4 days, and have bought CoQ10 and all the health foods recommended to lower cholesterol. The muscle ache is less, but the other symptoms have not been noticeably less as yet. I will comment again in a week's time.

I've been taking Simvastatin 20mg for 7 months now and have been experiencing severe nausea and stomach pain. I haven't really experienced any muscle pain or fatigue. My cholesterol has come down dramatically (175), and I'm thinking of quitting this drug "cold-turkey". I never wanted to take it or any other drug in the first place. Like my mom always told me, "Eat right, exercise, take your herbal supplements and you'll be fine. She's 63 and she is in the best shape ever!

I've taken simvastatin 20mg daily for 3 years and would love to stop a.s.a.p. Am in my early 50s with no cardiac issues--would love to go cold turkey but am scared...can't find any info. on _just stopping_ the med. I hate it: can't think, have muscle cramps, tired but don't sleep well and on and on.

Did any of you (who haven't said one way or another) stop all at once, or taper off?

I've been taking Simvistatin for roughly three years. It wasn't until the other day that I realized my health issues could be caused by taking Simvistatin.

For the last 2-1/2 years I've been suffering from a long list of problems. Most notable: a swollen tongue, red throat (although not sore), and swollen lymph nodes in my neck. I've undergone countless lab tests, two CT scans, laparoscopy, barium swallows, stomach acid tests, multiple scopes of my throat ... I could go on, but you get the idea. It's been a miserable, and expensive, few years!

All my blood work came back normal, I've been put on several drugs for stomach problems -- nothing worked. I've seen countless specialists, and still the doctors couldn't find anything that was causing my symptoms. It's been extremely frustrating, and worrisome. My last CT scan, taken just a month ago, showed the lymph nodes in my neck had swollen so much they were beginning to press against my carotid artery. That explained the constant sensation that someone had their hands around my neck and were squeezing it. This sensation also made it difficult to sleep.

Literally, I was to the point where I was going to ask my physician to schedule me for a biopsy of the lymph nodes. I wanted them out! It was just too uncomfortable. Then, fate has it, I ran across a side effect for Simvistatin: swollen tongue. That led me to dig a little deeper, and I have found several of my complaints could be caused by taking Simvistatin.

I've only been off Simvistatin one week. Within the first two days, I noticed my tongue was not as swollen! And best of all the lymph nodes in my neck appear to be decreasing. I don't know how long it will take to get the drug out of my system, but I pray this is the answer!

It seems so simple, looking back. I wish someone had suggested I quit taking all drugs to see if there was a correlation with my symptoms. Everything I've gone through the last few years could have been avoided. All the money I spent on tests, all the discomfort I was put through ... Anyway, I hope if there is someone out there reading this, it helps in some small way. When you don't know what's wrong with you, it's a horrible, helpless feeling. Especially when all the doctors you see, and all the tests they do don't give any answers.

I was on 40mg. Cut back to 20 for a month. Then zero. Consider CoQ10, selenium, and L-Carnetine to help repair the damage done by the statins. I wouldn't do this alone; tell your doc. If they flip out, find another doc!

To nellie: my doctor said come straight off - no need to taper down (unlike steroids).

I am very pleased to report that I am now able to walk much further without stopping for breath, with awful muscle ache! Every day I go a bit further and the ache is very much less. I am taking Q10 as well and will ask for a cholesterol check next week.

I am keeping strictly to a cholesterol diet, and all in all am feeling very much better. Time will tell! Will report back in a week's time!

Nellie, I called my pharmacist and asked her if any danger to just stop or would I need to taper off. Said no problem just stopping and it worked. My husband with Dr. approval told him to just stop. Doc. feels that we all take too many pills and have too many tests.

This is such a helpful discussion! I came here because of a strange debilitating muscle pain -- almost as if my leg muscles were disintegrating -- that I developed while on Simvistatin. I stopped the drug cold turkey and the pain disappeared in a few days. I tried Prevastatin and the pain/weakness/disintegrating sensation returned almost at once. I'm seeing the doctor tomorrow to discuss next steps, but am extremely reluctant to try a statin again after these experiences.

I'm interested if anyone knows about the unusual condition of very high cholesterol that includes high good cholesterol, and whether one protects against the other. I have good triglycerides and HDL over 100, but also very high LDL which takes the up into the high 200s. I have a healthy life style, a low-fat diet and good blood pressure, but was put on statins because of the high LDL and high total.

The doctor says no studies are available on someone whose total cholesterol hovers near 290 which includes such high "good" cholesterol. Anyone else have this, or have heard of any studies indicating the "good" protects from the "bad"? Thanks!

My doctor agreed to take me off statin and substitute Niacin and Fish Oil. Statins caused me terrible pain from leg cramps at night.

I was curious about what people could use instead of statins, and I found an article that was rather interesting. Scroll down to the Table 3 and it shows you a few statin alternatives. Here's the link: http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/Help_for_your_cholesterol_when_the_statins_wont_do.htm

Hello,
I have been on Simvastatin 20 mg for several months and yes I have had an extreme weight gain and fluid retention and muscle cramps. I have gone from wearing a size 5/6 to a 13/14. I have never had a weight problem before. I asked my doctor shortly after I was started on it could it be the meds and she said no.

I have had every test possible and the doctor still states it isn't the meds. I have always been very active and can hardly walk a few feet now without my legs and feet swelling being out of breath. My father is on the same medication but doesn't have any bad side effects on Simvastatin but did on several others. I spoke with him tonight and he told me to please stop taking it as of tonight.I will do so and see what happens. Good luck to you! Just wanted to let you know your not alone.
Thanks,
MST

I have a good report now - I'm losing .2 kgs day (5 oz) on the low cholesterol diet, and can walk 1/2 a mile with only 6 stops for breath! I am feeling so much better too. So when the Simvastatin has finally cleared from my system (how long is that?) I am optimistic of returning to my old healthy and energetic self!

I called my pharmacist and she told me I could stop the Simvastatin cold turkey and I also had a appointment at Chapel Hill and spoke with a doctor there and he said the only way to find out if it's what has been causing all my problems like extreme weight gain and fluid retention and muscle cramps and giving out of breath with very little exertion.

I have been off the drug for 5 days and I have already dropped weight and the fluid retention is better and the leg and foot cramps are somewhat better and I can do a little more without being out of breath. I started this drug 01/09/12 at 20 mg every night. Does anyone know how long it will take for the drug to be out of your system? My other question is how long will it take to really feel back to normal? What can I take and how much to help w/ cholesterol because I will never take another statin again.

I would appreciate any advice on this. I hope this site will help others that have had the problems that all of us have had. I wish everyone the best in dealing w/ the problems these drugs cause.
Thanks,
MST

Have been on atorvastain 40 mg for 12 months and Crestor before that. Am active, healthy 70 yo who golfs 4x week, walks etc. In June I started having significant pain in left buttock. Thought it might be golf injury or overuse due to poor stretching of pirformis. Started PT for pirformis syndrome but doesn't seem to help.

I then suspected statin-associated myopathy or poor healing due to statin. Internist pooh-poohed that notion, believing that pain would be bilateral if due to statin. Frankly, I think there is insufficient research on relationship between statin use and exercise-related issues. Plus, I'm feeling worse and taking anti- inflammatory qid, taking break from golf to see if things improve ,etc. also having some cramps in left leg and difficulty sitting. I finally decided to ditch the statins and get a second opinion this coming Friday.

Any insights or further suggestions? Thanks a lot for considering my question..

Perhaps it make sense to try CO-q10 while waiting to see if symptoms resolve after a statin-holiday?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Some people find that CoQ10 is helpful. Not everyone does. We wish you good luck as you address this, and hope the second opinion will be helpful!

I have been taking this medicine off and on for several years. Always have problems. Legs,hip,thigh and neck ache. actually my whole body aches and some times I can hardly move.

Right now it is my lower back,so I am off this medicine. It takes a while for this medicine to get out of your system i know from experience. I respect my doctor but she just do not understand that I can not take statin. Stomach ache, nauseau,dry mouth and change in taste buds. I do not know what to take.I need help for my cholesterol.

I have only been taking Simvastatin 10 mg for about 5 months, I stopped taking it
Aug. 13, 2012. It was getting to the point that walking hurt so bad, my hips, back, legs, feet, shoulders and arms. I don't know how long it is going to take to get it out of my system, but I had to stop taking it, because the pain became unbearable.

I experienced back pain and some memory issues when i went from 10mg of crestor to 20mg. Coq10 helped me along with vitamin d. I was taking several different pills a day including a multivitamin and fish oil. Now i just take statin help and my crestor. I would like to get off the statin altogether but the doc says no. I worry the statin may cause more trouble than it prevents.

You may or may not need a statin. Many doctors just prescribe them w/o explaining the risks and benefits and why a particular patient needs it.

Your doctor should be able to articulate precisely why you need a statin and why he increased the dose. Most of the benefit from a statin occurs with the smallest dose. Doubling the dose does not double the effect, it just marginally increases it. You should ask why the dose was doubled and what is your risk of a heart event.

Some decide the benefits are not worth the risks, but it is an individual decision based on your own individual health situation. If you doctor doesn't explain it, or becomes defensive, perhaps he/she is not the doctor for you. You are asking valid questions.

There is no downside to taking CoQ10. You describe yourself as healthy. Be aware that morbidity for people your age goes up if total cholesterol is over 230. Docs who don't take muscle problems seriously with statin use should be viewed with caution.

Be aware that the dose you are on is not a minimum dose and that most of the benefits of statins occur with the minimum dose. If you never had a cardiac or vessel issue, the science does not indicate statins will increase your life span.

Ask doc no. 2 to totally explain your blood chemistry readings and why a statin is appropriate for you. Note: not all LDLs are bad, ask for a breakdown of your LDLs. The light fluffy ones are considered OK. Your HDLs and triglycerides are more important than total cholesterol and LDL in the opinion of many. Ask and question. Remember a lower dose is an option.

I began taking 20MG of Simvastatin two weeks ago. I've noticed some swelling in my ankles and, although not depressed, I find I've become much more serious and enjoy retreating often to my bed to relax. The degree of joy and enthusiasm about life I enjoyed before taking the statin has decreased.

After over a year on 20mg simvastatin, I developed a rash on my chest. At first thought it was a bug bite, but never went away, and then it started to spread to other areas on my stomach, and lasted for three months. Stopped the simavastatin and rash was gone within a few days.

I think that was my only problem with the drug, although I thought it was affecting my sleep. I was always awake for a couple of hours during the night. Now I'm on 10mg Crestor, and have been having stomach issues since I started a few days ago. Nausea and heartburn. I'm wondering, now what??

I have been on Simvastatin for 2.5 years following about 7 years on Lipitor. About 18 mos. ago I had a horrible rash on my shin that was also painful. I had a biopsy which determined it was either Fosamax or Lipitor/ Simvastatin. I found that side effect mentioned on a site I check for Fosamax, so I quit that. It took about a year for any improvement, but in that time I have had two mammograms and two biopsies on lymph nodes in my arm pit. They are labeled a-plastic and the tests come back
as normal tissue. I am quitting Simvastatin today, I will tell my doctor when he calls this afternoon with his plan for attack.

I was just prescribed Simvastatin 20mg. I am 41 and my cholesterol is 271 .. After reading all of this I'm not sure I'm gonna take this drug. I supervise a landscape company, and can not have those side effects. My job depends on my muscles and joints all day long.. I am fit and active, but guess its hereditary doc said. I don't know what to do . Any thoughts?

I had a heart attack 10 Apr 12 then a stroke 11 days later - 35 years old. I was prescribed Simvastin a day after my HA so was on it for 5 mths. I stopped taking it 26 Aug 12 after my own web research as to why I had unexplained pain in my stomach/abdomen. The pain starts when I wake-up, dissipates shortly after b-fast (generally but stays some days), resumes primarily in the evening (5-6 pm), and often stays with me thru bedtime. The pain increases with physical activity/excitement (i.e. walk for 15 mins. then pain starts a few hours later). Then I try PT for my right frozen elbow, but my whole right side aches. When can I expect some relief?

Have been sent to the 2nd Rhumetologists in a year for RA and Lupus only to be told that after 4 years of severe muscle & joint pain, along with a runny nose, fatigue, and lack of smell every day of my life. That he believes that it is the 80mg dose of Simvastatin that I have been on for 6 years. My Cholesterol levels average 80 or less total at every 6 month check up, and I do need a cholesterol lowering med as I have had a 40% blockage since the age of 36 and we have kept it from growing at the last heart cath, but now at 47 the Rhumetologist told me there are now many newer safer drugs on the market without the side effects and so we will start a newer safer med this week after reviewing my charts. I was so glad to find this page... I thought I was going to need physiciatric care as well after this last physical until finding that I am not alone.

My heart attack was more then 3 years ago & I've been on 80MG of Simvastatin ever since. I started CoQ10 last year & experienced a significant increase in mental awareness. I drink a good deal of water, plus eat more dates & prunes to help with the constipation. I walk/run two miles at least 4 times each week. When I do experience a severe leg cramp, it can take 3 to 4 days for the residual pain to go away. This happens about once every 2 to 3 months...

I'm 63. High cholesterol runs in my family. Mom had high levels her entire 90 years of life. My daughter, who has less than 3% body fat, and does triathlons has high cholesterol.

I started taking 20mg Simvastatin about two and a half years ago. Both knees had unexplained swelling shortly thereafter. My right rotator cuff began aching - couldn't lift my right arm. This lasted almost a year and as the pain subsided, the left rotator cuff started acting up. This lasted about six months. Meanwhile, my knees continued to be swollen, ached, but not too painful. Last December, I awoke to both rotator cuffs totally aching again. Couldn't lift either arm. Couldn't reach around to my back. The docs said that I needed surgery, but I declined.

January, 2012, I woke up to find that my thumb, index finger, and middle finger of both hands were fuzzy and tingling, with almost no grip strength. I couldn't hold onto anything. Then the wrists: I wake up to wrists that feel like I have broken them during the night. The pain subsides as I wring and rub my hands constantly. My wife complains that I am suddenly acting like an old man; up several times each night with leg muscle cramps, and living on 4 hrs sleep a night, and constantly wringing my hands. The docs are recommending carpal tunnel surgery. I have declined.

After having read all of the comments above and at other sites, I am quitting Simvastatin cold turkey. I'll let you know if it results in anything positive or negative.

Missing one full year of golf is enough. I hope I have found the cause of these constant pains and muscle weakness.

Hi I have been on slimvastin 40mg for 2 years.Over the last 3 months I have felt very weak lower leg pains/aches. I play squash twice weekly or used too not played for the last month just everything a real effort am going to battle with doctor next week after reading other people experiences on this forum. Will let you know outcome.

I started taking simvistatin 20 mg about eight months ago, and had no side effect symptoms until about two weeks ago. My legs started to ache a little, but I paid it no mind, not realizing what it was. My legs suddenly started feeling heavy and stiff, I thought I must have suddenly gained weight and needed to exercise. Then I woke up feeling as though my legs weighed 400 pounds apiece and could hardly bend at all. It's hard to walk.

I started to connect the side effect warning I'd heard about to this weird and sudden pain. I had aching in my hips at night, and laying in bed brought on severe aching pains in my calves, feet and hips. I stopped taking the drug cold turkey as soon as I put two and two together. Now after stopping, I have developed rashes and blisters, as well as the leg and feet pain and stiffening. I am having a hard time walking. I will go have a test to check my liver and kidneys for damage, as this can be fatal. This is devastating and I am scared. I also have trigger finger in my thumb that started about a month ago, and I think it is related to this as well.

I spent some time in the local Hospital today and a nurse mentioned i'm taking the tablet at the wrong time. I take it when i get up(its complicated because am a night worker). But i take it on getting up and then i do a stretching routine, but i don't rush to do it. I find this works best as i don't get many aches after doing this routine. I looked it up and it does appear it is better to take it before sleeping for maximal effectiveness of the drug. However, my muscle problems initially and nightmares, sleep disturbances etc precluded me doing this. As for no exercise, i cycle to work about 25M average(round trip). But i can't run now, can hardly walk presently due to the Dilated heart.

I take 40MG simvastatin and also take Ramipril, but my condition is a mystery as i do not have high cholesterol or high blood pressure. You know, we are just trying everything.

My GP informed me that the taking of Simvastatin at night was just due to muscle problems, that clearly was mistaken on his part. So i will try again and swap the tablets round, so i take it before sleep and see how i go.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: The recommendation to take this drug at night is because the original studies showed it worked best that way.

Hi Rosemary,
I developed a rash that started on my hip, then on my calf, then my foot. The rash was itchy, then blistered ,then scabbed over- and extremely painful. Have found out it is shingles. After investigating a bit, I have found that others with these statin side effects developed shingles as well. There seems to be a link.

I have been reading most of the comments here, about the side effects of Simvastatin. I had told my doctor about what I feel, (muscle pain joint pain etc) I even pointed it out on the info that comes with the prescription) and could it be from the pills.

He sent me for X rays. All they said was that's due to old age...at 65? They dismissed it as old age. I have been on statins since I was 45 yrs old. I had stopped taking them on my own; then the next blood test showed the cholesterol was higher.

I would dearly love to get off the darn medication. I need to feel better but without them if possible. is there anything natural (not Pills) that I can eat instead.?

Help!

I finally asked MD to provide risk assessment. Turns out my risk of MI is only 3.2% --and that's with high LDL and age 70. That's not worth muscle problems in my book so I tossed the statin in waste after 5+ years.

Hi Dee Cee,
I have just changed my diet to try the natural approach to lowering my cholesterol. I eat oatmeal every morning, with a handful of walnuts and fruit. Salmon twice a week. Veggie burgers, no red or white meat, egg substitute, fat free mayonnaise, "veggie slice" cheese substitute. I look for food that is cholesterol free. Smart balance margarine has flax seed oil and plant steroids said to lower cholesterol. The doc says he doesn't think I can do it naturally, but I'm gonna try my best. Don't want to go back to the statins. I also have been walking everyday as much as I can , in spite of the pain. Hope you feel better, and 65 is too young for this.

I also went off statins against my doctors wishes. We eat healthy and weren't eating much red meat , salmon twice a week; however, when I mentioned to my physical therapist (back injury) who has a PHD in his field how fatigued I was in the afternoons he questioned my diet. Told me to take a B complex daily since women past menopause tend to not get their B vitamins also said to have lean red meat more than once a week. Am following his advice and no longer need a nap in the afternoon.
My Mother had a cholesterol count of 350 and never had a statin. Lived to 80 and died from pure stubbornness for refusing to see a doctor when she had an infection.
There have been recent studies out that statins really don't work for women so what are we to believe?????

I don't believe there is a single reason why anybody should be on a statin drug. My test results are as follows: Triglycerides 328, Cholesterol 257, HDL 38.8, LDL 152.6. In a three week period of low carb diet here are my results: Triglycerides 99, Cholesterol 231, HDL 50, LDL 161.2.

Those to me are close to perfect numbers. Don't be fooled by a cholesterol count above 200. Cholesterol is getting a bad rap. It's simply riding in the back seat of a lipoprotein molecule. Guilty by association.

Take more responsibility with your eating habits and see what happens. I did. I'm sure if I were to take an updated blood test the results would be even better. Remember, you are what you eat. Oh, and by the way, during that three month eating I ate two eggs and bacon every morning. Sometimes I would have an additional egg or two during the day. Isn't that amazing?

I am one of the apparent few that suffered from peripheral neuropathy after 5 years of Simvastatin use. It started with tingling of hands and feet and gradually moved to nerve damage in one toe. Even after telling my Dr. about it, I had to do my own research to find out that this could be caused by my statin drug. Also, my triglycerides have gone up every year since I started on the drug so it is, obviously, not helping me. I have stopped taking it, starting on fish oil and hope that the neuropathy will go away, in time. I don't understand why Drs. are so love in with statin drugs, to the extent that they're not listening to their patients.

Freeze,
Thank you for your specific comments which are in line with what a few of us have been saying. Triglycerides and HDL are more important than cholesterol in predicting heart problems. I don't understand why so many complain about statins w/o disclosing their HDL, Triglycerides, LDL and particularly the small dense LDL. I will repeat for the umpteenth time, total cholesterol is not very important and total cholesterol above 230 is consistent with longer life than lower total cholesterol for people over 65.
A low carb diet works and will also help cure or ameliorate type 2 diabetes.
And eating eggs and bacon is satisfying so you also lose weight.
A low carb diet works.

I am in the UK and my chloresterol results differ from those in the US, as mine are given as:
5.1; HDL 1.6 and TCH ratio of 3.2.
Is this high?

I wonder why people do not go for alternative medicine instead of suffering due to statins. I had my cholesterol count at 230 and other lipid profile was similarly high, 16 years back underwent angioplasty, since then I went on a homeopathic course of 2 weeks every six months, lipid profile stays in limits and best of all no further blockage, the old angioplasty still holding good. Have been taken heart caths twice just for checking, not to be caught unaware, every thing same. So will recommend alternatives.

Hi - I, like many of the people using this site - am on Simvastatin 40 mg.
I started on 20 mg - but have to admit to being overweight and was then put on 40 mg. I didn't have many side effects except that I noticed that my sleep was disturbed and seemed to have many nightmares.

However - a year ago I was diagnosed with a small breast tumour (luckily they caught it really early) - and have been taking Tamoxifen for the past 10 months.
Could the dual use of such drugs have caused my recent symptoms(?) - absolute chronic pain in my knees - and ankles. It takes me 5 minutes to start walking normally in a morning and then each time I sit down for longer than 30 minutes - I have to start all over again and am hobbling around like an old woman. I am 55. I am also a teacher and am on my feet non-stop for 6-7 hours a day!
I have some arthritic problems with a small bunion on my right foot ( my right knee is the one worst affected by these symptoms) so I just put it down to arthritis and my weight.

However - I am getting so depressed by the problems - even more so than being diagnosed with cancer - that I feel I may end up in a wheelchair before I get to 60 - when I can retire as a teacher!

I am finding it really difficult to get my weight down due to such problems - but I am trying!!

As I didn't have too many problems on Simvastatin before - I wondered if it was because I am on Tamoxifen too(?)!!
Any advice or comments?

I have left leg pain that I can't tolerate. DOC DOESN'T know what it is, but I've found that nighttime just kills me. Y.day, I worked and pain was almost gone. ****After 4 hours of sleep I just awoke in awful pain. When all this started last week, I was given a shot of prednezone, an rx for oral. I've been taking them 6 days. I will say that 10MG Norco has NO effect on this pain that is wrecking me. 'ANY Feedback??

I've been on Simvastatin 20 mg for 8 months, I also take Amlodipine Besylate 5mg, Metformin 500mg, Enalapril, Glipized and Levothyroxine also for 8 months, since then I have never felt good again; I'm always too tired to even leave my bed. The cramps on my feet, toes and now hands and the muscle twitching on my fingers are horrible and I thought it was because I am diabetic, I told my doctor that I probably had neuropathy but he said it wasn't, but he never has told me anything about the side effects of Simvastatin. I've been diabetic for 6 years. What do you think?

Take all your meds to your pharmacist and ask if any interact with each other then research each one and then stop the simvastin and see if things improve. Your thyroid med may be wrong dose ??? Don't stop any of the others without your Dr. advice and if he won't pay attention to you then see if you can see another one.

Marisol,
From my experience, your side effects are from the simvastatin. I had the same and more. I was on 40 mg. every other day and finally went off of it after a year or so. My Dr. recommended it. Maybe u can try another med. not a statin. I took 4 different ones and had side effects from all. I now take fish oil twice a day and watch my diet. the simvastatin did me in. I still have trouble with my one leg. Hope this helps. I am a 59 year old female. I have been off of it since April 2012. good luck and I hope this helps.

gramma 71

I read all your messages and feel you are describing my personal situation. I can describe all my side effects but there are no different than most of you, well maybe different part of my body but all feel like a slow and subtle form of torture!

I was also started with Lipitor. I think it was 80mg and after one week I was so slow in my thinking, movements, my agility was gone!! Incapacitated. So the doctor prescribed simvastatin 20mg generic. After reading about this miracle pill I decided to go ahead and try it. I was fine the first week but after that side effects different ones from the ones I felt with Lipitor started to emerge.
I tried several things to counter attack.

1 Fish Oil
2 Vitamin C
3 Exercise
4 Stretching
5 sometimes aspirin or Aleve. (not everyday)

The problem now is my sleep and one arm. I hear my arm one day I think I might have pulled a muscle but I have this happened before several times in sports or doing stuff around the house and I would usually feel better in a few days, let's say a week but this time it was like backwards. It's getting worse.

I forgot my meds and I'm on a trip that's lasted 2 days. I feel great with some pain but I wonder if I should take the medication again tonight when I get back home since I stopped suddenly. Pleas let me know if you have stopped and taking it again. Thanks for all your posts they are al great feedback and help with our crazy lipids and cholesterol out of control. (I don't eat read meat nor fried stuff nor shelfish and my cholesterol was still hi so I guess I will have to turn Vegan).
Thanks again.

I commented a month ago about all of the problems I have been having with my hands and shoulders. After reading all of the comments here, I decided to quit taking Simvastatin, and find out if things changed. It has been four weeks and here are the results:

1. The rotator cuffs (both) no longer need the surgery doctors suggested was the problem.

2. The feeling in my thumb, index, and middle fingers on both hands has returned ninty percent. ( I still get pins and needles late in the day).

3. My right thumb, which had atrophied to a point that I couldn't bend it is almost back to normal.

4. I no longer drop tools and it doesn't take both hands to hold a small drill.

5. I was up to 12 Ibuprophen (200mg ea) a day. I now take maybe four a week.

6. I don't wake up with thumb joints that feel like someone has hit them with a hammer.

7. My wrists have improved a lot, going from them feeling like I broke them during the night, to the occasional soreness at the end of the day.

8. And I am actually sleeping six hours straight through the night, as opposed to two hours, interrupted with hand wringing for an hour, and then another couple of hours of sleep.

I WILL NEVER, EVER, TAKE ANOTHERR STATIN DRUG AGAIN. GUARANTEED

rick and j scott

After I went off the simvastatin, it took about 5 or 6 months before I felt like myself again. I was told that simvastatin really gets into the muscles and joints more than the other statins.

If it hadn't been for this site, I think that i was going to go nuts. I thought that I would never feel good again. Stretching helped me a lot and a healthy diet. Also drink a lot of water and gatorade. Keep flushing the meds out of your system.

Good luck to both of u and don't give up. Keep the Faith!

take care,
gramma71

I have been on simvastatin 40mg daily for about 10 yes and have been battling an increasingly worse neuropathy in my feet. Despite all efforts, including strict blood glucose control, the numbness and hypersensitivity are now almost unbearable. Now I read that this may be a side effect of the simvastatin? My doc has always focused on monitoring my liver function and muscle enzymes to monitor any possible side effects but never tied the neuropathy to the simvastatin.

I realize that neurpoathy is pretty far down the list of side effects, but has anyone else experienced this? Does Co-Q10 help? Does the neuropathy resolve itself after discontinuing simvastatin? Is there a station med that has lesser side effects? Any help is greatly appreciated!

My heart doctor had put me on pravstatin, cause my cholesterol was high. I was on it for about 10 days, then started feeling muscle tightness behind my right thigh. The doctor had told me to stop taking it, but how long does it stay in your body?

From many comments no one can answer that question. It is noteworthy that your doctor believed you and acted promptly to take you off the statin. If you read the above comments, many docs refuse to believe a statin can cause muscle damage. The statin may or may not have caused your problem but it definitely could have. If it did, hopefully after only 10 days your recovery should be quick.

8 months ago, I was diagnosed with heart failure, and amongst the drugs prescribed was Pradaxa and 20mg Zocor. Since then, I dropped Pradaxa against doctor's wishes as there was no known antidote to stop bleeding if it occurs, but, daily, I took 60mg CoQ10, 4 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, morning oats, a lot of fruits (bananas, papayas & guavas) & veggies with some salmon daily. In August, my cholesterol level was very good at:

Total cholesterol= 4.9(79), Triglycerides=0.82(72) HDL=1.95(73), LDL=2.6(100), Chol/HDL Chol= 2.5

But what I want to say here is that: For sometime, I suffered a bit of shoulder aches and left knee pain when climbing stairs and this morning suddenly I saw my fingers swell. Is this the side-effects of Zocor? Although the cholesterol levels were good, noticeable were high GGT & AST which indicated liver problems which the doctor says no problems. These were never there whenever I do blood tests. In November, the doctor took another blood test, and lately called me to say everything is ok, but I didn't see the results yet. I am now thinking of stopping the Zocor after reading all the comments about this drug.

Statins absolutely can cause plantar fasciitis. When I complained about my unrelenting plantar fasciitis to my cardiac clinic, they immediately took me off the Lipitor and told me that plantar fasciitis is known to be an adverse side effect of statins. Took a couple months before the plantar fasciitis disappeared. So now my doc has me on Red Rice Yeast for the last six weeks and guess what.... the plantar fasciitis is coming back!! Guess I'll live with high cholesterol. My mom is 86 and has had high cholesterol forever. I'll take my chances.

I have been on 20mg for about ten months and have experienced muscle pain in legs shoulders knees and experiencing general weakness and I know that it is not me. I am used to physical work I have been doing it for over twenty years but now I am different I guess I have to look for another medication, one other thing I am noticing is that my facial hair growth has gone done.

I'm a 79 year old man who's been on simvastatin 20 for several years, and it has lowered my cholesterol remarkably with, I had thought, no adverse side-effects. I have lost some 20 pounds of my overweight condition in the past 1 1/2 years. I have recently noticed severe pain in my lower back (which I initially ascribed to my congenital spondylolesthesis condition) and shoulder blades after only standing for a short while, and my normal afternoon fatigue has been getting progressively worse of late, along with the appearance of several other random and odd pains, usually mild but occasionally more severe, without any apparent causes. My bright daughter thought my statin might be the cause. I just called my internist to see if he wants to test my blood to determine if the statin he prescribed may be the root cause. I have not been on CoQ10 at all. Let's see what happens.

"I previously advised that CoQ10 is required in Canada for everyone put on a statin."

I don't know where you got this information but I am a Canadian and have taken statins for over five years. At no time was I ever advised (by several different doctors) to take CoQ10. I eventually found it out on my own and asked my doctor about it. He said that some people do use CoQ10 but didn't really press the issue. I have since taken it daily.

Thank you for correcting my error. I checked this out and have now learned that the Canadian authorities require a warning with all statin prescriptions to the effect that statins significantly lower the body's supply of CoQ10. I am surprised that with this specific warning your physicians did not discuss this with you on their own volition.

I started taking Simvastatin a few weeks ago. My joints were more stiff & sore than before. Then my right leg & hip were so bad I couldn't walk up stairs. I stopped exercising it got so bad. My right shoulder & arm was also sore. I could not pick up my purse. When I looked up side effects of Simvastatin very surprised what I read immediately stopped the drug. After a week I can walk & do stairs without pain. Right arm is getting better. Back to exercising again. Thank you for good info.

2 recent comments suggest the following: Whenever you get a new prescription insist on getting both the FDA info sheet and that pharmacy's info sheet on the drug. Then read both and concentrate on possible side effects. Knowing what may happen should help institute immediate action when you determine something is wrong and it is a listed side effect. Doctors do not do a good job warning about side effects because many think the warnings are counterproductive and you will get the side effect if you know about it, which to me is faulty logic.

One other thing I just learned today: all statin users should refrain for all grapefruit juice. Allegedly it makes muscle problems worse. Likewise for lime and pomelo.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: We definitely agree that it is prudent to be aware of potential side effects.

We disagree about the grapefruit juice, however. Not all statins interact: pravastatin and rosuvastatin (Crestor) don't.

Nine years taking Simvastin and seeing my overall health deteriorate more and more each day, I finally googled it and came across this site. Not only did I find this site interesting and educating but I was also overwhelmed from my exact symptoms shared by many. I have hopes now that I know I'm not alone and I will continue without taking my medication. It's been about a week and I feel worse but I'm almost sure this is the withdrawals from getting off it.

Nine years is a long time and I'm upset that my doctor never told me about these side effects that will only get worse with time. I'm also upset that every time I brought it up to the doctor of how terrible I feel they always blamed it on anything else, stress, work, etc.

Thanks to this site and every single comment listed here, hopefully it's not too late for me with other internal organ damage to prolong use of Simvastin but I feel that my life has been saved by all of you. I feel now that I can start living a better life without that medication and I have hopes that it's only a matter of time before I see for myself that getting off this medication was the best thing for me.

My question to anyone here is: I was on Simvastin 20mg once a day for 9 years. I hear a lot about CoQ10 and how helpful it is in replacement to Simvastin. Can someone tell me how much mg daily can I take of it to equal 20mg of Simvastin? Where can I purchase it? How about fish oil, how much mg daily can I take to equal 20mg of Simvastin?

I thank you in advance for taking the time to read this and answering my questions. You will make a positive difference in someone's life, my life. It's been too long on a daily struggle with life, son, work, school, etc. for nine years. It's time to live a healthier life. God knows I deserve it. It's time for a chance because I want to live for my son, my cat, my family, etc.

I am 56 years old and I have been on 40mg Simvastatin for around ten years. I suffer from most all of the side effects I have read about. My general practice doctor's response when I discussed the issues with him was to prescribe Xanax and Zoloft which of course did nothing to help. I also have sleep apnea which is an issue in itself. I have also gone to two neurologists who just want to throw more drugs at me including Nuvigil, Provigil and a half dozen others. I now know why doctors say they practice medicine. I have yet to find one that knows what they are doing, they all seem to be practicing. Was I wrong in thinking that a neurologist was the place to go? Can anyone tell what type of specialist I should see?

Jim, you give no facts why you were sent to a neurologist or why other medications were prescribed. I suggest finding the best internist you can, preferably at a teaching hospital and get a complete work up with a new look.

All statins remove CoQ10 from the body thus supplementation while taking a statin is critical. If off the statin you may not need it, but it can't hurt and might help. All pharmacies and vitamin stores have it. There a different forms with different recommended doses. 300 mg./day seems to be the maximum dose for the basic form. Find a good doctor who listens. Depending on your history a statin may be warranted and another one may have less side effects.

If a statin is prescribed, make the doctor explain why you need it and stop it if the side effects come back. There is no magic bullet so diet weight loss, etc. may be required to feel healthy again. And exercise.

I have been taking simvastatin for around three weeks. Cholesterol level of 9.

I have had severe stomach cramps making me shout out in pain, diahorrea, pains in my ankles and wrists and low back ache.

I have not been sleeping well and waking with a very sore and sensitive stomach... which hurts when pressed.
Also a feeling that my head doesn't belong to my body, with some confusion.

I stopped taking the tablet yesterday... it is frightening me... 40 mcg...
I have changed my diet and am hoping that will work.

24 hours without a tablet I already feel more like me.
I will tell my doctor when I next have a blood test...... am also suffering from hypothyroidism and taking levothyroxine.

I will never take a statin again.

Laney, what is a cholesterol level of 9. I am not familiar with that scale.

One reader shared his story: "I was started on simvastatin 20 mg, and by the third week I was in a lot of pain. My triceps and biceps hurt the worst, as though someone was ripping the muscles apart. I also had pain in my hips, legs and shoulders.

"I stopped the simvastatin, but my blood tests showed elevated CPK (muscle breakdown) and decreased GFR (kidney functioning). Six months later, the labs show my GFR is normal, but my CPK is still mildly elevated. When I try to exercise, my muscles get sore quickly and the soreness lasts longer."

ABSOLUTELY TRUE IN MY CASE AS WELL. HORRIBLE STUFF.
I wonder, did the person above have good ratios and low triglycerides. And also did they exercise a lot?

THANK YOU

To HJL,

Lipid Profile in my country show the 2 scales as:
Cholesterol Triglycerides 0.40-1.54 mmo/L 35-135 mg/dL
HDL Cholesterol 0.75-1.73 mmo/L 28-65 mg/dL
LDL Cholesterol Chol/HDL Chol

This morning I took the November test results from my cardiologist and the lipids show: Cholesterol 3.7 (143), Triglycerides 0.62 (54),
HDL Cholesterol 1.76 H (66 H), LDL Cholesterol 1.7 (65) and Chol/HDL Chol 2.1

After dropping the simvastation on 1st December, most pains disappeared except still lingering is the slight pain on my right arm. The cardiologist did not prescribe me any more simvastatin or any other cholesterol pills though he didn't believe that the pill could have shown so much problems and I have also told him that I have just started on Oats BG22 (renowned for lowering LDL)in the morning on an empty stomach and will take another lipid test in February.

Sorry, the lipid values should read like this:
Cholesterol Triglycerides 0.40-1.54 mmol/L 35-135 md/dL
HDL Cholesterol 0.75-1.73 mmol/L 28-65 mg/dL
LDL Cholesterol Chol/HDL Chol

I have been taking Simvastatin for two years. I am 69 years old and some months ago always felt that I was lucky for my age not to get too many aches and pains. Used to get the odd lower back ache after shopping or hoovering, but would go once rested. Now I have constant lower back pain, random aches and pains in legs, knees, arms, etc. Also sometimes when I bend over to do something I get a real sharp pain in my upper stomach, which goes after resting. I am having a blood test at the moment to see if it is a side effect or not. I also have a weird sensation of burning and cramp like feelings in my legs, even when resting.

This site is really helpful as my GP is always busy and cannot always take the time to listen to this strange list of muscle pains.

I intend to stop taking it and will let you know the outcome. Wish me luck

To my knowledge a blood test will only show if you have a very serious deteriorating muscle condition. Restated, what you are describing may be side effects of your statin but not show up on a blood test. There may be valid reasons why you should be on a statin. Additionally, you may do fine on another statin or by taking a much smaller dose.

Just wondering if this drug (Simvastatin 20 mg) will have any affect on the blood pressure readings. Will it elevate it?

Probably not, I found this online from what is generally a reliable source:

"The UCSD Statin Study, conducted by Dr. Beatrice Golomb and Associates, found that simvastatin and prevastatin reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Although the reductions were modest, they are clinically significant. The medication lowered systolic and diastolic pressure each by 2.5 to 3 mmHg -- enough to consistently measure, but not enough to allow patients to stop taking their blood pressure medications."

No, I don't think so. Mine is typically 110/70 although I'm on Ramipril. After a run (less than a mile) you may be interested that it was 160/80.

On the wider issue of everyone blaming the drug for all their problems, I can offer you this. I was getting worse and worse hip pain, I suddenly knew what it was and put my saddle up on my bike and all hip pain has now gone. So pains can be caused by other things while on the drug. I would only say if you have aches and pains it may make them worse (just my speculation) Everybody gets some aches as they get older, please everybody don't blame this drug and don't just stop taking it without contacting your medical professional. This is just dangerous.

Right now I don't have any side effects (shoulder/hip pain has cleared) bar an urgent need to go the toilet sometimes.

Does anyone know how long it takes for stopping Stimvastatin to notice an improvement

I have been taking 40mg Simvastatin for just over a year now after being diagnosed with heart disease. Over the last 2 months I have been getting excruciating leg cramps, mainly in the back of my thighs but also sometimes in my calves. I had no idea statins could cause these kinds of problems until I did an internet search and am horrified after reading all these posts.

At 42 I am constantly tired and aching, have dizzy spells and now these awful leg cramps. I am considering stopping taking the statins immediately before even consulting my doctor. I have an appointment with a cardiologist next week so will be speaking to him about it and will post what he says.

You are speculating that simvastatin may only make a pain worse and not that it could cause it. That is gross speculation w/o any science to back it up. If you read the above thoroughly and carefully some are saying a pain went away after stopping the drug. Again, this is not science, but it raises the possibility that the drug in fact caused the initial pain. We should all try to stick to the science and understand when an idea is just speculation or a thesis not yet proven, but with some basis for it.

I am so glad I stumbled on this site! I have been on simvastatin for about 2 years now and during the past year or so my lower back has become increasingly painful, making standing and walking a difficult exercise. I am going to examine other avenues of how to control my cholesterol apart from medication and hopefully my back pain will be a thing of the past.

I have progressively had terrible leg pain, been on simvistatin for about 8 years. Got so bad , had to go to urgent care. I couldn't walk! They told me I had mild arthritis in my knees, but not bad enough to warrant this pain. I heard this drug could cause muscle pain so I goggled it and came across this website. I stopped taking it tonight, hopefully this will be the end of my pain. Does anyone know approximately how long it will take to feel better? I have an appointment with my doctor next week, but I'm not waiting till then to stop!

Hello everyone, I've been taking Simvastatin 80mg for the last 4 years. Last year I started having all the "nice" side effects from muscle cramps, dizziness, nausea everyday, vomiting insomnia aches and pain in my upper back, tightness in the chest,breathing hard.... etc. My cholesterol is 145 and I am a smoker so I am higher risk for heart problems.

In December 2012 I just had to much of this side effects so I just stopped taking my pill. Never told my MD what I did, yet!!!
2 weeks after I stopped I started feeling myself again... Today 2 months later I feel outstanding but I don't know how is my cholesterol!

I will never take any pill from statin family again! looking for non-statin drugs.

I could be the poster-child for the results of Simvastatin. Took it for a year. The symptoms crept up on me so gradually I didn't realize what was happening; we all have normal aches and pains, right?

I have permanent muscle damage, still have regular constipation, loss of sense of smell, nausea, headaches... the list goes on. Just learned the stomach pains I've had is because of Diverticulosis (sp?), pockets in the intestines which, according to the doctor is from constipation.

Have been off the statin for over a year and there has been no alleviation of these side effects.

So all these side effects haven't disappeared! My heart complaint has caused (all my life) me to eat more. And the extra you eat tends to be bread based, so I would suggest you go gluten free like me. I Have never had constipation since I went gluten free. In the U.S. you may have to go to a health food shop rather than a supermarket (like here) to get the products but believe me it will be worth it. I wouldn't ever go back although its costly.

Your symptoms (apart from maybe the muscle problems, has the Doc said its due to Simvastatin!) could easily be Parkinsons. I know that sense of smell and constipation can be early symptoms of this, my Mum has it. The sense of smell in particular is an early warning signal of Parkinsons.

It is quite amazing to me that a lot on here still attribute their problems to Simvastatin despite axing the drug a long time ago. A further point on this, when I'm suffering from the heart problem I have I have no side effects at all but when I'm ok I do get muscle pains. So my thought is that a lot on here simply don't need the drug and should never have been given it. After all 10 or 20 mg is a low dose. I am on 40mg and I can ride a bike at over 20 mph. If I did a race, I would do 25 mph.

Can side effects occur some time after discontinuing simvastatin? I was on 20mg OK, then 40 mg and got calf pain so came off it. But several weeks later started getting weird muscle pains in biceps/triceps which neither regular Dr not orthopaedic Dr can understand (x-rays etc all look normal). These have persisted for several months. If yes then is it worth trying a controlled experiment with CoQ10?

RJ- to answer your question, there simply isn't enough science to say one way or another that muscle pain could first present several weeks after ending statin usage.

There are many who think everyone of a certain age whether on statins or not should take CoQ10. The evidence is becoming clear that everyone on statins should be on CoQ10. The important thing to note is that no one has said that taking CoQ10 is deleterious in any way. So there is no known risk to taking it. That said, if you take it and your arm pain gets better, so be it, but that would not be scientific proof that the CoQ10 fixed the problem. You might want to talk to your doctor about a liver test to see if there are effects from muscle damage caused by the statin which could indicate a serious condition.

I have taken various statins for seven years now. The doctors keep stopping me and starting me on different brands. I have been on Simvastatin now since I think May of 2012. My hips have bothered me for a year or so, but since I began the Simvastatin I would off and on have leg or foot cramps.

A month and a half ago I began having tingling in my feet which would sometimes move up my lower legs. For a couple of weeks now I have had pain that sometimes wakens me in the night in my lower legs. I found this website and decided to get CoQ10. I am very careful though with my medications and checked with the pharmacist to see if CoQ10 was compatible with my other medications. She said are you taking a blood thinner? I said yes (I have an artificial mitral valve). She said No do not take CoQ10.

So instead, I dropped the Simvastatin. I have a cardiology appointment in March and will see what transpires. So possibly people should be aware of the incompatibility of Warfarin/Coumadin with CoQ10.

I was on Simivistatin and decided to just stop it. Since that time (October 2012) I have had extreme dry mouth and burning tongue syndrome that none of my doctors nor dentist can determine a cause for. It is not sjorgens syndrome and they are attributing it to my age (58). I have never heard of anything like this - I cannot eat any dairy products, fruits or anything spicy. It is like my lips emit an acidic/metallic taste all the time. There has to be a solution - I refuse to believe it's not "fixable".

Please be careful what you say: "The evidence is becoming clear that everyone on statins should be on CoQ10. ...no one has said that taking CoQ10 is deleterious in any way...no known risk".

I beg to differ with you. If you are also on Warfarin or Coumadin you should NOT be taking CoQ10. They are not compatible. Any time you are thinking of adding even an O-T-C substance, you should check with your doctor or pharmacist.

I've been on 80mg of Simvastatin for several years. Had a stomach virus and stopped taking the Simvastatin for 3 days because of all the vomiting going on. Started it back on the 4th day and could barely sleep for the pain in my back and upper legs/hips. Thought it was just after-effects. Took it again last night and the pain in my lower back, hips and upper legs made it impossible to lay down at all. Walked the floor till 7a.m. when the pain subsided enough to get a couple of hours sleep. Could not understand what was going on until I read this board. I plan on stopping the Simvastatin.

I have been on Simvastatin for 3 years! I have been experiencing a feeling of weakness in my legs. I hurt every place when I reach for something, pickup the cat, mop the floor etc! For the last 6 months I have been having severe pain in my thumbs to the point I cannot turn a door knob or pick up a coffee cup! This pain comes and goes, but it is not the kind of pain that hurts if I press on my joints! It seems like a nerve is pinching... but the doctors just say it is arthritis and want to put me on meds! I am suspicious of my symptoms. Don't want to go on more meds if my complaints are caused by The Simvastatin!

Also I get a swelling and redness under my eyes by my cheek bones. The eye doctor says there is nothing wrong with my eyes...that is is not coming from a problem with my eyes. I also get a smell like smoke in my nose that won't go away. And I have a ocean sound in my ears! After reading all the above articles, I wonder if it all is being caused by Simvastatin! I can hardly move when I wake up in the mornings. To roll over in bed feels like all my muscles are being ripped! I take Hydrocodone when I get up, and within an hour the general stiffness is better, but I still have pain if I do any kind of lifting etc! Does anyone else notice face redness or puffiness? They have tested me for different things including Lupus and everything comes out negative!

Reading all the comments makes me realize how much I have gone down hill in the last 3 years... I just didn't get to wondering if it could be caused by my medicine until it started getting so overwhelming! Reading all the symptoms similar to my make me think I will try going off the meds for a few days just to see if I notice any difference!

I don't know what is going on, but there seem to be an awful lot of people taking Simvastatin who are in a lot of pain. I am one of those people. About a month and a half ago I stopped taking mine. I had hip and thigh pain as well as foot and leg cramps for about a year. When my feet began to tingle I was worried... when the tingling moved up as far as my knees, I stopped the Simvastatin.

About two weeks later I developed searing pain in the outside of my lower legs. Some days are good and some days are horrid. Three days ago I went to the mall and walked to the store where I was headed with cramps in my hips but I made it. While I was looking at the racks I suddenly had such pain in my lower legs that I could hardly stand. It frightened me because I didn't know how I could possibly get back to my car. I stood on one leg and then the other and somewhere along the line it just stopped.

Saw my cardiologist last week and he wants to see me in four months! I will either be fine by then, in a wheelchair or dead from cholesterol blockage. I am not overweight and have already had two open heart surgeries. Next week I hope to get to my Primary Care doctor to see if he has any ideas. I have been having issues with my eyes and I sympathize with your problem moving around in bed I have the same problem.

I had no problems when on the name brand Lipitor 10 but had had some muscle problems on Lipitor 20 so Dr. cut to 10. Problems really started when I had to switch to generic simvastin and was told that with generic you must be on 20. Went off myself when I traced where the generic was made and found it was made in a little town in China not on any maps and then sold to a major distributor by the 100,00 plus and then repackaged and repackaged.

I just don't trust drugs made in China so won't use a generic from any other place but Europe or Israel which have standards.

For your leg cramps carry a packet of mustard and swallow immediately or if at home a tablespoon of dill pickle juice works. Old home remedy.

Recently fell and Physical therapist noted that all my leg muscles are so tight that I was tripping on curbs because I wasn't able to lift the leg high enough to clear. She worked on them and now have a whole regime of stretch exercises to do. You might look into it.

I was told that the blood test we have would show if we have muscle damage from the Simvastatin. They test my blood every 4 months. So I don't know if I would be making a mistake to go off the drug! I had a minor heart attack 3 years ago! I don't want to risk another one. But I also don't want damaged muscles!

I quit the Simvastatin for 3 days and the swelling and redness under my eyes has almost disappeared! That could be a coincidence! I still hurt all over. I am sure that would take more time to improve if it is caused my Simvastatin! I am going to start back on the drug and see what happens with the swelling and redness under the eyes and a rash I get on my stomach! Then I will talk to my doctor about what I think.... and again he will probably say I just have arthritis! I just wish I could know if Simvastatin is responsible for how much I have gone down hill in 3 years!

I have been taking 20mg Simvastatin now for 3 weeks, and have been unwell since then, with Indigestion, feeling sick, wind, headache, Anxiety, stomach pain, arm, leg, toe, wrist pain, heart throbbing and pounding.... I am also prescribed Amlodipine 10mg. Last night I only took half of the 20mg Simvastatin and today I feel a lot better... I am going to wean myself of the tablets and hope to get back to my normal good health...

Prescribed 10mg Lipitor about 15 years ago, and now on 40mg generic. Over these years the dose was upped to 20mg, then 40mg & each time I asked why as my cholesterol level has always been below 200, HDL around 50, LDL around 110, triglycerides around 150-175. Also on atenelnol 50-25mg for blood pressure and prescribed potassium med.

About 2 yrs ago was diagnosed as pre-diabetic and put on 500mg Metformin ER! I have experienced severe cases of hives, neck pain, 4 cases of diagnosed shingles in different areas, neck, back, hip, leg pain at different times. Recently I have experienced swollen ankles and legs by the end of the day,developed severe bouts with diarrhea over a period of 3-5 days at a time, and been to my Dr. for the hip, back & leg pain that is causing me to miss work.

There is no family history of heart disease or cholesterol problems. I have questioned my Dr. about the statin causing diabetes & the pain only to be given a negative answer and told to keep taking the meds. I am an active 70 something female and work 40 hours a week. These symptoms are unbearable especially the diarrhea.

I've read this website from top to bottom and it sickens me to see all the comments on how doctors deal with the concerns of their patients - including mine - and keep pushing these drugs. Why does a seemingly healthy person have to take meds that make you feel like you've been hit by a truck and have to make sure you're not more than 10 ft away from a bathroom? Are there any persons who have had great results from statins without having all the side effects?

My Mom lived for years with a Chol. level of 350 and died from other problems. I finally told my doctor I had stopped my simvastin because of the muscle pain which resulted once I was switched from 10 Lipitor to 20 simvastin. and he did ask me to give him permission to put in record that I decline to take it .To protect himself from liability. I eat red meant once or twice a week and chicken, salmon and meatless rest of week.

Level still over 250 but some bodies just make cholesterol and you can never get it as low as they say you should have under a 100. There is a quality of life which shouldn't be ignored in order to have more time but are miserable. I believe we are the patient and God gave us brains to make the best choices in our own health care. Doctors aren't God and need to treat us as people with minds.

On 20 mg of simvastatin. Have had bad leg pains and retaining water plus belly fat that I can't lose. Will stop simvastatin to see if the wanes. Will let you know how it goes

It's okay to stop, but if you have heart disease, probably you should let your doctor know that you have stopped.

I have been on bendrofluazide 25mg and levothyroxine50mg last wk was given pravastatin the next day my feet and legs swelled up as it got worse each day with cramps pins and needles and aching joints I looked like I had elephant legs. I stopped taking them after 6days and told my doctor they said they hadn't heard of that happening before and it would take a wk to go down which is doing. The thing is they want me to try another statin this is my second one and the last one didn't agree with me. Is this going to happen every time?

If you need to take them, ask your doctor to try another. They are not all the same. People react differently to each one.

I'm on Simvastatin 40mg. I have joint pain in knees, hips, wrists, neck and shoulder and muscle pain. What are some questions I should ask my doctor? Is there certain tests I should request to see if I have muscle damage?

DTF: Your doctor should require that you have a full blood test before you see him. He can tell several things from the test, muscle damage being one of them. If he is a cardiologist he should automatically tell you to have the test. If he's your primary care remind him if he doesn't. If you can't get relief, push until you find what is wrong. I am in that process now: Cardio thinks it's the Simvastatin; Primary thinks it's a pinched nerve. It's getting worse by the week now and it's frustrating. One says you have to walk...the other says, don't walk it will just aggravate the problem.

I have been on a low dose (10 mg) of Simvastatin for several years. Over the past few years, I have had problems similar to irritable bowel syndrome, resulting in loose stools & causing 4-5 AM bathroom trips every morning. Blood tests revealed no intestinal disease.. Additionally, I have developed hip pain & feel fatigued every day, & am experiencing thinning hair. I just turned 68. I wonder if some of these problems could be related to the drug? My Mom has had strokes & has atrial fibrillation so I want to protect myself from future problems, but also don't want to create problems.

been on simvastatin 40mg 1 day had can not see right and pain in my body and very poor memory and headache from hell all this just taking 1 tablet. dr put where the sun dos not shine

Barbara S.: It sounds as though you are taking Simvastatin only to keep from having the problems your mother has. Probably a better way would be to have your blood checked every six months or so for problems...then take the drug if you need to. IMHO, anti-cholesterol medication is too easily prescribed and there are too many unknowns, as you can see by reading this page. Check with your doctor and ask him/her about it.

Barbara S., just to add to what jlp said and I agree with jlp, according to the book The Cholesterol Myth there is no hard evidence that statins in any way help women respecting cardiovascular events. The only hard evidence respecting statins and cardiovascular events is that it has some benefits in preventing a repeat cardiovascular event for middle aged men who have had a prior event.

Note: there are many studies which show higher death rates for older people whose total cholesterol is less than 220. Your triglyceride levels and HJLs are more important for predicting diabetes and death. Cut sugar drastically,don't drink any calories (soda, fruit juice, fruit drinks, eat protein for breakfast, eat breakfast, eat more fiber and don't eat after 6PM.

All of this is per the genius Dr. Frank Lustig, (his book is Fat Chance) who is a pediatric endocrinologist. It is inflammation not cholesterol which causes cardiovascular disease and many docs are waking up to this but cholesterol and statins are ingrained and docs are slow to admit mistakes. My son-in-law who is an interventional radiologist stopped taking statins after he independently checked the research.

I have just started doing more research specifically because of feeling increasingly uncomfortable on 20mg Simvastatin daily ( I previously took it at 40mg for a short while, late in 2012, but suffered dizziness, disturbed sleep and a 'fuzzy' memory, so a Dr reduced it).

I caught a virus of some description at Christmas and felt so ill I stopped taking it altogether only to be mildly reprimanded by my G.P and told to 'get back on the daily dose' as soon as I felt able to. I did as told and for several months all seemed well but then the poor memory resurfaced. I didn't feel dizzy but did feel as if my balance was affected. I dropped the dose of my own accord to 3 x weekly and then began to notice a pattern - on the nights I took the statin I would sleep badly and feel 'hung over' the next day.

For the second time in recent days I have fallen over again whilst working outside. I just seemed to suddenly lose my balance. The first fall bruised my back and this second one resulted in a cut finger from the scissors I was carrying!

I agreed to take the statins because I was told my cholesterol was 'off the scale' high and it was necessary to bring it down for my future health, but, since taking them I can't say I have felt my normal self at all and it begs the question - what price low Cholesterol? I am only 60 and want to do the best I can to stick around a while - but at this rate I'm not going to be safe to go outside on my own!

Now I've read on this site that I am not, by any means, alone with my symptoms I am definitely going to stop taking Simvastatin and go back to see my G.P. I suspect he will not be pleased but at least, by the time I have booked a blood test and got an appointment, I shall know if stopping made me feel any better.

CMP: I am so sorry you are having these problems. Falling is not an option. Have you tried any other statins? Tell your doctor your symptoms and fears and ask if you can try Lipitor or any other statin.

I have been off statins now since March and have only gotten worse. So...I suspect my problems were not due to Simvastatin, although it may have contributed. I suspect that my cholesterol level is sky high again but am not due for a blood test until July. My cardiologist has me on two Fish Oil capsules (1,000 mg) and said that if cholesterol level was up in July he would add flax seed and something else ????

I suspect that doctors are beginning to question the usefulness of statins, especially if they are causing so many problems. Remember, it really shouldn't matter if your G.P. is displeased. It is your body and you know what is going on with it. You want him to help you figure out what to do about it. Also, if you stop your Simvastatin, let your doctor know. I see the little editors note above says "Do not stop any medication without first checking with your physician". The Simvastatin will continue to act for a little while.

Best of luck and good health to you.

I have been taking a statin since my MI in 2005, and from then on I have been suffering from pain in my neck, shoulders, ribs and stomach area. I take 40mg at night and find aches are worst in morning improving during day. I've taken occasional "statin free holidays" and have felt much better. Probably not had long enough spell off it to get back to "normal".

What is normal anyway? I have never heard of your particular pains from statins before, but that doesn't mean they don't exist. My doctor did say it could take up to several months for "normal" to reappear.

I now have an appointment with a rheumatologist, because my doctor has given up and can't figure out what accounts for my aches and pains. It's been over a year that I have been painfree... until last week when as a parting "gift" my GP gave me a prescription for Prednisone.

Within two hours I was a brand new person. Unfortunately it's almost gone and can't be taken on a regular basis. Here's hoping the new guy can figure it out. I am starting to believe it might even be Lyme Disease. What a trick that would be. I'm sick of it all.

I also have had problems with Simvastatin, Pravastatin and others. My Cardiologist NP recommended taking vitamin D to offset side effects like leg cramps. In the month since placement of 2 stents, I have had no cramps.

Leg and foot cramps are relatively new to me. I have been taking Vitamin D for a couple of years now, but it was suggested by my dermatologist. I used to think doctors knew everything. Now I'm wondering just how much they do know. I have had 2 open heart surgeries (3 bypasses, 1 artificial mitral valve) and have two stents. I know my problems are genetic. Now perhaps all the pain problems I have had for over a year may not be due to statins at all, but to arthritis or even Lyme Disease. Who knows? Another summer lost. Rheumatologist appt. in early August.

Eventually I hope we all can find some answers to our pain problems and may we live "normal" every day lives from then on.

My doctor recently prescribed Simvastatin for me. Fortunately, I read the information that came with the drug (they only give you the information AFTER you buy the drug) and decided not to take it. It is my opinion that these doctors and drug companies purposefully put patients on these drugs that cause more symptoms of more diseases (the list of "side" effects are mind boggling) so we will continue to spend more and more money on more and more drugs to alleviate more and more symptoms of our crumbling bodies.

They pretend to be in the business of "healing", but what they are in the business of is treating symptoms; symptoms they are too happy to give us because it's all just more money in their bank accounts. The medical industry is NOT interested in CURING you of anything. Curing you is not profitable.

TAT: Unfortunately Simvastatin can be a necessary tool, as can any statin, for those of us with high cholesterol levels who cannot lower them any other way. If you are taking a statin to help lower your cholesterol, the chances are you need to continue indefinitely.

If you are taking it simply as a preventative, I wouldn't continue. In a couple of weeks I will find out what has happened to my count in the past four months since I have stopped taking Simvastatin. I am not looking forward to finding out, because when I stop invariably the count goes up and we have to start all over again. I am not quite as cynical about the medical profession as you are. But often have my doubts.

The pharmaceutical industry is where my doubts lie. A doctor can only treat symptoms, but big pharma makes the cures which sometimes bite harder than they cure and so you need another cure for the bite, ad nauseum.

Thank you very much.
This help me a lot for my PBL tomorrow morning >/|\

Interesting reading. I'm only taking 5 mg of simvastatin (lowest dose to give me a normal lipid profile), but it may have impacted my ability to lift weights. I was prescribed the drug for high cholesterol and have been taking it for 1.5 years. I almost immediately had to decrease the amount of weight I was lifting, and every time I try to increase my amount lifted or my number of reps, I end up with sore joints for several days. I've also noticed I just tire more easily when doing anything. Will be talking with my doctor, who has had me lifting weights for years as part of my treatment for osteoporosis.

The best of luck to you.

I have been on various statin drugs for years,and simvastatin 40 mg the last three. I am very active swimming an hour a day 4-days a week, practice martial arts and use resistance training for my home workouts. I am a 60 year old workout fanatic and maintain my cholesterol in the 136-145 range. My doctor has kept me on Simvastatin due to my family history.

I am now lying in bed with a ruptured right Achilles tendon. I have experienced pain in both Achilles tendons for some time, have had tingling pain in my muscles for years, and have belly fat that will not go away no matter how hard I exercise and eat right. After researching statins I have concluded my tendon issues, muscle pain and belly fat are all a result of Simvastatin.

I spoke with my doctor and he has had me stop taking it. The pain in my left un-ruptured Achilles is now almost gone in less than a week being statin free. I can't wait to start exercising again statin free. I use fish and Krill oils, and will look for other non drug ways to maintain my cholesterol going forward.

Ric,
You may want to ask your doc why he felt it necessary to drive your cholesterol down to levels many consider ridiculously low. 1/2 of all heart attack victims had cholesterol levels in the lower levels. Many simply don't believe cholesterol is the problem. Additionally, you were taking the maximum dose of simvastatin approved for new users. The smallest dose gives the maximum effect and piling on more gives little added benefit but just increases the risk of side effect.
Cut out all sugar, baked products, potatoes and simple carbs and your belly fat will disappear fast with your exercise program. Eat salad and home made full fat dressing.

For over a year and a half now, I've been suffering pain in my joints and switching back and forth with various statins. My GP finally gave up and sent me to a rheumatologist who has now decided I have Polymyalgia Rheumatica (PMR) and/or Lumbar Spondylosis...doing further tests.

I have posted several times on this page and since I stopped taking statins in March as a test and my ldl's skyrocketed 300%, I'm back on them...Crestor this time...we'll give it a shot.

Don't give up the good fight.

Ldls "skyrocketed 300%" may be irrelevant. You should be aware that there are different subgroups of LDL and some are considered harmless. Moreover if your LDLs were really low to start a 300% increase may not be much. Your HDLs and triglycerides are more important to predict heart problems. Are you on the minimum dose of the statins which gives the maximum effect? Educate yourself and don't be scared off by 1 number. If you think the statins are causing muscle problems then weigh the risks and benefits. etc., etc.,

HJL: I have genetic heart disease. Have had two open heart surgeries in the past 12 years. The ldl's are over 300, so back on Crestor. Now on Prednisone for the constant muscle pain caused by polymyalgia rheumatica and/or lumbar spondylosis. Just trying to get along...
Dad died from heart failure at 57 years. So far have outlived him by 17 years. Course mom lived to 97...so there's that going for me.

Hi, I have been on Simvastatin for years. The past 6 months I have started to get weakness in my arms and legs. It starts in my left arm and travels up and into my right arm. My left arm sometimes feels like it weighs a ton and it comes and goes. Along with the numbness there is tingling all over my body including hands and feet again...scary.

I have a weird feeling in the calves of my legs that feels spongy. It also comes and goes. I also was extremely tired and my whole body felt very weak and it was a struggle to keep going most days. These symptoms start when I get out of bed in the morning and last almost all day and seem to subside in the early evening and my energy level also improved greatly so I assume the drug was wearing off by night time.

It has been getting worse every month. I got out of bed a little over three weeks ago and could hardly lift my arms especially my left arm with severe tingling. My Doctor thought I might be having a stroke and sent me to emergency and they did countless tests all day long including MRI and they found nothing and said I was a picture of health and I hate to tell you how much that day cost in the Hospital.

I was getting to the point of thinking I wasn't going to be around much longer. I had all the symptoms of MS and that was SCAREY. I am a healthy 69 year old male still working and loving my job. I have been getting scores in my mouth that also comes and goes. My Doctor took me off simvastatin last Tuesday and I have been off it 4 days now.

I got out of bed this morning and never felt so good with lots of energy. I still have some of the symptoms but vey mild. My Doctor put me on COQ10 200 mg a day. I asked my Doctor why did this not bother me 6 years ago when I went on simvastatin and he said my body is starting to reject it and probably that is why it just gets worse.

Anyone know how long it takes to rid your body completely of simvastatin??

Incidentally I forgot to mention my legs would give out without any notice when I was on the treadmill. Look forward to hearing from you if have ever experienced any of my symptoms. RW

I was taking Simvastatin 20 mg for 3 years. In that time I developed a cataract that went from non-existence to needing surgery in 9 months, high liver enzymes (fatty), memory loss and elevated blood sugar for which I now must take metformin. None of these side effects were listed at the time.

I have been off it for 6 months and my liver returned to normal and my memory has improved some.

I now take Flaxseed and fish oil and watch my diet and now my cholesterol is fine. Too many doctors rush to put people on these drugs. My cholesterol was 200 & with diet and supplements would most likely have lowered it without the statin.

The real question is why the doctor originally put you on a statin with a total cholesterol of 200? Additionally, why weren't you on a minimum dose which might have lessened the chance of side effects?

I started Simvastatin in Jan. In March when I had bloodwork done to check liver and other functions my GFR was below normal. I have since had two other blood tests for GFR (kidney filtration rate function) and every time it is dropping lower. Interesting to me is that in Nov I had complete blood profile done and kidney function was normal. I was told this Wed that I need both a Urologist and Nephrologist.

The only thing in my life that is different is starting Simvastatin, so on my own I have stopped it and will see what next GFR is?? My hands hurt also. They burn, hurt and tingle some. I do a lot of fine hand work, crocheting and more so thought maybe that was causing the hand pains, but they are just getting worse and in both hands. I also have a foggy feeling in my head and very tired since starting the statins.

I did advise my Dr of my intention of stopping the med, no comment so far from her. I was on a very popular diet plan, buying food and eating healthy or so I thought and my chol and triglycerides were still high, fixed the triglycerides by eating more fish, cutting out red meats and salad dressings high in fat, but diet alone does not seem to fix my chol, just the triglycerides, so heredity seems to be a factor but I do not think I will take statins again, I take fish oil with flax seed and just orders some chol lowering plant sterol type natural pills so will see what happens, If anyone out there has had kidney issues with this med I would surely appreciate knowing??

I had started zocor in April 20mg. In Mid July I developed rt flank pain that radiated to the front of my ribs. I work in a cardiac cath lab, and the work can be tough and long. This pain was so bad that I had to stop work and go to the doctor. I thought I had a kidney stone, so did they. There was some blood in my urine, and so they sent me for an ultrasound, which was negative, and labs.

They put me on Cipro, which did nothing. I was back in the er 2 days later. My blood pressure was up because I was in so much pain. They did a CT (neg) and more labs. Then I was sent home, it must be muscle spasms but it wasn't my kidney. Anyhow, the pain never went away, and finally the doc looked at my liver enzymes, which are 3 times too high, and my liver is enlarged. She also treated me for community acquired pneumonia, because my white count was elevated. I did have an mri of the liver and that was negative too.

So, I have lost time at work, and now my liver still hurts 3 weeks later. Does anyone have any suggestions other then going off zocor, which I did.

Need to update my previous post. I stopped simvastatin as mentioned above the beginning of Aug. I went to a urologist yesterday due to cysts found on my kidneys during a scan that was done due to GFR dropping. I mentioned that I had normal kidney function in Nov, started the statin and in March my GFR was below normal and had dropped two more times down to low 40's since starting the med.

The urologist wanted to repeat the GFR and in just two weeks of stopping the simvastatin my kidney function is now up 10 points higher and I expect it to keep going up. Why are the drug companies not telling us that this medicine can cause decreased kidney function? My hands stopped hurting and burning within two days of stopping it...and I won't be taking any statins in the future.

I have read so much bad news about Simvastatin on this site I thought I would report my positive experience.
I am 71 and have been taking 80MG of Simvastatin for 20+ years with no discernible side effects and I believe that I have enjoyed the benefits that the drug was intended for.
I started taking Simvastatin after a cholesterol test registered over 250 years ago.

My doctor at the time said he could give me a cholesterol lowering diet but doubted I would remain on it for the rest of my life. The alternative to the diet was Simvastatin.
I am a big meat and ice cream eater. I really eat whatever I want in large quantities and yet my cholesterol has remained around 170 for all of the years I have been taking the drug.

I had the occasion several years ago to take an EKG which showed no blockage. I am generally healthy with a somewhat enlarged prostate for which I take Terazosin.

I exercise several times a week by walking and that’s it.
I am only on Terazosin and Simvastatin and no other drugs.
Blood pressure around 115 over 70, pulse 65.

I am about 25 pounds overweight which is the side affect of loving the food I eat.

So I am a proponent of Simvastatin.

Rick, congratulations if simvastatin is working for you. However, it is dangerous to take one's personal experience and apply it to all. That is not science, science is a double blind study with many people to test what happens to many people.

For example, you are on an 80 mg dose. It is now against FDA guidelines to put a patient on that dose unless they were already on it. That guideline came about because even the FDA finally woke up to the bad side effects with simvastatin at that dosage.

Drugs have been taken off the market after approval when horrible side effects became apparent when large numbers began taking it. Moreover the biggest effect for a statin comes with the lowest dose. Doubling the dose doesn't double the effect. People who think they should be on a statin should start with the lowest dose.

Rick you obviously are a fortunate man. To be 71 and on only two drugs is great and how lucky you are to be able to eat as much as you want. You must come from a long line of healthy people...lucky you. I am 74, have had a heart attack, two open heart surgeries, two stents and an artificial mitral valve, also atrial fibrillation and take prescriptions for everything...I come by it genetically. It makes a person feel weak and vulnerable, even when she looks perfectly healthy. So, I guess you have every reason to be a proponent of Simvastatin and it is probably good for people to read a positive outcome.

As it turns out some of the symptoms that people here are reporting, may be symptoms of other things. I had my statin changed to Crestor and a rheumatologist diagnosed me with Lumbar Spondyliosis.

Moral: When in doubt, be your own healthcare advocate.

To HJL...I was not applying my personal experience to all. I was just relating that in my case of taking Simvastatin for 20+ years it did what it was designed to do. On the other hand those on this site that are posting negative comments seem to be implying that Simvastatin is a bad drug that no one should take. I would venture to say there are millions of people taking Simvastin world wide and most are happy with it.
To JLP I am very lucky I agree. I live in Las Vegas and love the buffets here. In fact in anther few minutes I will be hittting one of the buffets for all you can eat crab legs plus lots of other goodies.
Good luck to you.

I commented to this site in March 2013 of leg weakness and tiredness? Now 6 months later after nearly drowning because of leg weakness, my doctor sent me for a test which showed I have muscle deterioration!

I am now on CO Q 10 but still feel weak! I am worried about my cholesterol levels going back up, because I did have a mild heart attack 3 years ago. Every lab test other than the one for muscle damage turns out normal. My blood pressure is 120/70, my BMI is 22, so basically I do not have huge health issues...but I feel so tired and weak!

I am wondering how long it takes to regain my strength after going off Simvastatin and is there anything besides statins that will really lower the cholesterol?

Yes! I am having the same issue. Am going to off for awhile to test this theory of mine. With all the other
awful possibilities. I am not sure it is worth it!

This is a follow-up from my initial post in September 2012.

I have been off of Simvistatin for a year now. It has taken most of that year to get back close to normal. I have not take any medications for high cholesterol in the past year, and despite my personal physician recommending another non-statin medication, I will NEVER take another medication for high cholesterol again.

I just wish I could get back the three years of pain I went through while taking Simvistatin. Three long years of rotator cuff pain and clavicle pain, all the while having specialists recommending surgery. Two years of what they thought was carpal tunnel problems, again accompanied with the suggestions to have surgery. One full year of hammer thumb. Nine months of loss of feeling in my fingers in both hands (Neurosurgeon suggested working on my C-6). Weakness and pain in both knees, to the point that I had to knell in order to get out of bed. not being able to grip a hammer. Needing to use two hands to use a drill. Dropping small glasses of water in my lap.

When the class action law suit against the makers of Simvistatin happens, which it will, count me in.

I have been taking simvastatin for about 3 years. I have numbness in both hands and feet. My feet feel like the muscles are balled up in my upper feet. My hands are so cramped that I have trouble writing and can only hold things with both hands. The cramps in my legs and lower back are bad. My doctor thought I had a pinched nerve. That came out negative, so he said arthritis. He said my potassium was low, so he gave my effer k for a week. I stopped taking simvastatin last week. I will request blood test when I go to the doctor this week. thank you for the information.

I was prescribed simvastatin 40mg at a pre surgery physical. I told the Dr I had no interest in a statin drug as I had heard of many bad side effects. He said this wasn't true and if I didn't get on one I was going to die! Well 3 weeks after the knee surgery I was feeling weaker and weaker. I felt like I had the flu combined with anxiety, weakness and inability to concentrate. My upper arms got so weak I could hardly lift them. I stopped the simvastatin and the anxiety and fogginess subsided but the muscle pain persisted.

The next week I went to my GP and had a CPK test done and it was around 800. Well that was 1 month ago and my CPK is back to normal but my arms are as weak as ever and my rotator cuffs hurt terribly! I truly don't understand how these drugs can continue to be prescribed when they cause such horrible side effects even if its in a small amount of patients. I am only 55 years old and truly feel 80 years old now.

If this is permanent my life has been ruined by this drug that the Dr. said I would die if I didn't take it. I guess in a way I did die from taking it. I have no desire to be in pain and feel incapacitated for the next 20 to 30 years so I don't have a heart attack! I am expecting a new grandchild next week that I was supposed to care for but that will be out of the question if this pain and weakness does not subside.

I'm a 44 year-old who was put in Simvastatin for high cholesterol. I'm taking 10mg daily. Been taking it for 1 year. Cholesterol levels all look great now and I have no apparent side affects. However, my doctor is concerned about latest liver test levels. Prior to the medication, my liver test levels were:

AST /SGOT 29 IU/L 10-42 (acceptable range)
ALT /SGPT 37 IU/L 10-60 (acceptable range)

After 1 year of medication, they are:

AST /SGOT [H] 50 IU/L 10-42 (acceptable range)
ALT /SGPT [H] 73 IU/L 10-60 (acceptable range)

Quite honestly, I am not very confident my doctor's assessment, for various reasons, so I'm trying to do some research on my own. She wants me to stop the medication all together. But I have read that many times liver levels will adjust to normal levels, and you don't really need to be worried until the liver levels are 3X what is acceptable. My levels are high, but not by much. Anyone have experience with this?

People's Pharmacy response: We would urge you to take these results to a different doctor and get a second opinion.

I had no problem when on Lipitor 10 but once health insurance said I had to go generic the problems started. Simvastin 20 Called the pharmacy when I noticed the supplier had changed and asked her to find out where the pills were made. Came from a huge distributor on the west coast and originated in some small village nobody ever heard of in China. Makes you also question the quality control of the Simvastin and if that is one of the causes of all the problems. I think all medications should be labeled as to exact point of manufacture.

In reply to RS:

Hang in there. You can read my prior comments during the past year. After taking Simvastatin for over three years, I felt the same way that you are feeling. I quit a year ago September, and it took the whole year to get back to somewhat normal. And at least a month to see some improvement in my muscle pain and lack of grip. I took COQ10 for about a half of that year and that might have helped.

I honestly believe the Simvastatin may work for some people, but I also believe it is what caused my problems. I have never taken many prescriptions over the years, and have been unusually healthy (as compared to lots of my friends and family). Both of my parents lived to their 90's and my mom had a cholesterol level over 300. She didn't take medication for it and died of old age. Same for my day, except he is still alive and working at 94. My oldest daughter is 38, and has always had high cholesterol. Yet she is a tri-athlete with a body fat index of 3. We have all decided that this high cholesterol thing is just a for pharmaceuticals to push another profit making drug.

I quit taking any health pills (fish oil, vitamin D, etc). I was up to 16 Ibuprofen 200mg a day to cope with the muscle pain a year ago. Now I take occasionally take two when I get a back spasm or a headache.

Things will get better. I feel like I am 95% back to normal health. My only question is my short term memory didn't seem to come back fully. But I am 64, so that could be just the age factor setting in. :)

Best of luck. I hope quitting works for you. In the meantime, if your friends start complaining about rotator cuff problems, hands and wrists aching, knee pain, neck pain, ask them if they are taking any statins. And warn them of the dangers. Or just let them them read this comment section. I know it changed my life.

J Scott

Started taking Simvastatin about 2 and a half years ago. Previously to taking it (now 20mg) I was very energetic and athletic. Now I am lucky I can move from the couch. Between the lower back pain, hip pain and upper leg pain, I've become very depresses, plus the 10 pound weight gain doesn't help. The pain can get relentless at times. Started about 6 months ago getting urinary tract infections which don't seem to go away, wonder if my kidneys have been damaged. I am going off the medication today. I am seeing a urologist at the end of the month. Yes, quality of life is very important to me too. I intend to follow a diet and start taking fish oil supplements. Wow, what an eye opener this has been and yes, I did read what this medicine can do to you.

I am in good health, but have high cholesterol. Went on 20 mg of simvastatin on Monday and Tuesday had pain in my hip. Wednesday had severe pain in my shoulders. Didn't connect it to the drug. By Friday I was nauseous, dizzy and had pain in all of my muscles and joints plus a headache which I never get it. Finally figured out before the medication I felt great. After 5 days I was tired and felt horrible. I'm high energy and eat a great diet.

Went off the drug on Saturday and today Sunday I am shaky, have a terrible headache and am extremely tired. I don't take meds and am mad at myself for finally taking simvastatin. How long will the symptoms last after only 5 days of taking this stuff? So grateful I realized what was happening and discontinued within 5 days. This is a great site and pray I feel normal again soon.

I have been on Simvastatin 40mg for 3 years. In the last 2 months I feel like I have been beaten up with a baseball bat. Mainly my shoulders and legs but the muscle soreness is causing me problems on my job. I have been diagnosed with arthritis in my knees 2 years ago. I attributed this to my age at 55. Too much physical labor. So I was off work 2 weeks and did nothing. I am still in severe muscle and joint pain. Is simvastatin the culprit? I am currently working away from home so cannot go see my doc. Thanks for any advice

My doctor wants to put me on a low dose of Simvastatin. I already have stomach problems. I have adverse effects in general with a long list of allergies. I have shortness of breath and fatigue now. This guy is a heart guy. He will not discuss q10. He will not run any heart tests except for this blood test. I have high blood pressure (I am younger) and he refuses to be interested in my concerns regarding anything. His patients are allowed to leave 1 message to him and if there is additional anyone wants to add he throws them all away. Help!!!

You need to get a new heart Doctor - there are some with a sense that the patient is intelligent also, ones out there who don't think they are GOD. I had the same experience with a gastroenterologist who just says you need to take this pill and won't discuss any other options. Will ask for another one next time.

I have been on 20 mg of simvistatin for a month. I however stopped taking the drug after I experienced heaviness with my breathing & slight pain in my chest. I consulted my doctor and he put me on cartia aspirin. After sometime there is really no improvement. I have now stopped taking any drugs and honestly I am now feeling a lot better. Although I still experience occasional difficulty with my breathing it has improved.

I also believe that pray, faith in God and a healthy diet and exercise are avenues where one can find courage and peace to continue living.

Hilarious! Won't be travelling to Russia anytime soon.

Also considering bullfighting classes.

I was on Simvastatin for over 5 years. This coincided closely with taking a new physically demanding job. When I experienced gradually increasing fatigue and muscle pain I blamed the job, to the point I finally quit it.

After that the symptoms didn't improve but in fact got progressively worse. When my left eye started bulging Drs started ordering tests. After nearly a year of numerous, expensive tests, the only advice I received was to start on anti-depressants. I didn't want a band aid, I wanted an answer.

I finally went to my GP (didn't go to him except for my annuals, didn't need to since I was always healthy), who identified to source of my problems within 5 minutes. Within weeks of stopping the statin I could tell things were improving. My eye is no longer bulging and the fatigue and pain seemed to be getting better.

It's now 1 year since I stopped taking the statin but my neck and shoulders are still painful and seem to be getting worse again. On an earlier post someone described their pain in their upper arms as burning and as if the muscles were being torn out. That is how it feels to me. In addition it feels as if my shoulder joints want to separate. The pain is terrible and impacts all I do. Blood tests didn't indicate muscle damage but I'm beginning to doubt that.

How long can the side effects to Simvastatin last? Are there ways to stop them? Any ideas would be appreciated. I'm getting desperate.

Been taking simvastatin 40mg for 10 months and its been like taking poison. I had severe tingling through out my whole body and irregular heart beats chest pains, constipation and muscle pain. My cardio doctor ignored my symptoms for 10 months so I had to take matters into my own hands. I stopped taking simvastatin 40mg for 7 days and I felt a little better, so I decided to try taking a pill to see if it would change in anyway.

Yep, all symptoms came back in full force, stopped again and knew I had to change statins or not take any at all. Went to a new doctor and he changed my statin to Lipitor 20mg and all my symptoms are gone, I feel normal again.

I forgot to mention that 10 months ago I had 3 stents put in my heart. For some people like me simvastatin is not a good choice and doctors don't know everything, at least they should listen to their patients. I hope this helps at least one person.

Chest pains. Well the first thing you should have done(according to UK NHS advice)is go to A and E in an ambulance. When i was off work after i had an initial heart event i had chest pains all the time and again when i was on Simvastatin when i was still off work(off work for 6 weeks). I would theorise in my case it is the absence of exercise that gives me chest pain as that all cleared up when i went back to work(cycling each way 45 minutes at a good pace). But i wouldn't necessarily say that it was Simvastatin although it could be. But if so, i would say that Simvastatin helped me to do exercise. Perhaps you should do some. Maybe you don't need any statin!

Right now i have no problems, aside from the fact that i sometimes have to go to the toilet urgently after getting up. And i have found that those occurrences are on days when i perhaps don't need the Simvastatin quite so much. Simvastatin has cured me of hip pain, makes my knee pain better(i can run on those days) and cured me of TMJ, gum pain, tooth decay. My dentist doesn't agree but i have had no dental work in the last 18 months(since being on it) and before then never had a 6 monthly APPT when i didn't have a couple of fillings. Case proved!

So for me, its a miracle drug. But i would advise doing stretching on a daily basis(twice daily if you can) and specific Hip exercises which have helped me for years. And of course, cycling and running if you can. Inactivity has caused most people on this site to have problems and getting older is exacerbating those problems. Please at least do some walking if you can. Also its probable that daily yogurt will help with any bowel problems people may have, the sort with live cultures inside(onken for example). I was first given this while in hospital in Austria on a heart ward and it can help you. If you have anything in the system so to speak, it will enable you to go to the toilet(rest room).

I started atorvastatin 20mg. daily on 2/21/14, a week later I started itching. I did not suspect that the pill was the cause, but a month later I am miserable. I itch all over. It keeps me awake. No other new drugs, no changes in diet, nor laundry or skin care products. I am also on cholestyramine (2packs a day) and have been on that for a long time. I had previously been on simvistatin but severe cramps led me to discontinue that drug, hence the cholestyramine, but it was not working well enough so my doctor switched me to atorvastatin.

My dermatologist has ruled out any parasitic infestations, so now I am suspecting the atorvastatin. For now I am using Benadryl at bed time and triamcinolone acetonide 0.1% on my skin.

Have others experienced severe systemic itching in relation to Lipitor/atorvastatin?

I never did associate my leg cramps, Lower calf, with Simvastin.
Instead I looked into other possibilities, Flat sole slippers, and sleeping position.

My cramps came when I was laying on my back stretched out, by accident I found by pushing my toes downwards, this relieved the cramp.

So now I use 1" heel shoes all day, (Calf not stretched) and by using two pillows at the headboard I have reduced my bed length to 5ft, so I sleep in the forced foetle position.

Instant remedies. No cramps for 3 years+
My cure came before I stopped having Simvastin, a 1.5 years afterwards

Melissa, I could be the one writing the symptoms you have experienced... leg cramps, droopy eye lids, left eye muscle pain and contractions. In addition, after many years of using simvastatin, I've started having severe itching, puffiness around the ankles (especially the left ankle), and some dizziness.

My last two blood tests have shown poor renal function. Why in the world didn't someone pick up on the possible side effects of simvastatin? I am glad that I found this site and read the comments. I am contacting my doctor today to ask him/her to change my medicine to see if these conditions change.

I took my last atorvastatin pill on March 17, by the second day off the pills the itching began to subside, but it took nearly 2 weeks to completely stop. In the mean time the skin biopsy came back positive for "consistent with drug eruption." Another side effect I had, which also took nearly 2 weeks to clear up was edema. I gained close to 8 pounds in water weight and had 3+ pitting edema in my lower legs and ankles.

I reported my side effects to the FDA, which is something I hope others will do. Physicians and other healthcare providers are supposed to do this,but rarely do unless their patients die or have disabling adverse events. If more people reported their side effects and adverts events we would have more recalls and safer medicines. Here's the website:

https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch/

Hi, I have had lower leg pain (not cramps) but almost burning pain usually when asleep during 4 - 6 a.m. Both legs or one at a time wake me up at least 3 times per week. Are your pains cramps or pains? Mine is almost an ache but feels like fire burning under my skin... I have been off the simvistatin for almost 2 months and it is getting much better but my levels are high so I need to go on something. Any ideas that have helped?

thanks

I was put on Simvastatin 5 mg, 5 months ago. My total Cholesterol was 199, I have had it over 200, like 208. This has been going on for the last 8 years, I am 73, do watch
my diet, but cannot exercise due to idiopathic neuropathy.

Now, 5 months later, I have awful severe pain in my thighs, Motrin 400 mg will take it down for several hours. I wonder if I should stop the pill until I see my doctor in one month?
It was interesting reading the blogs.

vita m: I had those pains, not cramps, but burning as you described for about two years. They got progressively worse and I changed my statin to Crestor. I changed everything and nothing helped. After the first year was up (March of 2013) I knew I couldn't stand it any longer and my doctor tried various pain meds...nothing worked. In January of 2014 I finally went to a spine surgeon who was suggested to me by a therapist trying to do an evaluation and unable to figure out what was wrong. The doctor suggested an injection which was useless to me. His next suggestion was surgery. I had surgery to fuse L4 and L5 vertebrae on February 13, 2014 and went to a good rehab center. I just returned home a week ago April 3rd and it is the first time in two years that I have been pain free. I am not suggesting surgery, because I would never do that, but you should definitely find out what is wrong with you. My problem was pressure to the nerves to my legs. Last summer was a lost summer...this year I will enjoy it to the fullest.

Have there been any side effects of this drug associated with Meniere's Disease? I have been taking Simvastatin (40 mg.) for a few years and have had periodic bouts of tinnitus and hearing loss. I've taken prednisone and had an office procedure done with no results. I have followed all of the recommended dietary restrictions but still there is no relief. Could my problem be simvastatin? I'm at a loss as where to turn to next.

You all have been SO very helpful. I have been on Simvastatin and on Lipitor prior to that. Not sure how many years exactly but more than 5 that is for sure. Since then I have gained nearly 75 lbs, had lipoedema in my lower legs, memory loss/fuzzy, weakness, fatigue, liver bile issues, and bowel issues. I am borderline diabetes 2 (doesn't run in my family) and I am so tired and weak I can hardly get around. I give couch potatoes a bad name. The other day, I suddenly and unexplainable cannot lift my left leg when in a sitting position.

There is something wrong with my muscle. Completely atrophied. I have an appointment with my doctor next week to find out what is going on but TODAY I am stopping my 40mg of Simvastatin. I recently heard there is no proof that any of these statins prevent anything in otherwise healthy people. I have never had a heart problem. Just high cholesterol tests. Personally I would rather have a heart attack than be on this medication. I QUIT. Good luck everyone and thanks for the useful info.

Just to update my condition of shoulder, upper arm, and knee pain has not improved after 9 months simvastatin free. I am just sick about it. I have become pretty much a hermit as the pain prevents good sleep and takes your desire to see people. I've gone to physical therapy for months with no improvement. I don't think this will ever get better as I did have high cpk that supports muscle damage.

My Dr put me on this simvastatin 40 mg almost 2yrs ago, slowly I started to notice fatigue, & leg pains in the back of my thighs down to my back of my calfs. I told my drs my heart & gp they brush it off. I was so tired all the time, wasn't sleeping thru the night, just felt listless, couldn't understand why I'm taking all these meds & feeling so crappy. Why should I bother, you take meds for one thing to improve & wind up messing around getting some other problems. So one day I spoke to my mom, it seems like we mirror one another with our health problems(heart,diabetes, hypertension, & high cholesterol) so we started talking about our meds it so happens she had been experiencing the Same back of the legs & calves & fatigue. So I started doing the process of elimination, I notice after I had stop taking the simvastatin NO MORE LEG PAIN & THE FATIGUE was lessening. I started to feel like my happier old self, where I was so very grateful to see another day, & not dreading another day of pain & fatigue. I took matters in my own hands, I stopped & told my drs I stopped. No one lives in this body but ME, I feel the Pain & the Fatigue. Like some of the comments I read let these drs need to take the meds they prescribe & see what they experience! Let them walk in our shoes 1st. I will be my own advisor, you may present it to me, I will give it a try, but in the end I know what's best for me. I live in this body, I'm feeling the side effects not you or the pharmaceutical company!

I have been on simvastatin (20 mg) for at least five years and others for at least five years more. I am 71 years old and am good shape. About 2 months ago, starting feeling so tired and severe heart palpitations and irregular heart beats at night. I woke up a lot at night, started having aches and pains and a bad right hip. Wow, I have never felt like this ---oh also terrible heart burn. Went to refil my rx last week and sat and read all the side effects---there were so many new ones and all my ailments were on that list.

So, have been off them for about 2 weeks now, all symptoms are a lot better except irregular heart beats. Am going to give it about two more weeks before going to the doctor about heart. I am so thankful for this website and to all of you for being honest about symptoms. Thanks

I started 20 mg zocor simvastatin 2 weeks ago... fatigued, feel like I have no strength in my arms, 65 degrees outside and I feel cold, I just sit in my chair and hardly move these last few days, something is off. I'm 60 and thought I felt pretty good until I started this. Are these normal or common side effects of this medication?

I was on Lipitor 20mg for a few years when when Zocor had a generic my doctor says not the same dose had to do 40mg as they were not really the same and have been on it several more years. I have been taking the Flush free Niacin 500 mg as they say it help to lower your cholesterol along with the Zocor 40mg it has come down below the 200 but my left leg is giving me trouble. One doctor said the tendon needs to be stretched and told me how to exercise it but another said pinched nerve I really believe the first one after reading the comments but this has been long time on the simvastain and I would like to stop it even if only every other day then less and less.

I also had a kidney stone which I had never had before and I am 82 and very active mow my lawn on rider and push mower had been dancing till a year ago now some one let me know what you think my daughters doctor told her to get off but she had only been on it a couple month ordered by another doctor hers was like 265 mine had not been that high little over 200 before I took any thing. Someone clue me in thanks you for your opinion mk

Been on this for 5 years. Took CoQ 10 with it, and it seemed to help for a while (2 years 100mg). Now the cramp's are terrible.
They wake me in the middle of night, and all I can do is walk them off and drink water and take Alieve. Next day my muscles are so sore- groin of my right leg ,and the outside muscle of my left leg.
I have a call into my Dr. Going to try something different.

Stretching, that's the answer. Outside muscle of your left leg, where-between the hip and knee perhaps and is it tender if you hit it. This sounds like Illotibial band problems which can cause pain in both the knee and hip. Call me an idiot but it doesn't have to be a statin that causes this. I had hip pain for years before a heart problem emerged. And now am largely pain free until last week when I tried dropping Ramipril and I paid the price in ITB pain and hip related pain. So, Ramipril can help and why is this. My theory-helps the heart do its job better.

There are ITB strengthening exercises you can do in addition to specific stretches. But the best thing is to get a foam roller as well, which you lie on and roll on it funnily enough.

Alieve (Naproxen) should never be given out by shops without a prescription. I don't know what the U.S. authorities are doing letting this happen esp. when you can't even get Ibuprofen Gel or Voltarol (Diclofenac Gel). Hope you are not taking Alieve on an empty stomach, ibuprofen should also never be taken on an empty stomach or Aspirin for that matter. Personally, I would never take any anti-inflammatory like Ibuprofen or Diclofenac or Naproxen at all. Perhaps I would take Diclofenac if a really bad pain but Ibuprofen, not worth the risk of ulcers considering it's not that effective in my opinion.

I am on Simvastatin and Ramipril and have no hip pain at the moment. Don't even know what COQ 10 is, but I am in England so I would theorise it is expensive which means it couldn't be offered. It would bankrupt the country given the doctors want to give statins out to the general population (over 50).

I have been taking simvastatin 20mg for nearly two years. Since taking it I have been complaining of leg/feet/groin pains to my GP. Each of which were treated separately without ever considering simvastatin might be the culprit. I blamed my lethargy and aches and pains to my hypothyroidism.

I am also suffering from memory loss and initially brushed it aside as old age (I am 57) but lately it's got so bad that I have picked up leaflets on dementia and have been looking up info regarding such.

Recently I feel so depressed that I have been crying all the time (totally unlike me) and have been considering seeing a councilor.

Then I decided to look up to see if my drugs were inter-reacting and to look up the side effects of my medication.

Reading the side effects of simvastatin has cleared the fog. I have changed my GP and stopped taking simvastatin and will see my NEW GP to discuss it.

Wish me luck.

Salma

First thing, you are not old. I am 58 and believe me I'm not old. Perhaps its a state of mind. Second thing, Underactive thyroid is known to become a lot of sufferers to be depressed which in turn leads to inactivity which in turn leads to worse symptoms. And in the end you just sleep and eat and become even more lethargic. I was borderline underactive and believe me, the only remedy was to get out and do something even if its only walking. I know you only want to sleep and eat, but just to get out your front door will lead to lessening of symptoms. I used to suffer at weekends, but didn't in the week at all. Why? Because I had to cycle to work and I was fine until I did nothing.

I do wonder why you were on Simvastatin at all. I am on 40 mg and I am sure it has caused no side effects apart from shoulder pain initially. But that lasted only weeks. Can it cause depression, I hadn't heard that and it is difficult to understand why unless it is causing people to be more inactive.

Lorraine,

Try zinc. It stopped my husband's cramps. One 50 mgs pill did it but I have read that you can take it a few times a week. They think that his statins have cause him to have polyrhematica but not sure yet. Make sure you take coq10!

I was prescribed 10mg Simvastatin for what I believe is only mildly elevated cholesterol: 204 total, 140 LDL. This was after I went to the ER for chest pain that I was pretty sure was stress, got thoroughly checked out, they couldn't find anything. I am also hypothyroid and have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis.

I only took the pills twice. I woke up the first night with back pain around my kidney area that kept me awake, and then had diarrhea the next day. Took the second dose the following day and then felt like complete and utter crap---light headed, weak, upset stomach again, dry mouth, slight numbness in my extremities, and like my blood sugar levels kept dropping (my blood sugar was fine during the constant hospital monitoring).

So I looked it up and found that this stuff can cause diabetes? (I had gestational diabetes, so my chances are already higher, as well as my other history of endocrine disorders, thankyouverymuch). I also found several sites that said this drug is NOT recommended for those with thyroid disorders.

I'm pretty annoyed, actually. I think it's pretty clear that in my case the risks don't outweigh the benefits, but it makes me wonder if the doctors are really thoroughly considering the side effects and contraindications of this drug. Meanwhile I'm hoping it gets out of my system soon so I can stop feeling weak and nauseated.

Do not automatically assume or advise people to take COQ10!
It depends upon what they are taking for a statin. Your pharmacist can tell you whether or not they are compatible.

I started Pravastatin only 10 days ago. My doctor prescribed 40 mg it as my cholesterol was 226 (I'm in my mid forties, exercise twice a week, in general terms I'm fit and healthy, well, except for the cholesterol level which doc said in my case is 100% genetic.)

Anyways, this morning an excruciating muscle cramp in my calf woke me up. The pain was so intense that I screamed for help. I was alone, so I just tried to get out of bed and stand out thinking that would alleviate pain. What a mistake I made! I got so dizzy, my leg gave in and I fell down almost breaking my head when I hit it against a corner table, as a consequence, My forehead is sore with a purple bump the size of a golf ball and my leg?

After 14 hours it still hurts... I've been limping all day long! No more Pravastatin or any other statin for me. I'll start Fish Oil and increase my flax seed intake. Thanks for all info!

Doing well on Simvastatin, just doing my check update on any neW side effects for Simvastatin...I just happened to read the very first story on this page...the man with the leg cramps..just a suggestion..it may not be the simvastatin, but could be the red yeast he said he's taking...I had a friend who had also been taking red yeast...she spoke with her dr about going off it and when she did, her leg weakness & cramps went away almost immediately she said... within a week or less she could go walking again, even go to the grocery store on her own again with no pain whatsoever...may be worth a try....just because some people can use it for years with no problems...????????????

I got off the Satin, took the red yeast rice and the cramp's got worse, I kicked that to the side started taking potassium, 500 mg, and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with one tablespoon of honey in 8 oz of water every day. I can stretch, curl my toe's, and sleep on my stomach with a leg over a pillow with no problem's now. I go back to the Dr in October to have my blood check but I didn't realize how much I missed stretching almost forgot I could do it.

KB, after reading your post I sit here and wonder (how long has KB been taking it / simvastatin). I've been taking it for over 10 years and STOPPED June 26th. Of this year. I contracted Shingles 14 months ago, Drs. And I were assuming it would “take it's usual course of approx. 90 days” (WAS I IN FOR A REAL SURPRISE).

I had an outbreak above my eye, it continued further up onto the top of head. Acyclovir first Rx'd wasn't helping (I also have Epilepsy) so they put me on Gabepentin 900mg 3 times daily along w/ phenytoin / primadone STILL NO LET UP OF AGONIZING PAIN, sleepless nights, tried GYM / exercise bike next to my bed, rode 5 miles daily, diet. Then started reading after Dr. suggesting NERVE BLOCK (No Thanks to that one) I assumed I had damage to the Mylein Nerve Sheath (cover of nerve / transmitters, synapse, receptor etc.).

I “chalked it up “to another illness for life. But then while brushing my teeth I saw the 1 word on Listerine GERMS! and began experimenting being the Drs. Were too. Turns out my PA Rx'd an Anti-Biotic Ointment (that didn't work) then after applying Calamine countless times for over 2 weeks still pain w/ slight bleeding, itching & burning, stinging, stabbing PAIN both outer and inner (deep and surface). I read that Herpes Zoster / Chicken Pox is a VIRUS.

I went back to using the ANTI-VIRAL OINTMENT after stopping SIMVASTATIN approx. 30 days ago. Sure enough! IT DOESN'T INHIBIT THE ACTIVITIES / HEALING PROPERTIES OF ACYCLOVIR being it is NO LONGER IN MY BLOOD SYSTEM!. Plus my MEMORY / Stability and desire to continue LIVING is “Normal “AGAIN!. I've come to the conclusion that in my case the Drs. Only knew / know what they wanted to know or only what they were taught. Here it is me (an Idiot who quit High School in the 11th. Grade) was able to figure something out THEY Couldn't. I can interpret STOCK CHARTS along w/ Fundamentals like my mind was when I was 25 years old and I'm 62, PATHETIC and SAD.

I also read more about Statins, it seems the damage to the immune system makes life worse and shorter for a lot of peoples. I haven't yet found out who was in charge @ the FDA in approving these things and where they work along w/ their STOCK PORTFOLIO is yet. Deep down inside I sense the "boy w/ the beard" and glasses could have been charge to get this stuff sold.

My husband took Prevastatin , 10 mg along with with 200 mg of COQ10 for two years and had muscle pain, sweats and fatigue. His pain moved around his body, wrists, feet, left hip, jaw, right shoulder etc. He stopped taking Prevastatin and it took 2 weeks for his muscle pain to go away but it did. He had some jaw pain and wrist pain a few days ago but his MD said that may happen once in awhile. His MD has changed his diagnosis from polyrhematica to statin myalgia. He is back to his 25 mile bike rides. This can be misdiagnosed as polyrhumatica myalgia which gets better within a few days of taking low dose prednisone. The other difference is polyrhematica is worse in the am and it is on both sides of the body. It's scary to think what might have happened to him if I hadn't discovered this discussion! I found site and he went off of the statin and then his MD changed his mind and agreed that it was the statin. You have to be your own advocate. Thank you

You are right Joanne, sorry. My husband took coq10 and still had the muscle problems with statin so it doesn't always protect- which some might assume. He was also only on 10 mg of Prevastatin

I had a friend start taking this medication on May 21. By June 21 she was falling down and couldn't walk due to severe pain in her legs. This led to a 10 day hospitalization in which other meds were removed, but not this one. After the 10 days, she was released to come home, without anyone figuring out what might be wrong. They all blamed it on Neurophothy.

After researching the meds when she got home, we were amazed at the timeline this one showed. She stopped the med on this past Friday, and today is Sunday. She says she has had the best day in a long time. She hasn't had to take a pain pill since this morning, she has been out and about all day running errands. While she still can't walk without a walker, and is still can't drive, she is feeling better. We are hoping this will clear up and she can go back to work soon.

I stopped Simvastatin 35 days ago after Chronic Post Herpetc Neuralgia brought on from Shingles (caused by a Weak Immune System / Statins). Now the Acyclovir is working as it should after 14 months of misery, better balance, memory, thought and retention along with interpretation .

Yes this is interesting in the light of my conversation yesterday with my sister. I said that I have noticed that most of the complaints about side effects on here are people who are taking a small dose of statin such as 10 or 20 mg. There have been next to no complaints on patients who take 40 mg such as me. So, think that the problem is that the heart itself is responsible for not helping get rid of pain. So, the only answer is to put up the dose to 40mg.

I have also noticed when I miss a dose, I have an irregular heartbeat and my HR at rest goes down. OK you don't believe m e(nor does my GP), here is the evidence. Avg HR last week 51.86, missed tablet and it was 41 and later on a train 43 (so hardly resting and also had just done a hilly 18M cycle ride). Another time I had an irregular HR was by coincidence or not (I think not) after I last missed a tablet. On that occasion I had real trouble at work, had to rest frequently, and couldn't walk upstairs without resting.

Prior to taking the tablet my HR was often 37 or so. By the way, Jaw pain is often indicated and when I am suffering from the heart problem I often get chest pain and jaw pain and clicking in the jaw (sometimes going to the head as well). After taking aspirin, I find the jaw clicks a lot before the pain gets better. So, these are the signs of a heart event I know. So if you have jaw pain, its not a great shot in the dark to say a heart event could be imminent. When you do get this, I would eat carbs and have soluble aspirin- preferably a low dose, say 150mg. Food certainly helps in my case, I have also found no Simvasatin tablet means eating far more.

Brooke... sometimes pharmacists know better what's going on than the doc, although it wasn't my doctor who told me to take COQ 10. Shortly after my second open heart surgery, a former boss called and said "Be sure to take COQ 10". Maybe he was trying to do me in.
You do have to be your own advocate.

Peter, taking 40 mg Daily, you have my sympathy, just curious, how long? familiar w/ the effects on the Immune System? If not I suggest you check it out. Diet & exercise, avoiding illness is Drug mnftrs. worst enemy $$$$ in some cases Drs. too. No Patients = No sales or visits, just like fast food companies. It's called "FREE ENTERPRISE." I sit here as the TV plays endless commercials regarding Rx Drugs. MONEY MONEY MONEY.

I ended up going to a nephrologist due to my Kidney filtration (GFR) dropping lower and lower in every blood test I had after taking 20 mg simvastatin. The doctor still says oh kidney problem is NOT a side effect, well my blood work says otherwise and I stopped it. My GFR dropped out of normal range to a low of 46 which indicated state 3 kidney disease?? It also made my arms and hands burn and made me feel like I just was not there... I am due for detailed blood work at the end of this month and I will not go back on a statin no matter how high my cholesterol is. My kidney function kept dropping every single blood test after starting the simvastatin, I do not need a doctors degree to realize what caused it but it seems my doctor still does not think that decreased kidney function is a side effect so never reported it as such.

Since July 2012. I was prescribed both Simvastatin and Ramipril by a cardiac consultant at the Hospital following a heart event which maybe was a heart attack. Certainly was a minor heart event brought on by exercise.

But to look at the effects of Simvastatin/Ramipril on my health problems, we need to look at what I had for years-A) Hip pain which could be in part alleviated by ITB specific exercises/strengthening work and B) mild sore throats which would make one think you had a virus coming on but in fact no virus would develop.

I had such a sore throat when prescribed and miraculously cleared up. Because I have temporarily given up both tabs for a short time I pretty much know which is responsible (at least in my own mind).

After giving up a simvastatin tablet for even 1 day I get a sore throat back. After giving up Ramipril for a week I had the hip pain back and not only that had massive problems in a 100M cycle time trial. Developing ITB/hip pain in it and nausea problems at a much earlier time. Lucky to get round at all and the last 10M I slowed deliberately and the stomach cleared up. But after I finished I had to rest for about 10 minutes after having the GTN spray. And wasn't too bad.

So Simvastatin cures the throat and Ramipril cures hip pain. I was interested in your comment about the immune system but wasn't too able to find out much on the net. A lot of studies don't seem to be able to be accessed without paying a substantial fee(science direct). But I did see one reprehensible study on mice which actually were given a bad inflammation and just before were given a massive amount of Simvastatin(100 MG/Kg of weight) and it helped those mice substantially. But my take on this is that the body is doing this with the help of the drug rather that Simvastatin is an anti-inflammatory. But hell, I could be wrong.

So without these drugs I would be in a problem especially in the winter, and I don't mean a winter where you get sub-zero temps (centigrade I'm talking about) but where it goes lower than 7C daytime on a regular basis with rain often. And also be in trouble when taking what most people would consider cycling which would be beyond them in terms of speed and duration. Not that it is!

I could also give instances where I have missed a Simvastatin tablet (just because I left it at home while spending the night away), did a short time trial and had to have the week off with severe breathing problems. So one of the GP's sad it was preventative but in my case, he was wrong. It is being used as such for a lot of people but I actually need it. I may not need it in Florida but I do here.

Turning into a long post but I have noticed ads while I am in America and I blame the system of health on that. But there aren't many ads here for drugs. For a long time those ads were not allowed by law but that has been relaxed now. But healthcare via a GP/Hospital doesn't cost hardly anything so there is no point in ads for prescription items. So ads would be concentrated on targeting docs I guess. The only cost we have here is a prescription charge which because I have quite a few I pay per month (£10.40 per month or $17.70 at current exchange rates). Otherwise it could mount up(£7.20 per prescription item.) So here it's not such a money issue at least for the general population.

I have been taking 20MG of Simvastatin for three to five years. I have also been fighting swelling of my feet for a similar time. Various doctors had suggested fusing all the foot bones, foot braces, 5 mg Prednisone. I refused the fusing, the other were of limited relief for a few months.

Elevating the foot of the bed has helped reduce the swelling at the start of the day, but the foot has become very sensitive. I have been doing this for about two weeks. The swelling returns as the day progresses.

Have you had complaints of Simvastatin causing foot swelling? Do you have any similar complaints of swelling? (age 87)

I was taking a Statin and I had horrible cramps and leg pain. I stopped taking the Statin last week because my cpk levels were very high. I also have needles or tingles in my legs and even my arms. Will the pain and the needles every go away and is this normal?

Take potassium, I bought it at walmart 598 mg once a day, it works wonders.

Or eat a banana a day.

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