Statin medications lower cholesterol, but they can cause a range of side effects from muscle and nerve pain to cognitive impairment. A new study suggests that fatigue is a common but unrecognized complication of statins. The study included roughly 1,000 adults taking simvastatin, pravastatin or placebo for six months. Levels of LDL cholesterol dropped significantly among the volunteers taking statins, but they were also much more likely to report a lack of energy. Their ability to exercise was also impaired. The study authors encourage patients on statins to tell their physicians if they experience an increase in fatigue that affects the quality of their lives.
[Archives of Internal Medicine, online June 11, 2012]