The People's Perspective on Medicine

Doctor Pooh-Poohs Statins As Arthritis Trigger

Q. I took a statin drug to lower cholesterol for 3 months and developed severe joint pain. When I told my doctor about the pain in my joints he pooh-poohed it and said this medication doesn’t cause joint pain.

Well, I told him I didn’t think that was correct, because I stopped taking the statin drug and within 2 weeks the joint pain went away.

Not everyone has the same reaction to medications. I don’t like picking on doctors (because I have had some great ones) but they need to listen, once again to their patients. When someone tells them they are having joint pain that they didn’t have before the medication, it is not imaginary.

By the way I was on the lowest dose of 10mg. I had a problem with it and no doctor can tell me that I imagined my joint pain because it was excruciating and affected all my joints. Since it all went away after I stopped the medication that should tell you something. The joint pain never returned once I stopped the statin!

A. We have no doubt that there are many patients who can take statins such as atorvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin or simvastatin without experiencing any side effects. Good for them. But there are others, such as yourself, who just cannot tolerate this class of medications.

A brand new article just published in the Annals of Internal Medicine (April 2, 2013) reveals that over half of patients put on statins stop taking their medicine at some point. Records for over 107,835 patients were reviewed from Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. More than 57,000 patients stopped taking their statin at least temporarily. Reasons included fatigue, digestive distress, muscle pains, headaches or liver problems.

The point of the article was that many patients who stopped taking a statin were able to restart on a different statin or on a lower dose without problems. We suspect that may be true for some, but many others cannot tolerate any statins. And arthritis or joint pain is not that unusual a side effect.

Look in the official prescribing information for statins and you will discover side effects such as “arthritis,” “arthralgia” or “joint pain.” And this is not a rare complication. In atorvastatin (Lipitor) clinical trials, joint pain was one of the most common side effects, even ahead of muscle pains, one of the most common complaints we hear about from visitors to this website.

Here are just a few examples of stories people have shared:

“I too took a statin, pravastatin, and after a few months my health fell apart. My creatinine went up, kidney function went down, rheumatoid factor went up, felt horrible! I asked my doctor if it was the statin since it all started after taking it. She refused to even consider it.

“They were ready to diagnose me with anxiety disorder, rheumatoid arthritis & MS! I stopped the statin on my own, and began to feel better. Low and behold my anxiety, joint pains, and brain fog/memory problems have gone away.”

Trish

++++++++++++++++++++++++

“The side effects that I suffered as a result of taking 40 mg of simvastatin nightly almost cost me my sanity. I am 57, a nurse, keep dogs and have raised five children and do not smoke. However, I became exhausted just dressing and doing normal housework to being unable to climb stairs and not able to get my breath. It is frightening because you don’t know what’s wrong with you and you think you are going mad.

“I couldn’t carry my shopping, walk up a slope against the wind, or pick up my grandchildren. It’s been a nightmare and the pain in my legs, ribs and shoulder joints is unbelievable.

“A colleague of mine sent me a link to all of these symptoms to statins in the British National Formulary. My GP was dismissive. I’ve stopped taking the statins myself and while I am still quite tired I can now get dressed and pick up some leaves in the garden etc without having to keep sitting down to catch my breath.

“Yes I am concerned about my cholesterol, my father died at at age 42, but cholesterol is not the only cause of strokes and heart attacks. If you can’t physically move, then this is also not good for your overall well being.”

Leslie

++++++++++++++++++++++++

“After horrible memory problems, breathing problems, and fatigue, my doctor agreed that enough was enough as far as statins were concerned. He said diet — either give up fat or give up carbohydrates. I choose the latter.

“Cholesterol dropped to acceptable levels, weight dropped (nice side effect), joint pain almost totally went away, and I felt better than I had in years.

“Hard diet — YES! But it was worth the effort. If you have a doctor that doesn’t believe in the side effects of statins, you might want to consider shopping for a new doctor.”

MMH

Share your own experience below. Have you been able to go back on a statin successfully without side effects? If so, please share your story. If you have discovered that you react to all statins in a similar way, we would also like to hear from you.

Rate this article
star-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-emptystar-fullstar-empty
3.6- 10 ratings
About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
Get the latest health news right in your inbox

Join our daily email newsletter with breaking health news, prescription drug information, home remedies AND you'll get a copy of our brand new full-length health guide — for FREE!

Screenshots of The People's Pharmacy website on mobile devices of various sizes
Join over 150,000 Subscribers at The People's Pharmacy

We're empowering you to make wise decisions about your own health, by providing you with essential health information about both medical and alternative treatment options.

Showing 84 comments
Comments
Add your comment

May 10, 2018 my LDL went up since last checkup, and Doctor put me on 10MG Pravastatin. June 14 I noticed muscle weakness in right leg. July 8 I had problems lifting my right leg up. I stopped taking the medication and called doctor’s office the following day. Two nurses, two separate calls said stop taking med, and call if symptoms worsen. July 13 I could not raise my foot 4 inches. Getting into any vehicle caused excruciating pain and in driving I had to pivot on heal to go from gas to break. To walk upstairs I had to take one stair at a time. Called doctor and was advised to go immediately to Emergency orthopedic center. X-ray shows arthritis in inner top right thigh that never bothered me before I took Pravastatin. I was prescribed 7.5 MG Meloxicam, and I am back to normal. Hell will freeze over before I go on a statin ever again. Just a low dose of Pravastatin damn near destroyed my quality of life

My wife was put on statins, and every brand she tried caused CRIPPLING joint pain. Soon after stopping, the pain went away. The doctors refused to believe the statins caused the pain but they did. Even though her blood test was negative she was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis before she stopped taking statins. The doctors guessed her pain was from some other source and put her on narcotic pain killers which didn’t work. On her own she took Ibuprofen, which did wonders.

If you’re having this problem, get off the statins, and stick to your guns. If your doctor won’t believe you, get a new doctor. Doctors, LISTEN to your patients!

One reason a lot of doctors pooh-pooh the idea of statin side effects is that they are NOT TAUGHT about most of them in medical school. I took an online ‘Introduction to Pharmacology’ class back in 2011, and the only side effects mentioned in the textbook (also used for the nursing school classes) for the statins were the possibility of muscle pain and/or liver damage. There was no mention at all of the other nasty side effects, even though there were a lot of them listed on both the manufacturers’ websites and the Mayo Clinic’s website. Makes you wonder who controls the companies that publish the medical textbooks, doesn’t it …

Response to Linda about doctors not being taught about stating side effects in med school…. I hate to break it to you, but most of what doctors know they did not learn in med school, and it’s pretty well-known that medicine is advancing so rapidly that most of what one learns in med school is proven flat-out wrong or outdated within 5 years of graduating. They call it “practice” for a reason…..

After reviewing lab results of my annual physical at age 57, my GP prescribed daily pravastatin sodium 40 mg for controlling elevated cholesterol. It didn’t take long to notice I was unable to stand from a squat position without using my arms to assist. It was not pain, but a lack of leg strength which seemed to manifest itself in the strain put on my knees.

I inquired of my GP, whom I trust, and was informed that statins can cause temporary muscular weakness and joint pain, which will diminish and cease altogether after discontinued.

Less than seven days after I quit taking pravastatin, leg weakness and knee strain was gone. Satisfied that it was indeed a temporary side effect, I resumed taking 40 mg pravastatin but only once every TWO days.

In a matter of a few weeks, hip joint pain became an issue and my daily two-mile walk reduced to one mile. Eventually that one mile was too much and I stopped. I noticed two weeks ago my knees popped (with no pain) just about every time I would stand from a seated position. Right shoulder began doing the same when I rotated the arm. I stopped taking the pravastatin altogether, but not soon enough.

Three days ago my right knee popped while standing up and was accompanied with immediate, level 10, shooting pain which dropped me to the floor. I can no longer straighten my leg without knee pain. X-rays revealed no skeletal injury, but the nurse practitioner suspects a torn ligament. I may have to visit my orthopedic surgeon after this long holiday weekend.

55-year old male – I have fluctuating but often very high cholesterol levels, triglycerides above 300… I eat healthy and exercise religiously. I have been put on Statins – MANY, MANY, TIMES. I have tried three different statins with terrible results on all of them Lipitor (atorvastatin) at the 10mg, 20mg and 40mg levels; Pravastatin at the 20mg level and lastly Crestor (Rosuvastatin) at the 10mg level. ALL OF THEM make me unable to walk (Lipitor/Pravastatin), or give me miserable headaches (Crestor) and neck/ankle pain. As soon as I stop taking the statins a couple days later I am fine and able to exercise pain free again. Can anyone please help me get my triglycerides under control, without statins?

My situation is quite similar. I’ve always been active, and up to two years ago I was playing squash with my daughter on a regular basis, exercising, walking etc. My family dr discovered that I had high cholesterol, which was genetic, and decided because I was in a moderate range of having a heart attack in my early fifties, to put me on statins lowest dose. He did warn me that I could have muscle discomfort and to discontinue use immediately if I did. Within two weeks I was unable to sleep through the night due to a restless aching feeling in my legs. I stopped taking the statin but was surprised to find my symptoms have not decreased. In fact, they worsened, and my right knee became swollen with fluid for two months without any injury. It has recently receded but I have extreme pain mostly in my right knee, strong aching in my right hip.

I’m now told it is osteoarthritis, and I have to start therapy immediately. I am choosing a holistic approach, as I never want to be on a medication of any kind again. I have to take my chances with my high cholesterol. I blindly took this medication without any thought of side effects like these and have paid the price of not doing my research. Likely I was destined to develop osteoarthritis at some time but I definitely feel as though the statin brought it on abruptly and early.

I was always taught to trust your Doctor and I have been rewarded by having good and caring Doctors throughout my 69 years.

However, of late, I am using this wonderful new source of information … the Internet, because I have noted that my Doctor now refers to it also.

I am fortunate that he now advises me of both the benefits and dangers to taking any drug.
I have been taking Statins for 11 years and have only recently stopped because my Cholesterol has dropped to acceptable levels. Joint pain levels have eased and I am more mobile, which until now I did not associate with not taking a Statin …. Until Now ! Thanks!

have been on simvastatin for 6 years, numbness and pins and needles primarily on left side for 5 weeks now. some weakness as if legs want to give out, my primary care does not want to hear about statin, my Chiro friend says get off 20mgs of statin now…anyone else with tingling feelings in extremities, thanks

A specialist put me on crestor 5mg on April 3rd. By the 10th I started developing pain in both hands. A couple of days later the pain had spread throughout my entire body. I went to the Internet to see what the side effects of crestor were and I was horrified to read all of the awful side effects people were experiencing. My mother in law told me she had stopped taking this drug as it left her barely able to walk.
I stopped taking crestor on April 10th and immediately the pain left my body except for my hands. This drug has left my hands crippled and I’m in severe pain.

This has been so very upsetting. I am 50 years old and was already dealing with several health issues. I’m supposed to use a cane because I have diabetic neuropathy in my feet and the medication I take for that makes me so dizzy I keep falling down. But now I can’t even hold my cane!

It’s been almost a month since I stopped taking crestor and my family doctor has just sent me for blood tests and xrays. My blood work results show that I have elevated CRP ( c reactive protein) which shows that I have inflammation somewhere in my body ( did we really need a blood test to tell us that? ). We are still waiting for the xray results so we shall see.

Whether or not I have arthritis now remains to be seen but I’m sure about one thing…I will absolutely not accept any more medication! My kitchen counter already looks like a pharmacy.

My next step is to make an appointment with a naturopath and find natural ways to relieve the pain in my hands, my feet and lower my cholesterol. I’ve read that red yeast rice 2x a day can lower cholesterol and as for the pain I’m considering medical marijuana.

I still can’t believe that this drug is still out there ruining people’s lives and that the specialist prescribed it for only moderately elevated cholesterol. Why didn’t she advise me of the risks? Where was the information on lifestyle changes I could try instead?

If you or someone you love has been prescribed Crestor or any statin for that matter do your research. Try natural approaches/lifestyle changes first if possible. Remember I was only on 5mg a day for 10 days!
If I find this is permanent I will be looking into a class action suit against the makers of crestor here in Canada. If this has happened to any other Canadian taking crestor please reply and we can see if we can band together to do something about this. Something really must be done!

Hi my mum was on statin for some time she hard time walking an talking.I got her of the drug and start to get better,put on (YOUTUBE top cardiologist skynews).

find the true also put statin video raymond france.

I was put on Lipitor in October 2012 after having 2 stents put in my left coronary artery which was 98% blocked. By January my joints were extremely sore. Told my cardiologist that and he said it wasn’t a side effect. My pharmacist said it was the number one complaint. Switch to 10mgs of Crestor. Slowly developed acid reflux which got progressively worse until I woke up one morning with a severe stomach ache. Switch to pravastatin and had to cut back to 10mg 4 days per week. Reflux is better, but joint pain and arthritis are getting worse. I also have had two severe sinus infection since starting pravastatin. Found a British government site and sinus infections were listed as a side effect. Have found nothing on that here in the US. Cholesterol numbers are low, but the only one that has really changed is total cholesterol. Next appointment with my doctor is in a month and I will inform him I am stopping statins for good. I am 67 years old and ride 20 to 40 miles on my bicycle 3 to 4 times per week. During the off season I am a spinning instructor twice a week. I will use diet and exercise to control my cholesterol. It also will be interesting to see if my A1C drops back to 5.6, as it has slowly risen to 6.3 since beginning statins.

I have taken statins for years because of family high cholesterol. My hands are now a mess, twisted fingers and huge nodules in first knuckles.

For years, I asked doctor if it caused arthiritis they always said no. We all can’t be wrong it definitely does. My hands hardly work now and are ugly.

I am backing off this medication before every single joint is ruined. Try Red Yeast Rice twice a day. My friends got their level down 80 points with oatmeal, red yeast rice, and exercise.

I have suffered with arthritis in my hands for a few years, but in the last year, since taking atorvastatin, my fingers have become terribly swollen and crippled and most upsettingly, I now suffer with stabbing pains in my finger tips. I just put this down to the arthritis. But recently the pain has started in my toes and I have started worrying that I have some nerve disease or something like MS. After reading these stories and I am going to stop my statins and see what happens. I eat a pretty healthy diet, lactose free, but wonder if there is anything else I can do to reduce my cholesterol levels. Any ideas folks?

After a heart attack…even though my cholestrol was only 175, my cardiologist put me on atorvastatin. Several weeks later I began getting trigger finger syndrome in my left index finger. It got progressively worse even after two injections of cortisone in my hand. Finally I had hand surgery to correct it. Wondering why I would get trigger syndrome, I read a couple of articles suggesting that the atorvastatin was the cause. I stopped taking it for a month and after being browbeat by my cardiologist and others I resumed taking it and guess what? Within a week not only was my left index finger starting to get irritated again, but my right index finger began to have trigger finger symptoms!! I stopped immediately and have not resumed taking it despite round two of the pro-statin browbeating and will NEVER take statins again. I now have a new use for both index fingers when it comes to statins.

I’d taken simvastatin for years and during this time I developed arthritis in my knees and shoulders and hips and toe. I chalked it up to getting older (50) and carried on as best I could always in some level of pain or discomfort. Two summers ago we went on an extended summer vacation and forgetting to fill my prescription I ran out of my statin for what amounted to about a month. During this time I felt great but again, chalked it up to being on vacation and getting lots of sun.

When we got back, I started up the statin again and felt it right away, throbbing, debilitating, energy zapping joint pain. It was the statin. My Dr. put me on a trial of Cyalis (which was even worse), then took me off the statin completely. It’s been a huge challenge to get my cholesterol down through diet and exercise alone but after 6th months my numbers have finally dropped and appear to have stabilized. I’ve lost 40 lbs, am running again (6 – 10 miles a week) and the pain is gone. It had nothing to do with “getting older”.

Also, while trying to get my cholesterol down through diet, I noticed that on weeks when I’d neglect to eat virtually anything containing cholesterol, sometimes I’d experience what I’d describe as “mini joint pain episodes” lasting for a day or so. I think we need a certain amount of cholesterol in the blood to enable tissue repair, so it may not be the statin per se, it may be the lowered blood cholesterol.

But overall, I feel better than I’ve felt in years and I would never go back to taking the statin, it almost ruined my life and that’s not an exaggeration. It crept up on me over the years and had relegated me to a pile of achy bones and weakened muscles dozing on the couch unable to participate in life.

I had started taking crestor rosuvastatin 20 in the beginning of 2016. Within a few months, I started experiencing severe joint pains in wrists, elbows, knees, ankles and hips. I struggled to get moving in the mornings. It became difficult for me to climb stairs or push the shopping trolley. I was unable to continue my daily walking programme whiched had helped me lose 8 kgs. Instead I gained 6 kgs over a year. I suffer with shin splints, painful swollen wrists and ankles if I stand or walk for long periods. I started taking myprodol and Mylan Diclofenac (50 mg) to help ease the pain and to keep me moving. In July 2016, I spent 2 weeks away from home. I had not picked up my statin prescription when I left home, so I was not taking them. Within 3 days, I noticed that the pain had stopped and that I was walking with relative comfort. The following week I started my daily morning walk again. The excruciating pain in my hip/ lower back had subsided. I did not need any pain medication. When I resumed the statins on my return, the joint pain immediately returned. I did not associate the pain with the statins untill december 2016 when my prescription expired. I needed to see the dr to renew it and had a week without statins. The pain subsided. I felt more energetic and cou walk with ease. I have no doubt that my joint and muscle pain is related to the statins and will not be taking them again. I have switched to Ayurvedic / herbal remedy to assist with cholesterol control.

You have just confirmed my experience. Thankyou.

I’ve been taking Statins for almost 2 years, on and off. In May 2015 I had knee surgery and suffered DVT which led to PE and then was tested positive for a heart attack, which after 4 days in CCU came back as a false positive. I was put on Lipitor 40mg and instantly had severe pain in my elbows, feet and knees, as I was still recovering from knee surgery it was hard to say that it was the statins. I came off of them and the pain went away so I knew it was the drugs.

My GP was very unhappy and tried to convince me to go back on them as I have familial high cholesterol and in the end he convinced me to go on a lower dose 20mg. Then it all started again but worse, swollen fingers and joint pain, in most joints. I came off of them and my GP seemed concerned about my muscles and liver so he tested me and it came back clear.

I got myself back to the gym and started getting fit again, then I got Shingles!!! After 3 months of feeling awful, we discussed statins again and he put me on Crestor 10mg. I took them for approximately 3 weeks and now after stopping them I’m left with the aftermath of what seems like arthritis in many of my joints so no more gym. I can’t even lean on a table with my elbows or hands, no more yoga and I put on so much weight!!!

I’m 52, female and was fit and healthy before starting this Statin journey. I so wish I’d stuck to my guns and kept refusing these drugs.

My PCP has insisted that I needed to take some form of Statin for the past 6 years and I have gone along with him until NOW.

It the past 6 years I have tried every statin drug on the market and after about 3 – 4 weeks the results are the same. My joints become inflamed and the level of discomfort on a 1 to 10 scale approaches level 8.

Today I am sitting here typing this response and I am extremely uncomfortable, my knees are so painful that I can’t bend them, my shoulder joints have become inflamed and I can’t raise my arms to shoulder height and now my wrists have joined the party. I sleep for 2 to 3 hours before my knee pain wakes me up and even Norco no longer addresses the pain.

Needless to say the current statin that I am taking went in the trash this morning and if I am lucky the drug will get purged from my system in a couple of days and things will get back to normal, well as normal as things can get.

I wish the rest of you luck,

I just started taking Pravastatin Sodium 20 mg at 3 months ago! I have joint pain in my hands, especially my knuckles. I cannot bend my fingers to make a complete fist. My fingers next to my pinkies on both hands, if I bend them too much, they pop, an the pain is horrible.

Is this a side effect of this drug Pravastatin Sodium?

A friend of mine told me to stop taking it for about a week or 2 to find out if this is the problem. I’m going to give it a try an see what happens.

If this is the problem, I’m going back to my oatmeal and shredded wheat instead of using this medication.

Sincere thanks as your comments were more than helpful.

I started statins around 2006. I took for a couple years while working hard at a job. Aches and pains I attributed to age. One day I tried to play softball and realized I couldn’t run! My left knee, hips, and left elbow ached. Muscles had no stamina and were weak. Also, once I got on, my dr starts on me because my glucose was rising! Never had this issue before… never! Again, I thought age was culprit.

I was in early 40’s. Dr changed statin and copay was over 250/mo so I stopped. Pain lessened dramatically. Went back on simvastatin and all returned along with brain fog. This happened a few times and I finally realized I was being debilitated by the medication! Finally made decision to come off for good. Quality of life over quantity. I still have phantom pains that occur in my ankles (Dr’s cannot explain) but overall feel much better. None will live forever. God knows when I am coming home and that is just fine by me.

I have been having joint issues with my knee only doing squating and moving or twisting only after a small amount of exertion which is not normal, this has been going on after recovering each time by ice and then putting heat on the areas and recovering but then I was afterwards experiencing a joint issues with the hip area also painful and this time could not get out of bed several times until some how I moved around gently enough to be Able to get out of bed . Excruciating pain this time as I write while in one position it is OK, but if I try to move or roll tongetvoutvof bed it is pain in the same area. Before this in the evening I could not sleep well, and woke up at 0300. These conditions are not normal and I am physically fit, not overweight, so I believe this statin Atorvastatin 20mg has something to do with these joint problems in different areas at the same time. If one exercises lightly and an area of weakness is present somewhere and only minorly I believe this station is causing a weak area to become more weak to cause muscle weakness and go out of joint causing debilitating pain and the inability to moveEx: knee and hip areas.

My husband has inherently high cholesterol; grandparents, parents, & all siblings have unusually high cholesterol. Genetics play such a significant factor in our overall health and I believe our bodies adjust accordingly.

My husband chose the path, long ago, to follow his doctors orders and has been taking statins for years. He has suffered with joint pain, more specifically in his knees, for many years. At my insistence (after some research) he stopped taking them; the pain would go away. As a result, his cholesterol counts would climb and his doctors would have a fit. Time and time again, we were told statins do *not* cause localized joint pain. I never accepted this because the proof was there: stop the statins and the pain goes away.

Preferring to listen to his doctors, he would go back on statins and the pain would return. When the pain would become unbearable he would stop the statins, feel better, but his doctors would put the fear of God into him that he was going to die (despite the fact that year after year tests have shown he has ZERO blockage anywhere in his body) and back on the statins he would go. Then, going off statins no longer alleviated the pain.

Fast forward to today: my husband, 50 years old, has lived with horrible pain in his knees and now has advanced arthritis in both knees. Procedures after procedures have not helped; we are now looking at total knee replacement in June. I’m angry at doctors who won’t listen to patients, who dismiss what their patients are telling them, putting the fear of God into patients.

And, I’m angry at my husband (well, just a little) because he blindly put his faith into these doctors. No one will ever convince me that years of him being on statins did not cause/advance the arthritis in his knees. My advice is to listen to your body: if you take a statin (or any medication) and your body responds in pain, stay away!

It depends quite a bit on whether there is heart disease in your husband’s high-cholesterol family. If there is, it would be hard to blame the doctors for trying to control what they believe to be the one risk factor they could prescribe for. If not, though, a statin wouldn’t make so much sense, would it?

I just want to report that I took pravastatin 20 mg then increased to 40 mg for about 2 months and developed severe joint pain when I had never had a joint pain in my life previous to the medication. I am a 60 year old female. I stopped taking the medication months ago and am still suffering from joint pain in the hips, back, elbows and wrists. I was a student of natural health guru, Gary Null, and read and believed other doctors who warned of the dangers and inefficacy of statins and resisted taking statins for 16 years. Then growing older and losing mother to heart disease and having a strong family history of heart disease, and a sky high cholesterol level, I decided to try the statin. I totally regret it! I will never take it again in my life. I also took a regular 81 mg (baby) aspirin for the same amount of time and developed gastritis and acid reflux. Likewise, I regret taking the aspirin and will never take it again. I am now using nutrition and nutritional supplements to improve my health. My take away advice is do your research and trust your intuition!

I had a heart attack this past February with a stint placed due to 95% blockage. High cholesterol runs in my family. I am a 61 year old female and a working nurse. I have tried all the Statins and today I could hardly walk again due to severe joint point. I have told my Cardiologist several times that my arthritic pain gets worse. I am stopping the statins again. I have decided to live with statins is something I can no longer do. Quality of life means more at this point than quanity.

I was originally put on a Statin after Heart Surgery in 2007 I believe in was 10mg my side affect was mild but increasing Joint pain in my Knees I quit on my own and the aching pain in my Knees stop in only a few days.

Since I have moved to Maine and acquired a new Physician and had to do all the Blood work for her of course she found that my and insisted I take a low dose of Statin that are in the Crestor family and I find the every few months I would have severe joint point in my Ankles, Knees, Hips and some in my Shoulder blades so I stop the Statin for a few days and they joint pain lighten up some, howler on the last round with the Joint pain affecting my Knees, Ankles and Hips the stiffing and Joint pain was debilitating and I could barely get out of Bed in the Morning and had to use a cane to do so. In addition I had some of the effects that were mentioned above but was unaware the that the Statin could cause symptoms like Muscle weakness and being tired all the time.

Now be aware that I had spoken to my primary Doctor and she dismissed that my Joint pain could be from the Statin and stating in was my size, I brung this up with my Orthopedic Doctor and he dismissed it as well and discuss that it could be something else like Lupus, I decided to stop the Statin once again on my own and after only one night I could get out of Bed without a cane and the deliberating stiffness and pain, this to me says that my Body just can not accept Statins. I am concerned about my Cholesterol however quality of life more than outweighs what happens when I do take Statins even at a low dose, this forum has enlightened me to some of the side effects that the Statins may be causing.

I took a statin for just over a month and had terrible joint pain in both my hands not to mention a total loss of short term memory. Its been just about over a year since stopping the medicine and I still endure chronic joint pain and memory loss. Gosh I wish I would have done my homework on this drug or better informed by my doctor on its side effects. I would never have never taken it!!

I was on Lipitor or atorivastatin and had all the bad effects sore joints, brain fog, really tired all the time, etc. I stopped taking this medication and now take Artichoke Leaf extract which works really well for me. No side effects and my doctor say my cholesterol is right on!

I had double bypass when in 2003 and immediately put on Zocor. Within weeks my LDL C dropped from around 150 to the 80’s. I had joint aches and muscle pain but attributed it to recovering from surgery. But after months, the pain got worse and my muscle strength was diminished. Whenever I went off statins, my strength increased measurably but my LDL went up as my pain diminished. Off and on I tried nearly every prescription statin, all with the same debilitating effects other than lowered LDL. Some slightly increase serum glucose as well. Lipitor was the worst for me and created brain fog causing me to make serious mistakes at my job. Statin free I have managed to get my LDL to around 114 which most doctors think remains too high so I tried Red Rice Yeast. Again, the same pains and aches. My HDL is around 70 and my TG around 90 and now it is 2015 and I have not had a cardiac event. I don’t know whether to feel safe or what around doctors? I have read that particle number is the most important LDL factor although the doctor I asked dismissed that and only cares about total C and LDL. Tired of being anxious.

yeah ..you are right ..those statin drugs caused arthritis in my right knew ..I have no pain just stiffness when I first start walking and then it gets better but I take 2 tabs of turmeric every morning ,,I get the turmeric from a herb store and fill the caps and take it with my coffee in the morning ,,no pain and I blame the dr for giving me that stupid pill

I am so glad I found this thread. I am a 46 year old female who had a heart stent placed 3 months ago (85+% blocked). My blood cholesterol has never been above 156, my blood pressure has always been on the low side of ‘normal’, and while I could stand to lose 15 pounds – I was a size 4/6. The cardiologist said that I needed to start taking Lipitor because of the heart stent (for at least a year). The first 4 weeks I was on 40 mg, and I began to experience problems with my jaw joint (dislocating) and extreme joint pain in my hands and feet. I asked both the cardiologist and my GP about it. The GP just brushed it aside and said the pain was probably due to some recent painting projects I had completed. (I insisted it was not.) So I researched the side effects for the medications I was prescribed as a result of the heart stent. On several sites I found joint pain listed as ‘rare and incidence uncertain’. So I asked my cardiologist if it might be causing the joint pains. He said ‘anything is possible but unlikely’ and mentioned the muscle pain as more common. But I insisted I thought it might be the culprit, so he agreed I could cut the dose in half.

It made a major difference in just a few days. My jaws stopped popping out of place, and I could hold a glass with water in it again. Unfortunatley, though, it only reduced the joint pain in my hands and feet – not eliminate it – but at least I can function.

What’s really weird though (that I haven’t seen anyone mention yet) is that the pain is more significant in my left hand and foot (more painful than my right hand and foot). My left pinky hurts the worst and even hurts now if it is even lightly bumped on anything.

So here is the big question that I am now most worried about – has anyone had issues with their spine as a result of this medication? Degenerative disc disease runs in my family; my mother, brother and sister have all had spinal surgeries as a result of it. I have been fortunate so far – no issues…..but am now wondering if this drug could initiate/instigate the degenerative disorder?

I only took simvastatin 40 mg for five days, my shoulder joint and arm muscles were in stabbing pain. Called doctor said to stop taking. It’s been two weeks now and still having stabbing pain and now in lower rt. back when lying down as well as rt. shoulder. Please advise what to take to flush out this simvastatin. Anyone thanks Charles.

I have been on a statin for two months now. I stopped taking the pills as I notice the joints in both hands became very sore. My muscle strength is less and painful. Now I have right shoulder joint pain. Saw a doctor yesterday. Pain med and x-ray and ultra sound done. The shoulder is still painful and sore when taking pain med. Not the first time I have been on a statin and stopped taking it due to muscle soreness. My right arm was fine before taking the statin. I became very tired all the time. My memory has been affected also. My doctor will not be pleased that I have stopped but it is my well being. I’m 61 and who can know really their day of death, in what ever way it may come. My doctor said I could have a heart attack or stroke within 10 years time. Statins stop the liver from producing cholesterol to lower the amount in the blood. Look it up. My cholesterol count is 7, bad.

Had MI early Jan 15, put on 80mg Atorvastatin. Within 2 weeks had joint pains especially in shoulders. No pain in normal position but excruciating when I raise my arms above the horizontal or reach behind. Doctor stopped them but after 2 weeks pain had only reduced by about 30%. Suggestion that I should go back on 40mg of Simvastatin, which I was taking previously without any effect.

I recently was prescribed Rosuvaststin 10mg. I was really hesitant to take it but my doctor convinced me that my cholesterol was such a serious state that if I continued as I was I would probably soon develop dementia (my father had suffered a stoke and soon after developed dementia). After taking the medicine for about 2 weeks I started getting a nagging headache, but I didn’t think to much of it as I do often have headaches. Then the next week I started feeling very unwell, nausea and began to have pain in my arms and had trouble even lifting them to even wash my hands in the handbasin. After2 days I clicked and stopped taking it. Now 3 days later I still am very sore and feel that it’s triggered an extremely bad flare up of arthritis in my arms and wrists. I hope it’s just a temporary flare up as it’s so bad I can’t write properly or use a keyboard which is crucial to my work.

I have been taking a statin for about 10 years. During the past five years I began to experience joint pain and over the past few years it has gotten steadily worse to the point I felt like I was getting arthritis. The continual aching in my fingers, knees, elbows, all joints… Another interesting symptom I was that I was experiencing a continuous itching in my knuckles. Additionally I began developing arthritic knobs on my fingers. Something was going terribly wrong.

I spoke with a friend recently who indicating her husband was having joint pain so was stopping his statin. After serious consideration, I did the same thing. My joint pain has lessened considerably since I stopped and my fingers no longer itch. Now, I’m looking into another non-statin med to lower my cholesterol. Does anyone know of a med I can ask for at my next dr. appt?

I was prescribed Simvastatin after a minor stroke. I took this medication for over 18 months. After nine months or so I began to suffer increasingly acute pains in my knees and hips, sufficient to keep me awake at night.

After a year on the medication I spoke with my doctor who told me, quite simply, that I was “on statins for life” and he dismissed the aches as entirely unrelated and insignificant.

After 18 months I had become severely depressed and the pain was both chronic and dreadful. I spoke with another doctor who, upon checking my cholesterol level discovered it was 3mmol/L, a level of 5.2 mmol/L or less being desirable. If a level of 6.2 mmol/L is considered “High” what is 3mmol/L? Low? Very low? I was not told what such levels might do, but at least that doctor agreed I could come off the statin and go back to check on my cholesterol level after a few months.

The result was significant. The pains in my knees disappeared within weeks however, that in my right hip did not. After an x-ray I was discovered to have developed “moderate to severe degenerative arthritis” that would lead, ultimately to a hip replacement.

There is no history, whatsoever, of arthritis in my family. Prior to the stroke, that I believe was induced by extreme and prolonged workplace stress, I was fit and had no joint pain at all. I was supple. I practiced yoga, went high board diving, ran and walked. Yet, within 18 months I was severely limited in my mobility and had gained over 15 kilos in weight. When I stopped the statin this weight gain disappeared and I fell from nearly 15 stone to my current 12.5 stone.

The arthritis remains. I find it very difficult to find any explanation other than it was brought about by the statin which reduced my cholesterol level to well below that of a healthy individual. I refuse to take these medications again. My cholesterol levels do not warrant it despite requests from doctors. I eat very healthily which in itself is more than sufficient to keep a good balance.

Whereas statins unquestionably help many people, unmonitored, they seem to be capable of causing severe side-effects, particularly if prescribed when unnecessary and mine were, as the blood test proved. The statin was prescribed only because the doctor insisted that evidence suggested they “reduced further strokes”. This fails to recognize the differences in patients. I was 57 when I had my stroke and relatively healthy. I had no heart disease. I was not in my 80’s and severely overweight. No distinction was made and I consider this almost negligent.

What appalls me is the lack of willingness by the medical profession, generally, to consider the link between statins and arthritis or other joint pain. Is there, in fact, a link between such effects and the actual, and healthy, levels of overall cholesterol in the body? In the U.K. doctors seem most unwilling to consider this whereas doctors in Spain and Holland (I have seen both) accept it and advised me they discuss the problem with their patients. This is a real mess that requires sorting out.

Finally, I would warn anybody to be extremely mindful of any joint or muscle pain that commences after taking statins and have the courage to stand up for your own health.

My husband broke his foot and had about an 8-weeks recovery; however, all of a sudden he is developing severe joint pain to the point of hardly being able to work. He is on Lipitor and his doctor said to come off of it immediately. We will go back to her in two weeks. This is the first discussion I’ve found online to link arthritis symptoms with statin use. It’s baffling because he has been on statins for about a year or more, with a little switching around and altering dosage. Any ideas?

I have been taking Zocor 40mg for 4 years. I noticed bad pain this summer in the joints in my hands, fingers swelling and bones in my feet felt broke. I already have degeneration of my spine which I have epidural steroid shots in, as often as allowed. I also repeatedly get them in my elbows as, my tendons are always tearing and eventually had one elbow operated on. I heard something about the side effects on television. I googled this right away. The forgetfulness and inability to concentrate also perked my interest. That is sooo me. I mentioned my concern with my doctor. She said if the Zocor was going to effect me that it would have the first month on it. I already stopped taking it for 3 weeks. I was tested for rheumatoid arthritis. Calcium levels were high. Told to take Vit D supplements. I won’t.

I was off of Zocor for 6 weeks. I just went back on them the first of August. It has been 17 days now and my body is falling apart. The joints in my feet and toes feel broken again. I moved my fingers he wrong way and now have a punched ulnar nerve from elbow to my fingers. My hand is all “clawed up”. Can’t hardly walk or think.

I am to get lab work done agsin in October for arthritis. They are to give me a referral to an arthritic doctor. I am going to tell her about my concerns.

We are being poisoned by the pharmaceutical companies and I won’t be silent. Studies should be done. If I get hardening of the arteries, they can just scrape it out. I have no quality of life, quality is better than QUANTITY.

is atorvastatin better or worse on muscle and joint pain than pravastatin? thanks

Generally, pravastatin is a bit less likely to cause trouble. It doesn’t seem to be quite as strong, and the metabolism is a bit different. But different individuals may be better able to tolerate one or the other; there may be no one answer for everyone.

I’m a physician. I was on atorvastatin for a few years and used to getting tendinitis. Never made the link. Then I got erosive arthritis in the wrist. Very severe indeed. I then read about the possible connection in the Lancet. My cardiologist advised reduction in dose, but it was not until I stopped it altogether that gradually the joint improved. So far so good.

I think it’s important to keep in perspective the fact that doctors are trained to think in a certain way, and that training is biased to disregard anecdotal information and to respect empirical information. In other words, they’re trained to respect what they’re told by the AMA and the pharmaceutical industry by way of “research”, and to take with a grain of salt anything we, the patient, might have observed. That mindset generally serves them well, but not in all cases. At least, not from OUR perspective as patients.

OMG. This post is really ringing a bell. My mom has been taking welchol for years and has gradual orienting of arthritis/ joint pain all over to the point of excruciating pain. She just tried stopping the meds & it didn’t help. Let me add NO ONE in the family had arthritis or has it but her, other thank few aches & pains.
This is disturbing to read because I think it’s irreversible from years of it. I hope you have some relief. What strikes me from so many sites is the common theme- no Dr. will EVER say medicine causes a problem. They all have a story that whatever your pain, it’s not from the medication. They also tend to pooh-pooh any supplement. I think it’s their philosophy as well as due to drug reps with their benefits for pushing the stuff.

Fish Oil Pills reduce triglycerides. Wild Alaskan Salmon Fish Oil Pills are the best.

Hi have you had your b12 and vitamin d checked?
I have been on statins and I have suffered like you my b12 was 276 they say normal is above 200 but it’s rubbish it should be above 450 so after taking b12 tablets my arms are feeling a very tiny bit better nothing else has changed.
With what I take my vitamin D was 17 they said it needed to be above 25 it is now 32.3 after taking vitamin d with calcium so I have researched and found that vitamin d should be around the 80 mark maybe when I have raised these levels which I think there low levels have been brought on by statins maybe then my arms will be back to what they where in 2011 before statins my cholesterol was 12.1 but with intermittent fasting it is now 6.2 and in myself I am feeling better as the statins where making me feel depressed.

Yes, Red Yeast Rice can have same side effects as statins, but may be overall safer than a statin.

What about Niaspan for small particle cholesterol? Has anyone had any problems with it? Particle size is the problem!

I have taken Lipitor and Crestor before and was unable to continue them. My doctor put me on Pravastatin which I seem to be tolerating.
I take Levoxyl and Pravastin and my renal labs are a little off. I’ve been wondering why. My doctor hasn’t addressed this issue either.

@ John R I would strongly consider finding a new doc, one who isnt so RX Pad Happy…Every chemical you put into your body bears a risk of a potentially serious side effect…even over the counter ones, and even “natural ones” ALL STATINS carry a big risk of potentially deadly and disabling effects…Risks versus MINIMAL benefits…hardly worth it in my eyes.

Reading the comments very interesting indeed, I have been taking Statins (Pravastatin) for now ten years, for the past seven months I’m having joint pain to the point it stops me in my tracks, the elbow’s knees being the worst pain, my Dr. has said the pain can be managed taking nurofen
I’m considering stopping the statins–are there side effects or is it plain sailing? Any help would be appreciated.
John R

Well. it seems like I have joined the crowd of people on a statin with back, joint or muscle problems. The VA has prescribed Simvastatin and had muscle problems, stopped using it and no more problems. Had a checkup later by an outside M.D. for a primary and he too put me back on it and again the back, leg and muscle problems started over. Well, I just stopped taking Simvastatin again, stopped telling any doctor I did so and working on lowering the tris and colest with diet and niacin/ good fish oil that doesn’t disrupt my stomach.

Had all the horrible symptoms with statins; however, it took me three years to realize that Zetia might be the cause of muscle loss, fatigue, memory problems, and many more!
I have only been off it a week, but, I wake up more alert, although I still fatigue easily. Have started small dose Niacin, 50mg twice daily; and, will increase over time.
How long does it take to clear my system of Zetia?
Regards

I asked around about finding a new doctor and several friends steered me toward my present one. As for the snake bite being mis-diagnosed I let him off the hook. On the follow up visit he looked at me kinda funny and rather timidly put forward that on further examination he didn’t REALLY think it was a snake bite and he looked carefully at me to gauge my reaction. By that time I was pretty much over the worst of it and I knew the snake bite wouldn’t kill me and I honestly didn’t care how he reported it to either the insurance company OR to local authorities.
I knew he messed up and he knew I knew it. From that time on our relationship went downhill. When he laughed at my “girth” and ordered me to be more diligent about losing weight and then called me a liar for saying a med he had me on was to be taken once a day he insisted my med said to take it TWICE a day. I told him the label on the bottle clearly states ONCE per day. Next day I brought the bottle from home and showed it to him. I never went back. My new doc told me one of the meds the quack had me on was known to cause weight gain and he should’ve known that.
Sometimes I’m amazed at modern medical technology. Sometimes it seems like we haven’t progressed much beyond leeches and rusty bone saws.

How did you go about finding your new doctor? I agree that you needed one! I am wondering how the billing and insurance went for repeated visits for a “sore foot” that turned into a snake bite diagnosis. He probably made extra money by being incompetent.

The first doctor mentioned in my post above turned out to be an utter quack. I was bitten by a copperhead snake one time and I didn’t know I’d been bitten. All I knew was I had a painful swollen foot and some other weird symptoms that I didn’t tie to the foot. I went to the doc and he diagnosed a sore foot and gave me some kind of pills for it which did nothing. I went back again and was told it looks like it must hurt and was given something else which did nothing.
I sat in my easy chair at home and crossed my legs and noticed a very obvious snake bite on the outside of my Achilles tendon, a portion of my body I rarely see. I called the doc back and reported that I’d discovered a snake bite, and he diagnosed NOT a snakebite OVER THE PHONE.
I was hoppin’ mad and I jumped in my truck with my crutches and went flying down to doc’s office and showed him the snake bite. He took a look at it and proclaimed, “Why, that looks like a copperhead bite”!
Over some time my confidence in him continued to erode for good reason. There were further incidents and my opinion of him evolved from “anyone can make a mistake” to “this guy is a quack and I need to flee”. A friend of ours had a teenaged daughter who got sick and she took the girl to this doctor. He checked her out and diagnosed malaria. She took her daughter to a different doctor (at my urging) who diagnosed mono and treated her successfully for that.
I say my new doctor is a better doctor because he most definitely IS. As for his pushing of the statin drugs I see that as a problem with our American system of medicine. I suspect most doctors honestly believe what they’re being told by the pharmaceutical companies, the insurance industry and the AMA. Whether they believe that or not, they’re still forced into the position of pushing the statin drugs by having higher insurance premiums forced upon them for having too many patients with high cholesterol.
That’s a hard thing for them to buck. So unless I want to hand myself over to a shaman or an accupuncturist or voodoo, I’m pretty much stuck with the system we’re all using and try to make the best of it. But I’m not eating any more statin pills.

How can you say you hired a better doctor if he also insisted on a statin? People who have higher cholesterol live longer and cholesterol is not an indicator of heart disease, but since it is something that doctors can control with drugs, they pretend it’s doing you some good.

I think CAR hit the nail square on the head. I think it’s all about the money. It appears to me that the pharmaceutical companies are pretty much conducting their own studies on the relationship between cholesterol and heart disease or strokes. After my doctor insisted vehemently that I start taking a cocktail of blood pressure meds and Lipitor I developed a gout attack in both feet.
That gout attack lasted 6 months, during which time I tried various NSAIDS such as Colchicine to no avail. I argued with my doctor that one of his pills was causing my gout and he staunchly insisted none of his pills could do that.
I finally told him I’m going to stop taking ALL his pills. He got huffy and went to consult his big drug encyclopedia and he sat there reading through the information on each of the drugs I was taking. When he reached Lipitor he read through it and the final statement said, “Can cause gout”.
I stopped taking the Lipitor and the gout attack subsided, but now I have permanent damage in my feet and knees. I’ve since fired that doctor and moved on to a better doctor. He also insists I take a statin drug, knowing my history with Lipitor. I’ve tried several more statins and each time I start taking a statin I start getting more arthritic. I’m now arthritic permanently, but taking a statin drug worsens it and causes flare ups.
The doctors are caught in this trap created by Big Pharm and the insurance industry. They get demerits from their malpractice insurers for each patient they have who has high cholesterol. They get enough demerits their insurance premiums are hiked up. That benefits the pharmaceutical and insurance industries who are making obscene profits, but it doesn’t do much for the patient.
The best thing that can happen for the patient is he spends money on drugs he doesn’t need. There are far worse things that can happen to the patient. That’s my opinion.

Thanks to Crandreww for his comments April 8th.
I do not understand doctors, who took lots of science classes but still don’t seem to get that these powerful chemicals have powerful and sometimes debilitating or fatal side effects. Why do they usually seem to be the last to acknowledge that most people do not want to trade one problem for another equally bad or worse?
If doctors want to actually make their patients’ lives better they need to do as much research as their patients have to do. I understand they’re being squeezed by insurance companies and it’s hard to be subjected to that interference. They are the providers, we are the receivers of medical care; why do insurance companies have the right to make all our lives difficult?

@JES If you want to reduce your Triglycerides, avoid sugar and simple carbs, not a pill with seemingly endless side effects. Often permanent side effects….

A few years ago my primary care Dr. wanted to put me on statins & some of the side effects he read to me were–bone pain, muscle pain, etc. I already had all those things & I looked him in the eye & told him, No thank you, I will not take those drugs, but I have been taking pantothenic acid along with garlic & niacin & my cholesterol numbers came way down & I did not have additional pain.
Why is the medical profession so into the statin drugs–seems to me MONEY is the big thing & yet there are other ways of helping these issues, but Drs. are so often adverse to it? I’ve had some great docs & they have helped me tremendously, but there’s also some issues & protocol they like to follow that I don’t see really being in our best interest & I have a real hard time with these docs who think they are “God” & don’t you as the patient or parent question what they put forth.

My partner started taking Crestor and felt ill, sick and dizzy, from the first day. He took it two more days and continued to get worse. He was on the lowest dose possible. He is looking into going back on a statin he had used previously and see if he can tolerate that and if it will make enough difference in his triglycerides.

Amen. Well said.

@Karen….Statins work the exact same way as Red Yeast Rice does, only quite a bit stronger…RYR is known to have similar side effects as ALL statins do..muscle pain, weakness, impotence etc…Statins and RYR block the enzyme Acetyl Co A Reductase from being made, which in turn blocks every other step in this near 200 step biological pathway, in which we are able to manufacture Vitamin D, Steroid Hormones, Testosterone, Ubiquinol (AKA CoQ10) and so on..Each of these items which we were designed to make (Cholesterol Included) yet we somehow think we know better, so we mess with the process that has been going on since time began…

Someone needs to get these doctors away from the mass hysteria and obsession that has them all pushing statins regardless of the consequences for many people, like me. Instead of Zocor, I am now getting prescriptions for canes and walkers. Dishonest is not too strong a word for this behavior.

Karen..statins work the exact same way as Red Yeast Rice does… it blocks the Acetyl CoA Reductace enzyme in the Mevolonate pathway… which in turn blocks Cholesterol production along with many other vital components such as vit D, Dolchols, Steroid Hormones, Testosterone etc and so on.
The best a statin has proven to do, is reduce the risk of stroke by a paltry 0.3%… Hardly worth the risks, but the commercials tell us to talk to our doctors about the benefit and the risks, yet, they do NOT know the Absolute Risk Reduction… they are only aware of the relative risk reduction which is what the sales rep told them…. ask your doctor what the Absolute Risk Reduction in taking this statin is… If he tells you anything more than 1% he really is not aware, and placing his/her patient at a risk for potentially life threatening complications such as ALS (Lou Gehrigs Disease) which I am sure he is completely oblivious to…

Several of my doctors have pooh-poohed taking cholesterol drugs as the reason for my joint/muscle pain problems. I took pravachol – quit because of muscular/joint pain. It went away. My Dr. suggested Lipitor, and even though several years ago, I took Lipitor for 6 years, I had the same reaction. I quit the drug; problem went away. I was then given the generic of Lipitor; same result – muscle/joint pain. I quit the drug and it went away. My Dr. then suggested something called Wel-Chol. This was the worst of all. I could hardly walk; unbearable pain in muscles/joints. When I quit, it did not go away. This time it stayed.
I am now in physical Therapy to try to rid myself of this awful affliction. I have quite a reaction to taking bp meds as well. I feel even though there us plenty of info to back up the causes of pain in these areas, Dr/s just will not listen. I am 75. Will taking cholesterol drugs really help me, or put me in a wheel chair? I have opted to just not take.

Joint pains with statins are bad enough, but they have also been linked to myasthenia gravis. My brother developed myasthenia gravis after being on statins for several months. When my doctor started me on Lipitor, I began having myasthenia symptoms — drooping eyelids, facial numbness and tingling, choking, etc. The last straw for me was a period when developed ascending numbness and tingling from my toes to my waist.
I took myself off the statins and the symptoms went away. My physician tried repeatedly to get me to restart this medication, but I just told her to put me down as noncompliant and stop pushing them. You can find quite a lot of information on this with a Google search using the terms: “myasthenia gravis statins.”
Januvia also causes joint pain, but Merck does not list this as a side effect in the U.S., although Canada makes them list it on their prescribing information.
Pay attention to your body and don’t be intimidated by drug company propaganda. Physicians owe their patients the duty of listening to them — sometimes you have to insist, but if you’re lucky and do your own research, your doctor will agree to work with you. I take a prescription fish oil supplement for my cholesterol instead.

Doctors will not admit to patients the statins are the blame for the aches and pains because they receive a cut from the profits of prescribing the statin. I made a clear statement to my doctor at a previous appointment that I will never take two medicines: warfarin/coumadin or a statin.

Consider that statins meddle with the basic chemistry for producing energy in every cell of the body. How could that not cause multiple unintended consequences? A brief course of simvastatin gave me the usual muscle problems, a strange viral response around the base of the skull, and migraine headaches. The migraines are atypical, but I never had them before or after taking statins.

Once again, I am so sorry to hear of your statin effects and equally as important, your doctors ignorance as the the validity of your side effects. After all I went through, Brain and Muscle biopsies, 28 days inpatient at the university hospital, being diagnosed with a virus in spite of dr Golomb speaking to my dr, he told me if I want to be treated by a dr in California to go to California…her research study also noted how reluctant Drs are to identify problems related to statins. Bottom line, every cell in our body has cholesterol and for good reason..

I did OK on Lipitor for years except for constipation. Early last year the insurance company decreed generics and my doctor switched me to simvastatin. It was a disaster. He then switched me to atorvastatin, also a disaster, which I stopped on my own. Six weeks ago I started pravastatin and so far no problems.
I understand generic statins are produced in India and that some manufacturers have been cited for quality control issues as well as dodgy business practices.
On another subject, I recently started supplemental magnesium based on your recent column re possible help for constipation. It does seem to be helping, but an unexpected bonus is significant reduction in tremors I’ve been experiencing for years (I’m 71).
Your column and web site are terrific!

” When I told my doctor about the pain in my joints he pooh-poohed it and said this medication doesn’t cause joint pain.” Boy, does that sound true. It reminds me of my Dad, who complained at his neighborhood pool about the loud music. “We’ve never had any complaints” was their reply. “WELL, you are hearing one NOW!” said Dad. Doctors are like that. They pooh pooh complaints and don’t report them, therefore other docs don’t know, and so on.

Nevermind! I just entered a comment/question but my questions were answered by searching the Peoples’ Pharmacy website for “Livalo”. It seems about the same as the other statins.

Lipitor – muscle cramping & severe fatigue the day after the first pill.
Crestor – raging hot flashes the day after the first pill.
Pravastatin – muscle cramps, throbbing muscles, severe fatigue AND hot flashes, but not until the ay after the third pill. Woke up with such pain & soreness that I wondered a few seconds if I was on chemotherapy again (had chemo 6 years ago). Mood was VERY sad and teared up at everything.
MD now wants me to try Livalo after I feel better, start with one a week, then increasing gradually. I’d like to hear if anyone has had better results with Livalo.

I have Post-polio Syndrome, and there is no way I would take statins and risk more muscle and joint pain. I know too many other people with PPS who are on statins, and they are suffering much more pain and many can no longer walk. They have to use wheelchairs and scooters. Their doctors won’t let them go off statins. I walk outside with my dog, several times a day, and I will never take statins and risk losing my ability to get around.

Why do you not publish some of the notes from people who have NO problems with Statins. I guess scare tactics sell more advertising!!!

Does red yeast rice have the same noted side effects as man made statins? I have been taking it for 10 years and it has been great in controlling my cholesterol. Now I am wondering if it is the cause of my arthritis problems.

I was diagnosed with familial hypercholesteremia and put on Pravastatin. It didn’t lower my cholesterol so my doctor prescribed Crestor. My cholesterol went way down but liver function results doubled (still within OK parameters) and I was exhausted all the time. When I asked about a statin-diabetes connection the doc said they (heart docs in the HMO?) believed it to be a red herring.
I did lots of research online and several studies pointed to higher cholesterol in seniors (I’m 68) as protective. I took a couple online tests that are predictive of heart problems and scored very low in spite of my high LDL. I don’t understand the familial hypercholesteremia diagnosis: who in this country does not have a parent, grandparent or sibling who died due to a heart attack or stroke or who has high cholesterol?
The last time I had a blood test the results included cholesterol numbers only, no liver function or glucose results. Why? Apparently our health care providers don’t really want to know if your liver is being damaged or you are at risk for diabetes because of their prescription meds. I gradually cut down and then stopped the statin and my energy level is back to normal.

I started having shortness of breath after having been on a low dose statin for about four years. My doctor did not think it was due to the statin, but I had my doubts and discontinued taking them. At that time, I could not find much about statins and breathing problems on the internet. However, there was much about muscle problems, and I could not help but think that muscles, such as the intercostals and the diaphragm, are involved in breathing. I incidentally noticed that my balance and coordination seemed better, and also my memory retrieval was faster. Coincidence? I have been off statins for over a year, and I would be very reluctant to go back on them.

I have been taking different statins for some times, like simvastatin, Lipitor, atrovastatin, and lately Rustvasttin.
Recently I started getting joint pains on my fingers, for a while I thought I am getting into arthritis period of my age, 63′ just like my mother who had painfully bad arthritis for her last 2 years of her life. Reading the comment of one your subscribers lead me to believe that this is being caused by Rustvastatin which I had been taking, plus the dizziness from this pills, so for the time being I have stopped taking these pills and my dizziness is gone and I am going to go back on Lipitor which does not cause dizziness, but I know after couple of months even Lipitor gives me joint pains, since I had experienced that before, but I shall stop taking Lipitor as soon as the pains start and my cholesterol is under control !!

* Be nice, and don't over share. View comment policy^