However, statins can cause side effects in older adults including gait disturbances, which can lead to falls; increased blood glucose levels and incidence of diabetes mellitus; development of cataracts; liver toxicity; and muscle complications such as rhabdomyolysis, which is a potentially life-threatening condition.
Side effects of statins in the elderly
In older adults, statins can also cause: Nausea, constipation, or diarrhea. Often, older adults take many drugs. These can interact with statins and lead to serious problems. Side effects, like muscle pain, may increase. Statins can also cause a fatal reaction when taken with heart-rhythm drugs.
Most societies, including the ACC and AHA, recommend shared decision making in this subgroup of patients. Now, a new study published this past week in the European Heart Journal suggests that discontinuing statins in patients older than 75 years of age may actually increase the risk of hospital admissions by 33%.
Very rarely, statins can cause life-threatening muscle damage called rhabdomyolysis (rab-doe-my-OL-ih-sis). Rhabdomyolysis can cause severe muscle pain, liver damage, kidney failure and death. The risk of very serious side effects is extremely low, and calculated in a few cases per million people taking statins .
If your risk is low, taking a statin or any cholesterol-lowering drug could do more harm than good . Statins have side effects — they can cause liver and muscle damage — and they require close monitoring.
Guidelines in the United States recommend statin therapy for primary prevention in men and women regardless of age . The guidelines from the European Society of Cardiology, however, do not provide recommendations for statin use in older people , Fonarow said.
Telomerase activity is associated with longer telomeres. Statins do have side effects, all medication does to some extent. And some of those side effects reported could also be deemed to be signs of premature aging. Memory loss and weakness or fatigue are both listed under ‘uncommon side effects’ on the NHS website.
Statins are typically very successful at lowering cholesterol, but they only work as long as you ‘ re taking them. Therefore, most people who begin taking a statin medication will likely take it for the rest of their lives.
Statins help lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, also known as “bad” cholesterol, in the blood. They draw cholesterol out of plaque and stabilize plaque , Blaha says.
A few changes in your diet can reduce cholesterol and improve your heart health: Reduce saturated fats. Saturated fats, found primarily in red meat and full-fat dairy products, raise your total cholesterol . Eliminate trans fats. Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Increase soluble fiber. Add whey protein.
7 cholesterol-lowering alternatives to statins Fibrates. Mostly used for lowering triglyceride levels in patients whose levels are very high and could cause pancreatitis. Plant stanols and sterols. Cholestyramine and other bile acid-binding resins. Niacin. Policosanol. Red yeast rice extract (RYRE) Natural products.
In the analysis of 135 previous studies, which included nearly 250,000 people combined, researchers found that the drugs simvastatin ( Zocor ) and pravastatin ( Pravachol ) had the fewest side effects in this class of medications . They also found that lower doses produced fewer side effects in general.
Statin myopathy – Have you been taking a statin medication to control your cholesterol and felt that you legs hurt more? This could lead to Fibromyalgia .
Grapefruit and statins: Eating grapefruit , either the fruit itself or as juice , can slow the body’s ability to metabolize statin cholesterol-lowering drugs, which include Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor.
Ezetimibe. Ezetimibe is a tablet that lowers cholesterol. It may be prescribed if statins cannot be taken, or alongside a statin for extra cholesterol-lowering. It’s a ‘cholesterol absorption inhibitor’ that limits the absorption of cholesterol in the small intestine.
Which Statin is Better : Lipitor or Crestor ? Lipitor and Crestor are both effective statins that lower levels of “bad” cholesterol and increase levels of “ good ” cholesterol. While Crestor is the more potent statin, both medications are effective and have slightly different side effects and drug interactions.
Evidence for Statins Increasing Risk of Dementia Simvastatin, atorvastatin, and pravastatin were the medications taken by the patients who were described. About half of these patients noticed cognitive problems within two months of starting treatment.