Statin is a class of medications used to lower the cholesterol level. It enables the blockage of enzymes in the liver which produce cholesterol. It also helps the body to reabsorb cholesterol which has been accumulated in plaques on artery walls. This reduces chances of further blockages to occur in the blood vessels.
Before your doctor prescribes Statin to you, he will consider your cholesterol level as well as other factors which propose a risk of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, diabetes, poor general health and peripheral artery disease.
Several types of Statins exist in varied doses. It ranges from 5 milligrams to 80 milligrams. The best dosage for you is dependent on your level of cholesterol and some other risks. Some satins are more effective in lowering cholesterol in comparison to other ones. Others decrease chances of heart disease more than the others.
You should discuss your intake of Statin with your doctor before taking it. You must take it exactly as directed by your doctor. It is recommendable to take the lowest dose possible which can later be increased gradually. Higher doses entail greater risks of facing serious side effects.
What is Statin used for?
Statin is used for decreasing the risks of heart attacks and deaths faced by people with coronary artery disease (CAD). It also aids in reducing chances of cardiac problems in people with high cholesterol levels. Additionally, Statins are also useful for patients who have CAD in other ways. They decrease the size of plaques present in the arteries, stabilize plaques, decrease formation of clots and reduce the amount of inflammation present.
Statins are also used for preventing and treating atherosclerosis, which is a condition in which artery walls thicken due to the accumulation of fatty materials. In this way, the use of Statin reduces chances of experiencing chest pain, triggering of heart attacks and occurrences of strokes.
Statins also decrease triglycerides, which are the main storage form of fat in the body.
Common side effects of Statin
Side effects associated with the usage of Statin are generally not too severe and can be easily treated. Side effects of Statin are different for each individual Statin medication. However, some common side effects reported with the intake of Statins include headaches, constipation, difficulty in sleeping, abdominal pains, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, joint pains and muscle tenderness and aches.
However, some side effects are potentially serious and need careful medical attention. These include memory loss, Rhabdomyolysis (extreme muscle inflammation and damage), large and unexplained sudden changes in amount of urine secreted, signs of liver damage and signs of an allergic reaction. Signs of liver damage consist of yellowing of the whites of eyes or skin, stomach pains, elevated liver enzymes and dark urine. Allergic reactions are characterized by a rash, hives, wheezing, itches or swelling occurring in the mouth, throat or on the tongue. You must report these side effects instantly to your healthcare provider.
Statin side effects on children
Children taking Statin experience muscle pains and aches. A rare muscle condition, called rhabdomyolysis, could occur as a side effect of using Statin for treating children. Symptoms of this condition consist of muscle weakness and urine which is dark brown or red in colour.
Some children face liver toxicities as a side effect of taking Statin.
Using this medication for long periods of time entails the risk of having a negative effect on the developing central nervous system in children, as well as on the hormonal levels and the immune system. Furthermore, Statins can have a negative impact on brain development since Statins can cross the blood-brain barrier.
Statin side effects on men
Men experience a risk of a muscle damage known as mythopy. They get more physically tired and experience weakened muscle strength, especially when at work.
Furthermore, often men undergo hair thinning and dry skin. Statins also sap the strength of muscles and even cause severe muscle pains; they also affect the brain and memory. Men who take Statins have developed memory loss or confusion. Also, they affect a man’s libido by decreasing testosterone. Testosterone is made from cholesterol.
Muscle pain may occur because Statins provide a blockage for the production of an enzyme, which is necessary for the production of energy in muscles.
Other side effects which occur include cataracts, kidney failure, and moderate or severe liver dysfunction.
Statin side effect on women
Fatigue is a common side effect in women. The use of Statins has resulted in lower levels of turning glucose into energy. This leads to the occurrence of tiredness.
Moreover, it also causes memory loss in women. Many women also suffer from muscle and joint pains. Statins also interfere with exercise causing muscle fatigue, aches, pains, and weakness and cramping. Women suffer from depression and a reduced cognitive ability. Statins also have a negative impact on liver functioning.
Statin Side effect on pregnant women
Statin causes serious birth defects in women, therefore, women who are pregnant or who are planning a pregnancy should refrain from using this medication. Birth defects are caused since cholesterol is necessary for the development of the foetus. Statins propose possible risks to a developing foetus.
It can affect placental development leading to worse pregnancy outcomes including miscarriages and birth defects such as heart defects, neural tube defects, cleft palate and other structural abnormalities.
Furthermore, it leads to impaired implantation and function of the placenta during the first trimester of pregnancy and results in malformations. These malformations damage the central nervous system and unilateral limb deficiencies.
In other worst cases, the use of Statins by pregnant women could lead to embryonic mutations or even death.
Statin side effect on elderly
Muscle problems are the most common reported side effects of Statins on the elderly, in addition to Rhabdomyolysis. The elderly face an increased risk for the development of muscle problems which leads to reduced physical activity.
Cognitive problems are also encountered as a side effect of taking Statin, which have a greater impact on the elderly. Heart failures also occur frequently. This is because the myopathic effects of Statin may impair the pumping function of the heart.
Elderly patients experienced declined muscle strength and function because of which they face a reduced ability to perform daily life activities. This lowered ability to perform normally in everyday life results in self-reported disability and hospitalizations.