Treating Muscle Pain Caused By Statin Drugs
Dear Dr. Mirkin:
How do you treat muscle pain from statin pills?
Answer: Statins are drugs to lower cholesterol. More than ten percent of people who take them suffer muscle pain, and they can also decrease muscle strength and endurance. The more and the harder you exercise, the more likely you are to suffer muscle pain from taking statin drugs. You increase risk for muscle pain with higher doses and taking other drugs with statins. Coenzyme Q10 and vitamin D have been used to prevent and treat statin muscle pain, but most people taking these pills still have muscle pain.
The people most likely to suffer statin-induced muscle pain have vitamin D3 levels below 32ng/ml (Translational Research, January 2009). The most effective treatments are to stop the medication, use lower doses, use them every other day or twice a week, and raise low vitamin D3 levels to at least 30 ng/ml, equal to 75 nmol/L (Current Atherosclerosis Reports, published online July 14, 2010). Check with your doctor.
About the author
A practicing physician for more than 40 years and a radio talk show host for 25, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is one of a very few doctors board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology.
Read more at www.drmirkin.com.