Keep taking statins’ says drug body

by Keith -

statin very smallPeople should continue to take statins because the benefits do outweigh the risks, according to fresh advice from the UK’s drug safety body.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) has intervened due to the ongoing debate around the harms of taking statins. The drugs reduce levels of cholesterol in the blood, lowering the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

They are taken by about seven million people in the UK.   The MHRA said statins prevented 450 heart attacks, strokes, or deaths for every 10,000 patients taking the drugs over five years.

Potential side effects of statins include:

  • Type-2 diabetes
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Liver inflammation
  • Kidney problems
  • Blurred vision
  • Nerve damage

But how common the risks are has become a controversial question in the medical profession.   A pair of high profile articles in the British Medical Journal said up to 20% of users would suffer harmful side-effects, but other experts said the claims were wrong and would cost lives by discouraging people from taking the drugs.

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