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What Causes Statin Muscle Pain, and How Will It Go Away?
It is no surprise that statins are among the most popular prescription drugs. There are several important medical uses for these life-saving medications, such as preventing atherosclerosis, heart attack, and heart stroke by lowering cholesterol levels. Most people who take statins like Crestor (rosuvastatin) tolerate them well. The downside is that they may cause muscle pain or statin-associated muscle symptoms, known collectively as SAMS. Approximately 5% to 20% of people taking statins report this side effect, according to the American College of Cardiology.
This article will find out the causes of this muscle pain, ways to ease it, and when to seek guidance from a doctor. In addition, you can buy Crestor online to prevent severe heart complications by lowering blood cholesterol levels.
How Do Statins Cause Muscle Pain?
Statin-induced muscle pain, also known as statin myopathy, refers to muscle-related side effects that some individuals may experience while taking statin medications, including Crestor (rosuvastatin). Statin myopathy can manifest as muscle pain, tenderness, weakness, or a combination of these symptoms. The exact mechanism by which statin or crestor tablet may cause muscle pain is unknown, but we do have some factors that may affect it:
1. Genetic Factors
Certain genes may make you more likely to feel muscle pain after taking statins. One key gene involved in this process is the SLCO1B1 gene. Such gene codes for a protein involved in the liver’s uptake of statins, where the drugs are metabolized and exert their cholesterol-lowering effects. Variations or mutations in the SLCO1B1 gene can influence how the body processes and eliminates statins.
According to a 2021 study by Springer Nature, the SLCO1B1 gene is one such gene that can influence the metabolism of statins. Variations or mutations in this gene can affect how the body processes and eliminates statins, which can lead to a higher amount of the drugs in the bloodstream and an increased risk of muscle-related side effects
2. Type of Muscle Fiber
There are two kinds of muscle fibers, one is slow-twitch oxidative fibers (type I) and fast-twitch glycolytic fibers (type II). When you exercise for long periods and with low intensity, type I fibers are helpful to you. In addition, type II fibers are beneficial for high-intensity, short-duration exercises. A 2022 article published in the BMJ journal stated that Type I fibers are more suited for endurance activities, while type II fibers are better suited for intense activities. Statins can cause muscle pain if you have more type II muscle fibers.
3. Cell Damage
As a result of muscle stimulation, calcium is released into the bloodstream. The instability of this process can result in tissue damage and cell death. Researchers looked at the effects of statins on muscles in rats and humans over the course of four weeks in a study published in the Science Direct Journal in 2019. Statin treatment disturbs the release of calcium from muscle cells in human skeletal muscle.
It is possible that this mechanism explains the cause of SAMS. Electric stimulation, however, did not seem to affect muscles’ ability to move when applied to muscles. In rats, statins had no effect on muscle strength or function, possibly because exercise prevented muscle damage from statins. Crestor muscle pain may affect those who are susceptible to it, but exercise may reverse this effect.
4. Mitochondrial Dysfunction
Many human cells contain mitochondria, a structure related to dysfunctions of mitochondria and free radicals. Energy is also produced by it. The mitochondria can also be affected by statins. In the long run, this may result in the presence of free radicals that are responsible for statin-related muscle pain. According to Oxford Academics, statins can have opposite effects on the mitochondria of cardiac and skeletal muscles.
5. Calcium Leakage
A calcium leak occurs when muscles are unable to contract. Calcium can damage muscle cells when it leaks from muscle cells unintentionally, causing pain and weakness. Statins have been linked to an increase in unintentional leakage. According to a 2019 study by the British Heart Foundation, it has been found that statins cause random and intermittent leaks of calcium from muscle cells’ storage compartments.
What Factors Increase the Risk of Statin Muscle Pain?
There are several factors that may increase the risk of developing SAMS, including:
- A higher dosage of statins
- Those with reduced muscle mass are more likely to be older, physically disabled, female, and have a lower body mass index.
- Alcohol consumption
- People with darker skin, older adults, and those who spend a lot of time indoors may be more likely to have vitamin D deficiency.
- Drinking grapefruit juice, starfruit juice, or pomegranate juice
- A number of medications, including mycin antibiotics, calcium channel blockers, tricyclic antidepressants, and sildenafil (Viagra).
- Genetic mutations that affect statin functioning
Will the Statin Muscle Pain Go Away?
If you’re going to experience muscle pain from statins like Crestor 5 mg tablets, you’ll usually notice it soon after starting the medication. In most cases, however, this side effect is temporary and goes away within a few days. Statins can also cause muscle pain, cramps, weakness, or soreness in people who have taken them for at least a year without problems. Even so, it’s difficult to determine if those muscle-related side effects are directly related to statins or if they’re caused by something else.
[Note: Usually, muscle pain goes away within 1 to 2 weeks after stopping a statin. The pain may be caused by something else if it doesn’t go away].
How to Reduce Statin Muscle Pain?
There is still much to be learned about what can alleviate statin muscle pain. In some cases, however, the following may prove helpful:
- According to a 2019 study publicized in Science Direct journal, moderate exercise may reverse the physiological changes that cause statin muscle pain in rats.
- According to the National Library of Medicine, it may be possible to reduce muscle pain in general by increasing vitamin D intake through safe sun exposure, food, or supplements. For a person with SAMS, further studies are necessary to verify vitamin D’s benefits.
- Taking CoQ10 supplements may help manage SAMS, according to research from 2018 published in AHA/ASA Journals. In contrast, a 2020 review by Pubmed Central found that CoQ10 supplements had no beneficial effects on SAMS.
It is also recommended that people avoid consuming foods that may contribute to the pain, such as alcohol, starfruit, pomegranate, and grapefruit.
What to Do If Statin Is Causing Unbearable Muscle Pain?
You have a few options if your statin causes muscle pain because of its effects on your muscles, such as:
1. Ask Your Doctor to Review the Medication Regimen
There are many medications (cyclosporine, fibrates, azole antifungals, and antibiotics) and supplements that can interact with statins and increase their levels in your body. You may experience muscle-related side effects if your statin levels increase. You can prevent or worsen your pain by asking your doctor to review your medication regimen.
2. Get Your Doctor’s Opinion on Taking a Different Statin
If you experience muscle pain while taking statins, contact your healthcare provider immediately. They will perform some medical tests to determine whether the statin is the cause. The doctor may ask you to switch to another one if the muscle pain does not improve. This approach has helped many people tolerate at least one statin.
Therefore, it’s probably a good idea to try another statin or two before writing them off unless you have a life-threatening reaction to a statin. CoQ10, a supplement that may help with muscle-related side effects from statins, could also be discussed.
3. Ask Your Doctor About Dose Adjustment
You may also want to talk to your doctor about adjusting the dosage of your statin or Crestor tablets. It is possible to experience worse muscle pain when taking higher doses of medication. It may be possible to ease the discomfort with a lower dose. In a similar vein, taking your medication less frequently may also be helpful. It may be more beneficial for some people to take their medication every other day rather than every day.
In addition, you may want to try discontinuing the medication altogether for a short period of time and then see how your body responds to it. Don’t make any adjustments on your own, however. Based on your situation, your healthcare provider can determine whether dose adjustments are necessary.
4. Consider Another Cholesterol-Lowering Medication
Although statins or a crestor tablet are among the most effective medications for lowering cholesterol, they aren’t the only ones. Those who cannot tolerate statins can talk to their doctor about trying a different medication. One of the following may be recommended by the doctor:
- The drug ezetimibe reduces cholesterol absorption
- The fibrates lower triglyceride levels and increase HDL levels
- The nicotinic acid raises HDL cholesterol
- The drug bile acid sequestrants raise HDL cholesterol by treating high cholesterol
- Medications that decrease low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, such as subtilisin/kexin type 9 inhibitors
Can Statins Muscle Pain Be Life-Threatening?
There is also a rare possibility that statins like Crestor 5 mg tablet can cause more serious or life-threatening muscle problems, such as:
Immune-Mediated Necrotizing Myopathy
Immune-mediated necrotizing myopathy (IMNM) is a rare and serious autoimmune muscle disease characterized by muscle inflammation, weakness, and damage. A 2018 review published in PubMed Central found that two to three statin users per 100,000 are affected. Treatments are available to manage symptoms, but there is no known cure. Symptoms of IMNM include:
- Muscle weakness in the forearm, hips, thighs, shoulders, neck, and back
- Having difficulty getting up from a chair or climbing stairs
- Raising arms above the head is difficult
- Falling and having difficulty getting up
- Feeling tired
It is a severe medical condition described by the rapid breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue. This process releases myoglobin, a protein found in muscle cells, into the bloodstream. Myoglobin can then be filtered by the kidneys, leading to potential kidney damage or failure. On average, it affects less than one statin user per 100,000, according to the National Library of Medicine. Rhabdomyolysis happens due to the rapid death of muscle tissue. On average, it affects less than one statin user per 100,000. There are several symptoms of rhabdomyolysis, including:
- Pain in the shoulders, lower back, or thighs
- Muscle swelling and weakness
- Urine that is dark red or tea-coloured and a decrease in urine production
- Abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and fever
- Fast heartbeat, confusion, loss of consciousness
Rhabdomyolysis can be fatal in rare cases. Those who suspect they have rhabdomyolysis should seek medical attention immediately.
When to Contact A Healthcare Professional?
When taking statins, if you are experiencing unexplained muscle pain, you should speak to the doctor. Doctors can determine whether statins are causing muscle pain and discuss treatment options. Muscle pain should be addressed by a doctor as soon as possible if it is accompanied by any other concerning symptoms. They can help you determine whether the pain is due to statins or other factors, such as age-related conditions, and suggest ways to ease it.
In some cases, they may suggest alternative medications or dosages. As reported in the 2020 review by the Springer Journal, 90% of individuals suffering from SAMS are able to tolerate statin medication once they receive medical assistance and reassurance.
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Statin-induced muscle pain, or statin-associated muscle symptoms, can occur in a percentage of individuals taking cholesterol-lowering medications like Crestor. Factors like genetic variations, muscle fiber types, cell damage, mitochondrial dysfunction, and calcium leakage may contribute to this phenomenon. However, for most people, the muscle pain is temporary and often resolves within a few days after stopping the medication. Various factors, including genetic predisposition, dosage, and interactions with other medications, can influence the likelihood of experiencing SAMS.
If you encounter persistent or severe muscle pain while taking statins, it is crucial to consult your healthcare professional promptly. They can assess your symptoms, explore potential causes, and adjust your treatment plan accordingly, ensuring effective cholesterol management while minimizing side effects.