Statins Didn't Boost Muscle Risks in Patients Unaware They Were Taking Them — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
May 3, 2017

Statins Didn't Boost Muscle Risks in Patients Unaware They Were Taking Them

By Kelly Young

Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH, and Lorenzo Di Francesco, MD, FACP, FHM

Statin use was not associated with muscle-related adverse events in patients who didn't know they were taking them, suggests an industry-funded Lancet study.

Over 10,000 adults at high cardiovascular risk were randomized to one of two blood-pressure lowering treatments plus either 10-mg atorvastatin or placebo. After the blinded phase of the statin arm was stopped at a median 3 years' follow-up, participants were offered open-label atorvastatin for a median of 2 years.

During the blinded phase, statin and placebo groups had similar rates of muscle-related adverse events and erectile dysfunction (all roughly 2% per annum). However, during the second phase when participants knew whether they were taking a statin, muscle-related adverse events were significantly higher in atorvastatin users than nonusers (1.26% vs. 1.00% per annum).

The authors conclude: "These results will help assure both physicians and patients that most [adverse events] associated with statins are not causally related to use of the drug and should help counter the adverse effect on public health of exaggerated claims about statin-related side-effects."

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