The various risks posed by a class of widely prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs have been recorded in a new paper, published online in the American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs.
Lead author Dr. Beatrice Golomb of the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine and colleagues looked at nearly 900 studies on the side effects of using statins to lower cholesterol.
She said that muscle problems are the most commonly known adverse effects of these drugs.
“But cognitive problems and peripheral neuropathy, or pain or numbness in the extremities like fingers and toes, are also widely reported,” Golomb added.
Other issues noted included blood sugar elevation and tendon problems, she said.
The paper also investigated why certain people are more likely to suffer side effects from statins than others, as well as exploring the impact of the medications on cell mitochondria.
The theory is that statins can interfere with mitochondrial function, which increases the production of free radicals and may lead to high blood pressure and diabetes.
Some people seeking to avoid prescription drugs have turned to oral chelation to help control their cholesterol.