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statin muscle pain ?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I have noticed muscle soreness out of proportion to the workout done recently. For example, a 1 hour bike ride produces sore lower quads, glutes , hamstrings for several days, and this is after several months of riding. I consider the bike to be non-traumatic as compared to running, and I never used to get sore at all from the bike. I have been taking low dose statins for cholesterol, and there are serious known muscle side effects, but only about 1 in 10000, so my doc doesnt think that is the problem, and the muscle soreness is not generalised,but is related to the actual exercise. Another example is doing pullups and being sore for 6 days in the relavant back and biceps muscles. Have any of you had a similar experience? Could it just be aging? or is this a statin problem that the drug companies dont report?
post #2 of 22
I'm on a statin and every appointment my doctor warns me to take any unusual muscle pain seriously and to bring it to her attention if I experience any. I have no idea if she's referring only to generalized pain.
post #3 of 22
post #4 of 22
post #5 of 22
you may want to describe any other medication you take...including: a)vitamins,
c)stuff you buy in the supermarket,
d)stuff you put on the skin - creams, ointments, patches
e)non-legal stuff you may imbibe
f)alcohol and nicotine consumption...

with a medication history completed it just may happen to assist medicos to make a diagnosis...

others things to note would be any foods you consume in largish quantities... eg grapefruit...
post #6 of 22
I have been on most brands of statin (Lipitor etc.) starting out at 10mg and working up to 80mg. They did not achieve an acceptable result so I got switched to a different brand.

I am currently on resuvostatin(Crestor) at 20 mg.

I also take Ezetrol and Supralip, at the same time, with the aim of lowering cholesterol.

When I read the labels it raised concerns about that combination.

I have never had muscle pain over the years but I did get a frozen shoulder, which I thought the drugs might have caused. The doctors opinion was that they did not. I just woke up with the frozen shoulder. I am inclined to believe the medics.
post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 


thanks disski. those two articles are interesting-especially the 5% incidence of myalgia. i dont take any other meds or drugs. if i dont exercise for a few days , all the soreness goes away, so my guess is that i am on the borderline of myalgia. i havent had a cpk. i probably do need the drug, given my family history and elevated cholesterol, but ive never had any heart symptoms, and i can still hike uphill at 11000 feet in skis without any chest pain. but the quad soreness after exercise is quite noticable at night-after skiig or biking.
post #8 of 22
Originally Posted by duke walker View Post
thanks disski. those two articles are interesting-especially the 5% incidence of myalgia. i dont take any other meds or drugs. if i dont exercise for a few days , all the soreness goes away, so my guess is that i am on the borderline of myalgia. i havent had a cpk. i probably do need the drug, given my family history and elevated cholesterol, but ive never had any heart symptoms, and i can still hike uphill at 11000 feet in skis without any chest pain. but the quad soreness after exercise is quite noticable at night-after skiig or biking.
The last one I was on was Lipitor. I stopped taking it about 6-8 years ago and I am still recovering from it. Bad $hit if you can't take it. I still experience fatigue and muscle soreness and it hurts my skiing!:

The problem: my cholesterol is still real high.
post #9 of 22
I understand what you've gone through! Last season my doc put me on a BP medication to address my borderline BP that may have caused a clogged blood vessel in my eye. I had extreme muscle soreness from my BP medication immediately upon taking it. I also went from being really fit to hardly unable to ski or board, as my muscles were very weak and I got winded immediately. My doc told me to stay on it, that the symptoms would go away. They didn't. I got weaker, to the point that at the end of the season I couldn't board 100 yards without stopping and sitting dowm. Fortunately, a friend is a doctor and told me I was experiencing rhabdomyolysis, a breakdown of muscle tissue that can clog the kidneys if it happens real fast. Mine didn't happen fast enough to do that, but my thighs, hammies and hips went from extra large to medium over the course of the season. The big clue, my doc friend told me, was that I got weaker and couldn't ski or board myself into shape. Fortunately, I recovered with a month of rest and light exercise. A family friend lost 90% of her muscle mass from this and was hospitalized for several weeks becasue her doc made her stay on a statin. Wicked stuff, is all I can say. Since then, I've adopted Heinrich Bergmueller's program. He trains the Austrian ski team. I do 50 to 60 minutes of slow aerobic per day on the reclining bike, in three more or less equal sets with a five minute stretch between them. I've also added back all the lost muscle mass with the cycling, plus lateral hip raises, the one-legged dead lift and the hammie curl on the Swiss ball. I also to a cable chop in either the lunge or half sqaut positon. My eye has cleared completely and my BP dropped from 145/95 to 125/75. I feel great. Go Heinrich!
post #10 of 22
Just as another anecdotal point - I know of a friend who also had the leg pain with Lipitor. This is the reason I went to a dietician to for advice on diet when my cholesterol was borderline - to avoid this medicine at all costs! Of course given the choice between arteriosclerosis (sp?) and leg pain I'd probably take the pain ....

Sometimes I think the patients are at the forefront of knowledge on this moreso than the doctors.
post #11 of 22
Dietary modifiaction should always be attempted ... just for some it does nada...

my aunt has a familial cholesterol problem... now the woman in a stick... and once diagnosed ate very little fat - she was fastidious about her diet... she still had stupidly high cholesterol even after taking large doses of medication...

the ONLY thing that had measurable effect? the plant sterol margarine stuff... she was eating MORE fat but doing better... go figure...

as an interesting aside - her husband(my fathers brother) ate heaps of cheese, cream and icecream with his pie for desert etc etc all his life and had low cholesterol - until he succumbed to non-hodgkins lymphoma...

similarly my father, brother and I all seem to have stupidly low cholesterol while eating fairly much what we wish... the doctor complimented me on my great diet after he did my "health check" last... I neglected to tell him I had been sick(hence saw him and got harassed into the >40 yearly blood test stuff - that he then allowed me to have every 2 years as Idid so well)... and so had been sitting in bed eating 250g of chocolate a day for 1 week only 1 week before his test!

ct55 - part of the problemis that many people who have problems are not recorded as having so.... we rely on "voluntary" reporting of side effects... once a drug is outside clinical trials the incidence is only going to be recorded for those who report (or have their doctor/pharmacist report)...
if you want better figures for future patients you need to ensure your problem was reported... (I'd try the pharmacist - in Oz patients can report if they wish - in my experience docs even in hospital are not huge re filling in)... The problem re clinical trials is the restricted populations admitted to trials (no kids mostly, fewish women, no really sick people).
Remember VIOXX!!
post #12 of 22
I asked my physician about statin muscle pain today and she said she wouldn't be concerned about localized soreness that I could link to specific physical activity. She said the concern was for pain that seemed either more generalized or more random.
post #13 of 22
duke here is another...

ct55 it includes some description of the reporting system(s) I described...
post #14 of 22
and for ct55

Studies have rarely reported myopathy or rhabdomyolysis with atorvastatin12,14,20,23,25,26 but these are strongly associated with certain risk factors (see Box 1). Patients most likely to develop muscle disorders, such as those with multiple comorbidities or taking interacting drugs, are usually excluded from statin trials and thus cases may have been underreported.
see what I mean?
post #15 of 22
and for duke

There is some evidence to indicate that statin use can exacerbate the normal CK elevations seen after exercise.24 In a randomized controlled trial, Thompson et al24 examined CK levels after exercise in 59 men with elevated LDL-C who were assigned to either receive 40 mg of lovastatin or a placebo. Exercise consisted of treadmill walking at a 15% downhill grade for a total of 45 minutes and biceps muscle exercise at 50% of the one-repetition maximum weight for 4 sets of 10 repetitions.24 The CK levels of the group that received lovastatin rose more rapidly in the first 24 to 48 hours after the biceps muscle exercise and were consistently higher at 24 and 48 hours after the treadmill walking (62% and 77%, respectively) compared with the control group.24 There also are reports of professional athletes who had difficulty tolerating statins because of exacerbated exercise-induced muscle pain.25 These reports may be of particular interest to patients who are receiving physical therapy, because increased activity and exercise are usually part of the plan of care. The long-term effects of exercise and statin use have not been examined.
post #16 of 22

cholesterol and muscle weakness

High levels of zocor or lipitor caused pulled muscles and upset stomach for me. After a year and a half of this, I told the doctor I would take 10 mg. He gave me 20 mg. which I cut in two every day until he went to 10 mg. I told him that I didn't need expensive medicine to get muscle weakness at my age as I could get that myself for free. !0 mg. of zocor/lipitor daily plus some high priced Zetia is the only thing that I could come up with to effectively lower the bad chol. without knocking the good chol. level down out of sight. I call them happy pills as they make the Dr. and drug stores happy.
post #17 of 22
wrt: localized soreness vs generalized

yeah what you say makes a lot of sense. If you have a sore shoulder after throwing a baseball it's probably from overthrowing, not your meds.

OTOH you are right - they are experimenting on us to some degree. Ultimately the patient has to take responsibility for their own health and often that includes questioning the authority figures/gate keepers (doctors, pharmaceutical companies pushing product, insurance companies etc).
post #18 of 22

but also good old fashioned "community minded" values.... you report YOUR problem so that the figures are more accurate to maybe help OTHER people.... unfortunately it requires some of YOUR time...

alas like giving people who are struggling a hand etc etc it is largely considered "old fashioned" in our modern world

In one hospital we gave out chocolate frogs to anyone who submitted a report form.... increased numbers instantly... because there was a reason for ME to do something and get something for ME...
post #19 of 22

Muscle weakness caused by statins is quite common; no way the odds are 1:10,000. Some get rid of it by going down in their statin dosage, or by switching statins. Some are more prone to cause it than others. I know many people who've done one or both of these in order to stay on the medication.  

post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 

     Interesting to see this 2 1/2 years later. I forgot the duration of this.

I stopped Mevacor 20mg a few months after the first post to take Zocor 20mg ,a more effective drug. After about a year, I had so much pain.especially quads,  that I had to stop. By then it was acknowledged by some that 10-20% of patients had myalgias.It took only a few days off the drug for all symptoms to abate.

      I tried Lipitor,only 10 mg and after a few months I could barely walk a mile due to pain. Even my feet hurt,so like a good reader of the boot guys,I tried orthotics and new shoes. After doing my own research,I found that even that could be due to the statin.It took a month off the drug to get back to normal, and that was fortunate as some folks have longer lasting problems.

      When I bought my season pass, I was pretty sure that I would not be able to use it.However,after a few months symptom free, I started trying Crestor at the very low dose of 5mg every other day. I have not had a follow up choloesterol test so I dont know the current level, but I doubt that I would increase the drug ,and if I have problems again, I wont take any more.

But I have skied 50 days with no soreness.


And I am still not sure if statins actually prolong life expectancy.

post #21 of 22

Well, I ain't no medical doctor, but it sure do sound like them thar drugs ain't no goof fer ya.

post #22 of 22


Originally Posted by Ghost View Post


Well, I ain't no medical doctor, but it sure do sound like them thar drugs ain't no goof fer ya.

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