Statins

I am wondering if anyone out there has been unable to stay on statins due to extreme muscle pain? My husband has tried 2 different ones now and they both cause so much pain that he can not function. I am feeling like he won't be able to take them and looking for other ways to lower the cholesterol. I know that diet and exercise are important for that and have also been told that Co Q10 is good. Any other suggestions? It gets so disheartening(pun intended)to have him deal with this pain and the pain from the surgery. He is 3 months from surgery. He is 53 and before all this he was healthy(well obviously not his heart). I wish he could feel even as good as he did before the heart attack.

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Prior to surgery, I was not taking any statins. After my surgery, the docs had me taking 10mg Lipitor. After 6 weeks, it was changed to 20mg, and my muscle pains started. My doc had me take the 10mg again, and the muscle pains subsided. I have since started taking the 20mg again, and no more pain. I'm guessing my body needed time to get used to it.

I would also recommend that you check with the doctor, so they can note that in his records.

Just keep in mind that the adage "Time is a great healer" is so true. I had to learn to slow down and realize that improvement may be incremental, but so joyful when you realize you're slowly getting better.

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Like your husband, I too was having a very difficult time with statins after my cabg. I was on 4 differnt kinds and had muscle weakness and shortness of breath when walking (especially when climbing stairs). I am a retired RN and after many talks with my wonderful cardiologist, we came up with a regimen which seems to be working for me. I am on Welchol twice a day, zetia 10mg and a new statin drug called Livalo 1 mg. Livalo comes in different strengths, and 1 mg is the lowest does you can take. I also take COQ10 100 mg. My last blood test were spot on and I am back to being able to walk on my treadmill once again without that muscle fatigue in my legs and shortness of breath. In fact I am averaging about 2 miles a day on the treadmill without any problems. I do notice a slight heaviness in my legs when climbing stairs but certainly not to the extremes that it once was. Tell you husband, not to give up and have him ask his cardioligist about the different meds that are out there to help control his cholesterol levels. Of course diet and exercise are equally important in winning the battle against heart disease. I wish you and your husband the best. Please let us know how he makes out. Shamrock

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Thanks Shamrock - I am 18 months out CABGx2. I had been experiencing horrible leg cramps. Cardiologist had me on 10 mg of crestor recently increased it to 20 mg due to both grafts failing within 1 year. I recently had a catherization and I am in awe. Back to square one. I was told that the only thing left to do is to aggressively attack the cholesterol with the use of this medicine. I am going to inquire about this new medicine maybe it wont cramp up and ache as much.

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Both of your grafts failed within a year? That is horrible! The pain from statins seems to be nearly unbearable for my husband so I empathize with you. So will you have open heart surgery again? Don't loose hope. Sometimes that's all we have. Hang in there :)

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YES. I was on simvastatin and then atorvastatin. I am not aon anything at present. The pain was so bad i could not even hold my arms up to drive , never mind the pain in other muscle groups. My cardiologists says that there are other meds that can work and has told me to tell Dr's that I am allergic to the statins because of how severe my reaction has been to them. Have him ask for an alternative med.

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I was on Lipitor (40mg) for 7 years - switched to Crestor (10mg) last 3 years -- I've heard about some having immediate side effects -- I have mild side effects (including some muscle pains) but never severe enough to discontinue the statins.

How high is your husband's cholesterol level to start with? Looks like theres new research which may move the focus away from cholesterol and to TMAO, but in the meantime the mainstream cardio community relies on statins for cholesterol control.

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My husbands cholesterol is 290. He obviously needs the meds. I have also been studying about the new idea that cholesterol isn't the problem with heart disease. On youtube you can see what Dr. Oz has to say about it. I find it very interesting and possibly true but it's scary to change your way of thinking. He is so debilitated by the pain that he can hardly walk. He hates taking pain meds so that makes it worse. We are at a point that we really don't know what the answer is.

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My partner had muscle aches taking Crestor. His doctor suggested taking glucosamine, which seems to reduce, if not eliminate, the muscle pain. Some people also swear by coenzyme Q-10. Either way, check with your doctor who can run tests to see if there is muscle damage. Sometimes a very strict diet along with exercise, Omega-3, and a lower dose of the cholesterol meds will help, with much less pain.

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So, muscle pain is no better but worse. His Dr told him to take one of the Statins every other day instead of everyday. That hasn't helped. He is going down hill emotionally and physically from all the pain. We can't get his Dr to even sound a bit concerned. He is wondering what use it is to have low cholesterol if you are in too much pain to live your life. He is considering going off all his medication at this point and I can't really blame him. Do you think we should look for another cardiologist?

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Absolutely you should look for another cardiologist this one is obviously not hearing your husband. Good luck and let us know how it all turns out. Find a doctor who is open to trying the non-statin drugs to control cholesterol. Shamrock

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Also make sure they are ordering a CPK blood test which measures if there is any muscle damage. Shamrock

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