Dear Dr. Mirkin:
How do you treat muscle pain from statin pills?
Statins are drugs to lower cholesterol. More than ten percent of people who take them suffer muscle pain, and they can also decrease muscle strength and endurance. The more and the harder you exercise, the more likely you are to suffer muscle pain from taking statin drugs.
You increase risk for muscle pain with higher doses and taking other drugs with statins.
Coenzyme Q10 and vitamin D have been used to prevent and treat muscle pain caused by statin drugs, but most people taking these pills still have muscle pain.
The people most likely to suffer statin-induced muscle pain have vitamin D3 levels below 32ng/ml (Translational Research, January 2009).
The most effective treatments are to
- stop the medication,
- use lower doses,
- use them every other day or twice a week,
- and raise low vitamin D3 levels to at least 30 ng/ml, equal to 75 nmol/L (Current Atherosclerosis Reports, published online July 14, 2010).
Check with your doctor.
A practicing physician for more than 40 years and a radio talk show host for 25, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is one of a very few doctors board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology.
Dr. Mirkin's latest book is The Healthy Heart Miracle, published by HarperCollins. His daily short features on fitness have been heard on CBS Radio News stations since the 1970's.
He has written 16 books including The Sportsmedicine Book, the best-selling book on the subject that has been translated into many languages. Dr. Mirkin did his residency at the Massachusetts General Hospital and over the years he has served as a Teaching Fellow at Johns Hopkins Medical School, Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, and Associate Clinical Professor in Pediatrics at the Georgetown University School of Medicine.
Read more at www.drmirkin.com.
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