Researchers at University of California, San Diego state that taking stronger statins could come with an increased frequency of muscle side effects compared to taking weaker statins to lower cholesterol.
Muscle problems are one of the common side effects among those who take statins with rhabdomyolysis being one of the more severe problems that could lead to kidney damage. The researchers looked into the severity of the muscle problems caused by taking statins and found that the drug's potency is directly linked with the frequency of muscle problems. The study has been published in the journal PLoS ONE.
AstraZeneca's Crestor, known generically as rosuvastatin, was found to cause the most frequent number of muscle problems followed by Lipitor (atorvastatin), Zocor (simvastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin) and Mevacor (lovastatin).
"Incorporating all muscle categories, rates for atorvastatin, simvastatin, pravastatin, and lovastatin were, respectively, 55 percent, 26 percent, 17 percent, and 7.5 percent as high, as rosuvastatin, approximately tracking per milligram potency", the researchers wrote in their report.