Almost all the side effects mentioned in the trials "occurred anyway when patients were administered placebo", say the investigators. All this while, statins are associated with side effects such as nausea, insomnia, fatigue, kidney issues, muscle problems and erectile dysfunction.
Scientists have urged drug companies to specify on packets that side effects are uncommon so that patients are not discouraged to use the medicine. They said problems that come up after intake of statins may be from many sources and people are unable to understand whether the problem was caused by the drug or caused by chance.
Other research revealed that taking statins in high dose can increase the risk of diabetes up by 22 per cent. Thus it said that one in five of new cases of diabetes was actually caused by statins.
Doireann Maddock, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said, "This study analysed results from previous trials and found only a small minority of the symptoms people on statins reported were genuinely due to the drug."
Around 7 million people take statins in Britain. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence in the UK have been advising people in the UK to take statins as prevention to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
The study, which analysed data of over 80,000 patients, was published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.