About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Donít Discontinue Statins, Stroke Victims Told

by Gopalan on August 29, 2007 at 11:57 AM
Font : A-A+

Donít Discontinue Statins, Stroke Victims Told

Statins could have their side-effects. But better grin and bear them if you want to survive. Such seems to the message of a study carried out in Spain.

Researchers found that the chances of dying, or requiring full-time care were nearly five times higher if statins were interrupted.

Advertisement

The article, in the journal Neurology, advises doctors to continue giving the drugs to stroke patients.

But experts called for bigger studies before recommendations be made.

A UK stroke consultant pointed out that almost a third of stroke patients would find it too hard to swallow the pills.
Advertisement

The news follows a British Medical Journal report that found the UK lags behind the rest of western Europe in terms of stroke care.

Strokes are the third most common cause of death in the UK, accounting for more than 60,000 deaths a year.

A National Audit Office report in 2005 suggested that 550 deaths could be avoided, and an extra 1,700 patients make a full recovery if care was better organised.

Many people at high risk of stroke will be at higher risk of heart disease, and may be taking statins as a result.

There is already some evidence that people taking statins at the time they have a stroke have a less damaging stroke, potentially because of improved blood vessel function and blood flow.

However, the latest study, from the University of Santiago de Compostella, found a huge difference in the outcome for patients who were allowed to carry on taking their statins when they reached hospital after a stroke.

They followed the progress of 89 stroke patients who were already taking the drugs.

For the first three days after the stroke, 46 patients received no statins, and 43 got their normal dose.

After three months, 27 people - 60 % of the "no statins" group - had either died or were disabled to the point that they needed help to live a normal life, compared with 16 people from the group allowed to keep taking statins.

Lead researcher Jose Castillo said: "These results strongly support the recommendation to physicians to continue statin drugs during the acute phase of an ischaemic stroke."

(Ischaemic (or ischemic) heart disease results from reduced blood supply to the heart. Ischaemia means a "reduced blood supply". The coronary arteries supply blood to the heart muscle and no alternative blood supply exists, so a blockage in the arteries reduces the supply of blood to heart muscle.)

However, consultant stroke physician Dr Anthony Rudd, from Guys' and St Thomas' Hospital in London, said that the evidence about the benefits of statins in stroke patients was contradictory.

He said: "This is a very small study, and I think we'd need to see bigger studies before drawing any firm conclusions."

He said that hospitals generally allowed patients to continue with their existing medication where possible, but added: "One practical problem is that up to 30% of stroke patients have difficulty swallowing, and it may prove difficult for them to continue taking their tablets normally."

The most common side effects of statins are headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, rash, weakness, and muscle pain. The most serious (but fortunately rare) side effects are liver failure and rhabdomyolysis.

Rhabdomyolysis is a serious side effect in which there is damage to muscles. It often begins as muscle pain and can progress to loss of muscle cells, kidney failure, and death.

Naturally many are frightened away from this class of drugs. But the point is not to run away but to take appropriate medical counseling, it is suggested.

Source: Medindia
GPL/C
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
International Day of Persons with Disabilities 2021 - Fighting for Rights in the Post-COVID Era
Effect of Blood Group Type on COVID-19 Risk and Severity
Woman with Rare Spinal Cord Defect from Birth Sues Doctor
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Bellīs Palsy Diet Lifestyle and Heart Disease Mitral Valve Stenosis And Mitral Valve Replacement Congenital Heart Disease Stress and the Gender Divide Cholesterol - The Enigma Chemical Stroke Facts Stroke Hyperventilation Aphasia 

Recommended Reading
Stroke - First Aid and Emergency Treatment Guide
A quick and simple First Aid guide on how to administer treatment for Stroke....
Aphasia
Aphasia is a condition where the patient has a language disorder. The patient has problems with comp...
Cholesterol - The Enigma Chemical
The word 'Cholesterol' rings danger bells as soon as it is mentioned. This important chemical is im...
Congenital Heart Disease
Heart diseases that are present at birth are called ď Congenital heart diseasesĒ....
Hyperventilation
Hyperventilation occurs when a person breathes in excess to the bodyís requirement....
Mitral Valve Stenosis And Mitral Valve Replacement
Mitral valve replacement is a surgical heart procedure to correct either the narrowing (stenosis) or...
Stress and the Gender Divide
Stress has become entwined in the current lifestyle of a young working couple and has resulted in th...
Stroke
Stroke can cause permanent disability and it is important to recognize its early warning signs to st...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use