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Statins — among the most successful drugs ever developed — prevent deaths from heart attacks and strokes but have long been dogged by the notion that they also cause muscle pain in some people. Now that belief has been called into question by a new study.

The trial asked older patients who stopped taking statins (or were considering doing so) because of pain to go back on the drug or take a placebo. Crucially, they didn’t know which they were getting, and there was no difference in the aches and pains people reported.


“While in these older age groups, aches and pains are indeed common, we convincingly show they are not made worse by statins and their pain is not caused by statins,”  Liam Smeeth, an author of the study published Wednesday in the BMJ, told STAT.

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  • OMG…I had terrible pain from statins. I stopped taking them at one point and went on Red Yeast Rice, not knowing at the time that they make statins from Red Yeast Rice. The pain continued. But here’s the thing, and the thing that makes me question this study. The statins stayed in my body for a long time, or at least the effects did. After I stopped taking them, the muscle pain continued for more than a year.

    So a study where people are going on and off of the drug is useless, it has to be studied long-term to have any validity.

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