Statins side effects: The sign on your mouth, eyes or genitals – contact your doctor

Statins side effects: The sign on your mouth, eyes or genitals – contact your doctor

High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

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You usually have to continue taking statins for life because if you stop taking them, your cholesterol will return to a high level within a few weeks. Many people who take statins experience no or very few side effects, while others experience some troublesome ones. Around eight million adults in the UK take them.

Statins can help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in older people, just as they do in younger people, according to research.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) says: “Statins are the first-line preventive treatment in people with high cholesterol and are safe and effective for most of the population.”

It adds that NHS England is currently reviewing whether high-dose statins can be made available directly from pharmacists.

You may have been advised to take statins if you’ve had a heart attack or stroke. Even if you’re in good health, you may be prescribed statins if you’re at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

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The NHS lists five types of statin available in the UK, including atorvastatin, fluvastatin pravastatin, rosuvastatin and simvastatin.

Most statins are taken at night, as this is when most of your cholesterol is produced, according to the BHF.

Statins can sometimes interact with other medicines, and they can also interact with grapefruit juice.

As with many medicines, statins can sometimes cause side effects.

Bupa healthcare says that occasionally statins can cause serious problems, though says this is rare.

This may happen to one person in a 1,000 who takes statins.

These include: “Blistering and swelling to your skin; this may be to your mouth, eyes or genitals and you may also have a fever.”

If this happens, it says to “stop taking the statin and contact your doctor immediately”.

Other less serious side effects include a blocked nose, sore throat and nose bleeds, says the site.

The NHS notes that side effects can vary between different statins, but common side effects also include a headache, dizziness, muscle pain and low blood platelet count.

The Yellow Card Scheme allows you to report suspected side effects from any type of medicine you’re taking.

It’s run by a medicines safety watchdog called the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).

The purpose of the scheme is to provide an early warning that the safety of a medicine or a medical device may require further investigation.

The NHS says that you should discuss the benefits and risks of taking statins with your doctor before you start taking the medicine.

The health body says: “Statins can occasionally cause muscle inflammation (swelling) and damage.

“Speak to your doctor if you have muscle pain, tenderness or weakness that cannot be explained – for example, pain that is not caused by physical work.”

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