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Statin therapy not linked to muscle pain

Written by | 14 Apr 2021 | Pain

Article written by Bruce Sylvester

There is no measurable link between statin therapy and concurrent muscle pain, researchers reported on Feb. 24, 2021 in the BMJ/British Medical Journal.

“No overall effect of atorvastatin 20 mg on muscle symptoms compared with placebo was found in participants who had previously reported severe muscle symptoms when taking statins. Most people completing the trial intended to restart treatment with statins,” the authors said.

The investigators enrolled 200 subjects who had recently stopped or were considering stopping treatment with statins because of muscle symptoms.

They randomized the subjects to a sequence of six double blinded treatment periods (two months each) of atorvastatin 20 mg daily or placebo.

At the end of each period of treatment, the subjects rated muscle symptoms on a visual analogue scale (0-10).

The researchers analyzed and compared symptom scores from the statin and placebo periods. Of the 200 subjects, 151 provided enough data for inclusion in the primary analysis

The investigators reportedno mean difference in muscle symptom scores between the statin and placebo periods (P=0.40)).

Due to intolerable muscle symptoms, 18 subjects (9%) withdrew during a statin period and 13 (7%) withdrew during a placebo period.

“Two thirds of those completing the trial reported restarting long-term treatment with statins,” the authors said.

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