Statins: Two skin changes indicative of a ‘serious side effect’

Statins: How the drug prevents heart attacks and strokes

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If you have been prescribed simvastatin – one of five statins available in the UK – you need to be aware of “serious” side effects. As such, any indication of an adverse reaction warrants a discussion with your doctor about your medication. This is because you can be prescribed another type of statin that may be more suitable for you.

The NHS cautioned that one in 1,000 people taking simvastatin could develop skin abnormalities.

One example is jaundice; this is where the skin takes on a new yellowish hue.

Jaundice can also lead to the whites of the eyes turning yellow, pale poo, and dark pee.

This “serious side effect” could be a warning sign of liver problems, so it is imperative to speak to your doctor as soon as possible.

The consumption of simvastatin may also lead to “a skin rash with pink-red blotches”.

This will be most noticeable on the palms of the hands and/or soles of the feet.

Other serious side effects might include:

  • Muscle pain, tenderness, weakness or cramps
  • Severe stomach pain
  • A cough, feeling short of breath, and weight loss.

There are other potential side effects that will be listed in the medicine packet.

Minor side effects might include: diarrhoea, a headache, or feeling sick.

“The risks of any side effects also have to be balanced against the benefits of preventing serious problems,” the NHS stated.

Lifestyle measures must be done in tandem with statin use – no matter what medication you are prescribed.

In order to help extend your life, you can reduce your cholesterol levels by exercising regularly.

People are recommended to exercise for at least 30 minutes daily, for five days of the week.

In order for the activity to count towards your 30 minutes, your heart rate must increase a little bit.

You are likely to feel a bit warmer when you are exercising at the correct pace.

A brisk walk, for example, would be an ideal activity to help bring down cholesterol levels.

Other lifestyle measures include eating a healthy, balanced diet and reaching a healthy weight for your height.

It is also key to be a non-smoker and to limit the amount of alcohol you consume.

The less alcohol you consume, the better; so being teetotal would bring more health benefits than drinking less than 14 units per week.

If you would like more advice on leading a healthy lifestyle, speak to your doctor.

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