Warnings about cholesterol medicine

The American Medical Products Agency warns of severe side effects when using a cholesterol medicine that is used by over 350,000 Norwegians. (Simvastatin is one of two recommended cholesterol drugs in Norway.)

The drug Simvastatin is used for lowering cholesterol in the blood and reduce the risk of heart attack.

A new U.S. study shows that high doses can cause muscle damage and, in rare cases, kidney damage, at worst, can be deadly.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now asking patients taking a daily dose of 80 milligrams to be extra aware of the symptoms of side effects, writes Daily Telegraph.

FDA has also released a list of other medicines that should not be prescribed to patients on high doses of Simvastatin.

Can lead to kidney failure

FDA investigated more than 6000 patients in six years. One group took daily doses of 80 milligrams, while the other took doses of 20 milligrams.

52 of the patients on high doses developed muscle disease myopathy, and eleven of them developed the most dangerous form of myopathy, rhabdomyolysis, which can lead to kidney failure and death.

Among the patients who took low doses, only one developed myopathy, and no rhabdomyolysis.

The FDA urges patients who experience muscle pain, weakness, dark or colored red urine or unexpected fatigue to contact a doctor.

It does not happen often. One in 100,000 people get it, probably fewer. If serious side effects may haste to quit the medication. If there is strong muscle pain, one should go straight to the doctor.

Source : NRK

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