What is the safest statin on the market?
Dr. Brinton: Fluvastatin and pravastatin each appears to have fewer drug-drug interactions than other statins. Although some clinicians have felt that the safety of pravastatin was primarily due to its water solubility, the other water-soluble statin, rosuvastatin, has yet to be fully proven as safe.
In the analysis of 135 previous studies, which included nearly 250,000 people combined, researchers found that the drugs simvastatin (Zocor) and pravastatin (Pravachol) had the fewest side effects in this class of medications. They also found that lower doses produced fewer side effects in general.
- Red yeast rice, which contains a naturally occurring statin, should not be combined with prescription statin drugs without medical supervision. Berberine should be avoided or used with caution when taking certain statin drugs, such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), lovastatin (Mevacor) and rosuvastatin (Crestor).
- Aside from Zetia there haven't been any good non-statin options for lowering LDL Cholesterol. Statin drugs like Lipitor (atorvastatin), Zocor (simvastatin) and Crestor work well to lower the “bad” cholesterol, the LDL, and have remained first line therapy for many years.
- The active ingredient in red yeast rice is a compound called monacolins, which blocks the production of cholesterol. This is also an ingredient found in the statin lovastatin. According to the Mayo Clinic, using red yeast rice can also reduce total blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
In this regard, it is interesting to note that in the PRIMO study, the most hydrophilic statins (pravastatin and fluvastatin) were least likely to cause myalgia, whereas simvastatin, the most lipophilic one, was most likely to be associated with muscular adverse effects (4).
- Some examples of statin medications are Lipitor® (atorvastatin), Pravachol® (pravastatin), Zocor® (simvastatin), Livalo® (pitavastatin) and Crestor® (rosuvastatin). Unfortunately, some people may experience muscle pain or weakness while taking statins.
- The most common statin side effects include:
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Flushing of the skin.
- Muscle aches, tenderness, or weakness (myalgia)
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Abdominal cramping or pain.
- One of the most common complaints of people taking statins is muscle pain. You may feel this pain as a soreness, tiredness or weakness in your muscles. The pain can be a mild discomfort, or it can be severe enough to make your daily activities difficult.
Updated: 21st November 2019