Cholesterol Medication does Have Side Effects

Cholesterol medication increase good cholesterol (HDL) and lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides. In so doing, it minimises the chances of heart diseases. According to Mayo clinic, the different types of medication for cholesterol work in different ways. Mayo grouped the medications as follows:

  1. Statins
  2. Bile acid resin binders
  3. Fibrates
  4. Cholesterol absorption inhibitor
  5. Omega-3 fatty acids
  6. Niacins
  7. Niacins and statins combination
  8. Blend of statin and cholesterol absorption inhibitor

The medications come with side effects such as nausea, constipation, diarrhea, pain, stomach pain, weakness, muscle soreness, cramps as well as reacting with grapefruit juice. However, statins were the leading contributors.

A Medical News Today report states that statins increase the risk of developing cataracts. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns users of the high risk of developing Type II diabetes.

NPR draws its attention to a study that was undertaken in 2013. The study showed that 17% of the patients experienced side effects. After experienced the side effects, two-thirds of the victims stopped using the medication.

Despite this, some doctors led by Dr. Alexander Turchin, assistant professor, Harvard Medical School still believe that statins are important. He states that the side effects can be dealt with by switching to different varieties.
Dr. Barbara Roberts, the author of “The Truth About Statins,” told NPR that studies don’t show that statins help in preventing heart disease in women hence can’t be ignored.She further added that following a Mediterranean diet offers benefits similar to statins.

The FDA warns consumers of the following:

  • Observing blood liver enzymes on a regular basis. Unfortunately, the monitoring hasn’t been effective in preventing severe injury to the liver.
  • Brain- related impairment such as memory loss, confusion, and forgetfulness has been reported.
    Statin can lead to Type II diabetes and increased sugar levels in blood.


  • Damage to the muscles can occur due to reaction with lovastatin (Mevacor brand).

Nonetheless, Medical News sited that the risks were overshadowed by the benefits.

Mayo clinic pointed that other medications besides statins also cause side effects. Bile acid resin binders such as Questran and Colestid can cause constipation, nausea, gas, bloating, as well as increasing triglycerides. Zetia, a cholesterol absorption inhibitor may cause fatigue, stomach pain, and muscle soreness. Combining Zetia with statin may cause abdominal pain, gas, weakness, and cramps.

Fibrates can cause stomach pain, gallstones, and nausea. A person may experience peptic ulcers, facial flushing, diarrhea, high blood sugar, neck flushing, nausea, vomiting, and gout when using niacin. Mayo said that Vascepa and Lovaza which contain Omega-3 fatty acids may lead to fishy taste, infections, and increased belching.

Source : Newsmax