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Alleged side effects of statins not detectable?
There have been many contradicting statements about the effects of statins lately. Doctors have historically claimed that statins would cause severe side effects. But researchers have now found that statins are safe and effective. The possible side effects were exaggerated in previous studies.
The researchers at the internationally recognized University of Oxford found that statins are not as unsafe and ineffective as previous studies have claimed. Here older studies would have exaggerated the side effects significantly. The doctors published the results of their investigation in the journal "The Lancet".
Many people stop their statin treatment due to uncertainty
Around six million people in the UK take tablets to lower their cholesterol every day. These statins can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, heart attacks or strokes, the experts explain. Statins are the most commonly prescribed medication in the UK. However, hundreds of thousands of people have recently stopped using this lifesaving treatment because of contradicting statements.
Contradicting statements about statins confuse patients
So-called statins are generally controversial drugs. There have been conflicting reports of how the risks of a negative reaction outweigh the benefits, the researchers say. In the past, too much emphasis has been placed on the unreliable evidence from observational studies. However, the results of reliable randomized drug trials have not been properly recognized, the authors add.
Patients' confidence in statins has dropped significantly
Previous research and their results have resulted in a significant drop in statin use. For example, a previous study found that taking the drug was linked to autism, the experts say. This statement had a major negative impact on trust in this safe and effective drug, the authors explain.
What side effects do statins really have?
Researchers from other studies have previously claimed that statins can cause memory loss, cataracts, kidney damage, liver disease, sleep disorders, aggressiveness, or erectile dysfunction. These misleading claims about harmful side effects are incorrect and lead to high public health costs, explains Professor Rory Collins from the University of Oxford. The new investigation has shown that muscle pain, diabetes or a hemorrhagic stroke can be triggered as side effects.
Positive effects outweigh side effects
A lot more people use the drug to avoid heart attacks and strokes. Surprisingly, independent studies have shown that statins also significantly reduce the likelihood of breast cancer returning. On the other hand, there are far fewer cases of patients with side effects, experts from the University of Oxford explain in a recent press release. Most side effects can be reversed by stopping taking statins without any after effects. However, the effects of a heart attack or stroke cannot be remedied. They are irreversible and can have devastating consequences, the researchers warn. (as)