Statins side effects: The cholesterol-lowering drug may cause hair loss
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One side effect of statins may be hair loss. Although it’s uncommon, it is a real risk for people taking the medication. If you believe this is happening to you, you’ll need to discuss your concerns with your doctor. The NHS said most people tolerate the side effects of the life-saving drug and do not experience any problems. However, for an unfortunate number of people, the medication just doesn’t sit right with them.
There are different risks associated with the type of statins you’re using, which may include any of these five variations:
- Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
- Simvastatin (Zocor)
- Fluvastatin (Lescol)
- Pravastatin (Lipostat)
- Rosuvastatin (Crestor).
In general, the most common side effects of statins include: a headache, dizziness, feeling sick, feeling tired or physically weak.
Another common side effect could be digestive troubles, such as constipation, diarrhoea, or indigestion.
It’s commonly reported that statins can cause muscle pain, sleep disturbances, or a low blood platelet count.
Less common side effects of the medication, as well as hair loss, include being physically sick.
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A person may experience memory problems, pins and needles, or inflammation of the liver.
Inflammation of the liver is known as hepatitis, which can cause flu-like symptoms.
Acne may emerge, or an itchy red rash; it may also lead to sexual dysfunction, such as loss of libido or erectile dysfunction.
If you’d like to add any side effects you believe you’re experiencing because of statins you can report them to the Yellow Card Scheme.
The Yellow Card Scheme are overseen by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA).
Should any of the side effects of statins be troubling you, a discussion with your doctor may help.
They could adjust your current statins dosage, or give you a different type of statins to try.
For details of the side effects of the particular statins you’re on, do check the information leaflet that comes with it.
If you’re on the fence about taking statins, you can discuss the risks and benefits of the medication with your GP.
The cholesterol charity Heart UK highlighted the benefits of taking statins.
For example, statins can reduce the number of “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in your body by up to 50 percent.
Statins work by blocking an enzyme protein called HMG-CoA-Reductase, which would otherwise contribute to cholesterol formation.
The use of statins can also lower the amount of triglycerides found in the body.
Triglycerides are linked to liver disease, heart disease and diabetes.
In addition, statins can help to prevent blood clots, which may otherwise block narrowed arteries and lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Ultimately, it’s your decision whether you decide to take statins or not, based on a doctor’s advice.
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