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Muscle pain, Statins, moderately intense workouts almost daily
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salguitar posted:
So my doc wants my LDL dropped by at least 10 points.
He wanted me to take Simvastatin and I've read too much bad about it...I said no...he finally convinced me to take 10mg Atorvastatin (Lipitor I believe)...I know this is a very low dose and that 50mg or more isn't that uncommon...

I'm a pretty avid gym goer...I usually do about 40 mins of cardio and lift 12-15 sets, one body part per day.

I've been using the Atorvastatin for about a month now.
I've been noticing that my upper thighs, close to the hip joints, has been the kind of achy I'd expect two days after a leg workout...but it seems like it's all the time lately.

My cardio is done on an eliptical stepper.
Last week, I upped the resistance level from 5 to 10 and try to maintain 100SPM or more...this COULD be a reason for the sudden achy feeling in those muscles....
And if I'd never ever read about the possible side effects of Statin drugs, I'd probably just assumed this was transition discomfort and paid it no real mind.

Just wondering..isn't this a very low dose and therefore, I may be making something out of nothing?
I have none of the other side effects listed.
No headaches, not fatigued, no dark urine (and I drink a LOT of water so I do pee alot..but even that first one in the morning isn't dark (more yellow than most of the rest of the day but not dark).

So, there's a chance I'm making something out of nothing and convincing myself I should just stop taking the drug? (I'm not a fan of drugs in the first place which is why it took him almost a month to get me to agree to this one)...

Anyone else have experience with this?
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bobby75703 responded:
After 10 years of studying statin side effects I can honestly say I have heard your same complaint hundreds of times.

When we place stress on a weakened structure, its more likely to give way or be damaged.

Believe it or not, LDL cholesterol plays an important role in muscle cell structural integrity. So does testosterone. Both of which are made by the same metabolic pathway statins block.

Commercial interests condemn LDL cholesterol, but its essential in building strong muscles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x_h6svOTObk
 
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billh99 responded:
Yes, 10 mg atorvastatin is a relatively low dose. The maximum amount is 80 mg.

I don't know how your elliptical works, but it sounds like 5 to 10 might be a big change and I could see this causing some muscle strain.

But very few of the people that get muscle pain associated with statins get have dark urine or other symptoms.

So you are a prime example of why it is hard to determine muscle pain from statins vs other causes.

The only way to tell for sure is to wait a while (month?) and if the pain does not decrease then stop it and see if the pain improves and then restart the statin (challenge and re-challenge).

You might also ask your doctor for vit D test. Low vit D seems to have some relationship with muscle pain.

Here is a blog posting by a cardiologist who is also an athletic on a new study about this subject. I find him to be very knowledgeable and balanced in his writings on exercise and the heart.
http://www.drjohnm.org/2012/12/do-statins-impair-muscle-performance/

I don't know anything about your age, lipid profile, family history or other risk factors.

But if you are unsure of the need you might want to look for a preventive cardiologist and ask about some different testing. That would include things like cholesterol particle counts. It seems that particle counts is much more accurate then the lipid panel tests.

And a coronary calcium scan. Most insurance does not cover it, but in some areas it is done as a "community sercvice" and available for $50-100. Insurance may or may not pay for the other test depending on your insurance and your indications for the need.
 
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farsidexyz responded:

Here's an interest article about statins and athletes:

http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2011/02/07/athletes-and-statins/
 
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iride6606 replied to farsidexyz's response:
Interesting, but not an article so much as some one's blog. The guy is a stand up comedian with no formal education in any of the areas he writes about.

From the NIH;

AbstractPURPOSE OF REVIEW:
HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors or statins are associated with a variety of muscle side-effects but little is known about the effect of statins on skeletal muscle strength and exercise performance. We performed a literature search to examine these issues.
RECENT FINDINGS:
We identified six studies examining the effect of statins on muscle strength and nine studies examining their effect on exercise tolerance. In general, studies examining both issues were small and used crude measures of strength and exercise performance.
SUMMARY:
There is insufficient data to determine if statins affect muscle strength and exercise performance. There is suggestive evidence that these drugs may reduce muscle strength in older patients and alter energy metabolism during aerobic exercise, both possibilities require further study.

Link to study;
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20581676
 
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bobby75703 replied to iride6606's response:
Formal education has nothing to do with it. Its having the insight nature put this pathway in us for a reason. It exists for a purpose, and blocking it is an invitation for health problems.
 
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iride6606 replied to bobby75703's response:
I'm sorry,but when I'm taking advice from some one concerning my health I prefer an educated professional, not a blogger. Would you let some one fly your jet who just read a book about it? I don't think so. Too many people feel they are "educated" enough because they spend their days obsessing over Internet articles and write blogs about their opinions. I'll take the person who has studids and done the work to get accredited. It IS all about education.
 
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bobby75703 replied to iride6606's response:
There is nothing wrong with formal education. But education without wisdom can become folly in any field.

You mentioned pilots.


I have witnessed some very well educated pilots make some extremely bad choices. Running planes out of fuel, over loading planes, or flying small aircraft into thunderstorms. Storms don't care if you have a masters degree in aviation.

Most of the time when people get hurt or killed in aviation, its due to a bad choice by the pilot. Wisdom and insight keep pilots and their passengers alive and healthy.

Its the same for medical. Bad choices bring bad results no matter how high an education a person has.
 
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iride6606 replied to bobby75703's response:
This all sounds like rationalization, nothing more. An individual is much more likely to provide the proper medical advice if they are trained, it is just that simple. People who give advice from reading on the Internet and writing blogs while working as a stand up comedian are much more likely to get it wrong.

Again, unless you have a PhD in my field, chances are I am much more likely to understand it's application and I'm sure it's the same in your field.
 
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bobby75703 replied to iride6606's response:
My advice isn't from the internet or blogging. Its from experience by trusting in the medical advice of an internist who took a very healthy man, ( myself) and made his muscles weak for the rest of his life.

Every single day of my life I pay for this Doctor's lack of wisdom and poor choices.( Not to mention my poor choice in following his advice. )

Certainly he had great academic education, but education without wisdom and insight is worthless.

He prescribed a cholesterol drug I had no business taking, insisting it would "prevent a heart attack 15 years from now." He was wrong! Instead he torched my muscles for life.

Excellent is the physician who can think on his own, and not be a puppet on a string for the system.

Too bad I trusted in this man's education. NEVER again. Today I put zero faith in Degree's. They mean nothing to me.
 
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iride6606 replied to bobby75703's response:
Sorry you had a bad experience, but id does not mean that everyone is in your shoes. Nor does it discredit those with higher degrees.

On the reverse side of your experience, I am fortunate that some one with a Doctors of Medicine Degree an educated me on the dangers of my lipid profile and told me about the proper changes in lifestyle and use of a medicine like a statin to keep me healthy.

Today I put zero faith in Degree's. They mean nothing to me.

As some one who has dedicated 8 years to obtain a BS, Masters and PhD, this is why I don't put much stock in what people who are self taught in my discipline over the Internet say when they want to tell me how statistics work, they mean nothing to me. I try to help them understand but if they don't want to listen, that's fine too.
 
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bobby75703 replied to iride6606's response:
You certainly are entitled to your opinion and I have to respect the opinion of yours and others.

However I stand firm in my belief society has been barking up the wrong tree with the lipid hypothesis. I no longer subscribe to the good and bad cholesterol theory. No longer view cholesterol as a villain, nor do I subscribe to lowering LDL as a means to ward off heart disease and heart attacks. I think we ALL have been sold the Brooklyn Bridge on this one.
 
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iride6606 replied to bobby75703's response:
You certainly are entitled to your opinion and I have to respect the opinion of yours and others.

I don't really state opinion on the numbers, they are facts and not really subject to interpretation.

I have no opinion on the "cholesterol" discussions. I understand what my doctor says and it makes sense when I couple his thoughts to my research. I'll just say I think its a stretch to think there is an evil agenda when it comes to people warning of the issues with cholesterol, no matter if its from drug companies or doctors or whoever.
 
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bobby75703 replied to iride6606's response:
LOL! You say you have no opinion, then give your opinion.
 
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iride6606 replied to bobby75703's response:
I have no opinion of the great cholesterol argument that so many seem to want to divide into sides. What is that all about?That was my point, glad I amused you.


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