AF and statins

I have PAF which is well-controlled with Arythmol. I take Warfarin as well as thyroxine and blood pressure medication and Q10 and so far they have all worked well together. Now my GP wants me to take a statin and I have since read that statins and warfarin are not always compatible and that each may diminish the effectiveness of the other. Does anyone here have that combination and how does it work for them?

36 Replies

  • I was on artorvastatin long before I started warfarin and have never had a problem.


  • I was on Simvastatin for years before Warfarin and didn't have any problems regarding what you're asking. I am now on the same as Bob, Atorvastatin and again no problems relating to what you are asking.

    But.....I eventually developed muscle spasm with Simvastatin so had to stop as I couldn't tolerate the pain. I "think" I am now developing the same with Atorvastatin but not sure yet. I've just stopped for a week and now put myself back on them to see what happens. There is another "better" one available I was told if I get problems with this one.

    But those muscle spasm problems seem only to relate to statins, not any interaction with Warfarin that I've ever heard of.


  • Hi Koll, by muscle spasm do you mean 'cramp'? I keep waking at night with legs cramps and I also get it in my hands. I have always had 'cramp' but it is getting a lot worse, could it be the statins? I am on Simvastatin and started on Warfarin in Feb of this year. Sue

  • I don't know Sue. I go to a chiropractor who gives me a massage and he says my muscles are in spasm, big-time. They are very tight around my shoulders and into my neck, and it gives me a constant headache and stiff neck. I suppose you could call it cramp?

    He explained that muscle spasm is where the muscle contracts and releases very quickly all the time, like 1000 times a second or a minute, pass, but fast anyhow !

    We're not sure it's the statins but it looks like it might be, I reckon it is.

    The nurse told me Simvastatin was the cheapest and had the most muscle related problems, that was what I was on. If you get muscle problems, then they put you on Atorvastatin (which I'm on now), then, if you still get problems, there is another even more expensive one. I think I will be ending up on the expensive one unless I can get off them altogether.


  • Thanks Koll, I will discuss it with my GP when I next see him.

  • Hi Koll, It's a documented fact that statins suppress the body's production of CoEnzyme Q10, essential for muscle function. So, if you are taking statins and experiencing muscle pain then you should take CoQ10 supplement. One of the statin manufacturers is currently developing a statin with CoQ10 added to help alleviate muscle pain. I'm not on statins since I had adverse reactions to all the different ones my GP tried. I am, however, taking Ubiquinol, which is CoQ10 in the form that the body coverts CoQ10 to. I have found that it made a tremendous difference to my "hard work tolerance" and I am now able to do work that previously was causing me chest pain. There's lots of debate going on about statins with a lot of cardiologists saying that they are over prescribed. One report asked, would you prescribe a patient insulin in case they became diabetic OR chemotherapy in case they got cancer? (good questions). My cholesterol is around 6.7 and an angiogram three years ago indicated that my coronary ateries were normal. I'm afraid the statin debate is as bad as the YES/No debate in Scotland at present.

    So, get the CoQ10 and you will soon be able to out-run the cattle and sheep, without your quad bike.

    Keep well, Walter.

  • Yep, statins are on my doubtful list Walter. I shall look into CoQ10, thanks for that. I have trouble keeping up with my sheep on the quad!!!


  • Thanks Bob and Koll, the reassurance is helpful, especially for someone who once promised herself that she would never go on to any medication! Probably because my late father died at 99 and had never been on any......

  • Living to 99 in earlier generations was the exception Marilyn. Today, it is becoming more commonplace. We are all living longer and while there may be a number of factors contributing to that, there is little doubt that 'medication' which routinely controls our life threatening illnesses/conditions is principal among them. Simply keeping blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check will give huge numbers of us a very welcome extension. Keep taking the tablets!

  • Thank you! The argument in favour of longer life seems very popular now but I only want to live as long as I am reasonably healthy in both mind and body.

  • I want to go ten minutes before my wife finds me a burden. AAAH, thump.

  • You've got it sorted Bob!

  • Bob.

    Now that did make me smile


  • I agree with you, and I can tell you, at age 68, I would never take statins again they almost ruined my life at age fifty! I stopped and had had steady improvement over two or three years finally getting my muscles back to normal for the last 15 years or so. the companies that made statins have been sued for billions and found guilty. seems like it's horses for courses.. I have never felt better, once I stopped doing cholesterol tests and blood pressure tests! but this AF thing does seem to be a game changer as diet and Natural remedies seem in short supply, only reason for fin

    ding out I had AF was an ECG for my aviation licence,, I forgot to mention I took CoQ10 which seemed to help in the recovery from the Statin damage, and I have just started taking them again to try and help any bad effects from Warfarin. very important to have your creatinine levels check if you have to take statins/

  • Hi,I appreciate your thouhgts on keep taking the medications, also the number one way to have a long life is keep your lifestyle in check. It would be interesting to know all the facts of people who come on these type of websites to assert if maybe bad lifestyle may of contributed to their conditions or illnesses. Having said that I'm nearly 66 and started with PAF., in June 2012. I put the blame for my PAF., solely on a ventilation pipe from a gas fired laundry dryer that was pumping out 200cu.ft. of fumes, including an element of carbon monoxide. This machine has subsequently been removed and my health has improved. We can't control things that may affect

    our health sometimes, but we have the sole right to control our own lifestyles. By the way I'm as fit as a fiddle apart from this PAF., which I hope will be eliminated after I go for cryo ablation next month. Look after your body and it will look after you, especially in your later life. I know some people are unfortunate and have health problems through no fault of their own, so from that position,, yes medication is a wonderful thing.

  • I'm on Simvastatin and warfarin. I have no problems with either. I was recently given calcium channel blockers. The pharmacist flagged up that I should only be on 20mg Simvastatin and not the standard 40mg.

  • When I went on 40mg Simvastatin with calcium channel blockers, like you, it was flagged up by the pharmacist. My GP said it was fine as I had no trouble with swollen ankles.

  • I had to stop the calcium channel blockers on Friday. I have suffered swollen ankles for 6 weeks along with sluggish digestion. In fairness there are warnings about the side effects. I had 3 consecutive poor days last week so GP said to stop them and see how I reacted. I have felt fine over the weekend so I'm staying optimistic!

  • It is a juggling act getting the right combination sometimes isn't ! It sounds as if things are fine now - hope it continues. Good luck.

  • No problem for me either.x

  • Thanks Jennydog and Deodottie ( must tell you that my spellcheck changed your name to Deodorise!!) . I notice that those who have mentioned their dosage refer to 40mcg whereas I've only been prescribed 10mcg.

  • Oh I love the name change. In this hot weather it's really appropriate! I am on 20mg. My cholesterol is 4.8 . My G.p. says it has other heart protecting properties but typically didn't tell me what they were.x

  • Hi....I get my cholesterol checked by a Prof at hospital every 6 months and was there on Friday. I have been on statins for years and when diagnosed with AF it was increased from 10mg to 40. I made the Prof aware that I was now taking warfarin and he assured me that there was no problem taking both. He did however suggest that I reduce/stop the bisoprolol and was writing to my GP to advise her. I was also prescribed Rampiril recently and have noticed that I seem to be permanently exhausted...I have made an appointment to see my GP on Monday as there is definitely something not right. Too many tablets I think!! Bisop, Rampiril, Warfarin, Simvastatin, Omacor. Oh the joys! Thank God I found this site - thank you all for listening. Regards, Patricia.

  • I was prescribed statins 40mg which was reduced to a 10mg doseage, due to some recent medical recommendation or findings cant remember which, but I had warfarin before my ababtion and it didnt cause any problems....

  • Marilyn, I read somewhere that statins need to be taken daily as their effect only lasts for 24 hours. I take mine late evening so that their effect kicks in whilst I'm asleep and any muscle aches are minimised though I haven't been aware of any.

  • Thanks.....the pharmacist recommended they be taken at bed-time too, for the same reason. Here goes then.......x

  • I was on statins like Bob before started warfarin and never had any problems


  • Hi

    I have been on statins for around 14 years and after being diagnosed with AF 20 months ago and put on warfarin , I have had no problems .I was originally on simvastatin but changed to pravastatin a year ago.

    The only thing that concerns me is that my GP says the Guidelines state that blood tests for cholesterol levels are no longer necessary - so I haven't been tested for over 16 months now - and consequently don't know if I am on the correct statin dose.


  • G'day Mamamarilyn,

    I'm on Bisoprolol (5mg daily) and Warfarin (5mg one day and 6 mg another alternately) for my AF. I'm on Ramipril 10mg for high blood pressure and Simvastatin 40 mg for cholesterol. The Simva has no impact on the other drugs in my party bag. I am constantly in my INR range between 2 and 3 and sometimes even hit my target value of 2.5 (sometimes 2.4 and sometimes 2.6 or so - just depends). I take all my stuff at night except Ramipril which I take when I get up first thing. I also take 1 x 100mg capsule of Bio Quinone Q10 each morning too. No problems at all.

    Hope that helps.

    Aussie John

  • Many thanks Aussie John. I don't like taking all this stuff though, do you?? I guess the alternative is worse though.

  • I read that statins should be taken at night because it is during sleep that the liver expels the fat and the statins help this process.

  • Before taking Statins, all women should ask their doctor to show the primary evidence that lowering Cholesterol is beneficial to women. He can't. The Opposite may be true. I am not a medic, but the research papers that I have read indicate that lowering Cholesterol in women Increases morbidity and reduces life expectancy. All women taking statins should be asking for this evidence, and anyone who takes Statins MUST take Q10 - without it you "may" (read probably will!) get muscle cramps and/or weakness. The heart is just one big muscle ball....

    Please look on the net. I found this in seconds:

    I, personally, will not be taking Statins under any circumstances, but do your own research, and make your own decision. Look specifically for evidence for WOMEN, not just generally, as men and women have different reactions!

  • A few years ago, I had a blood test to check cholesterol, diabetes, thyroid, kidney and liver function. The cholesterol came back slightly high, all else OK and I was advised to lose a few pounds in weight. The GP, also female, said "I don't suppose you fancy taking statins?" Me: "Not really." GP: "I don't blame you!" Told me all I needed to know.

  • I think doctors are now set a Target for Statins, and have to offer them to all they can in order to achieve the target. I know that they keep lowering the "safe" cholesterol level, regardless of the primary evidence. The drug companies need to make enough profit to finance research, don't they?

    I have to congratulate your doctor for her candour. She was spot on for any woman, and most men! If they keep on offering men with normal cholesterol lower and lower levels the numbers of deaths will start to rise again.

    I have read some of the research papers, some years ago. The graph with cholesterol increasing along the x axis and life expectancy along the Y , for men, is a bit like a reversed "tick" with a rounded bottom! This means that, as the level of cholesterol falls, men's death risks fall, until they reach a minimum, but then, as they are lowered more, the death risk rises again. For women, however, as cholesterol rises, so does the life expectancy!

    There are some people with hereditary illnesses which raise cholesterol who CAN benefit, and some men with higher than average cholesterol can benefit, but when they talk about medicating the majority of the population, and achieving lower and lower cholesterol levels, I start to feel uncomfortable. How can anything which effects 75% of the population be abnormal? I wonder what they will say when the deaths actually start to rise again? Will the drug companies compensate the families out of their inflated profits? Probably not, because all these people will die with delightfully low Cholesterol levels!

    What people fail to remember is that cholesterol is essential for everyday life! It is not a baddie to be eradicated, but a goodie which, in exceptional circumstances, might be a bit too high. Without it we would not exist, and making it ever lower and lower risks making us deficient- maybe the drug companies will start to market cholesterol supplements in the future!!

    Unless we all ask for the Primary research that proves we should be on this drug before taking it, there will continue to be this push to medicate healthy levels in healthy(ish!) people.

    (Sorry to go on - this is a particular bugbear of mine!!)

  • Mine too! I have just turned down my GP's invitation to take a statin.

  • I have been on statins 40mg for 8 years now and have recently started warfarin in Feb last. I dont know if there is any side effects of these two together as they keep changing my meds all the time to get a right balance but I still take my stats as I had aortic double femeral graft to legs because of artery blocksages.

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