STATIN: Atorvaststin. Who is on it... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

29,446 members19,291 posts


Atma123 profile image

Atorvaststin. Who is on it.? And how did you feel when you first took it. 20 mg

52 Replies

I was prescribed 80mg whilst in hospital recovering from a HA. When I got home I just wasn't well at all was reduced to 40mg. All is well now. I've lost weight and my cholesterol is 4.1.

Atma123 profile image
Atma123 in reply to

Oh that’s positive.Glad you’re feeling better. I’ve heard horror stories and was scared to take them but my cholesterol has gone up so was advised to take them. Im ok my legs are achy but that could be the boiling weather. Hopefully it’ll pass. Thanks for responding.

Also on 80 mg then after six months on 40mg. Not sure where you hear the horror stories but everyone is different and the benefits are far more important. 20mg I would say that’s a small dose and if works well then great. I hope next month to be reduced

Take care


Atma123 profile image
Atma123 in reply to gilreid1


fixedrider profile image
fixedrider in reply to gilreid1

Same as Gil. The reduction was at my GP's suggestion and not because of any side-effects - he just wanted to see whether I could get the same benefits on a smaller dose, so we tested it. I agree that 20mg is a small dose compared to what most seem to say that they are on.

I’m on 80 mg and im fine with it

Hello :-)

I was put on 80mg when I was in the Hospital

I did not feel great , I had Indigestion and joint aches but I knew it was best to take it as I had high Cholesterol for a few years before my heart attacks and I was to afraid of everything I had read to take a Statin even though I was advised I should

I spoke with my Doctor and Consultant and they were happy for me to take 40mg instead and I feel a lot better on that dose :-)

Looking back now I often wonder had I taken them when I was advised would I have ended up having three heart attacks and waiting for Bypass surgery now but I suppose I will never know the answer to that but I would urge anyone that has high Cholesterol to take them if the have been prescribed because they are worth it

So face that fear , stop reading up about them as you only ever get the worse comments on Google and look at the many that take them that are fine and that are helping to keep their hearts healthy :-) x

Atma123 profile image
Atma123 in reply to BeKind28

Thankyou so much. Feeling better after reading these replies.

BeKind28 profile image
BeKind28 in reply to Atma123

Good :-)

There is nothing to fear as others say that is a small dose and rather than thinking about the negative things you have read every time you take it say to yourself this is helping to keep my heart healthy :-) x

ling profile image
ling in reply to Atma123

Not just Google but on this forum too. There was a poster who was scared off by what he read here and stopped his statin. He had various other health conditions. His next post some months on, he had suffered a stroke and wished he had never stopped his statin.

I am on 20mg as well. My cardio says its considered a moderate dose. It dropped my stubborn 2.9-3 LDL to 1+, increased my HDL and decreased my triglycerides. It cleared up my brain fog as well.

Muscle aches and pains. This was pretty bad in the first 2.5 months, but I decided to persevere. GP tested for muscle damage, I forget the name of the blood test, but nothing was found. The aches and pains, one or two of which was extremely scary, have largely disappeared. Occasionally, there are still some aches and pains, and my muscles seem more prone to aches and pains after exercise, than previously.

Blood sugar. I don't know if you have read of the link between diabetes and statins. My cardio did warn me this was one of the risk of taking statins. However, I should qualify that this more likely would affect those already prediabetic or have issues with their blood sugar.

I think I fall into this latter category as my diet, owing to my intestinal issues, is extremely low residue and low fat. I believe the statin, after taking for around 3 months, tipped me on and off into hypoglycemia. I am observing this for now, and will continue or discontinue the statin after consulting with the GP.

Best wishes.

Atma123 profile image
Atma123 in reply to ling

Thankyou for this. Really helpful. 👍

Granchildren profile image
Granchildren in reply to Atma123

Been on 80 mg for 6 years after heart attack I’m fine.

I took 20mg with no issues at all other than headache for the first couple of days. Statins generally have a terrible reputation for side effects, but there was a really interesting study conducted a couple of years ago in London. They took 60 patients who had all stopped statins entirely because of side effects, and gave all of them periods of several weeks on statins and then on a placebo, alternating between the two over the course of a year. The study found that patients reported exactly the same side effects with the same frequency during the periods they were taking the placebo as the periods they were actually taking the statins. When the results were explained to them, many patients found they could then take the statins without having any side effects. This supports the studies that already exist proving the nocebo effect is very real, and essentially means that if people are told they will get side effects, or if they anticipate they’re likely to get side effects, many often will.

The other thing to bear in mind is that the list of side effects in any patient information leaflet is not proven: they put in anything reported whilst taking a drug, many of which - aches and pains, headaches, nausea etc. - are subjective; there’s no way to prove them, quantify them, or confirm that the drug caused the side effect rather than it just being coincidence. Correlation rather than causation. Sodium chloride solution (saline) used to prepare injections and IVs has a side effect list of 14 things including fever. It’s literal salt water. Our blood is salt water, with a much higher concentration of salt than is found in saline.

Atma123 profile image
Atma123 in reply to Charlie_G

Wow.! Thankyou that is so interesting and informative. Feeling better about them already.

I have been taking Atorvastatin 40mg since my op at the beginning of April. At first I felt no different but now my legs ache and I feel sometimes not quite with it. I also have trouble sleeping and my restless leg syndrome problem has come back with a vengeance. Also have swollen legs/ feet/ankles. This could all be down to the affects of major surgery but a lot of people do have problems with statins.

Having said all that I am sticking with the statin as my cholesterol is high and I know my body will settle down once it gets used to the meds.

I was started on 80mg but reduced to 20mg. I have degenerative spine most of my life, just found 80mg too high, too much pain. My cholesterol was never above 5, but I have learnt here that it does more than reduce cholesterol, currently 3.2. I can't exactly remember what else it does, I don't have good memory. There is a lot you can do with diet, but cholesterol can be stubborn to get down.

Hi I am on 20mgs and it made my legs painful. I now take it at night and this has made a lot of difference with my legs.Regards Dee.

Atma123 profile image
Atma123 in reply to DD13

Thanks so much

I started this on 20mg in March this year. I had been advised to take it for years, but was put off by horror stories. In fact I've noticed no side effects at all. It's been absolutely fine. I will get a blood test soon to check on my cholesterol levels.

Undoubtedly some people have unwanted side effects, but bear in mind you'll rarely see people posting anywhere if their experience is good or neutral.

Good luck.

Atma123 profile image
Atma123 in reply to Ascb

Thanks so much

If you start on the statins and get side effects, you can stop taking them. Dr told me that the way to approach it was take them for a period of time-if had any problems, under medical supervision, stop them for Eg two weeks and see if problems stop.

Repeat and if problems recommence then would know it was statin related.

I don’t have any problems at all with 20mg .

Thanks so much 👍

I was put on 80mg after my HA, even though I didn't have high cholesterol. It seems to be standard protocol. It gave me terrible leg pains and was counterproductive in that I could not exercise properly. Simvastatin and Pravastatin had the same effect. I am now on 10mg Rosuvastatin which works fine for me.

My suggestion would be to take the 20mg and see how you go. Hopefully there should be an alternative that will suit you if you have issues.

On 80 mg with no side effects but main effect of halving my bad cholesterol level from 3.8 to 1.7.

I've been on a low dose, 20mg, of Atorvastatin for about 18 months, no side effects at all but my cholesterol has come down to 4.1. I was put on as a precautionary/preventive measure.

I have been on 80mg for the last 7 years, apart from a few months where my GP reduced it to 40mg and then Cardiologist put it back to 80mg. I did have some problems at first with terrible joint pains especially in my arms and shoulders. I think the secret is to persevere if you can. All the very best to you. 🙂

I was prescribed 80mg after my HA 10 years ago. I had to stop them 6 weeks later as they created all sorts of muscle issues which in turn increased my CK levels to 10 times the upper acceptable range figure. Today, I still live with the damage the statins caused, my CK levels are generally now recorded as 4 times the upper range figure.......statin side effects are a real thing but, as has been said, its very much an individual experience whether you get them or not and to what degree. For those able to take them its a no brainer, but not all can and not all are suffering with the nocebo effect.

Been on 80mg for over a year, felt terrible initially but have adapted to it. Try Q10coenzyme from the Heath food which may reduce some side effects . The statin has also cleaned up my teeth from dental plaque amazingly :) atorvastatin is not such a bad guy after all :)

Atma123 profile image
Atma123 in reply to PeterpPiper


I’m on 80 mg and have been for 18 months. No side effects noticed and it virtually halved my cholesterol levels down to just over 2. I’ve read about the nocebo effect before and even had one work colleague that complained of muscle pain that stopped when he stopped the statins.

Seems to be very much an individual response.

Was put on 40mg of Atorvastatin after a stroke, however my cholesterol levels had always been in the acceptable range so had never been recommended to take them before. I did develop a pain in my left wrist and because I was told statins provide other benefits I've had them reduced to 20mg. Wrist pain virtually gone.

Hi all, I'm 80 mgs of astorvaststatin a year and a half, doing fine,leg cramps but I take a glass of tonic water every night which combats the cramps...

Was on the post heart attack 80mg for over a year. Got fed up with it and changed to 10 mg Rosuvastatin - much better for me.

On statins for high cholesterol. Have fibromyalgia + RA. Started on 40mg but couldn't cope so reduced to 20 mg, after 1 month of that I've been changed to risuvastatin. Hope it works as I know I have to get my cholesterol down

Besides cholesterol reduction statins deliver two other important benefits.

First they reduce the background level of inflammation that can be one of the root causes of heart disease.

Secondly statins, especially if prescribed alongside Ramipril, tend to stabilise and solidify the plaque that, if it ruptures, is what causes the great majority of heart attacks.

Yes, some people have severe side effect problems with statins, but the great majority don't. The chances are that you'll be fine, if you're not you can always discuss with your GP alternative brands of statin or reducing the dose. Some people who have less of a cholesterol problem even take really minute doses of statins on alternative days in order to get these other benefits.

Good luck!

ling profile image
ling in reply to Chappychap

Do statins alone stabilise and solidify plaque?


Chappychap profile image
Chappychap in reply to ling

I believe so, but apparently the effect is even more pronounced when statins are taken in conjunction with Ramipril.

I’ve been on 80mg a day for four and a half years. No side effects. My cholesterol has gone from 7.8 to 2.7 I wouldn’t read too much into side effects as you can have a placebo reaction. Take them and see how you feel, if you have any concerns talk to your Cardiologist or GP.

Atma123 profile image
Atma123 in reply to trash_panda


Long term use of simvastatin can have adverse effects. Certainly I was put on 80mg after a heart attack (up from 40). After a year, I got pretty bad digestive issues. But then 80mg is a lot. Cardiologist changed dose to 40mg, now all is well

I was on 80 mg and cholesterol is down to 3.5 , had muscle aches and cramps but have arthritis and have them anyway , so not sure they have increased. Reduced to 40mg this month after 8 months on 80mg. I take mine at night. All the best with your health challenges.


Hi, I was prescribed 40mg 1 1/2 years ago. Initially I’d take it in the morning …. Felt sick. But now I take it after my evening meal and have been fine since. Even though my cholesterol went down the doctor has advised to stay on it. 😊

I'm in the 80mg daily club and had no side effects. That is the maximum dose according to Paul Whitehouse. I think the NICE guidelines are to use statins aggressively post HA.

I’m also on those tablets but my dose is a lot higher I’m on the 80mg been on those for about a month now and I feel okay on them

I’m new to statins . I’ve started on 40 mg a couple of weeks ago until I get the appointment in the chest pain assessment clinic and have tests done. I’ve struggled with gastric effects. I didn’t take them for a few days and felt better . Today I cut the tablet in half which was tricky as it wasn’t evenly divided. I’m going to try and persevere. I’ve heard lots get muscle pain but so far am ok even after exercising.

My cholesterol was 7.5 but had come down from 8.5 . It’s always been a big high but the ratio of the good cholesterol was higher than the bad. The cardiologist told my GP to prescribe them.

ling profile image
ling in reply to Calm_girl

Did you have chest pains?

You've reduced your dose?

Calm_girl profile image
Calm_girl in reply to ling

Yes I have coronary artery spasm. It’s usually well controlled . I’ve reduced the dose due to the side effects but I’m going to try to increase it if I can.

ling profile image
ling in reply to Calm_girl

Many thanks for sharing.

Yes, please do try. It's important to get that cholesterol level down.

If it really doesn't work out, please check with the cardio for alternatives. Try a different statin, or add ezetimibe, or maybe the new cholesterol drug please read this -

Best wishes.

Calm_girl profile image
Calm_girl in reply to ling

Thank you

I’ve been on 80 mg for almost 18 months and have been fine with it.

You may also like...