Started Simvastain 10mg 5months ago with no side effects, dose increased to 20mg.... not sure if i am now having side effects, any advise?

Hi...... I started Simvastain 10mg 5months ago with no side effects, ( Cholesterol reduced from 9.1 to 6.4.... I have familial hypercholesterolemia ) dose increased to 20mg 4 weeks ago, felt fine with no side effects, but have recently come down with a virus that has now persisted for 2 weeks and wondering if it is the statins that are giving me symptoms/side effects. I have had a persistent 'heavy' thick head, neck tenderness with occasional pains shooting up side of neck into head also joint aches that i have associated with the mild temperature ( had this all for 2 weeks now!!!).... i am now wanting to find a cause for my symptoms and wondered if anyone out there had similar experiences..... Many thanks


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62 Replies

  • Only way to tell for sure is to stop the statins for a week so, if the symtoms go then that's your answer. But if you are happy taking a statin ask your GP to change it. Simvastatin is the cheapest on the market therefore the statin of choice for GPs but also the one that causes the most problems.....ask for one that doesn't do so much damage.

  • Thanks EveC, i have seriously considered stopping them, wait for the symptoms to go and re-introduce them..... but would the statins cause a mild persistent temperature? My GP said my CK levels are normal ( dont know what it stands for, but told a measurement for changes to muscle!?) do i trust theses results?....

  • Be careful i have taken 3 different statins i was told i needed to find the right one there is no right one for me they have made lots of things happen to me this has helped me i eat between 11am and 7pm and only drink water or sugar free drinks in between please try this rather than mess your body up if you are having side effects . i now have to take vitamin d with calcium and my bones and muscles are a mess not including what it has done to my brain

  • Because of the comparatively few people who have had adverse side effects from taking statins (as opposed to the thousands, like myself who have never had a side effect at all) they have had an unproportionate mount of adverse publicity. I would agree with what EveC said - apart from the fact, if you have had a virus, these symptoms may disappear of their own volition and a week might not be enough time for the simvastatin to get out of your system. You would need to to restart and see what happened then, before asking for a different brand, as it could all be purely coincidental. Good luck, whatever you decide.

  • Thankyou for helping my thought processes, as my brain is also slightly fuddled...

  • Did the 10mg reduce it from 9 to 6.4? That is really good going if so, could you try diet now instead of increasing the dose. Side effects are more apparent the higher the dose, although 20mg is still a small dose. It could be co-incidence, the only way is to stop and see. I would ignore the CK levels, lots of people have bad muscle aches and cramps and their CK is normal. It's a by product of muscle breakdown and medics only seem to take notice if it's about 10 times the normal by which time most of us would be incapacitated (sorry for cynicism ! ).

  • thankyou for your response.... yes 10mg did reduce it from 9.1 to 6.4, much to my delight. My GP and Hospital Consultant said any change to my diet would make very little difference, i eat healthy stuff all the time and dont touch processed food, cake, biscuits etc...... I am feeling incapacitated already and do have concerns that my kidneys and liver is being affected as have tested for blood in urine and liver bloods raised from test a month ago.... I keep asking myself symptoms from a virus should be subsiding by now, and there not...... I think i will take suggested advice and stop the statins. Once again thank you.

  • You have done well to reduce your total cholesterol by nearly 29%. Can you get Simvastatin in a 5mg dose, if so by agreement with your GP take it initially up by 5mg not 10mg to give your body time to adjust or take an extra 10mg every other day. This was recommended by my cardiologist( I'm on Rusavastatin) and a graduated dose often deals with the side effects which a small proportion of patients experience. As others have said diet is the added way, no crisps, pastries nor cheese - plenty of fresh veg, oily fish and oatbran on your breakfast cereals. Try red grapes and cherry tomatoes- they're a super foods. Best of luck.

  • Thankyou Mike262, because i feel so lousy i have decided to stop taking the statins and once better will consider re-introducing them, your suggestion of a graduated dose sounds like a good idea. I do have a very healthy diet but am also looking into supplements that may help reduced Cholesterol without medication... Does anyone have information about CQ 10 and Lethicin ??

  • Hi again lots...'the great statin debate', statin nation' Dr John Briffa, etc.......horrifying reads.....statins made me feel lousy too...couldn't even find my way around, thought I was going loopy.....but it has taken months off statins to feel 'normal' again. Not just my experiences if you read this blog..there is so much negative reporting to be something in it. I would NEVER EVER take statins again. Can't understand why the medics aren't reading what I've been reading and stopped prescribing willy nilly? Why take a drug that will alter every cell in the body?? The one thing that seems to have helped me the most is pomegranate juice, I read a report and tried it.....couple of months down the line feel so much better, I really think it has made a difference, about 4 fl. oz. every evening - cholesterol is produced at night by the repair damage!! we need it. Sugar is the bad one...does the damage...cholesterol rushes to repair it and that's what clogs our arteries. Here endeth the lesson ;)

  • Hi EveC.... Having family members also taking Simvasatin with no ill effects i believed i would be okay.... how wrong i was!! I am saturated with info now but also believe like you, i am not prepared to load my body with chemicals that are causing many other problems..... i was a very active, fit, healthy person, now feel like an old woman. I had read about the benefits of pomegranate juice, something else to put on my shopping list!..... i am still trying to find something to repair the damage done from the statins as i want to get back to 'normal'... sooner rathe than later.

  • Good luck with that one, Henry, sounds like you've taken the first step. It's a tremendous feeling when you discover what's scrambled your brain and you can do something about it:) I also take FLP aloe vera, have done for years and that also helps. All the best in your recovery.

  • Hi henrya02. I can sympathize with you and your quandry. That was me a few weeks ago.

    After reading all I can find and understand online, I have decided not to take any more statins. This has been my own decision, my doc doesn't know yet but I am seeing her in a couple of weeks and will inform her then.

    Folk who don't have the statin side effects can't possibly know how painful and debilitating they can be. I have put myself on CoQ10 and a good multi vatamin and supplement to try and help my muscles and joints get back to how they were pre statins...I am feeling a little better and that's just been a month.

    I have revued my eating habits and tweaked them into a healthier easy to slip into bad habits. No processed foods, and no carbs. If what I have read is true, I may even be able to stop my HBP pills too but I will leave that up to my doc to arrange.

    One thing I have learned is that in the end it's up to the individual to take care of herself/himself...but its just so hard to find what's right for you and your lifestyle.

    I have been grateful to this group for their support and information. Good luck!

  • I was on simvastatin for about a year, I ended up have a dull pain constantly in my left arm and across my chest, the muscle in my arm was nothing like it use to be i went back to the doctor and he changed them for another one and with the side effects they gave i dicided not to take them and just eat between 11 and 7 as it was suggested thats the best time to eat if you have cholestral problems I also drink water before i go to bed. It has took a while to get back to my normal self and my arm muscle is slowly coming back but it has taking months and i'm not even sure if they will go back to being what they were. But i can say before statins i felt great, after i felt tired,labido disappeared altogether i just couldn't be bothered to do anything. reading these boards i dont think anyone has anything good to say about statins and the doctors know what they can do yet they still prescribe them WHY!!!

  • Hi..... what was your dosage of simvastatin? as i was initially on a really low dose and didnt notice any side effect, only until 2 weeks into increasing the dose to 20mg i became unwell and 2weeks later still have aches, pains and a temperature, i had considered if the statins had caused inflammation to the muscles and my body has reacted in this way??? anyone out there had any similar experiences?...... for me statins are no good if i cant have a normal, healthy lifestyle, which is what i had before statins, not even any energy to swim or get to the gym. Thanks for your reply.

  • have you tried coq10 if you are aged below 40 and ubiquinol for aged over 40 i feel a little better while taking these but i am also going to take b12 as this is supposed to be good for your bones

  • I have heard of COQ10, not ubiquinol... whats the difference? i am 52 and have been taking B12 for last 10 years and multi that should be helping me.

  • yes you should go for ubiquinol

  • You can get both these from Healthspan [online]. I don't know if that's any help?

  • do you take either of these ?

  • Thank you ... No tried any yet but will be getting some.

  • Fisrt and foremost get over the Virus because you have no starting point regards side effects of the Statins

  • This is my dilemma!... i am now not convinced i have a virus like my GP said (everyone seems to get fobbed off with a 'virus')..... i still think it the statins causing me to feel this way and i am a person who is pro-active rather than re-active.

  • Hi

    I was on 20mg simvastatin for 11 years with no real problems. Due to starting diltiazem my statin was changed to 20mg pravastatin 2 months ago. All seemed ok at first but for the last 3 weeks I'm always tired, cant sleep, often don't feel like eating and have had severe cramp in my legs around 5 am every 2-3-days. Also unable to concentrate as much,

    Thought originally it was the hot weather but now thinking it could be the pravastatin. My GP said in June that there would be no more cholesterol blood tests unless I develop coronary heart disease or diabetes (National guidelines) but hopefully he will do one if I am having problems.


  • Like you not sleeping well and a general 'cant be bothered' attitude which i too put down to the hot weather!.... i hope your symptoms resolve soon. National guidelines and their restrictions dont encourage anyone to take responsibility for looking after health and well being.... thats what we go to our GP for to get the help/support and advise when problems occur.... having worked for the NHS for 34 years i despair the service it now provides. So you will have to develop symptoms of Diabetes or coronary heart disease before anything is done!!... thanks for your reply

  • check this out i am suffering like you from statins i will never take another .

    try these try these they are all helping me

  • Hi Suki65, I have watched this and very interesting information. Unfortunately my health was not improving and LFTs going higher and higher ( told not caused by Statins) ended up in hospital. So now off Statins ( i had taken myself off them and GP and Consultant agreed!) now not sure what to take and avoid causing further probs with liver.... anyone out there with any suggestions????

  • Hi. Having just given up on the last of four statins due to nasty side effects, GP has now prescribed Bezafibrate which I started yesterday. Only time will tell how well I tolerate these. This is one of a group of fibrate drugs. I'm not sure whether they would be suitable for you. You can Google info or ask GP. Good luck.

  • i was told i had to take statins for the rest of my life im only 48 and now have problems with my arms due to statins i am keeping my levels down with intermittent fasting eating between 11am and 7pm please try it you pick your times between 8 hours and 6 hours if you can a day eating only between these hours ,you eat exactly the same as you normally eat but when not eating you have to have sugar free drinks or it wont work .

    i did it quite easily .

    i only have now vitamin d with calcium to get my d levels back up (due to statins and weather) and ubiquinol for my bones and muscles (statin damage ) and b12 as my level is 276 (been told normal but i am unsure i have read should be no lower than 450 ) i take b12 every day i am begining to feel a little better but my left arm is still very sore

  • Been on Simvastatin 40mg for 2 years no side affects that I am aware of. Cardio exercise and Resistance work min of 1 hour 3-4 times per week .. very little saturated fat in diet .. do the oily fish twice week; 5-6 portions of fresh fruit and veg EVERYDAY, oat based museli and oat bran and 1.5- 2 litres water EVERYDAY. lost 3 stones in weight and Total Cholesterol from 9.7 to 3.7 I have FH. Why are GP's and statins seen as the bad guys ?????

  • some people they work for but i would watch your cholesterol becoming too low magnesium defficiency

  • I'm 68 years old have been on statins for over 35 years now my present med is 80 mg atorvastatin i also take 267mg fenofribrate in the 35 years my cholesterol has been reduced from mid twenties to 4.9 i used to get severe joint and muscular pains and tiredness but over the years your body gets used to the meds i have found CQ10 is benificial have been taking them for 3 months now and they do work.However all this seems to have been been a waste of time as 10 weeks ago i had a heart attack it just came out of the blue and the medical staff can only say its because i have diabetes and my cholesterol levels are still too high,and have to lower my levels to 2. Interestingly why didnt i get a heart attack when i was first diagnosed with diabetes some 15 years ago.mind you I think i survived because of the statins .And

    Thank you to the doctors and nurses of harefield hospital for saving my life and others.

  • You not only survived but you could have had a heart attack many years ago and not survived. I am hearing alot about the benefits of CoQ10 and will have to try them. I really am overwhelmed by the extent of the fatigue i am having and struggling to cope with this and not being able to do the normal activities and gym..... i am a young/ish! active person and not ready to be a couch potato... Good luck and health in the future.

  • Just a quick comment from me,my pain is too bad to stay writing for long.

    I was on 40mg Simvastatin. I went through years of severe joint pains,and that muzzy feeling where you felt so exhausted all of the time,I felt really ill for years,I never once guessed that it was the statins?

    why would I ?

    I had to get stronger painkillers from my GP.they were such a relief....

    little did I know?

    Statins were causing the agony in my joints...and then the painkillers started to damage my heart/kidneys/and god knows what else.

    I had no idea .I put it down to age? or maybe my O/A getting so much worse!.forgetfullness?well everyone says they are the same? that was also a bad symptom..


    she asked instantly if I was on Statins?

    she told me to come off them straight away.

    so you see how easy it was for another patient to realise why I was suffering?

    why did I go years not knowing?


    THE NEXT DAY I stopped taking them forever.....I was of course told that I must try others....

    they knew I was deadly they arranged for my muscles to be tested,they said they were okay

    ..but,8 months later?

    I am going to be given an Electric Engineer came today,and measured the rooms and entrances to see if there was enough room.

    there is.

    I am not allowed to wheel myself because of extensive Spine ops.

    all of the Ops.I have had were done many years ago before I took Statins,I was put straight onto 40mg.if that makes any difference?

    I had my Annual check up last month?nothing was wrong with anything.

    I had a really long talk with the Sister,she did sympathise,but,there is this closing of ranks everywhere...

    but,now I have COPD.and I am not a smoker.

    so,passive smoking was blamed.and considering that I loathe the smell of smoke?I do my best to stay well away from smokers.

    I know I said I was going to be quick,I do enjoy chatting on here,it was a good discovery!!I think I spent most of the night looking for Informatiom once I was told about the statins.....What can I tell you that will help?

    I do not know..........we are all in the same boat,do we keep taking Statins?I will never take another Statin,

    if I have to give up Butter?so be it?

    I have never eaten fatty foods,and I have changed a lot of my eating patterns,

    I go to a Healthy heart and Body class every week.I now eat Nuts,well and truly chopped until fine like powder,this can be added to Porridge or stews etc.

    I really must go now,my 2 replacement kneejoints are in agony and on fire.........Good Luck to everyone.........and,remember you can take advice from us,but,at the end of the day?only you can make the final decision...Pat...

  • Thank you for your informative reply, yours and many other responses have confirmed my decision to stop the statins and try more natural foods or remedies to help my body to stay healthy and for me to continue being active.... My emotional well being is as valuable and important.... I wish you good luck in the future.

  • Thanks Henry,I have been offline since I wrote,my knees would not allow any more sitting...

    I began my training this week as Healthwatch England Delegate!

    this means once trained,we will be telling the NHS what the Patients tell us!!!!!

    first of all,,,,,will be my STATINS story.and,to point out that there are so many Statin Forums,and thousands of Sufferers who take a pill,one they have had prescribed by a Dr.

    and,little do they know what they now all innocence....hell,could describe it,in my case,

    so,what I need,is plenty of evidence.

    I have been in this position years ago when I was on the PPI.committee.

    we could tell them what Patients wanted....and...they did it..

    when we have finished our Training and had several meetings and got ourselves integrated with the rest of England......>/?the MP'S will have to listen at last!Yipppee!

    If you want to become a Delegate?

    look out for HealthwatchEngland..........and sign up,it is all beginning,all over Britian,so,if you live anywhere in

  • hi sorry to hear of what you have been through wish i could have helped i am trying to pass as much info on as possible

    please look at these everyone and pass info on these are all working for me

  • Hello, I just wanted to respond to you because my mum had similar problems with Simvastatin - after several months on 40mg she was in such agony she could barely walk. She also developed COPD, despite being a non smoker. Stopping the statins stopped the pain and she was able to walk normally again. She now takes CoQ10 (ubiquinol) and has recently started taking Turmeric and an anti-histamine for her COPD which seems to be making a big difference to her breathing. I suspect the statins may have a role in her COPD but proving it is another thing. Have you reported your adverse drug reaction using the yellow card scheme? You can do that here if not. The more people who report they have a problem with statins, the quicker the information about adverse reactions will get out there... - I'm so sorry to hear what you've been through and really hope that your health improves. All the best Tina

  • Thank you Tina, lots of useful info. I have started CoQ10 and stopped statins as I have a virus (cyclomelavirus) that has given me secondary complications of hepatitis!! Would I have got that if I was not taking the statins??? Not sure but muscle pains and foggy head gone, which I know is different to the symptoms of the virus I am still experiencing. I really don't know what to do about statins once I am recovered I think statins will cause more liver probs!!! I am presently also taking lecithin in the hopes it brings levels down.

  • I don't think you're supposed to take statins if you've had any liver problems so maybe the decision will be made for you! Having seen both my parents suffer adverse effects on them I wouldn't take a statin if you paid me! As well as the joint/muscle pain, nightmares, forgetfulness and Parkinsons-like tremors, my mother lost clumps of hair all around the nape of her neck. It grew back once she stopped the statins. My dad developed liver problems on them. He also claimed that they made him go funny in the head. The doctor took him off them pretty quickly after getting his blood results. A friend of my parents ended up on dialysis, so they consider themselves lucky. I really believe it's worth looking into other ways of reducing cholesterol if it's an issue for you - I don't even know what my level is - and I don't worry about it, which may be burying my head in the sand but it works for me! I hope your virus clears up soon - hopefully the COq10 will give your immune system a boost to help you shake it off.

  • Thank you Zorro1.....feeling ill for 4 weeks now I am not prepared to take the risk of creating more health problems and have decided to try alternative methods of reducing levels, and my attitude now is what will be, will be, I would rather snuff it happy and healthy than unhappy with poor health caused by medication problems. As I have familial hypercholesterolemia, eat a very healthy diet, exercise regularly, bp great, no diabetes, have been told by dietician and Drs 'lifestyle' changes will make very little difference. Is there anyone out there who is in same situation but has found success with alternative therapies? Thank you for info on yellow card.... Have done it online.

  • I'm sure I've seen other treatments suggested elsewhere on this site in response to other people's questions - though they may mostly be 'medical' options. Maybe you could do a search and see what comes up.

  • Thanks Tina,whats the yellow card?no one has ever mentioned this to me,and,I have had loads of Adverse reactions,and though this is known?it still does'nt make any,no one else has any trouble.....I am told....please let me know about getting the yellow card I will certainly fill it in....

    I do take CQ10,I will take others if anyone can guarantee that they help....hope your Mum feels better!

  • My mum is better than she's been for quite a while. Fingers crossed that she stays this way. The COQ10 Ubiquinol has definitely helped the muscle/joint issues and it's possible that the Turmeric is helping with the COPD - I'll let you know if the improvements that she's seen continue. I do hope that your health improves too.

    The yellow card scheme is a way for patients and doctors to report adverse drug effects. It is run by the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency which is a Government body responsible for regulating all medicines and medical devices in the UK by ensuring they work and are acceptably safe. You can fill in the yellow card online from this link...

    There is a lot more info about the MRHA and their work on the website.

    All the best


  • Thanks Tina,I will look and also see about that other pill,I take CQ10.

  • I really hope it helps. Do let me know how you get on.

  • Just discovered that as well as filling in the yellow card form online on the MRHA website you can also get copies from pharmacies or GP surgeries or have one sent to you by calling 020 3080 6764

  • I will get one tomorrow.


  • yes thanks if i had had the attack five years ago i probably would not have survived the medical profession have made great discoveries in that time i have purchased a bike and now go cycling which i have found it to be quite beneficial and wellbeing i have found the cheapest CoQ10's can be obtained from costgo.. good luck to you too

  • thanks for website.... having looked around there not cheap!. Are these okay to take as continue to be unwell and LFTs are high? My bike needs to be dusted dowm and will start using it again. Thankyou

  • if you are above 40 years you need ubiquinol instead of coq10 please look on line

    coq10 changes into ubiquinol but when you are over 40 you cannot change it the same .and please try b12 as this could also be a problem for you have you had your b12 checked ?

  • not suer if i should take ubiquinol whist i am unwell and liver bloods high??? but will be purchasing some for when i am better. I have been taking B12 for years and years, had loads of blood tests done at hospital will ask gp for B12 result... Thank you

  • if you find out what your level b12 should be could you let me know please and good luck with your health i wish everyone well

  • Suki,I wish I had seen that youtube video years ago!

  • i know i wish i had seen it before taking statins 2 years ago but at least i can do something about it now and pass the info on to as many people as possible as i woul not wish this to happen to any one .

    Can you not repair the damage that has been one to you ?

  • No one has mentioned a,I guess that means NO,they didn't say it,but,their faces did!Sorry I am so late in replying,been suffering too,I am off to bed for a couple of days!!!!!!!!!cheers...........l.o.l.

  • Hi,

    I was on holiday and catching up. The above is very interesting, taking statins prevented a heart problem. I will be 67 in December, only three years ago I found about BG and high cholesterol, life style change brought down HbA1C numbers, am taking statin 20mg to reduce cholesterol. All the cholesterol numbers are OK at the moment. Blood prick test is still high, working on it. I am not sure if it was a waste of time with all the medication you had, it may have delayed the heart problem. If I may ask, what procedure did you have for the heart problem. did the medical staff explain to you the relationship with your hear problem and diabetes? Am thinking of CQ10! Thanks, look after yourself.

  • thanks bala,

    soon after arriving at harefield hospital i went straight to OR where i had a coronary angioplasty a triple stent was put into right coronary i was informed by staff that mi was because of the diabetes ive been put on clopidogrel fot a year .Later i had a myocardial perfusion scan where they found the heart to be slightly damaged . im now having rehab.

  • Hello,


    Please take care and look after yourself. I am finding it difficult to keep the life style change.!. Lunch time want to go to the pub!

  • why dont you go just because your on statins dosent mean you stop everything just take food and drink in modification dont be a hermit

  • i am finding b12 ,vitamin d with calcium as well as ubiquinol these are all helping repair the damage statins have done to my bones and muscles

  • has anyone tried phytosterols and pantathine after going off statins.

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