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simvastatin 20mg side affects

Hi I'm 56 years old and i've been on simvastatin 20mg for a long time when i first had them the nurse told me that I would be on them for the rest of my life and if I didnt take them that I would definately have a heart attack within ten years, for the passed three months I keep getting a pain ache in the top of my left arm, my arm feels weak and I cannot carry anything for more than a few minutes, I have been reading the boards and i see there are a few alternatives the doctor can give me but which one and what other side affects do they carry, Ive also looked into what else i could do so that I dont have to rely on tablets at all, any help would be appreciated. Also i sometimes get a pain across the top (centrally) of my chest are these connected to the tablets, memory is also a problem

12 Replies

Hi sassy47,

You don't say much about your medical history, but 20mg of simvastatin is a small dose. It was not helpful for a nurse to tell you that you would definitely have a heart attack if you didn't take them, talk about scare tactics ! How could she know anyway, statins may reduce your risk depending on your circumstances, that's all.

There are other drugs and lots of people on this site have tried diets which have worked for them

Why don't you talk it over with your GP (avoid the nurse!) or look on the HEART UK website.


I sympathise, sassy47, after "dire warnings" from health professionals any untoward symptoms would cause anyone anxiety. Precisely how advice is imparted to us ordinary folk needs to be looked at.

For three months I took Simvastatin 40mg as my GP told me it would lessen my chances of stroke etc. Chunks of my life disappeared as I felt increasingly weary and found it so difficult to wake up each morning. Normally I'm up at 6 or 6.30 and full of beans. One morning two weeks ago I woke at 10.30 and felt groggy all day, the final straw. So I stopped the tablets and immediately got back to my early starts. I'm 64, eat a reasonable diet, slightly overweight and work outside on horticultural and woodland management tasks. So do I ignore medical advice or not? The dilemma is stress inducing!


I am a 67 year old lady with 7ish cholestrol level. I was taking 40mg simvastatin for 6 months, after about 4 months my quality of life dimished rapidly, I had severe muscle pains in the big muscles of my arms and legs, extreme fatigue most of the day and bad depression that I have never experienced before, not even during my divorce. I investigated this web site and others and realised all mysymptoms could be put down to the statins. After a lot of thought I decided my quality of life was just too much compromised, after all, there has been no definitive reseach done that I could find to say that statins could help females, in fact the opposite, they were of no help. I stopped the statins 3 weeks ago (haven't told my GP yet), what a revelation...just about back to normal. It's a balance, I would rather live a happy shorter life than what I was experiencing, and keep my fingers crossed!! Back to my positive attitude.

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Tell your gp! There are other statins and one might work. 20mg is a fairly low dose, so any other statin could be substituted. Then there are non-statin treatments which might work - look for the leaflet on the main HEART UK website.

You don't say if you've high cholesterol, family history, genetic testing or what, but if there's anything else, you could easily ask for referral to a specialist.

If the gp is daft about it, change gp.


I started Simvastatin a few weeks ago. No side effects but for about 2 weeks ive had an achy/pain feeling on the left side of my chest. This achy feeling goes down my arm to my elbow. Also have pins and needles in my left arm and hand and sometimes my left leg and foot. Ive had this pins and needles prior to taking Simvastatin. I have spoke with my Dr and had an ECG which was fine. After reading this post i wonder if this could be a side effect of the medication?


Looked at the possible side effects of simvastatin and its scared me! Im going to see my dr about changing my medication!


They're only possible side-effects and you say you had this pins and needles prior to taking Simvastatin, so I'd be looking for some other cause for that if I were you.

Dull aches... could be the oft-described-here statin muscle aches but could be any of a number of other things - when I was younger, I used to bruise my ribs often and then get a bit panicky about it. Anyway, if it persists, you might not know unless you try stopping/starting the statin or maybe changing it, but I feel that's best done under medical supervision.

Neither of those would show up on ECG if it was statin-related. I wonder if it would show up in CK or liver enzyme blood tests? But then, I set off a CK alarm in last year's blood test - a few weeks later, still on simvastatin, it was back to normal, so it probably had some other cause... it's a shame that you can't clone yourself and try both with and without statins and see what works best - such is the difficulty of medicine!


Statins reduce the natural ability of the body to produce the enzyme COQ10 which

aids the production of the energy you require - I found advice in the HealthMail in the

Daily Mail newspaper (every Tuesday) to the effect that everyone taking statins should counter the effect by taking COQ10 (Any healthstore) I do a 3 for 2 deal at Boots and

started off with 1x30MG p.day but have progressed to 100mg p.day. Effects were felt

after about 4 weeks and I am no longer troubled by the symptons you describe.

Onestop - joined today 16.1.2013.


I have stopped my simvastatin because my head was all mixed up on top of that my knees sweled up and so stopped them the syptoms went within 3 days but because told or infered that I could have a heart attack again I went onto the net and came up with Strauus heart drops expensive but thought will try it and I am now on my 4th bottle and feel fine but it might not be for everybody. I will soon get a cholestrol check in a couple of months and see if it has done the trick but i am a happy little bunny and that is after being told I needed a triple heart bypass


Can I please ask everyone to see their GP instead of worrying at home?alone?

I found out about Simvastatin from an Internent friend,

then I came on here and other Forums,and quite frankly,I was astonished to find that thousands are worried about statins!

I have taken statins for years,suffered with agonising pains in my legs/feet/wrists /fingers,well,almost all of my body,

I have had Osteo Arthritis for years,

had many operations,so,I guessed it was the ageing process,but,

Once I stopped taking the 40mg.statin?it was like I was reborn!

I felt a whole lot more Lucid,memory returned...pain dropped,not entirely,

but,I am 73, had O/A most of my life,so,I did not expect every pain to stop.

I went to see my GP,she realised I was serious when I said I was not taking any more of them,so,I stopped for a week,felt great!

really..........the total lethargy and wanting to stay in bed all day every day..?

I forced that out of my life.

I had a stroke many years ago.because of water retention and a dopey gp/

who allowed it to go on until I had 28 lbs of excess water in my body.

(Back to now...)

I had to go back after a week,because my gp was genuinely worried knowing I had heart trouble,and come from a family of heart attack deaths,

So,I was persuaded to try another statin..........that lasted a week,

I felt worse

then tried another.I was worse.......

so far?

been off statins about 5/6 weeks and feel tons better!!!!

but,I have had to go through many tests and e.c.g./bloods/dopple tests again,

anyway I have to go @08;30am,tomorrow for results!

I will let you know if I have damaged my own health by stopping the Statins?

I have not heard of anyone being harmed after withdrawal,

but,maybe you do?we have to know....

so many patients seem to be worrying themselves.sick,

and it is just going round in circles without an answer.


I was found to have high cholesteral last year, & one doctor at my group practice put me on Simvastatin. It made me so tired that I slept most of the time, so I mentioned it to another doctor at the practice, & she said that I shouldn`t be on these type of drugs because I don`t have any other risk factors for heart disease, & my risk of a heart attack is quite small at the moment. I do have a slightly underactive thyroid, & the doctor gave me a script for Levothyroxine, saying that this could correct my cholesteral, but I should wait a few months before having another blood test to make sure. One things for sure, I won`t be taking statins again unless there was no other way to prevent a heart attack in the future.


I was on simvastatin for over a year, had pain in my chest and down my left arm, after readin a lot of these boards i stopped taking them as i to was lathargic and the pain is still there, i had another blood test done and the results came back as 6.2 the doctor has given me another statin this one is Atorvastatin but i have read that this one can cause headache/ migraines, I was suppose to go back to the doctors two weeks later but I forgot, memory is not what it use to be , my sex drive is next to nothing. And all this down to simvastatin But the pain in my arm is still there, anyone know how long before it goes away, family history on heart attacks only my grand father, but then i dont really know if that particular grand father was my blood relative he was 68 and other grand father was well into his 80's before he died he could have been a blood relative i'm not sure, he had the dreaded "C" everyone else have fallen victim to the dreaded "C" .My Mother was 61, uncles were 63 and 88 aunt was in her 60's and my latest loss was my sister last year she has just turned 59 bless her, I saw a video clip from america saying that the scientist had got it wrong about cholesteral that it wasnt bad for you, we hear of all the things that are bad for you , honestly if we listened to everything they said we would have nothing left to eat or drink, all the cheap food and drink they say is bad for you and they want us to eat the good stuff well what they say is the good stuff, If there that concerned why not make all the food and drink that is good for you cheap and all the so called junk food expensive that way us normal folk could afford to eat what they say is healthy..

my i have rambled on a bit havent i sorry for that enjoy reading. bye for now.


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