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Cholesterol levels

Hello, hope you can help. Amongst other BP drugs etc etc, I inject 20mg metoject weekly and take 15mg daily prednisolone. Am waiting on anti-tnf. I have been called in by GP as my cholesterol is now 9.1which I know (and GP admits) is down to steroids, which I have been on for 2.5 years and several times in the past. Does anyone take statins for steroid induced high cholesterol, and do they work? We hear so many stories about statins causing joint pain, muscle pain etc that I really don' t want to take them. I am not at all sure about anti-tnf as apparently they can cause lymphomas, which I have already been given chemo for twice in the past and really, really don't want to go there again. Magic wand, anyone? Thanks, Virge

7 Replies

Sorry to be a cardiology bore but statins are truly the business when it comes to reducing your risk of significant coronary artery disease when you have a raised cholesterol level for whatever reason. I see the effects of patients not taking their statins all the time and it can have really bad consequences. Compared to most of the drugs we all take and cope with i very much doubt that you'll notice any symptoms from them and if by any chance you do, there are lots of different ones or there to try, you'll find one to suit I'm sure.

As for anti tnfs I too may be heading their way and also am worried about the side effects but like you I don't really know enough about them to make an informed decision as yet, hope the statin info helps though xx


9.1....yikes! I take statins and inject MTX, and have never had a problem with them. It seems that they're like some of the other drugs we take and some get on with them and some don't. So can't really help with magic wand, sorry. But my cholesterol is now down below 4, so they seem to have done the trick for me. And as for the anti-tnfs I guess that's a really hard call for you. Has your rheumy talked about whether the risks are smaller with other biologics that work differently eg B cell inhibitors like Rituzimab or the IL-6 ones like Tocilizumab? but at end of day only you can judge whether quality of life now is worth possible risks, good luck. Polly


May health Trust dont consider patients with any cancer history for anti tnf or heart disease. I have neither!!, but still not guaranteed ant tnf .. still waiting for decision, think my chances stll unknown!! , i know I passed first das score, dnt know score for 2nd got upset and left without asking as told had to wait further six weeks for consultant to make final decision!!

9.1 is v high reading. statin is a must that wont come down much on its own.. some people have less problems with atorvastatin than simvastatin if this helps xx


Hi yes I take them have done for years as mine was 13.2 due to thyroid

It's now down to 3.6 so yes they do work hope that helps Karen x


Cholesterol is quite a complex issue. Mine is on the high side, but my bad LDLs and Triglycerides are low, and my good HDLs are high.

I tried statins but they gave me the worst headaches ever! So my GP has put me on Ezetimibe which is not a statin, but works in a different way.( I think it is also called Zetia.)

So there are alternatives.

Why does RA invite so many other ailments to join in?


If its likely that the steroids have caused the high cholesterol, then I'd be wanting to get off the steroids rather than taking a drug to stop the side effects of another drug. Statins aren't the wonderfully safe drugs that were first thought either, and there are a lot of people now ending up with quite bad effedts from them suddenly happening several years down the track.

You are worried about biologics causing nasty side effects (like lymphoma), but if you really look at the risks, they are very rare, and it is far more likely that long term use of steroids will damage your body irreversibly. I think you probably need to have another good talk with your rheumatologist about the relative risks so you can make a good decision - anti-tnfs are proving (now that there is more data on their use) to be a lot safer than was first thought, but steroids will never ever be "safe" for long term use.


Thanks. My rheumy says that when anti tnf kicks in, we can start to reduce the steroids but, let's face it, this is not going to be for a few more months yet so I should probably start do something about the cholesterol in the meantime. I know steroids do nasty things, but they make such a difference that I am too much of a wimp to start cutting down yet!


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