PBC Foundation
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I have had a prescription review today at my doctors surgery with the pharmacist he has suggested I might want to start taking statins as preventative medicine I am going to be 70 in April I was diagnosed with PBC a few years ago my liver function has always been normal I do not take urso yet my question is does anyone take statins and if so how have they affected you

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How is your cholesterol? I wouldn't take statins as a preventative - only if absolutely necessary and after first trying lifestyle changes. Do you have other risk factors for heart attack or stroke? If not, current thinking would generally not recommend statins. They are increasingly controversial and can be associated with numerous serious side effects - including liver damage and an increased risk of developing diabetes. As with all drugs, you must weigh the risk vs. benefit. If your cholesterol is alarmingly high and you've tried dietary and lifestyle changes first or if you have a history of heart trouble and are considered high risk, then a statin may be a reasonable choice. They are not prescribed nearly as routinely or automatically as they used to be.

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Hi Chrissey

I have been on statins for over 15 years. Following the recent article by Professor Neuburger in the Bare Facts magazine (Autmn 2015) I asked my doctor if she thought it would be a good idea for me to stop them. She said not to stop them. I have some symptoms from the statins but that could also be part of the ageing process. I was a smoker and I did drink alcohol. My job was busy, stressful but sedentary and with a family history of heart disease I understand why I take this medication.

Does your pharmacist know anything about PBC? Before making such a decision a consultation with your specialist or at least the GP would be advisable.

Unless you have a good reason for taking a statin I would avoid them.

If you are not a member of the PBC Foundation and have not seen the article then I would urge you to join, it is free. Once a member you can access all the articles from previous Bear Facts magazines.

I hope this helps you with a decision.

best wishes


I have been on statins for 15 yrs diagnosed pbc 17 yrs. I was prescribed them as my cholesterol was 11. I only take simvastatin 20 mags but I feel fine on them 😊


Hi Chrissie7, I had a heart attack in 2014 and was put on usual tablets including 80mg atorvastatin. After poor lft results eventually diagnosed with pbc in 2015. 1 year later, after trying various statin doses gp said I am allergic to them because of the effect on liver. I'm now on high dose of fenofibrates which do not have the same effect as the statin, which lowered my cholesterol to 3.9. My cholesterol now is 5.7 .gp is waiting for 3 months to see how things settle then having a review. He seems to think this might be the best I can get as the damage statins did to my liver was more serious than the 5.7 cholesterol. I certainly feel a lot better now than when I was on the statins. Then I was exhausted most of the time, which gp said was caused by the state of my liver.I also had a severe allergic reaction to urso (blister like rash all over, very low blood pressure and swollen eyes and lips) so cannot take anything for pbc, which makes it more important to watch what I take which might affect my liver. I usually take the view doctors know more than I do and would take what they suggest. As with most things advice changes, but I would prefer to have the lower cholesterol with statins if it was possible. Like diannekjs said, I probably would not have started statins as a preventative measure, but my cholesterol pre heart attack was 5.3 and it was not suggested they were necessary.


I went back on a statin when my cholesterol level jumped to 280+ after stopping it. I use the lowest dose possible. I also take 3,000 mg fish oil (omega 3-6-9),and 500 mg niacin to aid in cholesterol management as well as co-Q 10 every day. My gastro doc who diagnosed the PBC wants me on it as well as my family doc since difficulty managing cholesterol is one of the problems that PBC creates for many individuals.


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