Statins and prednisolone

my blood test showed Serum triglyceride level above range of 2.4 mmoI/L [ 1.8 ]

Serum LDL cholesterol above range of 4.42 mmoI/L [ 4.0 ]

Serum HDL cholesterol in range 1.69 mmoI/L [ 0.9- 2.0

Total cholesterol HDL 4.3

I have been told to make an app. to see Dr. I assume he may suggest taking statins ? which I'm not to keen to take,

My question is does anyone take statins with Pred, and any side effects.?

many thanks


19 Replies

  • My husband has been on Statins for 2 1/2 years during which time he has been on varying doses of Pred and to our knowledge, has suffered no side effects from this.

  • Thank you Nadine99

    I'm always reluctant to take more medication especially with stage 3 kidney disease and my other health issues. I have read some bad reports on statins,

  • Statins are quite capable of causing the same symptoms as PMR and less than 10 days of atorvastatin almost had me in a wheelchair - the cardiologist was perfectly happy about me stopping it and didn't ask me to try another.

    Pred can increase cholesterol levels without there being any other problem. Although it is a decision only you can make, personally, I would say that those figures are not particularly excessive and you wouldn't get me taking a statin on their basis unless I had had a previous cardiovascular event, as they like to put it. It has been shown that in women who have not yet had such an event - heart attack or stroke basically - taking statins makes no difference their 10 year risk of having one. It is a different matter for men and for women who HAVE had a heart attack or stroke.

    I would ask for a FULL assessment of your risk factors (family history, smoker, overweight and so on) and then I would ask to try to reduce your cholesterol with lifestyle changes first. Above all, reduce your carbohydrate intake as that can make a big difference to blood lipids as can simply walking a bit more and adding porridge and an orange for breakfast! Ask Sambucca about that. I got my cholesterol down from fairly high to normal range just by doing that - it didn't happen overnight but it happened.

  • Thank you PMRpro you have just confirmed what I read that " statins can cause the same symptoms of PMR" however I wanted to know from others if they had any problems with statins, especially with PMR/GCA , Vasculitis

    and taking Pred.

    I'm no smoker, and weigh 10 stone, I'm 5ft. 7. although I do have a brother who had a triple heart bypass, I have hypertension which is controlled, I will do as suggested and alter my diet, and increase my walking. Due to gallstones I have also reduced a lot of fat in my diet.

  • You did note that I did have some very interesting problems! I had walked, nay, almost bounced, out of hospital the week before despite requiring crutches for an achilles problem and the only difference the following week was the statin. I could barely walk 50 yds, especially if there was a slope involved, and felt so ill. It took me 9 months to get back to a similar state of health - after just over a week on a low dose on alternate days.

  • Was taking statins long before Pred came along. Mind you, I had to take three different statins before I found one which didn't give me muscle cramps. Which can be a side effect, so sometimes those on Pred get a double whammy!

    Have to say, since taking Pred I haven't noticed any adverse effects, in fact my Cholesterol level is very low, the doctor always says mine is better than his!

    Simvastatin seems to be the NHS 1st choice, cheapest I suspect, but I couldn't take it, nor Avorastatin (spelling, not sure?) . I'm on Rosuvastatin, which is ok for me.

    So if you go on them, and get problems, ask to try another - once you've given them time to settle, of course.

    Would suggest that your reading of 4.3 is just about borderline so you may not have to take anyway.

  • Lets hope I don't have to take statins, I don't want muscle cramps with my already PMR/GCA and the thought of trying several to get the right one doesn't sound too good, with a reading of 4.3 I may just take my chances.

  • If you have time to read the Great Cholestoral Con, it opens your eyes to things. Very amusing and easy to read, written by a GP. If you decide to take statins don't take Simvastatin, even the manufacturer Pfizer recommend it ideally should not be taken with pred.

  • Thanks for that info piglette,

  • I'd been taking statins for years before I had to take pred. I don't have any obvious side effects from either or both.

  • I have been taking atorvastatin 20mg for a month now and I really ache, could this be why. x

  • They reckon twenty per cent of people get aching pains with statins.

  • thanks for the info, u wouldn't think a tablet could do that to you x

  • Very interesting. I have had PMR for over a year now and slowly achieved 6.5 preds.

    Cholesterol levels are through the roof but I refuse to take any more drugs especially the dreaded statins. I'm not overweight (although struggle to keen the weight off because of preds)do not smoke and have a reasonable diet. I have been having dry porridge mixed with orange juice and nuts and also some plant sterols. I manage to walk at least 3 hours a week and I'm reasonably fit in spite of the dreaded PMR. Will have a test soon to see if I have achieved a lower cholesterol level.

    I have two friends who have high cholesterol and they are both fit and skinny. I sometimes think it must be luck of the draw.

    Where would I be without this wonderful forum. I read it everyday and it is my support system. Thankfully I have great family and friends but it's boring for them to keep banging on about your condition and on this forum everyone can sound off.

    Thank you everyone

  • I have been taking Atorvastatin since February when my cholesterol was 8.9 due to steroids. Last week it was 5.3. I had no side effects at all with it unlike every other drug I seem to take. Family history of heart disease , diabetes also due to steroids and PMR & GCA. I did not want to take the statin at all and put up quite a fight but unfortunately big risks if I didn't. I am only 50.

  • Like you say your high cholesterol is due to steroids, I suppose I have been lucky with just having it borderline especially as I have been taking Pred, for 16 years without a break !! [ I did get to 1mg. for a short time ] I'm now 70 and was diagnosed at age 54 with GCA, thankfully I'm not diabetic,

    I hope you continue with not having any side effects of the statins.

    regards bowler

  • I have recently prescribed atorvastatin (the first one) by my Cardiologist (not Rheumy) - am on low dose Pred plus others. I was curious as to how much atorvastatin you are on. Given the negative feedbacks, I am inclined to remain cautious of any side effects. Thank you for the useful thread/posts.

  • Hi. ashfordgreen

    thanks for your reply, I don't take any statins at present, Please read my first post at the top of the page

  • Just beware that statins in themselves can cause muscle aches and pains. My PCP took me off of them a few months ago thinking they might be causing the problem. They can also cause leg cramping.

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