Polymyalgia and Statins : My heart consultant has... - PMRGCAuk


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Polymyalgia and Statins

MableCharlie profile image

My heart consultant has recently put me on 40mg of statins a day. I have been clear of Polymyalgia for six moths having take prednisolone for twelve months, will taking statins cause PM to return?

18 Replies
PMRpro profile image

Really it is impossible to say. They are implicated in triggering PMR and muscle and joint pain are common side effects. But there are many people who take statins without any problem - like any medication it tends to be a case of "Try it and see..."

MableCharlie profile image
MableCharlie in reply to PMRpro


Thanks for the reply, seems a sensible way forward. That said before I do, I would like to be more sure the benefits out way the negatives. To take a drug daily for the rest of your life is a bid decision.

This problem was picked up by chance on a ct scan for joint examination, I have no symptoms, so it came as a bit of a shock. blood tests are normal.

The benefits seem to be prevention from a heart attack or Stoke, against a whole raft of side affects, muscle deterioration , liver destruction . PMR etc.

If anyone out there as experience of these issues, it would be appreciated if you could let me know.

Thanks CM

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to MableCharlie

Sorry - not quite clear why your doctor wants you to take a statin? What was found on the CT scan - atherosclerosis?

My cardiologist apparently wants me to take a statin - despite having told me 5 years ago it was fine not to after I was almost in a wheelchair after a week of a low dose. It certainly didn't do MY PMR any good and I have no intention of complying with her desire! Apaprently it has occured to her there is an increased risk of CV disease in rheumatoid patients. I may have to explain PMR is not rheumatoid...

MableCharlie profile image
MableCharlie in reply to PMRpro

Hi again,

It's hardening of the arteries, that were picked up when my chiropractor arranged a scan and referred me to a heart consultant, he said, I had good blood flow to my heart, but my arteries showed calcification, he advised that, reminants of this good break off and cause a heart attack or stroke, he also said that, he normally sees people like me when that has already occurred , so it sensible to treat it now with 40 mg of atorvastatin and .75 of aspirin as a preventative.

My issue with that is I don't want my PMR to return, as a result of the statins.

Catch twenty two really!!

I'm a seventy one year old male by the way.

Hope that explains my dilemma , and thank you for your interest, much appreciated .

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to MableCharlie

Yes - good luck with your decision. As I say, many people do fine on statins but there really isn't any way of knowing.

I'd do more research if I were you, before starting statins. It is possible that Vitamin K2, which directs calcium into the bones so it doesn't settle into blood vessels and organs where it's not wanted, can help to reverse calcification. I tried to find some academic research on the internet and this did turn up:


MableCharlie profile image
MableCharlie in reply to HeronNS

Hi Herons,

As a matter of fact I did the same and researched Vitamin K2-7 and ordered some to try. I don't want rush into statins if there's an alternative, as you advise!

Thanks very much for the reply, it is much appreciated!

in reply to HeronNS

Very interesting Heron. Was on Warfarin for two years,now Apixaban. Statins still! for 10 years. Plus Amlodipine,( calcium channel blocker). Some contra there with the tablets for myself!

I am totally convinced that statins caused my PMR , and I would not entertain taking them now or at any time in the future

reschen profile image
reschen in reply to Polymialgia

I have been on statins for about 20 years and have the same concern. I recently stopped taking statins an experiment to see were my blood cholesterol levels are again. I’ll keep everyone posted in the meantime. Separately though, why are you so certain that the statins caused your PMR? What experiments and data I have you to convince yourself that the statins are the culprit?

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to reschen

It is actually listed as an adverse effect during clinical trials in at least one statin.

Hi,I was diagnosed with RMR prior to being prescribed Statins due to high levels of blood cholesterol,I would say the culprit was Prednisone.

in reply to Pieater67

I take Pravastin 40 mgs. per day. It was the only one I have not had side effects from. My blood cholesterol was 268. After one year on med it’s 190. I see this as a separate issue and do not feel prednisone had anything to do with it as my cholesterol was high prior to Pmr.

There were two other statins that I had horrible side effects so I put it on back burner. We are all different so have to pay attention to our own bodies.

What prednisone did was at higher levels normally 20mgs and above I get tacacardia and possibly a fib. I was given Metoporol 50 mgs am and now 25 at night. Settles my heart right down. We will decrease dose as I taper....

I really hate taking pills. 😾

Sounds like the 🐅 chasing its tail around the tree...

This drug causes that adverse condition and that drug causes another..

....pile them on top of each other and we have drug lasagna or Russian Roulette!! But go ahead and take them all....lets see what happens 💥

Wish we could chuck the lot, However, back to the real world... statins were so toxic to my body that I am officially listed as "allergic to Statins"!

Pre-PMR...did it contribute to the illness.....dunno...

Thanks everyone for you contributions, it really is a tough call as to whether you take statins it not, having had PMR!!

I’m going to do more research PMR consultant, and then decide!

Will keep you posted.

Polywotsit profile image
PolywotsitPMRGCAuk team member

Hi Charlie,

As well as having had PMR I also have familial hypercholesterolaemia and am now on 40mg atorvastatin daily. When the FH was first discovered, 27 years ago, my cholesterol level was at 13. Interestingly, my PMR started during a period in my life when I wasn't taking statins. Now I have recovered from the PMR and concentrating more on my cardiovascular health. I am taking atorvastatin because a) other statins don't really touch the genetic condition I have, and b) they don't cause as many muscle pains, according to my specialist. And I find that I am no more achey now than I was before.

Hi Kate,

That’s encouraging and I will take it on board,

The rheumatologist wasn’t looking for PMR when he ordered an x-ray of my hips, because itinflamation didn’t show in the blood tests. I have always wondered if the minor arteriosclerosis that the radiologist saw in the x-ray was actually the PMR inflammation.

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