Bid to help patients through statin pain

People who develop muscle pains when taking statins should be given an action plan to avoid being taken off the drugs unnecessarily, doctors are being told.

NPS MedicineWise has released a guide to help doctors identify and manage statin-associated muscle symptoms, with a written patient action plan that offers several options for responding to muscle pains and weakness.

The guide emphasises many kinds of muscle pain may not be statin related, and provides an algorithm based on CK levels for differing interventions.

Patients whose CK levels are less than five times the upper limit of normal (ULN) may stop statins for 2-4 weeks, while those with CK levels more than five times the ULN are advised to stop statins for 6-8 weeks.

If symptoms improve, patients can resume the statin at a reduced dose or try a different statin.

One of the main messages in the guide is that many people who experience