The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) today confirmed that people should continue to take their statins as prescribed because their benefits continue to outweigh the risks of any side effects.

An overview of the benefits and risks of statins has today been communicated to healthcare professionals through the MHRA’s regular monthly publication Drug Safety Update.

The information states that evidence from large clinical trials has shown that statins can save lives by reducing the risk of heart attacks, strokes and the need for heart surgery. Like all medicines, statins can cause side effects in some people. Most side effects experienced by people who take statins are mild and muscle-related problems such as mild muscle pain are the most frequently reported side effects. The product information lists advice about how to use statins and any potential side effects.

Dr June Raine, the MHRA’s Director of Vigilance and Risk Management of Medicines, said:

“People should continue to take their statins as prescribed. Large clinical trials have shown that statins can save lives by reducing the risk of heart attacks, strokes and the need for heart surgery.

“The MHRA continually reviews the information on the safety of statins. We will update the prescribing advice for statins in light of any substantial new evidence of safety concerns. If patients have any concerns about their medicines then they should speak to their doctor.

“If you think you have suffered a side effect to any medicine, please tell us about it through our Yellow Card Scheme at www.yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk.”

 

Posted on the UK MHRA website on 30 May 2014