Advice & Guidance

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The risks and benefits of taking statin tablets

Statin tablets are often prescribed to treat heart and circulation problems (heart attacks, strokes, kidney problems).

Despite their benefits, many people are reluctant to take statin tablets because the press often publish frightening stories about their complications and side effects.

Expert help

If you or your parent(s) are concerned about statins and whether or not to start or stop them, then you might find it helpful to consider this patient decision aid which had been developed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

The aid provides state of the art, expert information about the benefits, risks and side effects of taking a statin.

It will give you the facts so you can make your mind up. However, the expert guide emphasises that taking a statin is not compulsory, and that patients can stop or start taking statins as they prefer.

Access the NICE patient decision aid here

Beware grapefruit juice

The NICE patient decision aid advises that people who take atorvastatin should avoid dinking more than 1 or 2 small glasses of grapefruit juice per day because large quantities can change the effects.

More evidence needed

Our Carents emphasise that the case for and against statins in the frail and elderly is not clear cut. Much of the evidence about statins is based on research involving people under 75 years. Research is now underway to explore their value in much older people although the results are not expected until 2022.

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July 2020

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