As a pharmacist, I always ask my patients if they have any questions or concerns about their medications.
Pharmacists help you understand why a medication has been prescribed to you, how it works, and make sure it’s working its best for you. We are some of the most accessible health care professionals and can even relay important feedback about your medications to your provider between appointments.
One class of medications patients often ask about at ConnectRx pharmacy are statins.
Statins are a class of medications prescribed to protect against heart attack or stroke, and work by lowering your total cholesterol. They are some of the most prescribed medications in the United States and the world. So naturally, we have many patients on statin medications at ConnectRx which explains why we receive so many questions.
In fact, even if you haven’t been prescribed a statin you probably know some by name because of television ads or anecdotal comments from family and friends who take them. Common examples of statins include:
Typically, as a medication becomes more widely prescribed, conflicting opinions about its use tend
s to become more prevalent. Over the years, I’ve heard several recurring questions about how statins work, their effectiveness, and potential side effects. Let’s review four of the most common statin myths and misconceptions to find out what’s fact and what’s fiction.
People who have diabetes may not have high cholesterol, but statins are still recommended by the American Diabetes Association for heart health. Some factors for increased risk of developing atherosclerotic cardiovascular (ASCVD) disease include age, sex, race, smoking status, diabetes, and hypertension. Depending on a calculated risk score for developing ASCVD, some people may be started on a statin.
Some general resources for heart health/overall health can be found on:
The benefit of these medications is seen when bloodwork is taken and a reduction in “bad” cholesterol is noted. Taking a statin at the right dose can lower this cholesterol up to 50% to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in the long run. Similarly, we all too often don’t feel any warning before a heart attack or stroke is underway. But taking a statin can lower your risk and help protect you from cardiovascular disease if you have diabetes.
The location of this pain is typically in larger muscles such as the thigh muscles.Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you experience this side effect, they can help find the right statin for you so you can work towards your health goals without any discomfort.
Vascular dementia can be caused by high cholesterol or strokes, and statins have been demonstrated to reduce strokes from occurring. In very rare cases, statins have caused some patients temporary confusion which can be immediately reversed once they switch to the right statin for them.
Now that we’ve debunked several of the most common misconceptions surrounding statins, I hope you’re reassured about their safety and efficacy.
If you’ve been prescribed a statin, it’s important to your heart health.
Talk to your pharmacist or health care provider if you have questions about your statin. We can help you determine if it’s working well for you or help you find an alternative, if needed.
ConnectRx pharmacy is powered by CDPHP and offers cost-saving drug programs, like CDPHP RX for Less, as well as free home delivery of prescription medications and over-the-counter products within the Capital Region. Our knowledgeable and friendly pharmacists are accessible by phone, text, email, or in-person at one of our retail locations. Learn more at PharmacyConnectRx.com