For many years statins have been widely associated with mild side effects including muscle pain. Observational studies showing a correlation between the drugs and muscle pain have attracted prominent media coverage and some patients have come off statins or declined to start them because of fears.
Now scientists have carried out a randomised, placebo controlled trial on individual patients to assess whether stains do cause muscle pain and stiffness. While only one type of statin was used in this trial, the authors claim that this kind of trial, called an N of 1 trial, could be useful in testing other statins and higher doses, and for other drugs which are associated with transient adverse effects, they conclude.
The result of the trial were published in the BMJ on Wednesday evening, and journalists tuned in to this briefing to hear the results from the authors.
Prof Liam Smeeth, Professor of Clinical Epidemiology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Prof Elizabeth Williamson, Professor of Biostatistics and Health Data Science, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
Alexander Perkins, Research Fellow, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
This Briefing was accompanied by an SMC Roundup of Comments.