A systematic review of the cases reported to the FDA determined that approximately half of the memory loss problems occurred within 60 days of starting on statin therapy, although memory problems were reported after taking a statin drug for just 5 days. Observers have worried about the lack of controlled trial evidence for safety and efficacy in long-term use. Other causes that can result in shortness of breath include the following. Another cause of shortness of breath and nausea is heart attack. I am 76 years and have carried cholesterol of 235 for years. Anyone who is taking statin drugs for any reason should be aware of these side effects and their symptoms. Individuals may simply not recognize the progressive muscle weakness and excuse the symptoms away as the result of being tired, overexertion, or just getting older. Too much acid in your blood from an infection, lactic acid accumulation, or other causes can lead to the rise in the breathing rate, and having the feeling of shortness of breath. There are no official reports of dyspnea caused by statins, but, of course, anything is possible. Even modest doses (20 mg/day of simvastatin) produced a statistically significant effect on subjective measures of energy. If the patient is a vegetarian, he or she may have muscle pain due to carnitine or vitamin B12 deficiencies. It's widely known that cholesterol-lowering statins can benefit patients with heart ... which can cause fluid to collect in the limbs and lungs, resulting in shortness of breath and fatigue. Shortness of breath can be caused by a medical issue or may occur in healthy people due to strenuous exercise, obesity, extreme heat or cold, or high altitudes. Creatine kinase levels in the blood can be measured to look for clinical myopathy or rhabdomyolysis. Some researchers estimate the 1 in 10 people who take statin drugs will experience a mild form of neuropathy where the symptoms may be a feeling of tiredness, difficulty in arising from a low chair or getting out of bed, shortness of breath or difficulty walking. You may feel winded, or as if you can’t get enough air into your lungs. It is better, after all, to ache a little bit than to die from an early cardiac event.—Robert M. Guthrie, MD (122-6). Patients feel decreased energy or get tired more easily when exercising. Small countries like Denmark or Iceland are great for studying medical conditions. Coronary artery disease develops when the major blood vessels that supply your heart with blood, oxygen and nutrients (coronary arteries) become damaged or diseased. We want you to take advantage of everything Clinical Advisor has to offer. However, if you have a high cholesterol level, you can probably experience shortness of breath that is sudden and recurrent. Other people experience mood swings and other behavioral changes when taking statins. Much of the data for the effects of statins on myopathy comes from the Prediction of Muscular Risk in Observational conditions, (PRIMO) survey from 10 years ago. If a person’s heart is not able to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs, they may experience fatigue and shortness of breath. Lung conditions such as asthma, emphysema, or pneumonia cause breathing difficulties. In the extreme, severe neuropathy as a side effect to statin use can lead to death. However, most of these symptoms come under heart problems. Although breathlessness can make you feel distressed and anxious, there are ways to prevent or reduce its impact on your quality of life. “Virtually all diffuse lung disease can cause shortness of breath,” says Dr. Edelman. Heart disease can make you feel breathless if your heart cannot pump enough blood to supply oxygen to your body and stress caused by anxiety can make it hard for you to breathe. Central nervous system conditions impacting the brain may also cause shortness of breath symptoms. however I am still tired with shortness of breath . A famous Danish study of neuropathy as a side effect to statin use concluded that an individual who is a long-term user of statin drugs has anywhere from 4 to 14 times greater risk of developing peripheral neuropathy than a person who does not take statin drugs. These people appear to be sensitive in some way to VG, and report a tightness in their chest and other related symptoms. Without some clinical information about the dyspnea, it is difficult to do more than guess. Shortness of breath is the most common symptom of heart failure. For those who take statins, keep muscle weakness in mind as it could be a sign of a side effect that requires medical attention. Close more info about Shortness of breath on a statin. It may lead to a strong feeling of difficulty in breathing. Your heart and lungs are involved in transporting oxygen to your tissues and removing carbon dioxide, and problems with either of these processes affect your breathing. Feeling like you can't breathe of course makes the anxiety worse, and a negative cycle of worse and worse symptoms can follow. Anxiety treatments may sometimes be indicated for shortness of breath. Abdominal bloating can affect the diaphragm, causing shortness of breath. INTRODUCTION: Statins are commonly used medications in medicine. In 2009 I had a … This method can be done several times a day or as often as individuals experiencing shortness of breath. According to the authors of a 2010 study paper, people with preexisting kidney disease may experience potentially fatal toxicity when taking gabapentin. At the other end of the spectrum, it is impossible to know how many people who are taking statins simply ignore small lapses of memory or lack of attention. It can also be a sign of a panic attack. The pain indicates muscle breakdown. Finally, many patients and clinicians are too quick to stop statins, which are extraordinarily safe, lifesaving agents, for mild muscle pains that may simply be coincidental rather than caused by the statins. As the use of statin drugs continues to increase and people have been taking statins for over a decade - a significantly longer than the time period required for testing drugs - we are learning more about the side effects in large populations. The way we breathe is a powerful aspect of self-expression. If the patient had wheezing, then it might have been an allergic bronchospasm, similar to the reaction in my patient. Some people experience memory loss, report an inability to concentrate, or feel that they are developing Alzheimer’s disease when taking statin drugs. And patients who eat red yeast might inadvertently end up taking a higher dose of statin than planned. We do not give medical advice and any health concerns should be directed to your doctor. In some cases, shortness of breath is related to the problems of the organs like the heart or lungs that transport oxygen to the tissues and remove carbon dioxide. A 53-year-old man who has a history of hypercholesterolemia with elevated triglycerides and LDL has been tried on different statins to bring down his LDL. Coronary Artery Disease . Common causes include asthma, a chest infection, being overweight, and smoking. Cholesterol-containing deposits (plaque) in your arteries and inflammation are usually to blame for coronary artery disease.When plaque builds up, it narrows your coronary arteries, decreasing blood flow to your heart. Statin Answers presents scientifically grounded, yet easy-to-understand facts about these drugs. When shortness of breath comes with a feeling of a lump in the throat and feeling like fainting, anxiety may be the underlying cause. If the patient had wheezing, then it might have been an allergic bronchospasm, similar to the reaction in my patient. Each year, between 25% and 50% of people in the U.S. see a doctor for shortness of breath. I would also be very concerned that this really might have been an undiagnosed cardiac problem, either an angina/ischemic episode or a case of heart failure (either systolic or diastolic), in this high-risk patient. While regulatory agencies have deemed statins to be safe to use for their intended purpose, no drug is without side effects in susceptible individuals. Want to view more content from Clinical Advisor? These differences in behavior are not just subjective feelings on the part of the individual but tend to be corroborated by family members. Some researchers estimate the 1 in 10 people who take statin drugs will experience a mild form of neuropathy where the symptoms may be a feeling of tiredness, difficulty in arising from a low chair or getting out of bed, shortness of breath or difficulty walking. Sometimes it can happen because a person is breathing too fast, called hyperventillation. Breathe with the Lips. Shortness of breath can be a scary experience, but you can relieve your symptoms. Any treatment you may need depends on what's causing your symptoms. While on pravastatin, he developed shortness of breath, which resolved when the medication was stopped. The FDA amended its requirements in 2012 so that the warning labels on statins must mention the risk of cognitive effects. Sometimes anxiety can cause shortness of breath as well. Sometimes people also have tingly fingers when this happens. They can also block the effect of medications used to treat asthma. Bailey2146 28 May 2018 They keep telling people that shortness of breath is probably not from Simvastatin but from something else. Analysis of the muscle showed animals on the medicine had less glycogen and there was evidence of mitochondrial damage. The human nervous system consists of the central nervous system, which is the brain and the spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system, which contains all the other nerves. Some have even suggested use of statins may ease arthritis symptoms. The scientists who study this put them in a category called muscle-related adverse effects (MAEs) Another common side effect is memory loss. Dietary supplements of vitamins as well as alcohol can cause muscle pain which might be confused for statin-induced pain. This can be the result of a sedentary lifestyle with insufficient exercise, but for most people, dyspnea is caused by a major health problem. Shortness of breath can also be caused by conditions unrelated to the heart but affect the lungs instead, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma. Compications from long term high cholesterol, arteriosclerosis may inadvertantly cause shortness of breath. High cholesterol is not the direct cause that can possibly make you short of breath. We use cookies to give you the best possible experience on our website. One of the side effects of the drug can be shortness of breath, specifically if the dose one takes is more than their doctor recommends 2 4. Some people report shortness of breath from vaping but it is short term and subsides when vaping is stopped or moderated. This may help your shortness of breath. has high-cholesterol and family history of high b.p./strokes. In emergency medicine, this is referred to as the ABC's with A standing for airway, B standing for breathing, and C representing circulation. A heart attack is a serious and life-threatening medical condition which requires immediate medical help. Typically, long-term use of statins is defined as 2 years or more but neuropathy can occur even after just a few days of use in a susceptible individual. There are over 100 types of neuropathy, each with its own cluster of symptoms that can be diagnosed by a neurologist. ... your usual GP to get some investigations performed and if stress is a particular issue at the moment which certainly can lead to some of the symptoms you are experiencing, counselling and stress management techniques may be helpful. Copyright © Statin Answers. There are two other points to consider. Coronary Artery Disease is the primary cause of shortness of breath as well as dizziness. Researchers have looked for a connection between arthritis pain and statin use, but not been able to find one. The occurrence of toxic or poisonous substances in the body is another one of the ways neuropathy occurs. When he reached the top of the staircase, he had to stop, sit down and catch his breath. Neuropathy, short for peripheral neuropathy, simply means a malfunction of the peripheral nervous system that occurs without any inflammation of the nerves. Symptoms. Over-filled stomachs can push against the lungs, causing shortness of breath. We present a case of a patient (PT) who presented with chronic shortness of breath (SOB) and hypercapnia secondary to statin therapy. While most people who experience muscle pain will return to normal after discontinuing statin use, some susceptible individuals suffer permanent muscle damage from statin use. One of their side effects is muscle injury. We should keep that type of idiosyncratic reaction in mind here. Common side effects of Crestor include: myalgia.Other side effects include: asthenia. There are various causes for the particular symptom, either shortness of breath or dizziness. Their effect on muscle fibers and the tendency to cause fatigue brings up the topic of exercise and whether statins make it more difficult to execute a work-out routine. It occurs when there is not enough blood that flows to the coronary arteries which supply the heart. } With valve regurgitation, one or more heart valves do not close properly during the cardiac cycle. Increasing concerns about muscle-related adverse events are leading to the idea that lower doses of statins should be prescribed than current practice. 1. - shortness of breath while exerting are inconvenient prognostic markers of a bad middle and long-term prognosis, unfortunately. This can cause inflammation, narrowing and swelling leading to shortness of breath. Copyright © 2020 Haymarket Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved Dr. Tamanna Nahar answered: "Cholesterol SOB: High cholesterol itself can't cause sob but bad cholesterol build up with arterial and heart damage can in turn c..." Ask doctors free. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in any form without prior authorization. Without some clinical information about the dyspnea, it is difficult to do more than guess. It can also be a sign of a panic attack. The treatment of your shortness of breath will depend on the cause, but the most important first step is to make sure you are getting enough air to supply your tissues with the oxygen they need. If you are concerned about your symptoms, then you should contact your doctor right away. Sudden shortness of breath can be caused by life threatening conditions, such as a heart problem or an asthma attack, and may require immediate medical attention. Sign in Recent research has found a mild increase in diabetes risk associated with statin usage. The vicious cycle of prolonged inactivity, fatigue and increased breathlessness with exertion leads to decreased muscle fitness and weakness. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego studied people who took pravastatin and simvastatin, but their results can be generalized to other types of statins. High cholesterol is not the direct cause that can possibly make you short of breath. window.hmAds.registerAd( 'div-gpt-ad-in_article', 'in_article', 'default' ); He developed musculoskeletal pain even though his creatine kinase was normal. Was there any facial, lip, or mouth edema? Fortunately most people return to normal after discontinuing the statin drug. This is known as heart failure and is an increasingly common cause of illness and death. Shortness of breath on exertion is a sign that your lungs aren’t getting enough oxygen in or not getting enough carbon dioxide out. Fluvastatin 40 mg - 5.1% The lungs in people with COPD can become hyper-inflated, taking up more room in the chest cavity. Has shortness of breath been previously described with statin use?—Mikayla Spangler, PharmD; Andrew Geiser, student pharmacist; and Shailendra Saxena, MD, PhD, Omaha, This is a very interesting question. COPD is a progressive lung disease that is more common in people who smoke. Muscle weakness is frequently a symptom of neuropathy and the muscle weakness may develop in a matter of days or may slowly progress over weeks or months. But these are the causes of both shortness of breath and dizziness. I went into my doctor 2 months ago for shortness of breath and after chest xrays, an EKG, and some pulmonary testing I was referred to a pulmonologist. Other common conditions that cause a feeling of shortness of breath or issues with breathing include sinus conditions, acute anxiety, gastroesophageal reflux disease and LPR. The Rapid Heart Rate of Atrial Fibrillation Causes Shortness of Breath We have not received any money or support from pharmaceutical companies. Sometimes, shortness of breath indicates a serious medical condition, so it makes sense to talk to your doctor for a correct diagnosis. See below for a comprehensive list of adverse effects. It can be a warning sign of something serious. }); Treatment will depend on the cause of the breathlessness. Can AFib Cause Shortness of Breath? ClinicalAdvisor.com is for nurse practitioners and physician assistants, offering the latest information on diagnosing, treating, managing, and preventing medical conditions typically seen in the office-based primary-care setting. Most cases of shortness of breath are due to heart or lung conditions. Shortness of breath is … This can also result in deeper or faster breaths and may cause many problems. In most of the cases, breathlessness is a result of overexertion, asthma, congestive heart failure, interstitial lung disease, and bronchitis. here. Shortness of breath could be a sign of blood clots in your body You should seek immediate medical help if you think you might have a blood clot. Here … We do not buy or sell any statins or any other medicines. however I am still tired with shortness of breath . had chest pain and shortness of breath While the list below can be considered as a guide to educate yourself about these conditions, this is not a substitute for a … Learn about the side effects and benefits of statin drugs that millions of people take to control their cholesterol. can high cholesterol cause shortness of breath A 27-year-old female asked: what does a long-tail in a d-dimer test mean? Besides muscle pain, the other major symptom of rhabdomyolysis is dark, red, or cola colored urine. To view unlimited content, log in or register for free. Long-term shortness of breath is most commonly caused by a problem with the lungs, but anything that affects function of the muscles required to breathe can also cause serious breathing problems. There are anecdotes about patients who think statins harm their athletic performance, but formal establishment of an effect is not so clear. It found the elevation of creatine kinase levels was related to the dosage of statins given the patient. Any interruption of this process can cause shortness of breath. Symptoms of breathlessness include difficulty catching your breath, noisy breathing or very fast, shallow breaths. Severe rhabdomyolysis can result in death from acute kidney failure due to overload of the kidneys with deteriorated muscle tissue. etc. If needed in an asthmatic patient, which may be required for certain cardiac conditions such as arrhythmia , it is best to use a “cardio-selective” Beta (β) blocker. 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