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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 18462
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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HELLO ,ARE 40MG STATINS TOO STRONG FOR AN 82 YEAR OLD WOMAN

Resolved Question:

HELLO ,ARE 40MG STATINS TOO STRONG FOR AN 82 YEAR OLD WOMAN WITH PULMONARY FIBROSIS WHO SEEMS TO BE SUFFERING STOMACH PAINS DUE TO EXCESSIVE FITS OF COUGHING.. STEVE
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
It will help if you could provide some further information.
Which statin is she taking?
Is she having any muscle symptoms elsewhere in the body?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

the tablets are Atorvastatin 40 mg one per day

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
Is she having any muscle symptoms elsewhere in the body?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

her left shoulder and left side aching too

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information.

The issue in this case is not whether this dose would be too much for a woman of her age, but whether she is having a side effect to the drug.

It is true that the elderly can have increased levels of the drug at any given dose, up to 30-40% higher than is achieved in younger people. However, the dose range for the atorvastatin is 10-80 mg per day, so even accounting for the increased levels in the elderly, 40 mg per day is not excessive.

However, it is also true that even when taken at appropriate doses, one of the possible side effects of any statin drug is an adverse effect on skeletal muscle, called myopathy. If there is muscle pain or weakness, it is appropriate to consider whether there is an adverse effect on muscle. Of course, muscle aches, pains, and weakness are fairly common in the elderly, even if not taking a statin, but it would be appropriate to consider the possibility. The usual next step is to check blood tests of an enzyme of the muscle, the CPK. If the CPK is significantly elevated, then that would be considered evidence of a statin-induced myopathy. It is unusual for a statin-induced myopathy to present with lung symptoms related to involvement of the diaphragm or rib muscles, but it is possible that someone with borderline lung function from another medical problem may have lung symptoms from onset of a statin-induced myopathy.

So, in direct answer to your question, this would not be a dose that is too strong for an 82 year old woman, but it still could be true that her muscle symptoms could be related to the use of the atorvastatin.

If I can provide any further information, please let me know.

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