Tips on statins
A few years ago I developed severe muscle aches, pains in my joints, weakness, and enough similar symptoms for me to be referred to a rheumatic diagnostic clinic. I had to take all my pills with me. There the doctor in charge arranged a series of blood tests for me, and even a chest x-ray. Then he said: 'Throw those pills away. You haven’t got rheumatism.' What I had (and what I now understand a lot of people have) is statin poisoning. Statins are dangerous drugs anyway. But they are twice as dangerous if they are given to people over 70 years (I am 82); or two or three times as dangerous if a patient has a history of heavy alcohol consumption (I served 32 years in Fleet Street); or if he or she is on certain other drugs, including ones which had been prescribed for me. All these restrictions are set out in the NHS website, which my doctor either didn’t know about or ignored. I would not have been aware of any of them had not one of my partner’s daughters been a nurse! I now have a different set of doctors, and although some of my poisoning has had effects which will be permanent, I am somewhat improved.
Robert Rodrigo, Burwell, Cambridgeshire
Arthritis Research UK is currently running a clinical trial to establish if giving statins to people with
Editor’s Note: rheumatoid arthritis reduces the number of heart attacks and strokes.