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Muscle pain, statins, and nocebo effect: one more evidence

Read by Dimitrios Richter

Main conclusion

There is no difference in muscle pain between a restart of atorvastatin 20 mg or placebo in patients who stopped statin treatment because muscle symptoms.

Type of study

200 participants in 50 sites in general practice in UK were included in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial, double-blind, with one-year follow-up, in a n-of-1 type, i.e., six periods of two months, three with statin and three with placebo.

Main message for clinical practice

This trial was done in patients who were considering stopping their statin or had stopped taking a statin in the last three years because of muscle symptoms, and after a restart of statin or placebo, at one year, there is no difference between placebo and atorvastatin in muscle symptoms and more than that, most of the patients wants to restart statin treatment after the trial: now we must explain that to our patients.


Herrett E et al. Statin treatment and muscle symptoms: series of randomized, placebocontrolled n-of-1 trials BMJ Open Access 2021;372: 135