Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Statins are effective and safe

The Lancet has published a review of the safety of statins in clinical practice that concludes statins are safe and well-tolerated.

This article may prove useful following the transmission earlier this week of an episode of Tonight with Trevor McDonald that examined the safety and efficacy of statins in primary prevention patients compared to adopting lifestyle changes including exercise and diet.

Of the three people followed during the programme, all of them managed to follow the Portfolio Eating Plan and reduced their cholesterol levels. Blood pressure was also reduced. In addition to this one person stopped smoking and one reduced the number of cigarettes they smoked. All of these factors added together would have had a huge impact upon cardiovascular risk and are already the focus of health promotion activity undertaken in the NHS.

Action: Clinicians should continue to promote adoption of a healthy lifestyle at any given opportunity. The information contained in the Lancet review will help to reassure patients on statins to continue treatment.

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