Statin side effects: Loss of taste and smell may occur when taking the drug

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Although they offer substantial benefits in decreasing heart attacks and strokes, sometimes cause side effects. About 10 percent to 20 percent of people who take statins report experiencing muscle pain or muscle cramps, while others complain of nausea, trouble sleeping, diarrhoea, or constipation. A loss of taste and smell may also occur.

Sense of taste

Cardiovascular drugs that have been reported to alter taste include statins, clopidogrel (Plavix), and various beta blockers, calcium-channel blockers, and rhythm-controlling drugs, said Harvard Health.

The health side added: “Noncardiac drugs with this side effect include antibiotics, steroids, antidepressants and other mood- or behaviour-stabilizing medications, and thyroid drugs.

“Statins effects a person’s sense of taste by directly affecting taste receptors, by changing the way the taste buds send and receive nerve impulses, or by changing the amount or chemical composition of saliva.”

READ MORE: Type 2 diabetes symptoms: Ten signs you have untreated high blood sugar levels

Loss of smell

Two other possibilities why smell is reduced from statins are two reasons.

The first has to do with age as people aged over 60 tend to experience a gradual loss of taste and smell.

“It is conceivable that you’re starting to take captopril is a red herring and you might be noticing a change even if you weren’t taking the drug.

“The second involves the sense of smell, which largely dictates the flavour of most foods.

“Volatile molecules moving from the mouth to the nasal passages produce the complicated flavours of chocolate, steak sauce, pizza, banana, peppermint, coffee, and many other foods.

“Damage from viruses, bacteria, pollution, and other insults can weaken the sense of smell.”

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The NHS also lists some other side effects of statins:

  • Being sick
  • Memory problems
  • Hair loss
  • Pins and needles
  • Inflammation of the liver (hepatitis), which can cause flu-like symptoms
  • Inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), which can cause stomach pain
  • Skin problems, such as acne or an itchy red rash
  • Sexual problems, such as loss of libido (reduced sex drive) or erectile dysfunction

Taking statins is not the only effective way to lower high cholesterol levels.

Diet also provides a robust defence against cholesterol build-up and the key is to consume certain fats while shunning others.

The key to avoid food that contains a type of fat called saturated fat.

Saturated fats, which are found in fatty cuts of meat, encourage the build-up of LDL cholesterol.

Published at Fri, 29 Jan 2021 15:19:58 +0000

Statin side effects: Loss of taste and smell may occur when taking the drug

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