Cholesterol drugs safe, even after a decade of use

By REUTERS
November 23, 2011 05:39

LONDON - Cholesterol-lowering drugs continue to produce benefits without any serious safety problems, such as increased cancer risk, even after more than a decade of use, researchers said on Wednesday.

The finding from a large British clinical study following patients for 11 years provides reassurance for people at risk of heart attacks who are typically prescribed such medicines indefinitely.

So-called statin drugs are not without side effects. They can cause nausea, muscle pain, and occasional kidney and liver damage.

But long-term follow-up in the 20,000-patient Heart Protection Study (HPS) found no evidence that statins increased the risk of non-vascular mortality or made patients more likely to develop cancer.


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