medical IDs for statins

Medical IDs for the Use of Statins

The confidence to live with statins

Statins are used by millions of people around the world to help lower cholesterol, prevent heart disease, or ward off a heart attack or stroke. While statins are highly effective and generally safe for most people, drug interactions can occur. These interactions can increase the risk of side effects such as digestive disorders, brain fog (mental fuzziness), and muscle pain.

In rare cases, combining certain drugs with statins can cause rhabdomyolysis (rab-doe-my-OL-ih-sis). This can lead to severe muscle pain, liver damage, kidney failure, and even death. If you are using statins, there are ways to protect yourself from dangerous drug interactions.

One of the best ways to protect yourself is to wear a MedicAlert medical ID.

How MedicAlert protects those living with statins

One thing you shouldn’t worry about is what could happen if there’s an emergency. MedicAlert’s protection plans offer benefits that extend beyond the ID, providing safety and peace of mind for people living with statins, their families and caregivers.

24/7 Emergency Response

Our team provides first responders the information they need to provide fast, accurate care.

Digital Health Profile

All your vital information, all in one place for you and your caregiver.

Emergency Contact Notification

In an emergency, we connect families so that no one is alone in a crisis.

Patient Instructions

Share the information that’s important to your care, such as use of rescue medications or contraindication for tests like MRIs.

Pair a medical ID for statins with the protection plan that’s right for you.

What exactly are statins?

More than 40 million American adults use statins, making them the most common drug class of prescriptions in the U.S. Statins, formally known as HMG CoA reductase inhibitors, are a group of prescription medications used to lower the blood levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, or “bad cholesterol.” Statins also raise high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, or “good cholesterol,” and they lower triglycerides—another type of fat in the blood.

Statins work by blocking the enzyme that the body’s liver uses to make cholesterol. Humana states that statins may also help the body reabsorb the cholesterol in the arteries, which could be causing blockages. By doing this, the lower cholesterol levels may prevent heart disease, heart attacks, or strokes.

Statins are generally administered orally in tablet or capsule form. While many different brands of statins are on the market today, most have generic versions. Brand name or generic, some statins can decrease LDL cholesterol levels by more than 50%.

Some of the most common statins on the market today include:

  • Atorvastatin (Lipitor).
  • Fluvastatin (generic or extended-release version known as Lescol XL).
  • Lovastatin (Altoprev, Mevacor).
  • Pitavastatin (Livalo, Zypitamag).
  • Pravastatin (formerly Pravachol, currently available in generic only).
  • Rosuvastatin (Crestor, Ezallor Sprinkle).
  • Simvastatin (Flolipid, Zocor).

Statins may be combined with other medicines into one pill. If you are on any of these drug combinations, your doctor will monitor you very closely. Some of the most common combinations include:

  • Atorvastatin with ezetimibe or amlodipine.
  • Lovastatin with niacin.
  • Simvastatin with ezetimibe or niacin.

For which conditions are statins prescribed?

Though many statins were in development decades ago, lovastatin was the very first to hit the market. It was approved for commercial use in the U.S. over 35 years ago on September 1, 1987. Lovastatin and other statins were originally designed to treat high cholesterol levels. Today, not only are statins used to prevent heart disease, heart attacks, or strokes in people with high LDL cholesterol levels, it is also used as a preventive for people with lower LDL levels who are at high risk for heart disease

What are the advantages of statins?

More than 200 million people around the world use statins. They are highly effective at lowering LDL cholesterol, which helps prevent a host of cardiovascular conditions from heart disease to stroke. While drug interactions and side effects can occur, statins are generally well-tolerated. Based on decades of regular use, the long-term risks of using them is low.

The cost differences between brand name and generic versions of statins can vary greatly. Fortunately, generic versions are just as effective, low-cost, and readily available, so your prescription won’t break the bank.

What to engrave on your MedicAlert medical ID for statins:

MedicAlert offers free custom engraving on all our medical ID products. Engravings on medical IDs for statins should include any critical medical information that can protect and save lives in an accident or medical emergency, for example:

  • Statins, other medications
  • Implanted devices such as pacemakers or stents
  • Conditions
  • Drug interactions (NSAIDs)
  • Physician and emergency contact information
  • Any other critical medical information that needs to be communicated to first responders
medical IDs for statins

Sample engraving. Consult our team if you need help engraving your medical ID for statins.

What are the potential side effects from statins?

All drugs come with side effects. Some can be mild, while others can disrupt your life or land you in the ER. When it comes to statins, however, long-term studies have found the side effects from statins to be very mild. Serious side effects can occur, but they are very rare.

Mild side effects from statins include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Gas
  • Headache
  • Joint aches and pains
  • Muscle soreness, tiredness, or weakness
  • Nausea
  • Upper respiratory infections
Rare, but serious side effects from statins include:

  • Confusion
  • High blood sugar levels or type 2 diabetes
  • Kidney damage
  • Liver damage
  • Memory loss
  • Severe muscle pain and muscle damage

How should you manage the use of statins?

While statins are generally well-tolerated, they aren’t for everyone. Some people are at a greater risk of side effects than others. Risk factors include:

  • Age, being age 80 or older
  • Body weight, having a smaller frame
  • Gender, being female
  • Lifestyle, drinking too much alcohol
  • Living with certain conditions such as hypothyroidism or neuromuscular disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
  • Living with kidney or liver disease
  • Taking multiple cholesterol-lowering medications

Statins can interact with prescription drugs, over-the-counter (OTC) medicines, supplements, and even certain foods, so it is important to discuss your medications and diet with your doctor before using statins. A medical ID for statins can ensure medication interactions don’t further complicate emergency medical situations.

Examples of prescription drugs that can interact with statins include:

  • Amiodarone
  • Antifungal drugs (oral and topical)
  • Bile acid sequestrants
  • Clarithromycin
  • Colchicine
  • Cyclosporine
  • Digoxin
  • Diltiazem
  • Fibrates
  • Fluvoxamine
  • HIV protease inhibitors
  • Itraconazole
  • Oral contraceptives containing ethinyl estradiol or norethindrone
  • Rifampin
  • Cyclosporine
  • Verapamil
  • Warfarin

Examples of OTCs that can interact with statins include:

  • Antacids containing magnesium or aluminum hydroxide, such as Mylanta and Maalox
  • Cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • Nicotinic acid (niacin) supplements
  • Omeprazole (Prilosec)
  • Ranitidine (Zantac)
  • St. John’s Wort

Examples of food-drug interactions with statins include:

  • Grapefruit and grapefruit juice

Grapefruit may interact with Lipitor, Mevacor, Livalo, and Zocor. Certain compounds in grapefruit can block the action of the enzyme that metabolizes statins in the intestines. Consuming large quantities of grapefruit products while taking statins can lead to increased concentrations of the medication in your bloodstream, which increases your risk of side effects.

Another potential food-drug interaction when using statins is pomegranate juice. Although this connection is not well-studied, some people who use statins have reported symptoms after taking their medication with pomegranate juice.

If you are using statins, and grapefruit and pomegranate are part of your diet, it’s best to talk to your doctor about any potential interactions that could occur between these foods and drugs when taken together.

How medical IDs for statins combined with MedicAlert  Membership provide peace of mind

Whether you are taking statins for high cholesterol or disease prevention, a MedicAlert medical ID can protect you from dangerous drug interactions if you are in an accident or other medical emergency. A MedicAlert medical ID for statins lets emergency responders know that you are using statins, so certain drugs and other substances can be avoided. Add a MedicAlert protection plan and you will have an additional layer of protection in an accident or other medical emergency.

A MedicAlert protection plan can help ensure accurate and fast care by delivering detailed information about your conditions and medications to emergency responders, ER doctors, and hospital staff. With a MedicAlert protection plan, your healthcare team will know that you are living with a heart or other condition and using statins.

  • We’re your voice:  If you can’t speak for yourself due to a medical emergency, your ID will speak for you – informing others about your statin medication and any other medications you’re taking.

  • 24/7 emergency protection:  In an emergency, the MedicAlert team will relay all of your critical medical information to first responders, no matter where or when your emergency happens.

  • Always connected:  You should never be alone in an emergency. That’s why MedicAlert will reach out to your designated contacts if you are unable to do so.

  • Live with peace of mind and confidence:  MedicAlert will be there for you every step of the way. You’ll have the confidence and freedom to live your life with statins, knowing we’ve got you covered.
DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. The information in this article is presented for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis and treatment. Always seek the advice of a physician or other qualified healthcare provider for any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.