Weigh up benefits and risks
04 Mar 2012
by Amanda Wilson
With any story about adverse events or side-effects with a drug, there is the potential to scare people enough to make them stop taking the medication without talking to their doctor about it – never a good idea.
The NPS have put together an accessible response to this story. It basically says people need to weigh up the risks and benefits of taking statins in consultation with their doctor. The available evidence shows that risks are relatively low and the benefits of the drug are good.
People who have had cardiovascular events previously have much more to gain in the way of benefit from statins than any potential risk of diabetes or dementia. People who are at low risk (no history of heart or vascular disease) should discuss the benefits/risk balance with their GP.
Another aspect to consider is that the FDA makes more recommendations about adverse event warnings than Australia does.