Metformin may help reduce the risk of non-severe statin muscle pain, according to a secondary data analysis of the ACCORD trial. 

Statin-associated muscle pain can hinder medication adherence which could potentially lead to an increased risk of cardiovascular events. Currently, there are no approved treatments for statin-associated muscle pain. 

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For this study, researchers sought to determine the impact of metformin on statin-associated muscle symptoms by analyzing data from the ACCORD trial. They evaluated patients for muscle cramps and leg/calve pain while walking, a common non-severe statin-associated muscle pain symptom, and compared muscle pain among patients taking a statin (n=445) or a statin + metformin (n=869) at baseline. 

Compared to statin-only users, the unadjusted data indicated fewer reports of muscle cramps (35% vs 42%) and walking leg/calve pain (40% vs 47%) among statin + metformin users. The researchers calculated a 23% reduced risk of muscle cramps (P=0.046) and a 29% reduced risk of leg/calve pain while walking (P=0.01) based on multivariable regression analysis. 

“Metformin appears to reduce the risk of non-severe statin muscle pain,” the researchers concluded. “Additional research is needed to confirm the finding and assess metformin’s impact on statin adherence and related cardiovascular outcomes.”

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