HealthDay News — In a position paper issued by the International Lipid Expert Panel and published online March 11 in the Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle, a patient-centered approach is presented for the identification and management of statin-associated muscle symptoms (SAMS).

Peter E. Penson, PhD, from Liverpool John Moores University in the United Kingdom, and colleagues from the International Lipid Expert Panel present a step-by-step, patient-centered approach for identification and management of SAMS with a focus on strategies to prevent and manage the nocebo/drucebo effect, when patients’ expectations that they will experience side effects result in them experiencing these symptoms.

The researchers note that the nocebo/drucebo effect should be considered when health care professionals first prescribe statins and provide information to patients about statin therapy. This process can be helped by providing a personalized lipid intervention plan, which estimates the patient’s 10-year risk for cardiovascular disease with and without statin therapy. The safety and efficacy of therapy should be checked in routine follow-up. Recommendations include effective diagnosis of statin intolerance, excluding the nocebo/drucebo effect; management of patients with no biomarkers indicating abnormalities and with tolerable SAMS; management of patients with biomarker abnormalities and/or intolerable SAMS; and strategies for management of patients with complete statin intolerance.

“It’s important that physicians apply their own judgement in the context of the health care system in which they work and their knowledge of their individual patients when deciding whether to implement particular recommendations,” Penson said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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