This paper was published in Ugeskrift for Laeger 2010 Feb 15;172(7):544-5
Study title and author:
Øre-naese-halskirurgisk Afdeling, Slagelse Sygehus, DK-5000 Odense C, Denmark. firstname.lastname@example.org
This paper can be accessed at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20156405
Dysphagia is the medical term for swallowing difficulties.
The paper reports on a man who developed dysphagia and muscle fatigue after statin therapy.
(i) A 68-year-old man was referred to hospital with progressive dysphagia.
(ii) The patient further developed muscle fatigue (it was difficult for him to lift his arms above his head) and additional signs of myopathy (muscle disease) such as high levels of creatine kinase.
(iii) The dysphagia was diagnosed as a late-onset side-effect of statin therapy.
(iv) He stopped taking statins and 14 days later the power to his arms returned, his swallowing function was significantly better and his creatine kinase levels normalised.
The author of the paper, Bjarke Edholm from the Slagelse Hospital in Denmark, concluded: "As an increasing number of patients are being treated with lipid-lowering drugs (statins), it is important to recall that myopathy is a dangerous side-effect which may have either quick or delayed onset, and that dysphagia can be the initial symptom".