Statins side effects: Unusual bleeding from various body parts could be thrombocytopenia

Leading cardiologist says there are concerns over statins

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Statins are widely prescribed drugs used by millions throughout the world to help control cholesterol levels. As with most things, there are side effects to the drug which people need to be aware of including thrombocytopenia causing unusual bleeding from a variety of body parts.

The NHS listed common side effects caused by statin use which includes low blood platelet count.

The condition, also known as thrombocytopenia, is an adverse effect of statin use and could be fatal.

Thrombocytopenia could cause blood in the rectum, blood in your urine or blood in your stools.

In a study published in the Medical Journal of Dr D Y Patil Vidyapeeth, statin induced thrombocytopenia was further investigated.

The study noted: “Commonly encountered adverse effects of statin use are constipation, flatulence, dyspepsia and abdominal pain.

“The major adverse events reported with statins are mainly rhabdomyolysis and deranged liver function tests. 

“We present a case of reversible drug-induced thrombocytopenia, attributed to atorvastatin.

“Drug-induced thrombocytopenia typically appears suddenly, is often severe, and can cause major bleeding and death. 

“Thrombocytopenia defined as the presence of low platelet counts can be either idiopathic or secondary to other causes like drug-induced thrombocytopenia, pregnancy, autoimmune conditions, viral infections, vaccinations, chronic liver disease, malignancy or congenital causes of thrombocytopenia like Von Willibrand’s disease.”

What is thrombocytopenia?

Thrombocytopenia is a condition in which you have a low blood platelet count, said Mayo Clinic.

The health site added: “Platelets (thrombocytes) are colourless blood cells that help blood clot.

“Platelets stop bleeding by clumping and forming plugs in blood vessel injuries.

“Thrombocytopenia can be mild and cause few signs or symptoms. In rare cases, the number of platelets can be so low that dangerous internal bleeding occurs.”

When you don’t have enough platelets in your blood, your body can’t form clots.

A low platelet count may also be called thrombocytopenia. This condition can range from mild to severe, depending on its underlying cause.

For some, the symptoms can include severe bleeding and are possibly fatal if they’re not treated. Other people may not experience any symptoms.

If you have a low platelet count, you may experience:

  • Red, purple, or brown bruises, which are called purpura  
  • A rash with small red or purple dots called petechiae
  • Nosebleeds
  • Bleeding gums
  • Bleeding from wounds that lasts for a prolonged period or doesn’t stop on its own
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Blood in your stools
  • Blood in your urine

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