The side effects of taking statins include muscle pain and damage, liver damage, digestive problems, rash or flushing, increased blood sugar, type 2 diabetes and neurological side effects, such as memory loss or confusion, according to Mayo Clinic. Muscle pain is the most common side effect.
The risk of developing statin side effects can be reduced by limiting alcohol intake and avoiding multiple cholesterol-lowering medications. People with kidney disease, liver disease, or type 1 or 2 diabetes run a greater risk of developing statin side effects. Being female, older than 65 or having a small body frame are also risk factors, states Mayo Clinic.