Statins, used to treat high cholesterol and cut the risk of stroke or heart disease, can have some serious side-effects, according to new research.
Statins are used by millions of people, and are already known to have some side-effects.
However, experts from the University of Nottingham found that some of the drugs posed other problems, such as an increased risk of liver dysfunction, acute kidney failure, muscle damage known as myopathy and cataracts.
Previously known side-effects include constipation or diarrhoea, headaches, insomnia, loss of appetite and loss of sensation or pain in some nerve endings.
However, in response to the research, experts and charity figures said statins still did more good than harm, and their ability to save lives far outweighed the risks.
The drugs are typically used by people with high cholesterol, as well as those at a higher risk of stroke or heart disease, including people with diabetes or angina.
Data from 368 GP practices was used in the study, which involved more than two million patients aged 30 to 84. Of those, 10.7% were new users of statins, 70.7% used simvastatin, 22.3% used atorvastatin, 3.6% used pravastatin, 1.9% used rosuvastatin and 1.4% used fluvastatin.
The research has been published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). Click here to read the article.