How much testing do you do for drug side effects?

Stains that lower cholesterol may cause muscle damage. Some patients complain of previously non-existent muscle pain after starting statin-containing drugs. Blood tests often reveal elevated levels of the enzyme creatine kinase, an indication of muscle damage.

No one is about to give any definitive answers yet, since the drugs work wonders for lowering cholesterol. But one physician said the risks are worth it for those who are trying to prevent a second heart attack. Maybe not, he said, under other circumstances.

The point is that many physicians are unaware of the connection–and that takes away the patient’s right to make a fully informed choice. When you’re testing a drug, where do you draw the line to determine where you stop testing for other issues?