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Dangers of Statin Drugs: What You Haven’t Been Told About Popular Cholesterol-Lowering Medicines PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, PhD   
Monday, 14 June 2004 14:11

Hypercholesterolemia is the health issue of the 21st century. It is actually an invented disease, a "problem" that emerged when health professionals learned how to measure cholesterol levels in the blood. High cholesterol exhibits no outward signs--unlike other conditions of the blood, such as diabetes or anemia, diseases that manifest telltale symptoms like thirst or weakness--hypercholesterolemia requires the services of a physician to detect its presence. Many people who feel perfectly healthy suffer from high cholesterol--in fact, feeling good is actually a symptom of high cholesterol!

Doctors who treat this new disease must first convince their patients that they are sick and need to take one or more expensive drugs for the rest of their lives, drugs that require regular checkups and blood tests. But such doctors do not work in a vacuum--their efforts to convert healthy people into patients are bolstered by the full weight of the US government, the media and the medical establishment, agencies that have worked in concert to disseminate the cholesterol dogma and convince the population that high cholesterol is the forerunner of heart disease and possibly other diseases as well.

Who suffers from hypercholesterolemia? Peruse the medical literature of 25 or 30 years ago and you’ll get the following answer: any middle-aged man whose cholesterol is over 240 with other risk factors, such as smoking or overweight. After the Cholesterol Consensus Conference in 1984, the parameters changed; anyone (male or female) with cholesterol over 200 could receive the dreaded diagnosis and a prescription for pills. Recently that number has been moved down to 180. If you have suffered from a heart attack, you get to take cholesterol-lowering medicines even if your cholesterol is already very low--after all, you have committed the sin of having a heart attack so your cholesterol must therefore be too high. The penance is a lifetime of cholesterol-lowering medications along with a boring lowfat diet. But why wait until you have a heart attack? Since we all labor under the stigma of original sin, we are all candidates for treatment. Current dogma stipulates cholesterol testing and treatment for young adults and even children.

The drugs that doctors use to treat the new disease are called statins--sold under a variety of names including Lipitor (atorvastatin), Zocor (simvastatin), Mevacor (lovastatin) and Pravachol (pravastatin).

How Statins Work

The diagram below illustrates the pathways involved in cholesterol production. The process begins with acetyl-CoA, a two-carbon molecule sometimes referred to as the "building block of life." Three acetyl-CoA molecules combine to form six-carbon hydroxymethyl glutaric acid (HMG). The step from HMG to mevalonate requires an enzyme, HMG-CoA reductase. Statin drugs work by inhibiting this enzyme--hence the formal name of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors. Herein lies one potential for numerous side effects, because statin drugs inhibit not just the production of cholesterol, but a whole family of intermediary substances, many if not all of which have important biochemical functions in their own right.

Consider the findings of pediatricians at the University of California, San Diego who published a description of a child with an hereditary defect of mevalonic kinase, the enzyme that facilitates the next step beyond HMG-CoA reductase.1 The child was mentally retarded, microcephalic (very small head), small for his age, profoundly anemic, acidotic and febrile. He also had cataracts. Predictably, his cholesterol was consistently low--70-79 mg/dl. He died at the age of 24 months. The child represents an extreme example of cholesterol inhibition, but his case illuminates the possible consequences of taking statins in strong doses or for a lengthy period of time--depression of mental acuity, anemia, acidosis, frequent fevers and cataracts.

Cholesterol is one of three end products in the mevalonate chain. The two others are ubiquinone and dolichol. Ubiquinone or Co-Enzyme Q10 is a critical cellular nutrient biosynthesized in the mitochondria. It plays a role in ATP production in the cells and functions as an electron carrier to cytochrome oxidase, our main respiratory enzyme. The heart requires high levels of Co-Q10. A form of Co-Q10 is found in all cell membranes, where it plays a role in maintaining membrane integrity, which is critical to nerve conduction and muscle integrity. Co-Q10 is also vital to the formation of elastin and collagen. Side effects of Co-Q10 deficiency include muscle wasting leading to weakness and severe back pain, heart failure (the heart is a muscle!), neuropathy and inflammation of the tendons and ligaments, often leading to rupture.

Dolichols also play a role of immense importance. In the cells they direct various proteins manufactured in response to DNA directives to their proper targets, ensuring that the cells respond correctly to genetically programmed instruction. Thus statin drugs can lead to unpredictable chaos on the cellular level.

Squalene, the immediate precursor to cholesterol, is in turn the biochemical precursor to a whole family of steroid hormones; research indicates that squalene inhibits blood vessel formation in tumors, raising the possibility that it may have anti-cancer effects.

The fact that some studies have shown that statins can prevent heart disease, at least in the short term, is most likely explained not by the inhibition of cholesterol production but because they block the creation of mevalonate. Reduced amounts of mevalonate seem to make smooth muscle cells less active and platelets less able to produce thromboxane. Atherosclerosis begins with the growth of smooth muscle cells inside artery walls and thromboxane is necessary for blood clotting.

Cholesterol Synthesis

Synthesis of Cholesterol

Cholesterol

Of course, statins inhibit the production of cholesterol--they do this very well. Nowhere is the failure of our medical system more evident than in the wholesale acceptance of cholesterol reduction as a way to prevent disease--have all these doctors forgotten what they learned in Biochemistry 101 about the many roles of cholesterol in the human biochemistry? Every cell membrane in our body contains cholesterol because cholesterol is what makes our cells waterproof--without cholesterol we could not have a different biochemistry on the inside and the outside of the cell. When cholesterol levels are not adequate, the cell membrane becomes leaky or porous, a situation the body interprets as an emergency, releasing a flood of corticoid hormones that work by sequestering cholesterol from one part of the body and transporting it to areas where it is lacking. Cholesterol is the body’s repair substance: scar tissue contains high levels of cholesterol, including scar tissue in the arteries.

Cholesterol is the precursor to vitamin D, necessary for numerous biochemical processes including mineral metabolism. The bile salts, required for the digestion of fat, are made of cholesterol. Those who suffer from low cholesterol often have trouble digesting fats. Cholesterol may also protect us against cancer as low cholesterol levels are associated with increased rates of cancer.

Cholesterol is vital to proper neurological function. It plays a key role in the formation of memory and the uptake of hormones in the brain, including serotonin, the body’s feel-good chemical. When cholesterol levels drop too low, the serotonin receptors cannot work. Cholesterol is a major component of the brain, much of it in the myelin sheaths that insulate nerve cells and in the synapses that transmit nerve impulses.

Some researchers believe that cholesterol acts as an antioxidant.2 This is the likely explanation for the fact that cholesterol levels tend to go up with age. As an antioxidant, cholesterol protects us against free radical damage that leads to heart disease and cancer.

Finally, cholesterol is the precursor to all the hormones produced in the adrenal cortex including glucocorticoids, which regulate blood sugar levels, and mineralocorticoids, which regulate mineral balance. Corticoids are the cholesterol-based adrenal hormones that the body uses in response to stress of various types; they promote healing and balance the tendency to inflammation. The adrenal cortex also produces sex hormones, including testosterone, estrogen and progesterone, out of cholesterol. Thus, low cholesterol--whether due to an innate error of metabolism or induced by cholesterol-lowering diets and drugs--can be expected to disrupt the production of adrenal hormones and lead to blood sugar problems, edema, mineral deficiencies, chronic inflammation, difficulty in healing, allergies, asthma, reduced libido, infertility and various reproductive problems.

Enter the Statins

Statin drugs entered the market with great promise. They replaced a class of pharmaceuticals that lowered cholesterol by preventing its absorption from the gut. These early drugs often had immediate and unpleasant side effects, including nausea, indigestion and constipation, and in the typical patient they lowered cholesterol levels only slightly. Patient compliance was low: the benefit did not seem worth the side effects and the potential for use was very limited. By contrast, statin drugs had no immediate side effects: they did not cause nausea or indigestion and they were consistently effective, often lowering cholesterol levels by 50 points or more.

During the last 20 years, the industry has mounted an incredible promotional campaign--enlisting scientists, advertising agencies, the media and the medical profession in a blitz that turned the statins into one of the bestselling pharmaceuticals of all time. Sixteen million Americans now take Lipitor, the most popular statin, and drug company officials claim that 36 million Americans are candidates for statin drug therapy. What bedevils the industry is growing reports of side effects that manifest many months after the commencement of therapy; the November 2003 issue of Smart Money magazine reports on a 1999 study at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London (apparently unpublished), which found that 36 percent of patients on Lipitor’s highest dose reported side effects; even at the lowest dose, 10 percent reported side effects.3

Muscle Pain and Weakness

The most common side effect is muscle pain and weakness, a condition called rhabdomyolysis, most likely due to the depletion of Co-Q10, a nutrient that supports muscle function. Dr. Beatrice Golomb of San Diego, California is currently conducting a series of studies on statin side effects. The industry insists that only 2-3 percent of patients get muscle aches and cramps but in one study, Golomb found that 98 percent of patients taking Lipitor and one-third of the patients taking Mevachor (a lower-dose statin) suffered from muscle problems.4 A message board devoted to Lipitor at forum.ditonline.com (update 09 JUL 2007: reader alerted us the forum is now defunct) contained more than 800 posts, many detailing severe side effects. The Lipitor board at www.rxlist.com contains more than 2,600 posts (click on Message Boards at upper left and then choose Lipitor; also note that as of 09 JUL 2007 there are 3,857 messages).

The test for muscle wasting or rhabdomyolysis is elevated levels of a chemical called creatine kinase (CK). But many people experience pain and fatigue even though they have normal CK levels.5

Tahoe City resident Doug Peterson developed slurred speech, balance problems and severe fatigue after three years on Lipitor--for the first two-and-one-half years, he had no side effects at all.6 It began with restless sleep patterns--twitching and flailing his arms. Loss of balance followed and the beginning of what Doug calls the "statin shuffle"--a slow, wobbly walk across the room. Fine motor skills suffered next. It took him five minutes to write four words, much of which was illegible. Cognitive function also declined. It was hard to convince his doctors that Lipitor could be the culprit, but when he finally stopped taking it, his coordination and memory improved.

John Altrocchi took Mevacor for three years without side effects; then he developed calf pain so severe he could hardly walk. He also experienced episodes of temporary memory loss.

For some, however, muscle problems show up shortly after treatment begins. Ed Ontiveros began having muscle problems within 30 days of taking Lipitor. He fell in the bathroom and had trouble getting up. The weakness subsided when he went off Lipitor. In another case, reported in the medical journal Heart, a patient developed rhabdomyolysis after a single dose of a statin.7 Heel pain from plantar fascitis is another common complaint among those taking statin drugs. One correspondent reported the onset of pain in the feet shortly after beginning statin treatment. She had visited an evangelist, requesting that he pray for her sore feet. He enquired whether she was taking Lipitor. When she said yes, he told her that his feet had also hurt when he took Lipitor.8

Active people are much more likely to develop problems from statin use than those who are sedentary. In a study carried out in Austria, only six out of 22 athletes with familial hypercholesterolemia were able to endure statin treatment.9 The others discontinued treatment because of muscle pain.

By the way, other cholesterol-lowering agents besides statin drugs can cause joint pain and muscle weakness. A report in Southern Medical Journal described muscle pains and weakness in a man who took Chinese red rice, an herbal preparation that lowers cholesterol.10 Anyone suffering from myopathy, fibromyalgia, coordination problems and fatigue needs to look at low cholesterol plus Co-Q10 deficiency as a possible cause.

Neuropathy

Polyneuropathy, also known as peripheral neuropathy, is characterized by weakness, tingling and pain in the hands and feet, as well as difficulty walking. Researchers who studied 500,000 residents of Denmark, about 9 percent of that country’s population, found that people who took statins were more likely to develop polyneuropathy.11 Taking statins for one year raised the risk of nerve damage by about 15 percent--about one case for every 2,200 patients. For those who took statins for two or more years, the additional risk rose to 26 percent.

According to the research of Dr. Golomb, nerve problems are a common side effect from statin use; patients who use statins for two or more years are at a 4- to 14-fold increased risk of developing idiopathic polyneuropathy compared to controls.12 She reports that in many cases, patients told her they had complained to their doctors about neurological problems, only to be assured that their symptoms could not be related to cholesterol-lowering medications.

The damage is often irreversible. People who take large doses for a long time may be left with permanent nerve damage, even after they stop taking the drug.

An interesting question is whether widespread statin-induced neuropathy makes our elderly drivers (and even not-so-elderly drivers) more accident prone? In July of 2003, an 86-year-old driver with an excellent driving record plowed into a farmers market in Santa Monica, California, killing ten people. Several days later, a most interesting letter from a Lake Oswego, Oregon woman appeared in the Washington Post:13

"My husband, at age 68, backed into the garage and stepped on the gas, wrecking a lot of stuff. He said his foot slipped off the brake. He had health problems and is on medication, including a cholesterol drug, which is now known to cause problems with feeling in one’s legs.

"In my little community, older drivers have missed a turn and taken out the end of a music store, the double doors of the post office and the front of a bakery. In Portland, a bank had to do without its drive-up window for some time.

"It is easy to say that one’s foot slipped, but the problem could be lack of sensation. My husband’s sister-in-law thought her car was malfunctioning when it refused to go when a light turned green, until she looked down and saw that her foot was on the brake. I have another friend who mentioned having no feeling in her lower extremities. She thought about having her car retrofitted with hand controls but opted for the handicapped bus instead."

Heart Failure

We are currently in the midst of a congestive heart failure epidemic in the United States--while the incidence of heart attack has declined slightly, an increase in the number heart failure cases has outpaced these gains. Deaths attributed to heart failure more than doubled from 1989 to 1997.14 (Statins were first given pre-market approval in 1987.) Interference with production of Co-Q10 by statin drugs is the most likely explanation. The heart is a muscle and it cannot work when deprived of Co-Q10.

Cardiologist Peter Langsjoen studied 20 patients with completely normal heart function. After six months on a low dose of 20 mg of Lipitor a day, two-thirds of the patients had abnormalities in the heart’s filling phase, when the muscle fills with blood. According to Langsjoen, this malfunction is due to Co-Q10 depletion. Without Co-Q10, the cell’s mitochondria are inhibited from producing energy, leading to muscle pain and weakness. The heart is especially susceptible because it uses so much energy.15

Co-Q10 depletion becomes more and more of a problem as the pharmaceutical industry encourages doctors to lower cholesterol levels in their patients by greater and greater amounts. Fifteen animal studies in six different animal species have documented statin-induced Co-Q10 depletion leading to decreased ATP production, increased injury from heart failure, skeletal muscle injury and increased mortality. Of the nine controlled trials on statin-induced Co-Q10 depletion in humans, eight showed significant Co-Q10 depletion leading to decline in left ventricular function and biochemical imbalances.16

Yet virtually all patients with heart failure are put on statin drugs, even if their cholesterol is already low. Of interest is a recent study indicating that patients with chronic heart failure benefit from having high levels of cholesterol rather than low. Researchers in Hull, UK followed 114 heart failure patients for at least 12 months.17 Survival was 78 percent at 12 months and 56 percent at 36 months. They found that for every point of decrease in serum cholesterol, there was a 36 percent increase in the risk of death within three years.

Dizziness

Dizziness is commonly associated with statin use, possibly due to blood pressure-lowering effects. One woman reported dizziness one half hour after taking Pravachol.18 When she stopped taking it, the dizziness cleared up. Blood pressure lowering has been reported with several statins in published studies. According to Dr. Golumb, who notes that dizziness is a common adverse effect, the elderly may be particularly sensitive to drops in blood pressure.19

Cognitive Impairment

The November 2003 issue of Smart Money20 describes the case of Mike Hope, owner of a successful ophthalmologic supply company: "There’s an awkward silence when you ask Mike Hope his age. He doesn’t change the subject or stammer, or make a silly joke about how he stopped counting at 21. He simply doesn’t remember. Ten seconds pass. Then 20. Finally an answer comes to him. ‘I’m 56,’ he says. Close, but not quite. ‘I will be 56 this year.’ Later, if you happen to ask him about the book he’s reading, you’ll hit another roadblock. He can’t recall the title, the author or the plot." Statin use since 1998 has caused his speech and memory to fade. He was forced to close his business and went on Social Security ten years early. Things improved when he discontinued Lipitor in 2002, but he is far from complete recovery--he still cannot sustain a conversation. What Lipitor did was turn Mike Hope into an old man when he was in the prime of life.

Cases like Mike’s have shown up in the medical literature as well. An article in Pharmacotherapy, December 2003, for example, reports two cases of cognitive impairment associated with Lipitor and Zocor.21 Both patients suffered progressive cognitive decline that reversed completely within a month after discontinuation of the statins. A study conducted at the University of Pittsburgh showed that patients treated with statins for six months compared poorly with patients on a placebo in solving complex mazes, psychomotor skills and memory tests.22

Dr. Golomb has found that 15 percent of statin patients develop some cognitive side effects.23 The most harrowing involve global transient amnesia--complete memory loss for a brief or lengthy period--described by former astronaut Duane Graveline in his book Lipitor: Thief of Memory.24 Sufferers report baffling incidents involving complete loss of memory--arriving at a store and not remembering why they are there, unable to remember their name or the names of their loved ones, unable to find their way home in the car. These episodes occur suddenly and disappear just as suddenly. Graveline points out that we are all at risk when the general public is taking statins--do you want to be in an airplane when your pilot develops statin-induced amnesia?

Statins seem to cause a range of cognitive problems, especially elderly patients. Two randomized trials that were designed to assess cognitive effects of statins have shown worsening in cognitive function. In addition, several case reports and one large case series (involving 60 patients) have reported deleterious cognitive effects of statins on memory and cognitive function.25

Cancer

In every study with rodents to date, statins have caused cancer.26 Why have we not seen such a dramatic correlation in human studies? Because cancer takes a long time to develop and most of the statin trials do not go on longer than two or three years. Still, in one trial, the CARE trial, breast cancer rates of those taking a statin went up 1500 percent.27 In the Heart Protection Study, non-melanoma skin cancer occurred in 243 patients treated with simvastatin (a total of 10,269) compared with 202 cases in the control group (a total of 10,267).28

Manufacturers of statin drugs have recognized the fact that statins depress the immune system, an effect that can lead to cancer and infectious disease, recommending statin use for inflammatory arthritis and as an immune suppressor for transplant patients.29

Pancreatitis

The medical literature contains several reports of pancreatitis in patients taking statins. One paper describes the case of a 49-year-old woman who was admitted to the hospital with diarrhea and septic shock one month after beginning treatment with lovastatin. She died after prolonged hospitalization; the cause of death was necrotizing pancreatitis. Her doctors noted that the patient had no evidence of common risk factors for acute pancreatitis, such as biliary tract disease or alcohol use. "Prescribers of statins (particularly simvastatin and lovastatin) should take into account the possibility of acute pancreatitis in patients who develop abdominal pain within the first weeks of treatment with these drugs," they warned. By contrast, a review of published case studies found that pancreatitis was more likely to occur after many months of statin use.30

Depression

Several studies have noted a correlation of low cholesterol with depression, suicide and violence. For example, a study of over 29,000 men in Finland found that low cholesterol levels were associated with an increased risk of hospitalization due to depression and of death from suicide.31 Another study found that women with low cholesterol are twice as likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. Researchers from Duke University Medical Center carried out personality trait measurements on 121 young women aged 18 to 27.32 They found that 39 percent of the women with low cholesterol levels scored high on personality traits that signalled proneness to depression, compared to 19 percent of women with normal or high levels of cholesterol. In addition, one in three of the women with low cholesterol levels scored high on anxiety indicators, compared to 21 percent with normal levels. Yet the author of the study, Dr. Edward Suarez, cautioned women with low cholesterol against eating "foods such as cream cakes" to raise cholesterol, warning that these types of food "can cause heart disease." In previous studies on men, Dr. Suarez found that men who lower their cholesterol levels with medication have increased rates of suicide and violent death, leading the researchers to theorize "that low cholesterol levels were causing mood disturbances."

How many elderly statin-takers eke through their golden years feeling miserable and depressed, when they should be enjoying their grandchildren and looking back with pride on their accomplishments? But that is the new dogma--you may have a long life as long as it is experienced as a vale of tears.

Any Benefits?

Most doctors are convinced--and seek to convince their patients--that the benefits of statin drugs far outweigh the side effects. They can cite a number of studies in which statin use has lowered the number of coronary deaths compared to controls. But as Dr. Ravnskov has pointed out in his book The Cholesterol Myths,33 the results of the major studies up to the year 2000--the 4S, WOSCOPS, CARE, AFCAPS and LIPID studies--generally showed only small differences and these differences were often statistically insignificant and independent of the amount of cholesterol lowering achieved. In two studies, EXCEL and FACAPT/TexCAPS, more deaths occurred in the treatment group compared to controls. Dr. Ravnskov’s 1992 meta-analysis of 26 controlled cholesterol-lowering trials found an equal number of cardiovascular deaths in the treatment and control groups and a greater number of total deaths in the treatment groups.34 An analysis of all the big controlled trials reported before 2000 found that long-term use of statins for primary prevention of heart disase produced a 1 percent greater risk of death over 10 years compared to a placebo.35

Recently published studies do not provide any more justification for the current campaign to put as many people as possible on statin drugs.

Honolulu Heart Program (2001)

This report, part of an ongoing study, looked at cholesterol lowering in the elderly. Researchers compared changes in cholesterol concentrations over 20 years with all-cause mortality.36 To quote: "Our data accords with previous findings of increased mortality in elderly people with low serum cholesterol, and show that long-term persistence of low cholesterol concentration actually increases risk of death. Thus, the earlier that patients start to have lower cholesterol concentrations, the greater the risk of death. . . The most striking findings were related to changes in cholesterol between examination three (1971-74) and examination four (1991-93). There are few studies that have cholesterol concentrations from the same patients at both middle age and old age. Although our results lend support to previous findings that low serum cholesterol imparts a poor outlook when compared with higher concentrations of cholesterol in elderly people, our data also suggest that those individuals with a low serum cholesterol maintained over a 20-year period will have the worst outlook for all-cause mortality [emphasis ours]."

MIRACL (2001)

The MIRACL study looked at the effects of a high dose of Lipitor on 3086 patients in the hospital after angina or nonfatal MI and followed them for 16 weeks.37 According to the abstract: "For patients with acute coronary syndrome, lipid-lowering therapy with atorvastatin, 80 mg/day, reduced recurrent ischemic events in the first 16 weeks, mostly recurrent symptomatic ischemia requiring rehospitalization." What the abstract did not mention was the fact that there was no change in death rate compared to controls and no significant change in re-infarction rate or need for resuscitation from cardiac arrest. The only change was a significant drop in chest pain requiring rehospitalization.

ALLHAT (2002)

ALLHAT (Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial), the largest North American cholesterol-lowering trial ever, showed that mortality of the treatment group and controls after three or six years was identical.38 Researchers used data from more than 10,000 participants given cholesterol-lowering drugs and followed them over a period of four years, comparing the use of a statin drug to "usual care," namely maintaining proper body weight, no smoking, regular exercise, etc., in treating subjects with moderately high levels of LDL-cholesterol. Of the 5170 subjects in the group that received statin drugs, 28 percent lowered their LDL-cholesterol significantly. And of the 5185 usual-care subjects, about 11 percent had a similar drop in LDL. But both groups showed the same rates of death, heart attack and heart disease.

Heart Protection Study (2002)

Carried out at Oxford University,39 this study received widespread press coverage; researchers claimed "massive benefits" from cholesterol-lowering,40 leading one commentator to predict that statin drugs were "the new aspirin."41 But as Dr. Ravnskov points out,42 the benefits were far from massive. Those who took simvastatin had an 87.1 percent survival rate after five years compared to an 85.4 percent survival rate for the controls, and these results were independent of the amount of cholesterol lowering. The authors of the Heart Protection Study never published cumulative mortality data, even though they received many requests to do so, and even though they received funding and carried out a study to look at cumulative data. According to the authors, providing year-by-year mortality data would be an "inappropriate" way of publishing their study results.43

PROSPER (2002)

PROSPER (Prospective Study of Pravastatin in the Elderly at Risk) studied the effect of pravastatin compared to a placebo in two older populations of patients of which 56 percent were primary prevention cases (no past or symptomatic cardiovascular disease) and 44 percent were secondary prevention cases (past or symptomatic cardiovascular disease).44 Pravastatin did not reduce total myocardial infarction or total stroke in the primary prevention population but did so in the secondary. However, measures of overall health impact in the combined populations, total mortality and total serious adverse events were unchanged by pravastatin as compared to the placebo, and those in the treatment group had increased cancer. In other words: not one life saved.

J-LIT (2002)

The Japanese Lipid Intervention Trial was a six-year study of 47,294 patients treated with the same dose of simvastatin.45 Patients were grouped by the amount of cholesterol lowering. Some patients had no reduction in LDL levels, some had a moderate fall in LDL and some had very large LDL reductions. The results: no correlation between the amount of LDL lowering and death rate at five years. Those with LDL cholesterol lower than 80 had a death rate of just over 3.5 at five years; those whose LDL was over 200 had a death rate of just over 3.5 at five years.

Meta-Analysis (2003)

In a meta-analysis of 44 trials involving almost 10,000 patients, the death rate was identical at 1 percent of patients in each of the three groups--those taking atorvastatin (Lipitor), those taking other statins and those taking nothing.46 Furthermore, 65 percent of those on treatment versus 45 percent of the controls experienced an adverse event. Researchers claimed that the incidence of adverse effects was the same in all three groups, but 3 percent of the atorvastatin-treated patients and 4 percent of those receiving other statins withdrew due to treatment-associated adverse events, compared with 1 percent of patients on the placebo.

Statins and Plaque (2003)

A study published in the American Journal of Cardiology casts serious doubts on the commonly held belief that lowering your LDL-cholesterol, the so-called bad cholesterol, is the most effective way to reduced arterial plaque.47 Researchers at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City examined the coronary plaque buildup in 182 subjects who took statin drugs to lower cholesterol levels. One group of subjects used the drug aggressively (more than 80 mg per day) while the balance of the subjects took less than 80 mg per day. Using electron beam tomography, the researchers measured plaque in all of the subjects before and after a study period of more than one year. The subjects were generally successful in lowering their cholesterol, but in the end there was no statistical difference in the two groups in the progression of arterial calcified plaque. On average, subjects in both groups showed a 9.2 percent increase in plaque buildup.

Statins and Women (2003)

No study has shown a significant reduction in mortality in women treated with statins. The University of British Columbia Therapeutics Initiative came to the same conclusion, with the finding that statins offer no benefit to women for prevention of heart disease.48 Yet in February of 2004, the journal Circulation published an article in which more than 20 organizations endorsed cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines for women, with several mentions of "preferably a statin."49

ASCOT-LLA (2003)

ASCOT-LLA (Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial--Lipid Lowering Arm) was designed to assess the benefits of atorvastatin (Lipitor) versus a placebo in patients who had high blood pressure with average or lower-than-average cholesterol concentrations and at least three other cardiovascular risk factors.50 The trial was originally planned for five years but was stopped after a median follow-up of 3.3 years because of a significant reduction in cardiac events. Lipitor did reduce total myocardial infarction and total stroke; however, total mortality was not significantly reduced. In fact, women were worse off with treatment. The trial report stated that total serious adverse events "did not differ between patients assigned atorvastatin or placebo," but did not supply the actual numbers of serious events.

Cholesterol Levels in Dialysis Patients (2004)

In a study of dialysis patients, those with higher cholesterol levels had lower mortality than those with low cholesterol.51 Yet the authors claimed that the "inverse association of total cholesterol level with mortality in dialysis patients is likely due to the cholesterol-lowering effect of systemic inflammation and malnutrition, not to a protective effect of high cholesterol concentrations." Keeping an eye on further funding opportunities, the authors concluded: "These findings support treatment of hypercholesterolemia in this population."

PROVE-IT (2004)

PROVE-IT (PRavastatin Or AtorVastatin Evaluation and Infection Study),52 led by researchers at Harvard University Medical School, attracted immense media attention. "Study of Two Cholesterol Drugs Finds One Halts Heart Disease," was the headline in the New York Times.53 In an editorial entitled "Extra-Low Cholesterol," the paper predicted that "The findings could certainly presage a significant change in the way heart disease patients are treated. It should also start a careful evaluation of whether normally healthy people could benefit from a sharp drug-induced reduction in their cholesterol levels."54

The Washington Post was even more effusive, with a headline "Striking Benefits Found in Ultra-Low Cholesterol."55 "Heart patients who achieved ultra-low cholesterol levels in one study were 16 percent less likely to get sicker or to die than those who hit what are usually considered optimal levels. The findings should prompt doctors to give much higher doses of drugs known as statins to hundreds of thousands of patients who already have severe heart problems, experts said. In addition, it will probably encourage physicians to start giving the medications to millions of healthy people who are not yet on them, and to boost dosages for some of those already taking them to lower their cholesterol even more, they said."

The study compared two statin drugs, Lipitor and Pravachol. Although Bristol Myers-Squibb (BMS), makers of Pravachol, sponsored the study, Lipitor (made by Pfizer) outperformed its rival Pravachol in lowering LDL. The "striking benefit" was a 22 percent rate of death or further adverse coronary events in the Lipitor patients compared to 26 percent in the Pravachol patients.

PROVE-IT investigators took 4,162 patients who had been in the hospital following an MI or unstable angina. Half got Pravachol and half got Lipitor. Those taking Lipitor had the greatest reduction of LDL-cholesterol--LDL in the Pravachol group was 95, in the Lipitor group it was 62--a 32 percent greater reduction in LDL levels and a 16 percent reduction in all-cause mortality. But that 16 percent was a reduction in relative risk. As pointed out by Red Flags Daily columnist Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, the absolute reduction in the rate of the death rate of those taking Lipitor rather than Pravachol, was one percent, a decrease from 3.2 percent to 2.2 percent over 2 years.56 Or, to put it another way, a 0.5 percent absolute risk reduction per year--these were the figures that launched the massive campaign for cholesterol-lowering in people with no risk factors for heart disease, not even high cholesterol.

And the study was seriously flawed with what Kendrick calls "the two-variables conundrum." "It is true that those with the greatest LDL lowering were protected against death. However, . . . those who were protected not only had a greater degree of LDL lowering, they were also on a different drug! Which is rather important, yet seems to have been swept aside on a wave of hype. If you really want to prove that the more you lower the LDL level, the greater the protection, then you must use the same drug. This achieves the absolutely critical requirement of any scientific experiment, which is to remove all possible uncontrolled variables. . . As this study presently stands, because they used different drugs, anyone can make the case that the benefits seen in the patients on atorvastatin [Lipitor] had nothing to do with greater LDL lowering; they were purely due to the direct drug effects of atorvastatin." Kendrick notes that the carefully constructed J-LIT study, published two years earlier, found no correlation whatsoever between the amount of LDL lowering and the death rate. This study had ten times as many patients, lasted almost three times as long and used the same drug at the same dose in all patients. Not surprisingly, J-LIT attracted virtually no media attention.

PROVE-IT did not look at side effects but Dr. Andrew G. Bodnar, senior vice president for strategy and medical and external affairs at Bristol Meyer Squibb, makers of the losing statin, indicated that liver enzymes were elevated in 3.3 percent of the Lipitor group but only in 1.1 percent of the Pravachol group, noting that when liver enzyme levels rise, patients must be advised to stop taking the drug or reduce the dose.57 And withdrawal rates were very high: thirty-three percent of patients discontinued Pravachol and 30 percent discontinued Lipitor after two years due to adverse events or other reasons.58

REVERSAL (2004)

In a similar study, carried out at the Cleveland Clinic, patients were given either Lipitor or Pravachol. Those receiving Lipitor achieved much lower LDL-cholesterol levels and a reversal in "the progression of coronary plaque aggregation."59 Those who took Lipitor had plaque reduced by 0.4 percent over 18 months, based on intravascular ultrasound (not the more accurate tool of electron beam tomography). Dr. Eric Topol of the Cleveland Clinic claimed these decidedly unspectacular results "Herald a shake-up in the field of cardiovascular prevention. . . the implications of this turning point--that is, of the new era of intensive statin therapy--are profound. Even today, only a fraction of the patients who should be treated with a statin are actually receiving such therapy. . . More than 200 million people worldwide meet the criteria for treatment, but fewer than 25 million take statins."60 Not surprisingly, an article in the Wall Street Journal noted "Lipitor Prescriptions Surge in Wake of Big Study."61

But as Dr. Ravnskov points out, the investigators looked at change in atheroma volume, not the change in lumen area, "a more important parameter because it determines the amount of blood that can be delivered to the myocardium. Change of atheroma volume cannot be translated to clinical events because adaptive mechansims try to maintain a normal lumen area during early atherogenesis."62

Other Uses

With such paltry evidence of benefit, statin drugs hardly merit the hyperbole heaped upon them. Yet the industry maintains a full court press, urging their use for greater and greater numbers of people, not only for cholesterol lowering but also as treatment for other diseases--cancer, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, stroke, macular degeneration, arthritis and even mental disorders such as memory and learning problems, Alzheimers and dementia.63 New guidelines published by the American College of Physicians call for statin use by all people with diabetes older than 55 and for younger diabetes patients who have any other risk factor for heart disease, such as high blood pressure or a history of smoking.64 David A. Drachman, professor of neurology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School calls statins "Viagra for the brain."65 Other medical writers have heralded the polypill, composed of a statin drug mixed with a blood pressure medication, aspirin and niacin, as a prevent-all that everyone can take. The industry is also seeking the right to sell statins over the counter.

Can honest assessment find any possible use for these dangerous drugs? Dr. Peter Langsjoen of Tyler, Texas, suggests that statin drugs are appropriate only as a treatment for cases of advanced Cholesterol Neurosis, created by the industry’s anti-cholesterol propaganda. If you are concerned about your cholesterol, a statin drug will relieve you of your worries.

Creative Advertising

The best advertising for statin drugs is free front-page coverage following gushy press releases. But not everyone reads the paper or goes in for regular medical exams, so statin manufacturers pay big money for creative ways to create new users. For example, a new health awareness group called the Boomer Coalition supported ABC’s Academy Awards telecast in March of 2004 with a 30-second spot flashing nostalgic images of celebrities lost to cardiovascular disease--actor James Coburn, baseball star Don Drysdale and comedian Redd Foxx. While the Boomer Coalition sounds like a grass roots group of health activists, it is actually a creation of Pfizer, manufacturers of Lipitor. "We’re always looking for creative ways to break through what we’ve found to be a lack of awareness and action," says Michal Fishman, a Pfizer spokeswoman. "We’re always looking for what people really think and what’s going to make people take action," adding that there is a stigma about seeking treatment and many people "wrongly assume that if they are physically fit, they aren’t at risk for heart disease."66 The Boomer Coalition website allows visitors to "sign up and take responsibility for your heart health," by providing a user name, age, email address and blood pressure and cholesterol level.

A television ad in Canada admonished viewers to "Ask your doctor about the Heart Protection Study from Oxford University." The ad did not urge viewers to ask their doctors about EXCEL, ALLHAT, ASCOT, MIRACL or PROSPER, studies that showed no benefit--and the potential for great harm--from taking statin drugs.

The Costs

Statin drugs are very expensive--a course of statins for a year costs between $900 and $1400. They constitute the mostly widely sold pharmaceutical drug, accounting for 6.5 percent of market share and 12.5 billion dollars in revenue for the industry. Your insurance company may pay most of that cost, but consumers always ultimately pay with higher insurance premiums. Payment for statin drugs poses a huge burden for Medicare, so much so that funds may not be available for truly lifesaving medical measures.

In the UK, according to the National Health Service, doctors wrote 31 million prescriptions for statins in 2003, up from 1 million in 1995, at a cost of 7 billion pounds--and that’s just in one tiny island.67 In the US, statins currently bring in 12.5 billion dollars annually for the pharmaceutical industry. Sales of Lipitor, the number-one-selling statin, are projected to hit 10 billion dollars in 2005.

Even if statin drugs do provide some benefit, the cost is very high. In the WOSCOP clinical trial, in which healthy people with high cholesterol were treated with statins, the five-year death rate for treated subjects was reduced by a mere 0.6 percent. As Dr. Ravnskov points out,68 to achieve that slight reduction, about 165 healthy people had to be treated for five years to extend one life by five years. The cost for that one life comes to 1.2 million dollars. In the most optimistic calculations, the costs to save one year of life in patients with CHD is estimated at 10,000 dollars, and much more for healthy individuals. "This may not sound unreasonable," says Dr. Ravnskov. "Isn’t a human life worth 10,000 dollars or more?"

"The implication of such reasoning is that to add as many years as possible, more than half of mankind should take statin drugs every day from an early age to the end of life. It is easy to calculate that the costs for such treatment would consume most of any government’s health budget. And if money is spent to give statin treatment to all healthy people, what will remain for the care of those who really need it? Shouldn’t health care be given primarily to the sick and the crippled?"


Sidebar Articles

A Better Way

If statins work, they do so by reducing inflammation, not because they lower cholesterol. Statins block the production of mevalonate leading to inhibition of platelet clumping and reduction of inflammation in the artery walls. However, simple changes in the diet can achieve the same effect without also cutting off the body’s vital supply of cholesterol:

  • Avoid trans fats, known to contribute to inflammation
  • Avoid refined sugars, especially fructose, known to stimulate clumping of the blood platelets
  • Take cod liver oil, an excellent dietary source of anti-inflammatory vitamin A, vitamin D and EPA
  • Eat plenty of saturated fats, which encourage the production of anti-inflammatory prostaglandins
  • Take evening primrose, borage or black currant oil, sources of GLA which the body uses to make anti-inflammatory prostaglandins
  • Eat foods high in copper, especially liver; copper deficiency is associatied with clot formation and inflammation in the arteries
  • Eat coconut oil and coconut products; coconut oil protects against bacteria and viruses that can lead to inflammation in the artery wall
  • Avoid reduced-fat milks and powdered milk products (such as powdered whey); they contain oxidized cholesterol, shown to cause irritation of the artery wall

Dietary Trials

Doctors and other health professionals claim there is ample proof that animal fats cause heart disease while they confidently advise us to adopt a lowfat diet; actually the literature contains only two studies involving humans that compared the outcome (not markers like cholesterol levels) of a diet high in animal fat with a diet based on vegetable oils, and both showed that animal fats are protective.

The Anti-Coronary Club project, launched in 1957 and published in 1966 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, compared two groups of New York businessmen, aged 40 to 59 years. One group followed the so-called "Prudent Diet" consisting of corn oil and margarine instead of butter, cold breakfast cereals instead of eggs and chicken and fish instead of beef; a control group ate eggs for breakfast and meat three times per day. The final report noted that the Prudent Dieters had average serum cholesterol of 220 mg/l, compared to 250 mg/l in the eggs-and-meat group. But there were eight deaths from heart disease among Prudent Dieter group, and none among those who ate meat three times a day (JAMA 1966 Nov 7;198(6):597-604; Bulletin NY Academy of Medicine 1968).

In a study published in the British Medical Journal, 1965, patients who had already had a heart attack were divided into three groups: one group got polyunsaturated corn oil, the second got monounsaturated olive oil and the third group was told to eat animal fat. After two years, the corn oil group had 30 percent lower cholesterol, but only 52 percent of them were still alive. The olive oil group fared little better--only 57 percent were alive after two years. But of the group that ate mostly animal fat, 75 percent were still alive after two years (British Medical Journal 1965 1:1531-33).

What About Aspirin?

The other drug recommended for prevention of heart attacks and strokes is aspirin. Estimates suggest that 20 million persons are taking aspirin daily for prevention of vascular accidents. Yet at least four studies have shown no benefit. A study using Bufferin (aspirin and magnesium) showed no reduction in fatal heart attacks and no improvement in survival rate but a 40 percent decrease in the number of nonfatal heart attacks. Commentators reported these results as showing the benefit of aspirin, ignoring the fact that magnesium is of proven benefit in heart disease. Aspirin inhibits the enzyme Delta-6 Desaturase, needed for the production of Gamma-Linoleic Acid (GLA) and important anti-inflammatory prostaglandins. This fact explains many of aspirin’s side effects, including gastrointestinal bleeding and increased risk of macular degeneration and cataract formation. Other side effects include increased risk of pancreatic cancer, acid reflux, asthma attacks, kidney damage, liver problems, ulcers, anemia, hearing loss, allergic reactions, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness and even hallucinations (James Howenstine, NewsWithViews.com, April 21, 2004).

Late-Breaking Cholesterol News

Researchers at the Tulane University School of Medicine used electron beam tomography (EBT) to measure the progression of plaque buildup in heart-attack patients taking statin drugs. EBT is a very accurate way to measure occlusion from calcium in the arteries. Contrary to expectations, the researchers discovered that the progression of coronary artery calcium (CAC) was significantly greater in patients receiving statins compared with event-free subjects despite similar levels of LDL-lowering. Said the researchers: "Continued expansion of CAC may indicate failure of some patients to benefit from statin therapy and an increased risk of having cardiovascular events (Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol, April 1, 2004).

Doctors have discovered that injections of a certain substance can reverse heart disease in some patients. The therapy has helped reduce the amount of plaque in the arteries, thereby negating the need for angioplasty and open heart surgery. That substance is HDL-cholesterol (www.ivanhoe.com/newsalert, March 1, 2004).

The Melbourne Women’s Midlife Health Project measured cholesterol levels annually in a group of 326 women aged 52-63 years. During the eighth annual visit, subjects took a test that assessed memory. They found that higher serum concentrations of LDL-cholesterol and relatively recent increases in total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol were associated with better memory in healthy middle-aged women (J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2003;74:1530-1535.)

Read the Fine Print

Statin Ad Statin Ad Fine Print

The picture in a recent ad for Lipitor implies that cholesterol-lowering is for everyone, even slim young women. However, in the fine print we learn that Lipitor "has not been shown to prevent heart disease or heart attacks"! If the makers of Lipitor need to provide this disclaimer, after millions of dollars invested in studies, why should anyone risk side effects by taking their drug?


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This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Spring 2004.

About the Authors

[authorbio:fallon-morell-sally]

[authorbio:enig-mary]

Comments (83)Add Comment
...
written by Eileen young, Mar 21 2014
Thankyou for your information on simvastatin, Crester and Lipitor.I have taken these drugs for over 10 years and I suffer from leg pain and back pain along with muscle pain ,fatigue and brain fog and forget what Ihave just read ect.....now I realise it must be the affect of these drugs I have tried all three at different times.
I have been so worried about my health my legs feel so weak that I tire quickly and can hardly walk.Now IKnow we can live without these terrible drugs ....thankyou
Eileen Young U
Okay, now what's the alternative
written by Craig L, Mar 18 2014
All of these articles talk about the bad effects of statin's but what's the alternative for someone who has hypercholesterolemia or hyperlipidemia? Because no matter of cod liver oil, dieting or exercise will lower those types of numbers. That's the problem with these types of articles, no solutions or research to back up what they say works better, especially for people with these conditions. And who are the ones taking the most risk here? If they are wrong, we are the ones who pay.
Interesting Findings
written by Sean McD, Jan 01 2014
Just thought I'd post some interesting results after recently starting a statin.

I have always had high cholesterol...between 240-330. It runs in the family.
After going on a coconut oil and coconut milk binge for 10 days (just
fyi, I was trying to improve sperm quality/trying to get pregnant after
12 unsuccessful months...and yes, it worked! Praise God) my total levels
went to 333, TRI 116, HDL 54, and LDL 256!

So, I decided to give a statin a try. I went on altorvastatin 20mg a day
for 25 days. I also drank two cups of decaf green tea a day, increased
good fat intake (olive oil, almonds, avocados), and started doing 30-45
minutes of good cardio exercise 2-3 days a week. I also took 100mg of
vitamin D3 and 100 mg of COQ10 in the am and pm. The rest of my diet
didn't change.....holiday foods, cookies, some candy, etc...in
moderation.


After 25 days, my numbers decreased drastically! Total chol. is 161, LDL 104, HDL 47, and tri 50. I was shocked.

I plan on decreasing my statin to 10mg for 2 more weeks....and then
replace it with a 500 mg natural plant sterol/stanol pill once a day. I
am worried about the possible long-term side effects of statins.
But....short term, I think they may have a purpose...in low doses.

I think the plant sterols + green tea + D3/CoQ10 + exercise made a profound difference.

Hope this helps! God Bless~!
...
written by Mike Papp, Nov 02 2013
There is new information on the Cholesterol myth which is a must read for anyone considering Statins. See it here: http://healingwithintent.com/s...olesterol/.
dr olorun cure my dad STROKE DISEASE, Low-rated comment [Show]
...
written by Kevin H., Aug 21 2013
I just read the very old BMJ article on corn oil treatment in Ischaemic Heart Disease. Personally I don't think the strength of the study is strong enough by today's standard. There are a few possible areas of bias. First of all, the samples are small, only around 26 patients in each group and the follow-up is only for 2 years. Secondly, the average BMI of each group is not given, although mean weight is given and the corn oil group has a mean weight of 75.9 kg, much heavier than the control group (mean weight 71.8kg), what if their mean BMI were higher to begin with, hence higher risk to start off with. Thirdly, the treating doctors were not totally blinded, they knew who were receiving oils. Besides, it is not stated what is 'conventional' treatment, potential bias again, what if more patients from the control group received anticoagulant treatment than the corn oil group?
Fourthly, the invention given to corn group - 'they were given dietary advice to avoid fatty meat, and sausages....' - first of all, we don't know what does that mean. Do they become vegetarian? (unlikely for someone who were not vegetarian before entering the trial, to be compliant to a vegetarian diet for 2 years!)Were they truly compliant with an animal fat free diet? Self-assessment questionnaires of their own diet are prone to recall biases, what if they continue to take meat and food containing other hidden animal fat, which makes them not much different from the control group taking regular diet with animal fat. Conclusion - better trial needed.
Retired Engineer
written by Rick, Aug 06 2013
Thank you so much for this website and discussion forum and all you wonderful gracious people trying to alert the world to this horrific scam created by the unholy alliance of Big Pharma and Big Med. Thank God I have only been on Pravastatin for 2 months and though my symptoms are not as severe as most, they are more than enough to scare me. Dizziness, confusion and 'slowness of movement' is not for me. Folks, get on daily doses of fresh garlic, ACV, Aloe Vera juice, Chili peppers (cayenne) exercise, lots of veggies and fruit and what the hell, some good ol junk food in lose doses and moderation. I've had it with today's medical community... at best they are just down right ignorant of the human body, its biochemistry and physiology and at worst....well you know. ....finally, as I ramble on... they can't even tell a man to first put slices of fresh garlic right on top of a cancerous mole... a hour a day for 10 - 14 days and it WILL disappear and NOT reappear. It works!...I was only able to get one in 7 local doctors to actually tell me HOW MUCH will it cost to remove the mole... over $1000! Because its required by law to have the biopsy sent to a lab to be tested and then minimum follow up ..this and that meds and removals of recurring moles sure to come.... yikes, no thanks. They are pitiful! Powerful, rich and pitiful and we are their victims.
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written by terence gorman, Jul 03 2013
i took satins after a heart attack..3 month down the line leg pain forget fullness.told my doctor pt me on 3 diffrent ones still the same..what i do have to take is asprin for my stents..but let me just say this most people who take satins..now have asid reflux..why becauce it weakens the oesophagous musle..there in giving you asid reflux..asprin might be to blame..most people dont take asprin.love to hear what you think.
rhabdomyolysis
written by lynda, May 26 2013
I was prescribed Pravachol in 1997. I ended up with rhabdomyolysis and it caused permanent muscle damage in my left leg. I had to go through a year of frequent blood tests to monitor the condition.
I'm still alive.
written by Bert Trim, May 25 2013
I was told that I needed Statins. I ended up getting muscle pains, high blood pressure etc.(which I never had before) The doctor said that I needed 2 more meds. Anyway, to make a long story short. I stopped all meds, 6 months later I went to another doctor for re-tests and took all my meds along with me.
Re -tests were all borderline. Nothing that couldn't be fixed with diet and excercise. Oh, I was told that I was over-medicated. I'm now 68 and feeling quite fine, thank you. My friend took the same route and had his heart stop and now has a pace maker. (along with a host of other ailments) He's only 58.

Be careful what kind of doctor you use. Most are subd. by Big Pharm. Get a second.
Taking myself off Statins as of today!
written by Sheri Smith, May 03 2013
After being put on Atorvastatin for reasons I did not agree with (my cholesterol was 204), odd symptoms started immediately - such as complete confusion, short term memory loss, extreme muscle weakness, excessive pain, and the list is very long. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2001 but have it relatively under control by eating whole grains, lots of fruit and vegetables. I cannot believe what has happened to me. I have been an athlete all of my life; a gymnast, taught gymnastics, champion kick boxer, hiker, kayaker - all gone now. I am ending my fourth year of an accelerated five year MBA with the plan to teach college online courses and I can barely finish the final exam Trend and Ratio Analysis paper which is a quarter of my grade. I don't remember what I did yesterday, let alone ten minutes ago. Shortly after taking this med, I started seeing a Neurologist because I started having visual difficulties and extreme headaches, pressure in my head, and stabbing pain in different areas of my b rain. He put me on Topiramate, which only adds to the dopiness of the Statin. I recently had MRA brain and MRI brain and neck as Dr. believes this is multiple sclerosis. I am unable to drive or work, feel isolated as I live an hour from work and am in a rural location so cannot walk to "town." Since my cholesterol is good - this is the first one to go - hoping I feel a little better. I read the article regarding Statins causing mytochondria malformation/disease (Statin risks versus benefits? written by Christopher Wunsch, Jun 04 2011)and am mortified! These drugs should be banned and manufacturers should be held accountable for the disabilities caused to the users.smilies/angry.gif
Statins, Dementia and Muscle Damage
written by Joyce, Mar 31 2013
My mother was on constant cholesterol medication therapy for several years and now has impaired memory and is wheelchair-bound. You can't convince me statins are not to blame. She has completely lost the use of her legs even though she's been off the stuff for over 2 years now.
...
written by baby girl, Mar 15 2013
I know several people who had to stop taking these statin drugs due to serious side effects. Symptoms included fatigue, leg pain, eye issues, chest pain, muscle weakness, shaky head, etc.
...
written by marshall, Mar 01 2013
Having been on a Statin for almost 10 years, within 2 days time, I lost ALL muscle control, and learned from the ER Dr. that my problem was a side effect of Statins. I spent 12 days in the hospital learning to walk again, in a very limited way. Two more weeks in rehab and 2 more at home had me walking, but stairs were another matter and still are. My upper body strength is slowly returning after about 15 months, but my lower leg functions are only about 80%. Other than self-imposed exercise, I CANNOT find or get a medical response that addresses or suggests a specific remedy. At 84+, I guess I'll live with my dimished capacity.
CoQ10 HELPS
written by adrian priest 56 m, Jan 05 2013
80mg lipitor with evening meal gives me leg muscle pain and weakness by bedtime, plus hip and knee pain when awakening. I take a 75mg CoQ10 supplement and all this is gone before lunchtime. Will not get prescription re-filled !
ditto
written by Sydney Bush, Oct 24 2012
The Weston Price Foundation, Dr Enig and Sally Fallon (The Oiling of America) never cease to amaze me for the good work they do. I prescribe bowel tolerance vitamin C and 1,000iu NATURAL vitamin E with 3 grams/day of L-Lysine and sequential photographs of the retinal arteries to reduce the blockages WHICH IS EXACTLY what happens simultaneously in the heart's coronary arteries. Some people need a gram and other 50 grams/day of vitamin C. Only the regular photographs for expert evaluation of 2% to 10% or more annual reductions can show this. If anyone wants greater protection and monitoring they can pay their Optometrist £20 ($30) to send me their photographs for evaluation from a 45 Degree camera (NOT THE OPTOS TYPE). This will keep at least half of your readers safe. I am not soliciting business but fair useage suggests that it would be wrong to neglect to say that I charge £450 for a three year programme of 6 monthly evaluations to measure blockage reduction, that sets people on the right path for the rest of their lives. They should then have annual checks after that. Optometrists cannot be expected to be skilled in this new procedure without essential extra training provided by the World Institute of Optometry and CardioRetinometry(R)
human being
written by James Edwards, Oct 06 2012
was on simivastatin for 2 years. had biggest heart attack. still a fool. let them put me pravastatin. quit end of 2011. constant muscle pain and cramps in legs and feet. burning in skin is terrible. went to emergency room 20 times and 3 day stay in hospital. doctors told me after all kinds of tests that they did not know what is wrong with me. i do know what is wrong one word STATINS. IT IS LIKE SOME KIND OF CONSSPIRACY BETWEEN doctors. read THE DANGERS OF STATINS BY SALLY FALLON AND MARY ENIG. ALSO GO TO SPACEDOC.COM and read what statins did to this man who is a doctor .
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written by Donna Borchers, Sep 30 2012
I was on Lipitor for a few years then the doctor finally listened to me that I was in pain, so she put meon Crestor, then she wasn't happy with the results of Crestor so she added Niaspan to be taken with the Crestor. I told her that I could hardly walk and had pain especially when walking upstairs. So she finally decided to check my CK levels and low and ehold they were elevated. 1458, and the ma. is only supposed to be 200. Since then, more than a year abo I stopped everything and still I am in pain and the CK levels have continued to rise. they are now at 2200 almost a year and a half later. I tried hiring a lawyer to sue the drug companies and the doctor but no one wants to take the case. They said its too hard to prove. I was perfectly healthy prior to the Lipitor. The dr. told me I had high cholesterol at that time, since then I can no longer walk the 2 miles a day I used to walk for exericse. Now I can't lift weights anymore because my muscle are creaking down and I have to drink alot of water to flush my kidneys or they can fail due to the protein from the mucle breakdown. Most recently I have been told by my new dr. that my thyroid is sluggish. Statins are poison and should be taken off the market.
Is it safe to get off Statin and blood pressure meds even though one has a stent ? Help !!!!
written by Constance G., Sep 18 2012
r. Fallon,And other Knowledgeble Folks,
One year ago my husband experienced some chest pain. He went to emergency and they wisked him into surgery and put in a stent. They have told him that he has other partially blocked arteries but not closed off. The Doctor put him on a statin, blood pressure med, Vitamin D and baby asprin. He wants off his meds as he has many of the side effects mentioned but I am concerned his Doctor will not let him. I have been trying to find a doctor in Midland,Michigan area who is educated in this area to help him get him off these drugs without success. The heart doctor never put him on CoQ10 so because I was aware of the need from reading articles about it, I went ahead and bought him some (100mg). What should we know about stents and going off of statins and the success rate of going natural? Thank you so much. Kindest Regards, .....Constance
Home Remedies For Heartburn, Low-rated comment [Show]
sad start to retirement
written by Val McD, Apr 20 2012
As a result of only one "high" cholesteral count eight years ago, my doctor, with all good intentions, put me on a low dose of Lipitor (5 mg). Strictly as a preventive. Suffered pain, tried Crestor, still pain, finally Zocor. The side effects crept up gradually, I would think because of the low dose. Here I am now, 62, retired. Former aerobics instructor, longtime tennis player and advanced yoga practitioner, walker and half-marathoner. Looked forward to travel in my retirement. Limped through Havana and Europe, wondering why I had no energy and suffering from severe pain on the bottom of my feet, mainly right foot. No longer play tennis, do yoga or walk distances. I weigh 125 lb. and look very healthy, feel like an 80 year old woman. Complained in Jan to my Dr who thinks I look great. Bloodwork great. When the eye tic set in (left eye) and the lupus-like rash appeared, that did it. Got onto some of these forums and kept reading about myself over and over. I quit the statins 3 weeks ago. Starting to improve. Pain receding, brain fog lifting, rash disappearing. I hope my formerly excellent health will return and my retirement will get back on track. Thanks to all who contribute their experiences with statin drugs.
...
written by joy, Mar 16 2012
From all the statins mentioned for cholesterol treatment, Which one is best ?

I am taken generic lipitor 20mg and far this generic is effective.

I got it online at International Drug Mart, and would like to know this from any one of you here..
Crestor Memory and Cognitive Issues
written by Dan Gonzalez, Mar 13 2012
Had problems with everyday vocabulary words. Couldn't come up with "Niagara Falls", "Roller Coaster" or "Air Conditioning." My brain substituted: "The NY waterfall", "Turn on the wind" and "Montaña Rusa" (Spanish for roller coaster) respectively.

Would stumble in conversation and had to insert replacement words because the ones I wanted were not coming to mind.

Had depression. Hobbies and interests were no longer enjoyable.

Couldn't remember conversations.

Forgot where I parked the car/left the keys.

Took someone else's grocery cart at the supermarket by mistake.

Had to concentrate on tasks that were usually second nature like driving. Had to focus on how to get to locations. It's not that I forgot how to get there, I just had to put it in focus and had to shut off the radio and ask my wife to stop talking so I could concentrate. Before Crestor, I could do all three effortlessly.

Had trouble focusing at work. This has never been an issue before. I would go to the bathroom at work just to run my head under cold water to get rid of the "cobwebs" or "lift the fog." I was even considering buying smelling salts to keep by my desk so I can wake up and focus.

Had to look at the keyboard to find keys. My typing speed was diminished by 75%. I was hunting and pecking.

A tingling (pins and needles) sensation on the left side of my scalp towards the back of the neck.

Slight pain in my finger joints that came in waves that would last for a few minutes to an hour, then go away.

I would sometimes have to read a sentence 3 or 4 times to grasp its meaning.

Before seeing a report on NBC highlighting the addition of "Memory Loss" to the list of possible side effects of statins, I went through my own diagnosis:
1. Sleep deprivation: Got more sleep and it didn't solve my memory problems.
2. TIA or stroke? No family history, no headaches, no vision or hearing problems.
3. Aging: Just turned 40. If it progresses like this, I'll be comatose by the time I hit 41.

Then I stumbled on the TV report and wrote a letter to my cardiologist begging to see if he would remove me from Crestor as a test. I had complained to him twice before about memory issues and he said it was a natural occurrence as we get older, not to worry about it.

He called back and said OK, but that my cholesterol was great. I had done a blood test last week and he told me my total cholesterol was 108. Now I see that this is dangerously low and may be the cause of my memory issues.

After being on a statin for 7 months, on March 8, 2012 I stopped taking 5MG Crestor 1XD. Within three days my "joy of life" started coming back. I had renewed my interest in hobbies. My focus is now beginning to return. I am still having memory problems, but, God willing, it will return with time. I have read reports that, for some, it takes as little as three days, as long as two years for others, and for a few, not at all. I just hope that I have not done any permanent damage.

As a result of my research, I also put myself on 200MG of Ubiquinol and on Krill Oil. I did not ask my cardiologist, but have a follow up with him in three weeks. He said he wants to do some tests to "get to the bottom" of my memory issues since he does not know of any correlation between statins and memory loss or cognitive impairment.
Feed up with conventional doctors
written by Gwen, Aug 06 2011
This is precisely why I only see homeopathic/naturopathic doctors. Conventional doctors don't have a mind of their own or a clue. We're raised thinking they care about us. I realized they don't care when my mother's life was ripped from her when we were told by conventional quacks that they had misdiagnosed her and that if they diagnosed her correctly chemo would have cured her. If that was even true! Anyway, I have been watching my dads medicine like a hawk and convinced him not to take the statin prescribed to him and I glad he did. We've managed to get his cholesterol down with diet changes. The conventional doctor he insists on seeing says he should continue staying on the statin even though his level is way down. When my dad asked him about the issues with taking statin drugs, his doctor tells him that's all a myth and that the drug is perfectly safe. What a jerk!!!
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written by Paul Velasquez, Jun 28 2011
Please anybody who has been using Crestor write me to exchange toughts,my mail is paul12tribus@hotmail.com.. thank you! ANY help about Chelation for children??
Please Read about Crestor and Lipitor
written by Paul Velasquez, Jun 28 2011
Hi, I'm a 53 years old man, generally I enjoy good health, however my cholesterol levels had been high, the good one is fine, but the bad is high according to the last test.My doctor prescribe Crestor 10mg about 7 months ago.I write this on June 28, 2011, and for the last two months I have experienced headaches ,everytime in diferent parts of the head, I never ever had headaches, as weaker vision (I don't know if this is related to Crestor)
Few days ago my doctor prescribe again Crestor, this time a 40mg, I have used for about two weeks..two days ago I need certain pin #, and to my surprise I was unable to remember my pin, despite my record of good memory..I just order a new pin..and after reading all this material, I have decided to STOP using Crestor right away.MY FATHER is 77 years old, because heart problems he has been in treatment in Honduras for about 4 years,in a recent visit there I found that he was taken about 16 diferent pills, including LIPITOR,he had problems with dizziness,lost of balance, the last one atributed to "his hearth", NOW I can see that the real reason is another one.In the brilliant side, he has reduced pills, I don't know which ones, but TWO years ago he was getting ready for an open heart surgery, and another doctor then, put him under a CHELATION treatment, two years later he was told that he don't need the surgery, Chelation work.
Statin risks versus benefits?
written by Christopher Wunsch, Jun 04 2011
In 1999, I was a 29 years old, a Critical Care RN, with Familial High Cholesterol since entering college that I know of. My doctor finally talked me into starting Lipitor, to which I agreed, because, After all, I was an Educated RN, who knew all there was to know about this drug..or at least all, that Pfizer wanted me to know about it. so I "knew" it was safe and well tolerated, as evidenced by the Pfizer rep who put on one of the many conferences I went to.
In 2002, I fell terribly ill, with profound confusion, unbelievable fatigue (sleeping 16+ hours per day) disorientation, and the worst headaches I have ever had. I missed multiple days of work because of the above symptoms. My wife on 3 different occasions brought me to the Emergency Department for these things. Every time, given a diagnosis of an "atypical migraine"..never had an MRI scan, despite my begging for one and being told it wasn't medically necessary...Called my family doc at home one Sunday after a worthless ER visit, requested he do an MRI, to which he agreed. The following day, had it done, and it demonstrated multiple scattered lesions throughout the Gray and White matter of my brain. Neurologist, gave me the Dx of "Atypical Multiple Sclerosis", my wife and I wanted a second opinion, which We got from an MS Specialist at the University Hospital, who told us, he did not think what I had was MS, but was not sure what it was...so we went home with a scheduled follow up in a few weeks. Over the next week or so, my condition was worsening, my wife would find me in the middle of the night looking for Milk in the garbage can, or walking down the street in my underwear in the middle of the night. One morning, my wife called the Dr at the University of Wisconsin, that I saw, and told him of these things, he told her to bring me down for an eval, which I failed miserably. I was admitted, and my this time, I could not speak coherently, could not walk without falling, and failed a mini mental exam. I remained inpatient for the next 4+ weeks, had MRI scans, Lumbar Punctures, a Brain and a Muscle biopsy, which both led to a suspicion of a New Variant Creutzfeld Jakob disease (Human Version of Mad Cow disease, based on the holes seen in my brain biopsy) which were actually apoptosis, my brain cells were committing suicide, because they were not being controlled by Ubiquinol (which is blocked by Lipitor in the very same way Cholesterol is Blocked). Muscle biopsy and Lab tests were suggestive of Mitochondrial Encephalomyopathy with Lactic Acidosis and Stroke-Like Episodes (aka MELAS). It wasn't until I was about 1 week from going to a nursing home, when I was evaluated by another neurologist, who suggested I start a Mitochondrial Cocktail (Essentially about a dozen, vitamins, amino acids and CoQ10...the key component) I began to improve to where I no longer needed nursing home placement, but went home with aggressive Physical, Occupational and Speech therapies. I was discharged Nov 7, 2002 after 28 days at the UNiversity of Wisconsin, at Madison. In spring of 2003, I was watching Good Morning America with my wife, and Dr Beatrice Golomb was being intervoewed, for her Statin Effects Study, shew was going to be doing. My wife pleaded with me to enroll, to which I initally replied, no way did lipitor do this to me, I know all there is to know about this drug. But she pleaded, so I agreed. About 16 months later, I get a call from Dr Golomb, who informed me that she presented my case to Dr Doug Wallace, one of the worlds foremost Mitochondrial Disease experts at UC Irvine, who opined that my use of Lipitor was the likely causal contributor to my Mitochondrial Abnormalities, as well as the Neuronal Apoptosis seen under brain biopsy. As an RN, I freaked out!! How could this be? I knew nothing about this risk...how could I have given these poisons to so many of my patients?
I tried to go back to work in February, after all I was alive and breathing, why couldn't I work? Well I tried, when my boss approached me after a few weeks and told me what I used to do in a few hours, was now taking MUCH longer, and was not compatible with employment (I was working as a Workers Compensation Case Manager at this time, so, I went home with my tail between my legs, and haven't been able to work since. I had an extensive neuropsych testing, revealing severe cognitive impairments, significant enough to substantially restrict any gainful employment...hard pill to swallow for someone who has worked since age 12, when I had paper routes. I continue to suffer from Profound Fatigue, Short term memory impairments, Myoclonus, Peripheral Neuropathy, I now spend my time trying to show people the truth about these poisons...a little thing we used to be required to do before any medical procedure, its called INFORMED CONSENT! People need to know the benefits and the risks of the medical treatment they receive.
Retired
written by C Cernohous, Jan 07 2011
I was on Statins after a heart attach in 1990. In 2002 I got so that my feet and leg muscles hurt, I could not wear my shoes anymore and had to get bigger one. I could no longer walk for 8 hours at job each night. I ended up retiring. Somehow someone else brought up the fact that it could be Statins causing the problem. I stopped taking them and in three days I could feel the difference in my feet. I two weeks I noticed that when I walked I could feel the tendons on the top of my feet move. That was a new sensation. My feet continued to improve. It took six months after which I could wear my old shoes that I kept because they were like new. My short term memory was also effected. However I am not so lucky with that as it has not improved. It is hard to carry on a conversation because I come to a word or name and draw a complete blank. A minute later the name or word will come to me. There should be a class action suit against the makers of Statins and the FDA for approving them.
pravastatin
written by tom wil, Dec 25 2010
pravastatin affected a 40+ year old injury. it made my eye swell up for years, caused an open sore and blinded me 50%.
Mrs.
written by Jan, Dec 04 2010
I am on Zetia (no statins) and prescription fish oil and my cholestrol has dropped significantly but I also cut sugar out completely. I was on Crestor and had to get off of it because my liver enzymes went way up. I also take over the counter fish oil along with the prescribed fish oil and cut out sweets my cholestrol is perfect.
Stopped statin intake within a few weeks though recommended for life
written by Floriano Lobo, Dec 04 2010
I have been diagnosed for severe cardiovascular blockage where by-pass or angioplasty is impossible.
Was recommended Statin drugs (Acorex) along with Ecosprin for life. A friend of mine advised me to go for CO-Q10 tablets and to check my homocysteine level when I had cardiac arrest. My Homocysteine was 27 when normal was 12-15.

I am off drugs of any kind. I eat everything. I wouldn't mind if my cholesterol crosses 300 level. Now I feel fine. I have started advising people not to bother with cholesterol mania.
Only to be careful to have a balanced diet of meats with lots of green veggies, especially spinach ( for folic acid).

I also consume dark chocolate every day and ionized water (ph 9+) which process I do at home indegenously.

it was abot lipitor.
written by Elza Ulpis, Nov 30 2010
I am going to stop pravastatin I started to take after I realized that I was in the last stages of loosing my legs completely to lipitor. Because I liked the suggestion to stop lipitor, and after muscle damage is gone, resume lipitor 1/2 dose. I want to do this with pravastatin I started 10-11-10. I feel I got the idea from some article, I read, but I cannot find.It seemed to me like common sense approach. I just escaped life worse than death. I want to suggest that to all the old ladies who have been in my position and did not have a clue , nobody else did and I too did not, it was a desperate step and I am going to live longer, enjoying my aortic valve I got 4 yrs ago, with a warranty of 12 yrs. Have guilt feelings about all the old ladies who may have been in my present predicament, since statin drugs were introduced 20 yrs ago. Elza Ulpis, Omaha, NE Should call me Biruta instead. I have lived in Omaha 60 yrs, Immigrant from Latvia, republican, but know democrats are not communists, nor Hitlerists. Pres. Clinton helped Latvia get rid of communists. I sound like a poster girl for Obama care. Some overzealous politician may put a hit man on my life. eu.
statins
written by Franca, Nov 22 2010
I just know that I like my beautiful long hair and now i have very little hair. I have muscle pain starter at my neck with Lipitor I told my Dr. She change it to Simvastatin then Vytoryn then 5 mg Crestor. I don't take any of those drugs for 1 month and the muscle pain in my right cheek is better i can wear high heels again. I dance 1 hour every Sunday, I walk around my desk. I don't eat cheese or eggs. I feel better and I will get a blood test at the end of December and if my cholesterol continue high Zetia will be the next one. Zetia does not contain statins. Will see. smilies/smiley.gif
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written by stanley rodriguez, Oct 29 2010
:too bad it can`t be publize
...
written by kkeliher, Oct 27 2010
Have you updated this article ? 2004 was a long time age.
Ms
written by lesley whittle, Aug 19 2010
UK: my husband had a mild heart attackin April, had 4 blockages repaired with 2 stents (ie 2 blockages remaining) and is now on ramipril, lipitor, clopidogrel and asprin. I am researching the problem. He has/had high BP and cholesterol (8 in UK terms, i think that is over 400 in US terms). I'm very interested in vitamin interaction. But particularly your copy of the Lipitor fact sheet above where it says "Lipitor has not been shown to prevent heart disease or heart attacks". Our (UK) fact sheet does not say this, it does say "Lipitor is used to lower ... cholesterol.. [which] is accepted .. increase the risk of heart disease. .. Lipitor reduces the risk of you having a major cardioascular event such as a heart attack or stroke.... If you are diabetic and have at least one other risk factor ... Lipitor reduces the risk of you having a major cardiovascular event". My husband isn't diabetic. However, does anyone know why the, presumably, US fact sheet differs so much from the UK one?
thanks
Lesley
Statin Dangers
written by Gordon Barnes, Jul 31 2010
The real problem is with with "Congress" in America who allows the FDA the freedom to put out dangerous drugs (without proper testing on a day to day basis) while accepting huge amount of revenue for the privilege of doing so. Until this organization is reeled in in a very big way and severely censured the populations all over the world will continue to suffer because of this horrendous organization call the FDA.
...
written by Diane, Jun 05 2010
My doctor has tried three different statin drugs on me and within three days I'm suffering from muscle pain. Simvistation made my chest ache as if someone had punched me. Now I going with tumeric capsules. I've also used polycosanol but found I can't tolerate any formulated with red rice yeast as it gives me the same symptoms as the statins.
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written by Connie, May 23 2010
Took Pravachol and did okay at first. Soon my thyroid levels went off. They treated me with Synthroid. I went into horrible depression type symptoms and they stopped my Pravachol and put me on Prozac. Went from sleeping 16 hour days to 12 hour days. It took a year or two to feel somewhat better, chronic fatigue. Put on 30 pounds. Got on right medication for thyroid (Armour,needed a T3) and started me on Pravachol a year later. They chased my thyroid levels for 4 years, and I had liver function tests that were off, fatty liver. I couldn't exercise consistently as I would get overall fatigue. 4 years later they doubled my dose of Pravachol and I had horrible chest pains. To ER, took 3 doses of Morphine, but the Stress Test was fine. Liver function tests 200 (SGOT/SGPT). Went off of all statins. A month later liver function tests in the 880's then two days later complete muscle cramp (tetany) from the waist down. 30 minute episodes x 3. Toxic for 1 1/2 years, unable to walk 1/4 mile at times, muscle spasms all the time at times. I was not given the opportunity for informed consent, no one ever discussed the potentials. We need data, accurate data! I am better now, able to exercise, but it took quality of life from me for over 14 years.
Statin and Breast Cancer
written by Shamim, May 20 2010
My mom has been on Statin for the past two years now. She has all the side effects from hair loss to muscle pain.She also complaints of tingling muscles of the entire body which keeps she from sleeping. She has repeatedly complaint to the doctor about this but the doctor insisted that this tingling is a neuropathy/nerve problem not caused by statin. Early May mom founda lump on her breast under the arm pit. After a Biopsy She was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. She is scheduled for Mysectomy on May 24th. My Mom and I'm convinced that this is related to Statin. The Doctor is saying no and asking her to continue taking it.
I'm crippled from Zocor
written by c baker, May 18 2010
I experienced muscle weakness in my back and numbness, burning pain in my thighs after beginning Zocor. My doc sent me to have my circulation tested which was okay. I felt like a hypocondriac, so I didn't complain as the pain in my legs got worse - like someone holding icecubes to my legs - I've had two episodes of global amnesia and now back pain so bad that it is painful to walk. I stopped taking the zocor after stumbling across info on the net. The nerve damage in my legs is evidently permanent - walking is almost impossible cuz of the pain. I've become a depressed, home-bound recluse at age 55. My doc thinks statins are the best thing since sliced bread, so I can't tell him how bad it is. so I give up.
...
written by Heather, May 18 2010
Is taking Pravastatin good to take while taking Ranatadine for heartburn....?? Curious if anyone else takes these medicines together and if theres any harm in either of them, especially when combining them? smilies/smiley.gifsmilies/kiss.gif
High Cholestrol
written by Heather, May 18 2010
I am in my 30's, am not overweight, try to eat health consciously, don't smoke or drink...am fairly active, no bad heath/heart history in family. What would make my cholesterol so high other than genetics, both parents are high and take chol. meds. I have been put on Pravastatin meds. I take 20mg/day. When I went back to do a blood check the Dr. said my cholesterol had in fact gone down and to keep up with it. I am in question if that is still a good idea after seeing all the problems with statins after reading on here. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
side effects of Zocor
written by johanna tyler, May 17 2010
I just found out I have a big Cyst on my liver. I blame it on Zocor and as of today I will no longer
take Zocor. Anyone else has this Problem?
I also have Leg Cramps. All the System like the
other people have.
Brother gets heart attacks after placed on anticholesteral drugs
written by VM, May 17 2010
I really wonder why my mother and brother got on preventive drugs if they were healthy as an ox, and now they fight and cling to any promises of health because they are afraid to leave the drugs thinking they may be worse off?? How can you help people like that? I love them much but trying to talk to them about the problem is one that has complications none of us really want to deal with. I will keep trying and maybe they will listen a little or a miracle might happen and they discover how sick they are getting....
So now what?
written by Corrie Zacharias, May 16 2010
Now that we know all this, and the medical establishment apparently doesn't, where do we go for a doctor? How does one go about finding a doctor who is sympathetic to the situation? Doctors refuse to treat patients who don't do as they're told. I know if I told my doctor I wasn't going to take simvastatin any more, she would probably drop me as a patient. So it all seems pointless to rant and rave without coming up with some practical solutions for medical care!
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written by g, May 14 2010
I'm taking 80mg of lipitor and have muscle pain and clolesterol level is 120. I will stop taking lipitor.
Thank You All for Your Comments
written by jdc, May 13 2010
Just got prescribed zocor today - age 62. Mom used to say know your own body - cholesterol increases with age - must be a reason for that. I read all the preceeding article and all the personal experiences; I have set in cement my resolve not to take a statin. I retired to travel, garden, and study. Let the chips fall where they may, I will not be bullied into accepting the party line regarding this medication. smilies/cool.gif
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written by Joan, May 12 2010
I have been on 20 mg of simvastatin 7 mons.
I am 64 yrs old and asked to be on it. Since I have heart pains when eating butter or fattening foods. I am sedentary and have diabetes2-(glipizide for 8 yrs).
Laying for 7 mons watching tv, and eating poorly, I have grown fat bulges on my thighs that are huge in just the last 5 mons or so, and getting bigger, and the fat is moving down my legs. Legs swollen(not bloodclots).

I am asking if anyone else have experienced this phenomenon since they started Simvastatin?
Great article
written by Laura Garcia, May 11 2010
My mom has been on statins for many years. She has most of the side effects listed. The muscle soreness in her legs has turned into wobbling to one side while walking. It appears I am the only person in her life that is against this drug, my whole family is on one kind of drug or another! My opinion is radical to them. So I am left to watch my 76 year old mother fade away. I give her article after article....
A simple explanation
written by tooluser, May 06 2010
Statins are equivalent to global warming. They are a hoax perpetrated upon the ignorant in order to make money. They are risky medicines predicated on bad science, pushed by authority figures swayed by the profit motive.

The description of the side effects that come with the medication are not adequate to describe the debilitating effects I suffered on lovastatin and simvastatin.

I lost 3 years of my life to those drugs. Having stopped a year ago, I am slowly recovering.
New to Lipitor
written by Nico Maco, Apr 26 2010
At age 61 I had a blocked artery 3 years ago that was stented. The only symptoms I had at that time were acid reflux. I put myself in a gym and ate regularly (never smoked, drank, etc). I discontinued the Plavix and Lipitor after muscle problems and weakness. But I now have had another event where for the first time I experienced chest pressure (not radiating, no high blood pressure, high oxygen in blood, low pulse) and the cardiologist had to put in another stent next to the original one. Again the doctors have put me on Lipitor (80mg), Plavix and aspirin (325mg). It is interesting that I would go to gym 5 to 6 days a week and have a whey protein shake. Your article mentions whey as bad cholesterol. What would others recommend and where can I find a cardiologist who practices alternative methods in Southern California?
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written by Jenea Mascho-Heilaman, Apr 20 2010
In 2005, my father's dr increased his dosage of Lipitor from 20mg to 80 mg. ONLY 1 MONTH after the increase, he suddenly developed a high fever with flu like symptoms, in the middle of June, an extrememly uncommon time of year for a person to have these type of symptoms. After a few days, my dad's fever had gone and he felt somewhat better, except for the strange "buzzing" or "vibrating" he felt inside his body. By September, the "buzzing" had not subsided and was now accompanied by a twitch he felt in his calves. When my step-mother noticed the muscle between his thumb and forefinger twitching as well, she insisted he talk to his doctor, which he did. The only response he got from his doctor was that if my dad felt Lipitor was the cause, then he could quit taking it. My dad quit taking Lipitor in September of 2005. Little did he know, then, that it was too late. In November-December my dad went to the doctor to begin having tests ran because the twitching had still not stopped. In January 2006, my dad received his 2nd diagnosis confirming ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. He expressed to me, shortly after diagnosis. that he and my step-mom both suspected Lipitor. So I began my research. What I found was not only disturbing but infuriating. I also had my dad release his medical records to me. In his medical records, his doctor, a very predominate doctor who is well respected, states that he suspected Lipitor as my dad's cause for developing ALS. My father, Mark, passed away February 26, 2009, 6 DAYS AFTER HIS 50TH BIRTHDAY. All of my dad's life, until then, he had always been extremely active. The last 3 years of his life were spent in a chair, unable to feed himself, walk, or even hold his first grandson. He lost his ability to speak and eventually his ability to breath. PLEASE IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE TAKING STATINS, PLEASE DO ALL YOU CAN TO GET THEM TO AT LEAST LOOK INTO THE FACTS, NOT THE "FACTS" THE BIG PHARMA WANTS YOU TO SEE, BUT THE FACTS THAT COME STRAIGHT FROM REAL PEOPLE WHO HAVE TAKEN THESE POISONS, the one's who have nothing to gain, except maybe a little pride in saving someone's life. Oh one last thing to those that continue to take statins because possibly having a heart attack scares the hell out of them...my dad was terrified of having a heart attack his entire adult life....I can promise you had he been given the choice, the heart attack would have been welcomed.
ELECTRICIAN RETIRED
written by ROBERT , Apr 20 2010
DOES ANY BODY KNOUW SIDE EFFECTS OF THE USE OF PAIN MEDCATION OXYCONTIN 15MG & SIMVASTATIN 40MG ONCE A DAY!
reply to baba
written by Steven, Apr 19 2010
simvastatin 10mg, I'm on the same dosage. I have the same symptoms as you do. Pain in the arms and shoulders, pain in the lower back to the point where I could not walk. I'm 46 years old. My ankle bone has been cracking but no pain in my feet yet. I'm also beginning to have some slurd speech and memory lapses. I went off this drug a month ago to see if Simvastatin was the cause. All pain went away, gone completely. Then this month I started taking it again and sure enough the problems came back in 3 days. Tonight I found this site and it confirms everything I've been though. I,m done with this drug. They need to take this off the market asap. I hope there is some sort of class action coming soon, because this drug has so many serious side effects. I'm also reporting this to the FDA in case of a class action . at least they will have my name and the report. thank goodness I'm not flying anymore.
Stunned
written by Fran, Apr 16 2010
I have low LHL and HDL but high levels of triclyerides, resulting in an overall high cholesterol reading. I have now taken statins (first Lipitor and then Crestor) for six years. During this time I have experienced 'mind fog', depression, leg pains (on Lipitor, none on Crestor), sleeplessness, loss of libido, weight gain, to mention a few. Although I cannot lay the blame for all these on statins, I feel sure (having read this article and others like it) that statins are detrimental to my health and wellbeing, and that there are other ways of tackling cholesterol. Thanks for the information.
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written by John Butler, Apr 14 2010
I was thought to have had a heart attack but my angiogram showed no indication of same. I did have two minor TIAs with no lasting effects. My cardiologist put me on Atenolol, Plavix, aspirin, Crestor and Magox for "dangerously high cholesterol" (His words) but he never told me what the actual number was. Amazingly, three separate blood tests in the two months before showed perfectly normal cholesterol levels. I have been on Crestor just over a month and I am miserable. I don't have muscle pains but I do have problems with cognition at times and I cannot be far from the toilet at any given time. I am bloated to the point my pants hurt. I burp and pass gas constantly, and sometimes it isn't gas! My anus is sore and frequently bleeds from visiting the toilet so much. I'd rather take my chances and live a possibly shorter life (I'm 68 now) than go on this way. I plan to talk to my cardiologist as soon as I can get in, but primarily I plan to terminate the Crestor - I don't care if it sends me into cardiac problems sooner than later, I can't live this way
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written by Rick, Apr 12 2010
What a shame that we all have to suffer at the hands of medical Drs. I have compassion for all people who have been scared into taking the statins. I hope someone is working diligently to help us overcome the side effects that we have suffered from these drugs. Thank you for the article.
Respectfully,
Richard Kline
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written by Jon Crawford, Mar 29 2010
smilies/cry.gifI have been on this med.for over 10 years and They just found out it was the statin durg that had been what was wrong with me I can't work the pain was so bad that I was going to end my life , But I went to the Drs. office and told them that they had to find out what's wrong we me and they did do alot of blood work.That was on a Friday and when I got home that day the pain was so bad that I just stoped all my meds. (about 10 bottles).And by Monday the pain got much better by the time the drs. office called I new it was the satin drug that had been the one that for the last 10 Tens years all I was given was lots of pain pills ,sleeping pills, and many other drugs. Boy I feel so much better. I don't know what this durg has done to my body. Think god I found out what was going on with me I just want to live my life now, I lost over 10 years that I can't get back.
HELP :( Hair loss from Statins
written by Travis, Mar 26 2010
Hi everyone, I am 24, used a supplement similar to statins in 2006 called Guggul (Guggulsterones, ayurvedic herb). Its Mechanism of Action is as a Farnesoid X Receptor (FXR) Inhibitor. I took it for acne. I dosed a bit higher than recommended and now still suffering from overall body and scalp hair loss, then diffused shedding, but slowly developing a pattern smilies/cry.gif smilies/sad.gif smilies/cry.gif

I've been trying to reverse this but I do not know how. Help me please smilies/cry.gif My uncle seems to have more hair than I do now. Is there a specific antidote to reversing hair loss due to statin / guggul use besides a 5-AR inhibitor and a stimulant like Minoxidil (Rogaine)?

Thank you so much everyone. smilies/cry.gif

Will "Cholesterol Cream" for hair by Queen Helene or something help? Do you guys know which particular cholesterol is used in that product? Is it just simply Lanolin???
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written by Bobbie Ping, Mar 26 2010
I have just been prescribed Lipitor from my GP for high cholesterol levels.
After reading all these comments I am, as of today, stopping the taking of them.
I already have neuropathy from a blocked left femoral artery and don't need any of the other side effects.
Thanks to all of you who wrote their stories and to the authors of this article.
Mrs
written by Baba, Mar 25 2010
I had simvastatin 10mg prescribed by my GP and took this for about 4 months after which my GP increased the dose to 20mg. after a week of taking the increased dose I felt so weak, had no energy and started to experience a strange sensation and weakness across my shoulder muscles radiating into my arms. My arms felt heavy and it was an effort to lift them for tasks such as hair brushing. I also had sore muscles from the kidney region of my back extending down the buttock regions. I began to query if statin could be the reason, having searched on the internet. I informed my GP about my symptoms. She did not feel that there was a any link, but when I went to the chemist to collect repeat prescriptions for glucophage, the pharmacy had been informed that I was trying to manage without simvastatin so these were not included in my repeat prescription. (seems the link was recognised but not admitted to) I have ceased taking the statin now for just under 10 days, however, yesterday I was crossing a four lane road when the pedestrian light indicated. Suddenly mid crossing I experienced the most severe calf pain and extreme difficulty in walking. I thought I had a deep vein thrombosis and was really scared. meanwhile the traffic started to move and didn't stop but avoided me. I eventually was taken to the local hospital casualty and a DVT was thought to be a possibility. After investigations I was told that most likely I had strained a muscle. I believe that statin is the cause as I was taking a very leisurely walk in appropriate footwear. I am still in pain and can only walk by pointing my toes downwards and applying slight pressure on the ball of my foot. I cannot stand on the flat of my foot at all and the muscle is very painful to touch. I would welcome any comments about this
Baba
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written by Krish, Mar 25 2010
I just crossed 40 and had a cholesterol level of 260 with LDL of 160. No other risk factor. My doctor prescribed statin. After a few pills I started having so much pain that I felt like difficult to breath.
I stopped statin and changed my diet with more greens, fruits and fish.

In 3 months, the cholestrol reduced to 217 and LDL to 125 (but Triglyceride is high at 250).

Doctor is still insisting I should again start taking statin. So confused.
Miserable on Statin drug
written by Jane Frost, Mar 24 2010
Every muscle aches, my arms flail and twitch, I get lost in town when going anywhere, I don't have the energy to get out of bed.

All I know to do is stop taking this Statin drug and continue to eat reasonably.

I am diabetic and aged 63. I am female.

Familiar anecdotes
written by Arthur V. Dieli, Mar 20 2010
It's so interesting reading some of the individual anecdotes. They remind us how important it is for each of us to be active in the doctor-patient relationship. My story has another twist.

I had been taking statins for years after a triple bypass and then another triple bypass 22 years later. (The statins didn't prevent the second triple bypass.) I was also being treated for arthritis and the orthopedist had me use a water bag contraption to stretch my spine. It didn't help. My back pain worsened. I couldn't tolerate sitting for more than a half hour without having to get up and move around. I was put on Celebrex, which initially helped but eventually the Celebrex wasn't doing it. One day I unconsciously used my knuckles to massage my gluteus maximus, almost as a reflex and the pain diminished temporarily. Then the light dawned. I thought, why should rubbing help an arthritis pain. That must be a muscle pain. So I went on the internet and researched muscle pain and made the connection to the "rare" statin muscle pain side-effect. As an experiment, I temporarily stopped the statin, a daring move, I thought. The pain began to diminish. After about thee weeks I also stopped taking the Celebrex. Still the pain continued to diminish. Then I told the cardiologist about my experiment. He tried other statins. We went from one to another and another. Each one would bring back the pain in just a few days. Even Red Yeast Rice caused muscle pain. So now I take a fish oil capsule instead of the statin. The Celebrex was masking the real problem. The orthopedist had prescribed without really determining the cause of the pain. That's why I say the patient has to be an active participant in the doctor's diagnosis, even though some doctors don't encourage that.
My Statin Adventure
written by Allen Harvey, Mar 20 2010
I was prescribed Sivastatin @ 80mg/day in July of 2007 after I required a stent in my RCA. I Had a total cholesteral of around 235. I had a single restiction in one artery only. After 6 months my doctor was concerned with the reduction of total cholesteral to around 105. My dose was reduced to 40mg/day. After 2 years I developed multiple symptoms, muscle weakenss and pain (big time) jerking and flailing at night, fatigue, aggravated gynecomastia, memory loss and slurring of speech (that was scarey!) I complained and my dose was reduced to 20mg/day. It still persisted. I complained again because I was quitting my statin therapy for sometimes 3 weeks at a time. Now my dose is only 10mg/day and I still cannot tolerate it. My last test still showed my T/C at 115 and I have decided to do two things. First, a new doctor. The second is to forever stop taking statins in any form. Life has been miserable on them. I have a return of symptoms after only 3 or 4 days even if I have not taken them for two weeks or more. I have actually gotten lazy on them due to fatigue.
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written by larry cone, Mar 01 2010
>How can a system/country so "intelligent" allow a profession to affect their patients' lives so negatively and expect praise and admiration, trust and compliance from the people(patients)that"PAY them" so they can have "an indulgent life style, for the most part, and allow THEM to be able to send THEIR children to whatever college -while their patients struggle (trustingly) to purchase some of the POISON ,prescribed (pharmaseuticals-(statin -drugs and some antibiotics that cause heart damage-"Raxar" removed from the market)ruining THEIR hope of a joyful life,and/or being able helping THEIR kids to have a better life . What happened to" DO NO HARM"???--One of our "founding fathers "stated the specific warning that the" mainstream/conventional medical establishment", A.M.A., would very likely be a great danger if not "watched and controlled "-- NOT THE OPPOSITE- He also said -Let your food be your medicine- Sooo require more nutritional education to everyone but especially to our medical students ( Of course that might be POPULAR to be "well" without so many(pharmaseuticals) Why is it that we cannot accept the fact that if we keep doing the same things and making like-decisions we will be getting the same results ,worsening over time --And ---THIS IS THE TIME TO STOP THE INSANITY!!!--WEAN OFF AND GO FORTH educating ourselves about ANOTHER" money driven" issue benefiting only those receiving DOLLARS/KICKBACKS - Only one Examplesmilies/sad.gifLunches provided for clinics staff and the physicians "Practicing MEDICINE" there) for their "combined efforts" in selling their products---" Personal responsibility for our health" should also include being able to REALLY TRUST "The PROFESSIONALS"
pain in my theighs
written by Diana, Feb 28 2010
HELLO. I HAVE A QUESTION ABOUT MY MEDS GEMFIBROZIL 600MG TWICE A DAY PLUS LOVASTATIN 40 MG I TOOK THESE FOR ALMOST 4 MONTHS AND STARTED TO FEEL PAIN IN MY THEIGHS AND VERY WEAK MOVEMENT WHEN WALKING SO I STOPPED TAKING THESE DRUGS AND GOT WORSE NOW I CAN BARLEY WALK IN THE MORNING I TAKE 3 ASPRIN EVERY DAY TO EASE THE PAIN IT ONLY WORKS FOR A LITTLE WHILE THEN I TAKE 2 MORE TO GET THROUGH THE DAY EVERY DAY I WANT TO KNOW IS THIS PAIN EVER GOING TO STOP OR AM I DOOMED FOR LIFE I AM A 67 YO WOMAN PLEASE HELP ME
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written by Joe L Murphy, Feb 23 2010
I was on 80mg for 4 years with no side effects. Then I started having weak muscles and sore calfs. Lipitor gave me the disease called IBM Inclusion Body Myositis. A Biopsy shows the muscle fibers broken and can never be cured. I was on Lipitor for over 10 years, and now limp. My Triglycerides were over 1400 when I started taking the pill and went going the pill the Trigs went back up to 1400. Now on Gemfibrozil, Cholesterol is now normal but I still limp. Age 71
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written by Karl, Feb 22 2010
I had a heart attack in 2001 and have been on statins since. I had to change from Zocor once because of muscle stiffness so bad at 52 I felt like I was 80. after being off for 2 wks I started feeling like I could jumb and run. Then I was put on a different statin and zettia. It hasn't caused such a dramatic problem but after several years I've noticed muscle and joint pain increasing to the point I can't sleep through the night anymore. After reading this article I think I'll cut in down or even stop all together. Of course that would be against my cardiologist recomondations. Having a heart attack is a scary alternative don't you know.
mister
written by nigel watson, Feb 22 2010
Hi ,i have been taking statins for the last 6 weeks as my last colesterol test was 8.1 . I am a carpenter and work outside frequently and have been feeling the cold alot more than i used to,especially my hands . Do you think this could be due to taking statins ? thanks for any advice .
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written by Rick, Feb 08 2010
I have been on statins since 2009 and my
Doctor just took me off them to as a result of my blood work panel, namely liver function results being higher than they should be. I was on another statin originally, 10 mg, but the same result happened after a previous blood panel. He then put me on Crestor in August of'09 and just 5 mg/day.
I have felt some muscle aches and mostly fatigue since I have been on them.
Here is my recent personal experience that put a bit of scare in me. Two weeks ago I had went to the gym to take a yoga class and got on the stairmaster for 10 minutes before the class to get some cardio excercise in. I am a 52 year old male(where did the time go, lol)and weigh about 248(reason I am at the gym). After class I got in my car and felt fine. It was dark out and I proceeded to drive home. I decided to give my sister a call and dialed her on my cell(speaker) as I came to the first traffic light and was in the left turning lane when all of a sudden I became somewhat disoriented and wasn't quite sure that was the correct turn for me to make. Couldn't remember if it was a left or a right. I realized what was happening and it scared me, all along while having a conversation with my sister. I did not tell her what just had happened. I remember telling myself to pull over if I had any further problems. Well that was not the case, so I kept driving. There was one other spot which I routinely drive, over a freeway bridge and I was hoping I was going the right way. Fortunately, I was and made it home safely. I have never experienced anything like that ever before. In fact I was talking to my sister the whole way home and when I arrived inside I gave the phone to my wife to speak to her for them to catch up on things. She lives in a diffenrent city in CA. I later explained to my wife what occured. This was on a Thursday. I went to work the next day and called the Doctor's office late in the afternoon, but it was late Friday afternoon at that point. I was also experiencing some migraines which I am susceptable to. To play it safe I went in to visit the Doctor on Monday. I explained to him what happened besides the migraine I was experiencing. I explained my concern for being disoriented and he told me if it only happened once before, it was hard to say what exactly had caused it. He ordered some new blood work and I just received my results. His office called me and I spoke with one of his nurses and she told be he wanted me to stop taking the statin and to also come back in three weeks to get more bloodwork done so he can check out my AST, ASL, and CPK levels again. All three were high.
Well I started looking up side effects of statins online and found many stories from people with personal experiences and many articles/studies from MD's stating the many side effects of these statins. When I read the Cognitive Impairment section above, I almost fell off my chair, as these were very similar effects that happened to me. Long story short, after all the research and reading I have done I highly doubt I will ever take a statin again. The average person does not know about all of these potentially serious long term side effects, unless you have experienced it firsthand. I am fortunate I was only on them less than a year and at smaller dosages.
I know what I know now and I am not a fan of these statins for obvious reasons.
The following are comments from a co-worker whose husband had some serious side effects too. Please read below:
Rick, this family of drugs is bad. Yes, no argument about their effectiveness on cholesterol, but the organ and tissue damage is severe, and irreversible. Butch ended up with permanent nerve death in his feet from this, and damage to his gall bladder. He had it removed! Bad!!!
Thanks for reading and allowing me to share my story. If you are on them please consider getting off them. It's your body, so you be the judge. If anything ask questions. Another good website for very valuable info on these statins is spacedoc.net. Dr. Graveline is a former NASA Doctor and astronaut.

Rick Torres CA
I am behind the scenes... in research
written by Mary, Feb 04 2010
Nick...
Your comments do not appear to be "Scientific or medically driven"! By the way, in what area is your "degree" in pharmacologics or medicine?

You stated "Wow. What nice antipharmaceutical propaganda you spout." My question is, have you seen any of these results from behind the Dr. office doors as I have or worse, lived them yourself? I have, and I think your statements sound very much like those of a Pharmaceutical Executive who has much to lose if the patent is lost!! What drives you to defend these dangerous side effects and an apparent lack of caring AND knowledge (especially first hand) for our fellow human beings?

"While I will agree with you that statins are surely overprescribed, your scare tactics should be labeled as reckless and dangerous. There is undeniably a place in the healthcare system for statin use. No provider on the planet is trying to rid the body of cholesterol entirely. " Oh really? So you DO agree that they are OVER Rx'd, and I see you ALSO agree that "they" are not trying to "rid the body of cholesterol entirely"...now that sounds a bit lopsided in logic. How many Dr.s "cut back" on the dose of this medicine in concern of too low of a limit on your lipid panel? Instead, the practice is to tweak the dosage ONLY when a patient complains of the impending deadly side effects. I DARE to disagree with you...been there..live that. and also see it at work everyday. Try it sometime, then come on here and deny what you are reading from people who KNOW of what they speak because they have HAD to experience also. via first hand exposure! One wonders how many Docs and Pharma Execs are on statins???
A researcher, and also a patient who did not have a good Statin experience
written by Mary, Feb 04 2010
Pharmaceuticals are good in some cases, but the invention, (which was by accident) of the statins is a slow death sentence to us all. I have lived the Acute Rhabdomyolysis scene...2 weeks in the hospital with multiple speciality dr.s trying to figure out whats wrong with me and then trying to say "it was all in my head" being a female as my symptoms and muscle pain lasted for years! Worst of all, was the ignorant Physicians prescribing the latest new "miracle drug" not knowing all its serious side effects..and Pharmacy reps who were just trying to "make their numbers" work each month, regardless of the patients welfare. I personally know the rep of a statin company..he swears he will NEVER EVER take the drug..too dangerous. I say lets get back to mother nature..do what we are supposed to..calories in needs calories out. The side effects of Statins has left me with a cognitive problem, a case of acute pancreatitis, CPK levels of over 2,000 at the time, and an amylase of "30,000", spleenomegaly, lasting numbness in my hands and feet especially upon waking in the a.m., and a general feeling of muscle tightness all the time, as in the "flight or fight" mode! GET this drug off the market or make it a pre-authorized type of drug where it is not given out like candy by ignorant, over worked ,tired physicians who have not studied or lived its side effects as I have. I am a nurse who has been on disability due to this MIRACLE drug..how many more people have to trust their Dr...and be put in harms way by a few money happy Pharmaceutical companies before we take a stance on this? I see its effect everyday in people! My hope is that someday, people will realize that Dr.s are NOT GOD..they do NOT have all the RIGHT answers, and that we need to be our own patient advocate by staying informed,asking tougher questions and getting healthier... by staying active!
mr.
written by kenneth johns, Feb 04 2010
statins are produced purely for profit making, by companies pushing to get these prescribed for use in all food products.
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written by arlene corwin, Feb 03 2010
Thanks. I started out by simply googling the best time of the day to take pravachol, but got, instead a treasury of new information. I'd already experienced that calf pain and muscle weakness, cut my own 40mg pill in half and eliminated the calf pain. General muscle pain diminished, but as a practitioner of yoga for 40 years (current age 75) the surprising onset of muscle weakness seems still to be there.

I must email this important article to my doctor, who, when I made note of my unmoving LDL recommended that I go back to 40mg. It seems he's forgotten about the immobilzing calf pain and muscle weakeness - or else he's not connecting the dots.

I may try the oatmeal test for awhile and eliminate the Pravachol.

One question: Where does coffee fit into this equation?
Arlene Corwin
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written by Henry Ledbetter, Jan 31 2010
My wife just had triple by-pass surgery and is on simvastatin. I had her taking pomegranate juice ( two ounces concentrate per day ) Is that safe? I am trying to get her to stop the drug but am at odds with her Doctor.---Henry
Ahh my problems find acknowledgement
written by jmd8800, Jan 26 2010
After a minor heart attack in Dec of 1999 at age 44 I was prescribed Baycol. HA! That didn't last long. Since then I have run the gamut... Zocor, Lipitor, Crestor etc. 3 years ago my cardiologist drove my combined level down to 155. And he told me of all the benefits I would receive. How do you spell bullsh**? One L or two Ls?

In Aug 2009 I had a work place injury and as a result I stopped taking all statins. Many of the problems I had been experiencing in my life have ceased to exist now, or, are almost completely eliminated. The nightly muscle cramps are gone, the claustrophibia is all but gone, the sex drive is back, I shave way more often now,and my mood is like a 180 turnaround. The jury is still out on my first complaint at the beginning of statin treatment... memory loss. Oh yes.. a new one for me... plantar faciatis came about as my levels were dropped to 155.

These issues were brought up with several different cardiologists and internal medicine doctors over 10 years as well as different pharmacists. (I move a bit) and all doctors have had open communications with each other. No secrets.

I asked my current doctors why anyone would want to live in misery.... longer?? Sorry I will take my chances and live happier and possibly shorter. Here's to oatmeal and healthy living. Let the chips fall where they may.
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written by marilyn sollars, Jan 25 2010
My husband was on Lipitor for a number of years and often experienced fatigue and sore muscles. He was put on Advicor about 3 years ago. The dose was increased from begining 500mg to 2000mg. He complained about muscle pain and tingling in his feet very often. Oue family doctor (now retired) ignored itand his cardiologist ignored his complaints. His original neurologist who we visited for two years diagnosed parkinsonism because he had some of the problems but not all. Sinimet did nothing for him. Neurologist #2 also prescribed Sinimet. Again it did not help. Then he decided my husband had mini strokes. Nothing else was prescribed. Neurologist #3 said neither diagnosis was correct. He was sure all my husband's problems were caused by the Advicor. He stopped taking it in November, 2009. This once very active, alert, humorous, delightful man is now unable to stand alone for even short periods of time and is using a walker, cannot concentrate, is incontenant, lost his great, gifted sense of humor, and is frequently depressed. Is there any hope for him? Can there ever be a turn around? What can we do for him?
Reply to Nick
written by Sally Fallon Morell, Jan 25 2010
I (and many) disagree. There is no place in the healthcare system for statin use. These are dangerous, unnecessary drugs with serious side effects. The whole cholesterol theory of heart disease is phony and needs to be chucked in the trash can so researchers can focus on more fruitful avenues of research into heart disease--such as trans fats, processed vegetable oils, deficiency in vitamin K2, sugar and other sweeteners, etc. etc. The cholesterol theory is a dangerous diversion and until people realize that the theory is completely untenable, they will make the wrong decisions about diet and health care. Sally Fallon Morell
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written by William Bates, Jan 21 2010
I have been using statins for years. I was swithched from Pravacol to Simvistatin. I started with 40 mg. I complaioed about dizzyness and lack of muscle strength. Blood work was routinly done and all the enzymes always came back normal. I was increased to 80mg. to get the LDL lower my LDL from the low 80's to now 62. All along I have ben taking high doses of fish oil and my HDL has always been in 62 t plus range. I now have a new Doctor that does not accept the enzyme test as being conclusive. He is going to do a battery of blood work to hopefully find the problem. Your article has been very informative. I thank you.
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Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 March 2010 23:29