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Zetia May Cause Muscle Problems

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Q. I have tried many statin drugs for cholesterol, but all gave me muscle pain and cramps. My doctor put me on Zetia and insists it can't cause muscle pain since it is not absorbed into the blood stream. I still have muscle pain, cramps and tingling in my legs and feet. Can Zetia cause this?

A. Although Zetia works differently from statin cholesterol-lowering drugs such as Lipitor or Zocor, it is absorbed into the bloodstream. Muscle side effects seem to be less common with Zetia than with the statin drugs, but they can happen. Ask about another approach for cholesterol control.

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I had severe muscle cramps on Vytorin and was switched to just the Zetia. I continued to have muscle pain in my legs so I stopped the Zetia and the pain went away. I would like to see a show done on the erosion of patient confidence in their doctors because of the terrible side effects of most medicines given these days. I just had to stop my blood pressure meds as well because my lips started to swell up. I had to stop my arthritis meds because of the heart risks. So now I don't take any meds but my thyroid medicine. When a doctor offers medication now I tell him or her to please offer an alternative if possible. I will only take a medicatiion now if it is necessary to save my life.

I have taken just about all the anticholesterol medicines (including the statins) on the market over a period of years. The non-statins did nothing for my cholesterol levels and the statins all caused me severe muscle pains.

Then I tried Zetia. It caused the same type of muscle pain as the statins. I have been on WhelChol for nearly a month and am experiencing muscle pain. Muscle pain is not a common side effect of WelChol, but it is listed as a less common side effect on the literature I was given. The diets for high cholesterol have been ineffective for me.

I have been suffering leg pain and muscle weakness for months. I have gone to 2 doctors with my complaints. They all knew I was taking Lipitor. One doctor switched me over to Zocor but didn't mention the fact that Lipitor might be causing my problem. I took Zocor about 6 months and had heard from friends the statins might be my problem.

I have been off of them for about 2 months and my legs and muscles are much better. They were so bad I could barely walk around and felt like I was going to end up in a wheelchair. Going to the toilet was a major event. I could hardly get down and a bigger problem getting up. I still have to push myself up from the toilet seat as my legs are still not strong enough.

I do feel that I am on the road to recovery but I would not take that kind of medication again. My hand coordination was such that I couldn't button my shirt or put on earrings. That problem is almost gone now. Maybe these comments will help others out there before it's too late.
Sherry Brown
Albuquerque, NM

Zetia was prescribed for me a couple of years ago. After taking a half dozen pills, my arm and leg pains were so severe that I could barely walk or change my socks. The pains have been reduced after taking steroids for about 6 months, but they have not entirely disappeared, and they move around to a different location every couple of days.

The medical community seems unwilling to accept that Zetia could cause these severe pains.

My doctor put me on Crestor around November 06, and I had a surgery done in December 06 for my back. Soon after the surgery, I was having a hard time trying to walk-my legs just wouldn"t support me. I had to be hospitalized for the pain in my legs and hips, and nothing given to me relieved the pain. I continued on Crestor everyday that I was in the hospital despite all my pains.

My cholesterol levels were great, but my muscle pain was getting worse. I finally remembered that Lipitor had caused the same symptoms a couple of years ago, and I stopped the Crestor.

After a couple of weeks, I started feeling better, until my next doctor visit revealed that my cholesterol levels had increased again.

My doctor put me on Zetia. But I now have to see my heart doctor because of the following symptoms: shortness of breath, chest pain, muscle weakness again, very tired during the day, and severe pain in my hips. I bet it's from the Zetia.

I started taking Zetia about 2 months ago, as I will not take statin drugs due to their severe side effects. I'd done research on Zetia and it appeared to have fewer side effects. However, I have developed severe hip pain with pain in my shoulders also. I found numerous reports of the same kinds of problems after taking Zetia, so feel that it is the reason for the pain. I have pulled the plug on Zetia.

How can Doctors in good conscience prescribe these medications? My Dr offered to prescribe pain medication or refer me to an orthopedic Dr, even though xrays of my hips and back were totally normal. I am disappointed, again, in the quality of care given by the medical community.

My doctor prescribed Lovastatin for me about a year ago for elevated cholesterol. I had slight pain in my right bicep area. It was not disabling, & I felt I could put up with it. Recently, though, I've also had intense pain in my hip and right leg to the point that I can hardly function. I saw the doctor yesterday, and he told me it couldn't be the lovastatin as that would cause pain in my entire body. I am tempted to discontinue taking the drug to see if the pain ceases. Would that be dangerous?

I was prescribed Zetia to lower my cholesterol of 230. Within days, I was experiencing muscle pains, mainly in my calves. I thought the pain was from wearing flip-flops; I didn't even consider that it could be the Zetia until the muscle pain spread to my arms, thighs and back within the 19 days that I was on the medication. I also had strange sensations in my feet and toes. I took my last pill this morning, and will lower my cholestreol holistically! Don't want to be a statistic of the dangers of this drug.

I started on statins a year and a half ago after a stent was put in my heart. Severe muscle pains. It was almost a type of myalgia--rolling pain that wasn't predictable. The worst was when I would go to the dentist; my entire jaw would be in pain, even though there was no reason for it. I think the statins contributed to it.

Stopped taking the latest--Crestor--for a month and felt great. I have also been taking prilosec for acid reflux and everything was under control. Doc wanted me to try Zetia to try and keep my chol number down. I now have lethargy, severe bronchitis-like pain and muscle pain.

The bronchitis-like pain is what I experienced before on statins, which the prilosec keeps under control. I wonder, since Zetia works through the gut, if it is somehow counteracting my prilosec. Finally, muscle pains are starting to return. I am beoming a disagreeable person and wish there were another way to lower my cholestrol--my child suffers because of my discomfort; it causes me to be worn out and not very pleasant sometimes.

So what can be done to lower cholesterol? I had severe muscle pain with both Zetia and statin drug use. I thoght I was having an aneurism of the brain. My mother died of natural causes at 82. She weighed 105 lbs., smoked, her cholesterol was 400, and she had no heart problems, no HBP? What can I do--mine is 277.

I was given Zetia for a year, to lower my cholesterol. I noticed muscle weakness, gradually turning into problems raising legs, weakness in arms and spine. Went into hospital for two weeks in Feb. CPK level at 12,000. Given mega dose of steroids, then brought home with 64 mg Medrol. Many side effects from steroids. Lost 25 lbs--brain "fried." CPK lowered after 3 months--removed from steroids--(they now believe too quickly). Was "normal" for 4 weeks, then muscles weakness started again. Back on 64 mg of Medrol--almost as weak as Feb.--losing more abilities each day, & PCP, Neurologist, Arthritis Dr., have no clue how to help. Steroids might be counterproductive. I have always had low tolerance to meds. Feel like I will be bed-bound again shortly. Had 4 weeks of remission since this started. Any help would be so appreciated. Thanks
P.S.: After this--I hope to take no meds, only vitamins.

A very short trial of Lipitor caused me extreme muscle pain and weakness. I was trying to be a "good patient" and follow doctor's orders. The doctor lady seemed quite annoyed at my complaint. Next came a short trial of Zetia and she was totally annoyed again as this medicine "does not cause the symptoms" I described to her. She warned me of the risk I was placing on myself by refusing to take it.

I don't think I will ever recover to my former condition before going for an "annual physical checkup" a couple of years ago. Previous to that I only went to the doctor when I was truly feeling sick, maybe 1 or 2 times a year. I am now 69. Like I said, I was trying to be a compliant patient but I am not too interested in returning, so will think twice before making another casual medical appointment.

I have taken different statins and at times Welchol. I have been taking Vytorin for a while, and then we added Welchol. I am getting muscle pain. I think it is from the Welchol. I would love to see other comments regarding this single issue of having muscle pain with Welchol.

I have had similar experiences with statins. After a few weeks on Lipitor, I began waking up multiple times each night with tingling so severe in my hands / arms that I would have to get up and walk around. I then switched to Crestor and tried multiple times through dosage reductions and augmentation with Zetia to make this work, but recently muscle & joint pain forced me to stop again. Now, I feel great and am convinced these drugs are not for me! I exercise quite a bit and have heard that side effects like this are more common with active people.

I have been on Zetia for a year. I never attributed the small creeping discomfort to the drug. Last week I went to emergency at the hospital because of excruciating pain in my legs. When I can get around again I will be lowering my cholesterol naturally.

Have taken Zetia for 6 months, which did not lower cholesterol significantly. However, was informed yesterday my thyroid gland "is not working" and I should go on thyroid meds. No prior thyroid problems at all. Could the Zetia cause this?

I too was placed on zetia along with lipitor to reduce my cholorestol. My doctor stated that the lipitor had reduced my hdl to 111, but he wanted it to be under 100, so he put me on zetia to get that done. I must admit, I have been feeling much better since hdl has been lowered, but man... I just started having terrible cramps in my calf. They would run all the way down to my feet. Walking would help it. This has happened about 3 times. I am pretty sure that the statins are causing this problem. I am sure that if I lost weight my statin days would be over, though. I will have to get off this medication if, in fact, it is doing something this bad to me.

I started Vytorin and after only three days had abdominal pain, leg and hip pain and weakness in my legs. My doctor suggested that it must be the "statin" element in this drug. Now only two weeks on 10 mg of Zetia and I have had 2 sleepless nights of muscle and joint pain especially in the hips and lower back.

This seems like a rare reaction--but with what I have been reding perhaps it is not so rare! I am taking myself off this med immediately and will only try natural supplements from now on.

The first statin I was perscribed was Zocor. I started having severe low abdominal pains and diarrhea. My Dr. had me stop the Zocor and started me on Lipotor. I developed flu-like symptoms and my Dr. then started me on Crestor. It took about 3 weeks for a persistant, dry hacking cough to develop.

My Dr. then started me on Zetia and Welchol. This time it took 15 days for severe low back pain to develop. I was sure I was trying to pass kidney stones. After being treated at the ER and everything coming up negitive, the pain persisted for 3 more days. A CT scan also came up negitive. About 2 weeks later, I developed severe low back pain, Rt hip/flank pain and Rt calf and ankle pain. The calf pain felt as if my muscles were trying to blow out the side of my leg. The pain was continous and excruciating.

I went back to my Dr., who told me he didn't think it was from the Zetia. He thought it was a pinched nerve in my back and ordered an MRI of the lumbar. I had that done today and am waiting on the results, which I know will be negitive. My Dr. also perscribed Vicodin and Fentynal pain patch.

I told my Dr I was going to stop the Zetia and Welchol. He was against it, but I was insistent. After 3 days, the pain has decreased about 75%. I still have waves of burning pain, but I can handle it without feeling like I'm going to die.

Once the MRI results come back, I intend to find another Dr. One who will listen to me and hopefully I can trust. I no longer trust my current Dr.

Have experienced muscle and joint pain from both statins and Zetia. Tried both lipitor and provacol. Tolerated former for years and the latter for about a year. In the end had severe joint pain and weakness in legs. Confirmed this by going off and on meds with symptoms reappearing when back on. On Zeria for about a year with no side effect, then intense muscle spasms in lower back. Nearly could not get out of bed after attack. Immediatly went off of Zetia and symptoms went away within 4 days. Staying off of both statins and Zetia family until I get a reading from internal medicine specialist on what is going on and what damamge may or may not have been done to organs.

After 10 days of taking Zetia I developed severe leg muscle pain & weakness and severe vomiting & no sleep for 4 days.

After recent blood work, I was placed on Welchol and Zetia. I sincerely tried to get through one month but am now having severe rib, low back and leg pain. I cannot walk without discomfort.

I have heard a lot about Red Yeast Rice. What are the facts about its use? Any side effects? I had used statins before and stopped them because of the pain. Severe pain is not a fair trade-off for lowered cholesterol! Thanks.

I had problems with Lipitor in the past, so my doctor prescribed Zetia. I took the drug for a month with continual symptoms of nausea and vomiting. I finally figured out that the vomiting was directly caused by the Zetia! So after a month of not being able to eat anything but a turkey pot pie a day (and some of that didn't stay down) I went back to my doctor who agreed that the Zetia was to blame. I was very weak, had palpitations, and back aches as well. I still have the weakness (though not as severe) and the back aches and palpitations after over a year off the Zetia. Have been on a regimen of vitamin c, L-lysine, L-carnatine, pantothenic acid, coQ10, and fish oil... will see if that works.

Two years ago I used Crestor. Experienced extreme muscle pain & weakness... I was so ill I thought I had Lou Gehrig's disease... Lost 40 + pounds.

My doctor (former doctor now) just wouldn't believe Crestor was causing trouble. I stopped it myself against medical advise. It took about 6 months to completely recover.

I've been on Zetia for about 6 months now and I'm beginning to feel some muscle pain/weakness, but not like Crestor.

Just took matters into my own hands. Was on Lovastatin for 3 years and suffering severe hip pain and extreme fatigue. Dr. insisted it was none of my medicines and I blamed the pain on my heavy vacuum cleaner. So I decided to stop the Lovastatin and see what happened. Within 2 weeks I was pain free, alert, not tired and thrilled that I took matters into my own hands. Now they want to put me on Zetia which I hear is also causing severe muscle pains. I am afraid to go back to suffering. Any advice?

I was put on lipitor and eventually an alternative statin after my legs were so painful I could not function or walk properly. I read on the internet that this could be a side effect of taking statins so I stopped.

The leg pains ceased almost immediately. Howoever two years later after ventricular tachycardia and a medical misadventure when my heart was pierced during a procedure to find and oblate the arrythmia (RVOT) causing the tachycardia and the breastbone was severed to repair the hole in the heart, I am again experiencing pains so severe in legs and hips that I have difficulty walking and my quality of life is poor.

I wonder now if this is a side effect of any of the other drugs I am taking to slow down the heart and reduce blood pressure to stop the entricular arrythmia (sotolol, inhibace, norvask, felodopine). Anyone suffering from leg and hip pains from any of these??

I have found the medical profession to be very inexact in the science of diagnosis and especially if you have different problems each expert only seems to be able to look at one, their own, not how they all interact. Your life is literally in your hands. FG

I HAVE BEEN ON lOVASTATIN FOR 10 YRS. Two yrs ago I started having problems with the abdominal muscles... tightness. Answers?

My mother has also been on Zetia for several months with increasing rotator cuff pain developing into arm pain so severe that she could not dress herself. She had similar problems with Lipitor and fell down constantly, had severe leg and hip pain, etc. Now with Zetia, the doc insists that it doesn't work the same way and couldn't be the cause of the arm pain. RIGHT??!!

After hearing and reading ads for Zetia, it has the same side effect profile as other statins. I told her to stop taking it as of today and see what happens. However, after reading these posts, it seems that too many folks are having the same unexplained searing pain in their extremities--and all are on Zetia! Makes you wonder!! Incidently, we spent Christmas eve in the ER with every test known to man from blood work, heart tests, CAT scans, etc--nothing showed up.

My amylase became elevated on Lipitor so I was changed to Zetia about 4 years ago--I've had right knee discomfort for 1 1/2 years and for the last 6 months I've had right hip pain as well. Even though I exercize and practice yoga regularly, I felt that I was not able to develop any muscle strength... I've gone for physical therapy, chiropractic treatments, acupuncture... 2 days ago the lights went on and I considered Zetia as a possible cause--within 36 hours I experienced a noticable decrease in my hip and knee pain--there's no way this is a coincidence.

After a mild heart attack I was put on Zocor. After 6 weeks, gradually developed severe leg, hip, and shoulder pain. Was taken off Zocor and put on Zetia. After less then a week on Zetia, the severe leg pains, shoulder pain have returned, in addition to shortness of breath, occassional nausea, and headache.

Will call the Dr. today to tell him to find something I can take without the side effects, or I'm off everything. Heart attack is awful, but who can live with such pain and discomfort.

I worked for a Pharmaceutical company for 15 years in Marketing Research. I know what these drugs are capable of doing. That is why I didn't want to take any of them, thus the cholesterol caused a heart attack. I should have just dieted and exercised and I probably would not be writing this now. Drugs are the cure that kills.

I had a mild heart attack back in 2006. Not caused by cholesterol but the Dr. put me on simvastatin for precautionary measures. The drug was causing a lot of pain throughout my body. I told my Dr. and he put me on Zetia.

He said it shouldn't cause pain. I took Zetia for over a year; I was doing well until just a few months ago when I started getting a lot of pain in my shoulders, neck, and back. I went to a chiropractor for help. I noticed it wasn't helping much. As the weeks went on, I started getting pain everywhere. It would move from place to place. Leg, wrists, arms, neck, back. Today my ear and head had sharp pains. I just don't feel good any more.

I get tired easily and ache all the time. I stopped taking Zetia two weeks ago but I feel like I'm getting worse.
Any help out there?

I started taking Zetia 3 weeks ago, and I'm having shoulder pain, hands are going to sleep and my back is killig me... I can hardly sleep from the pain in my back.

I took Vytorin for 9 months in 2007, and when I wanted to stop, my Dr. said to try Zetia. Vytorin is composed of Zocor and Zetia. I took the Zetia for the next 3 months. I would take the medication at bedtime. In the morning I would notice pain in my lower left abdomen and I had frequent bowel movements. When I began taking the Zetia I thought my arthritis was getting worse. I had a steroid injection in my hip and the Dr. said I should feel immediate relief from hip pain after the injection. I did not feel any relief, and that is when I had the realization that it might be the Zetia causing my severe hip and joint pain.

I stopped the chlosterol meds but still walk with a cane and have severe muscle and joint pain in my left leg and hip. I discovered on the internet that Zetia has Sodium Lauryl Sulfate as an ingredient. This is a foaming agent used in many shampoos, toothpastes and cosmetics. I am allergic to this ingredient. I was very upset to find this out. I read that this helps Zetia to clean out the small intestine. I believe that has been the problem with abdomen pain and the leg joint and muscle pain I have. I stopped the medicine in January 2008. I am still dealing with pain, walking with a cane and unable to do many things I could do a year ago.

I too am experiencing all kinds of pain in my back, legs, neck, etc. My Dr. sent me to a neurologist who performed some tests and found all to be in normal range. He then sent me for an MRI of the lower back; this came back normal except for degenerative arthritis; however, he stated that this would NOT cause the pain in all the different areas of my body.

He asked if I was on any new drugs. I mentioned Zetia. He seems to think there is a connection. I started taking Zetia in October 2007. In January, I had some muscle pains in different parts of my body. However, I did not associate the pain with the Zetia since my Dr. said it did not have the same side effects as the Vytorin. I'm having the same excruciating pain again. As others have stated, the pain seems to travel from one site to another. Right now I'm walking with a cane as I have so much pain in my left groin going down my leg.

I have decided to take myself off the Zetia; I can't stand the pain anymore.

I'll just have to learn to lower my cholesterol with diet.

I was on a statin drug for 6 months. My doctor was concerned that my muscle enzymes were elevated and changed it to Zetia. I have had almost constant lower back pain and muscle spasms that paralyze me. This has been going on for about 2 months. I am almost completely incapacitated. After weeks of physical therapy and muscle enzymes that are now twice as elevated as before. Doctor says to go off the Zetia - hope it works. He just told me go go off today.

In Feb.05 I had coated stents installed and in March I started to have severe joint pain in my hands.I stopped taking drugs and still the pain persisted and now have the pain in other parts of my body. I was told this was Arthritis but then had MRI's but there was NO Arthritis. Is it possible for coated stents to cause severe joint pain.I had no history of joint pain prior to 05.

When my twin brother developed heart problems, my doctor put me on Lipitor. I was on it for about one year.

During that year I developed terrific knee pain and a general weakness in my extremities. My handwriting changed, I gave up my personal trainer and couldn't understand how I was aging so very quickly (I am 61). Getting up from the toilet was a horror, and even though I changed to very low heeled shoes, walking was very painful.

I had artificial lubricant injected in my knee, hoping that would help with the pain. It finally dawned on me that it might be medication that was causing this weakness. Since the weakness started aroung the time I started Lipitor, I decided there was a connection. I took myself off Lipitor and within one week I was feeling better.

It has been one month since I stopped and I can do everything I was able to do before taking this medication. My weakness/pain has decreased at least 95%. I understand Lipitor has worked wonders for millions of people, but I cannot be included in that group. I shudder to imagine how I would be feeling if I continued with Lipitor.

I was taking Zocor. After about six months, I started havind leg pain. I thought it was from low potassium since I had started a diet. I was drinking orange juice and eating bananas, but nothing seemed to help.

It has been two months, and the leg pain is horrible. I have a burning, throbbing pain; it feels like something is fluttering, and my legs feel heavy in the morning. I also have tingling and a numbness in my right toes. I have had some leg pain over the years due to low potassium, but this is much worse and never goes away. Nothing will help.

I went to the doctor, and she ran test, but still no help. Now she wants to do nerve testing. I am worried that Zocor or pravastatin is the cause and there is no cure.

I was on Lipitor for several months and suffered from severe leg and abdominal cramps. Walking became very difficult, like walking on stilts that were balancing on another pair of stilts. My cholesterol came down 100 points, but at what price to me?

I stopped taking it and felt better within several weeks, but don't feel my legs will ever be the same as before. My counts went up again, so my doctor put me on Zetia. My numbers went down 50 points. I stopped that after several weeks, due to tingling in my hands, feet and lips. Cholesterol went up again. I agreed to try Zetia again, with the same tingling results. I stopped taking the drug again and have another doctor's appointment in a few weeks.

I have decided to watch my diet more carefully, take vitamins and try to walk daily. I hope that helps, because I will not be taking any more "wonder" drugs.

I have also been on Zetia for over a year now and I have noticed terrible pains that started all of a sudden. I have numbness in my arms, fingers, and stay tired all of the time. I thought it was something else until I ran out of my Zetia and went without it for about one week, and I felt almost 100% better. No numbness or aching pains. My shoulders seemed to be the worst pain. I actually felt like I might have had a rotator cuff injury. I have heard that Niacin acts like the cholesterol medications and I am going to investigate it further before I continue with this medication. I have a strong family history of heart disease and I dont know which is worse, "playing with fire" by not taking it or living in "fire" by taking it??"


I took Zetia for two years. My cholesterol numbers looked good. I developed lethargy and extreme tiredness and heart palpitations (this could have been from another medication I was on at the time). I developed severe pain in my right arm and shoulder and muscle weakness that got progressively worse. I have also had lower back and side pain that continues. I could not lift my right arm nor sleep on my right side or even roll over on my right shoulder. At my physical last summer my liver enzymes were elevated. Ultrasound--fatty liver. I refused a CT scan and went to a holistic MD who told me to drop the Zetia. The pain in my right arm has lessened, and I can lay on my right side. I still have occasional lower back or side pain. The strength in my right arm is returning--some weakness remains and it has been 5 months since I stopped the Zetia. My cholesterol has elevated slightly. I am not interested in Zetia or other statins.

I am both terrified and overjoyed by the comments I have read here about statin drugs and muscle and joint pain.

I believe in my doctor and take her advice without hesitation. I was on Lovistatin and developed pain in my feet that I thought might be related to the statins. My doctor assured me that it was not. I spent $300 on arch supports to help keep me on my feet. Finally, she switched me to Zetia and told me that it does not produce the muscle and joint pain side effects. I have been on it probably six months or so. I have weakness in my legs that is so bad that I sometimes doubt that they will hold me up. My feet hurt all the time. My knees feel like I have arthritis and am about 100 years old (I'm 56!). I awake in the night with pain in my left hip, cramps in my feet and calves, and just all over body ache. I have been miserable, and frightened that I am dying!

I have taken my last statin drug! I will continue my daily walks and my low fat diet and weight management regime and deal with the consequences! This has become a quality of life issue for me! Who wants to live to old age if it just means lots more time to be miserable. I am so grateful for this website and the information I have found here today. Thank you!

I had problems with pain from statins in th early 90s. Taken off because of pain. Nerves are coated in cholesterol and the nerves were stripped per the UK neurologist. Tried crestor after a stroke and after about 4 months developed agonising pain - given a Nsaid - which interacted with Coumadin and caused a bleed out through my feet.

Am trying half a pill of crestor with Zetia and am having serious stomach discomfort and vomiting. I am now looking for a new Dr.

Four years ago I had an extreme reaction to Zocor. After 2 hospitals and CAT scans, MRIs, blood work and spinal taps, they could find nothing wrong. By chance, I was watching a program discussing the muscle cramps and pains associated with statins. Changed Dr. because she insisted I stay on the Zocor.

Since then, my current Dr. prescribed Zetia. I have recently begun having horrible shoulder pain. I, too, thought it might be rotator cup problems. I exercise quite a bit. (With the Zocor it was more neck pain.) Today, I was discussing my problems when someone mentioned that they had worse reactions with Zetia than Zocor. It made me wonder if my new muscle pains, in both shoulders, could be attributed to the Zetia. I have difficulty sleeping at night due to the pain.

I have been on this med for close to 4 years now. My cholesterol has been good, but my liver enzymes have been quite elevated. I think this forum has answered my questions concerning Zetia. Has anyone else developed similar shoulder problems with Zetia?

No reason in the world to not believe that Zetia is a contributing factor to muscle pain. Arms were the worst, could not lift my arms to put a shirt on. Sleeping on arms at night would hurt big time.

If I could put it this way, after being on zetia, the whole day I thought I had just run a marathon. Every muscle ached and the pain never went away.

Give me the natural way or a Dr. that isn't pushing this and blood pressure medicine to get a kickback from the drug companies.

I started taking Vytorin a few weeks ago, and suddenly I developed severe muscle pain or cramping from my feet to my legs hands arms, it was unbearable. I had to take a strong pain pill at 2 AM cause it felt like someone was ripping my legs apart.

I stopped and felt better, but that was scary!!! I have fibroymalgia and went swimming was in air conditioning so I wasn't sure, but I never had such agony before.

In December 2006, my doctor prescribed Zetia. By February/March of 2007, I had joint pain and stiffness in my hands. By April, my joints were swollen and I had difficulty holding objects. I had been doing work on my house in February and March and initially attributed the soreness to that. The pain didn't go away even though I was no longer doing the work on the house. My hands were hurting and I felt muscle fatigue. I called my doctor's office and said I thought it was the Zetia. The nurse said no, that wasn't a side effect; it was probably my arthritis. I had never had that kind of full-blown pain before because of arthritis. I finally took myself off the medication. My cholesterol is lower, but I still have joint and muscle pain. I wonder if this is going to be a permanent condition. I also wonder how severe the damage has been. Will I ever return to normal?

Have been taking Simvastatin (Zocor) for 2 years. All seemed good... Cholesterol numbers went WAY down , from 287 to 135. A month ago I woke up with major joint pain and stiffness in hands and knees especially... but also some pain in ankles, shoulders, hips elbows. I also can't get up from the toilet without using my arms... my knees hurt SO bad... and getting onto the toilet?... I just FALL down onto the seat! I'm 54 years old and feel like 100! I stopped taking the statin a couple of weeks ago... symptoms have tempered SLIGHTLY... I figure it may take a while to heal. Am going to the cardiologist next week for my check-up.. I'll mention all of this at that time and see what he says.

Have you ever heard from someone whose symptoms didn't go away even though they no longer take the statins? It's been two years since I went off first Zocor, then Crestor, then Zetia (stayed on each for varying months) and still suffer extreme muscle pain that's only stopped by sitting in a hot bath.

Last night I was in so much pain I threw up. This debilitating condition is ruining my life. Any suggestions? Any solutions? I've tried quinine, valium, various vitamins, pickle juice, mustard, heating pads, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K, and cutting back on physical activity. Please help. Thank you so much.
Ruth E.

I started on Lipitor in June of 2003 due to high cholesterol levels. In December (six months later) I noticed that when I washed my car with sneakers on, my feet felt burning hot when the water was freezing on the garage floor. Four months later a 'deadness' feeling was present in my lower legs.
I complained to my Neurologist and he suggested I stop the Lipitor for as while and then start Zetia. The legs seemed to improve after stopping Lipitor and then I started Zetia.

In six months the toes and balls of ny feet were burning and numb, hampering walking and driving. I stopped the Zetia and things seemed to get better. My doctor insisted that I resume the Zetia. Reluctantly I did and over six months lost the flexibility of my toes and had a very 'dead' feeling in the legs which is hard to describe. I would get comfortable by soaking my lower legs in ice water. After complaining over and over, he gave me an EMG which showed some muscle weakness.

He said, "Stop the Zetia!" I improved for a couple of weeks and then the progress slowed to where I can not measure it anymore. I have to pull my self up stairways by the railings and push up out of chairs. I have aged 20 years thanks to those drugs. I really get mad when I hear the Zetia commercials talk about the RARE but severe side effects of the drug. If so many people are affected, then it is not RARE. Where is the FDA when you need them?

About three years ago I took Zetia for two months. I started having problems with the muscles in my arms and legs. I called my doctor’s office and was told it probably wasn’t from the Zetia, but if the problems continued over the next month to call back. A couple of days later, while in a drug store the pharmacist asked why I was limping and I told her I didn’t know, then relayed my conversation with the doctor’s office. The pharmacist told me to stop taking Zetia immediately, because it is a serious and rare side affect.

The pharmacist went on to say that it would probably take a few months for my muscles to recover and it did. But I am still having a problem with the calf and lower thigh muscle in my left leg. Sometimes the pain is so bad all I can do is sit and cry, and ask God to help me.

Is it because I took Zetia? I don’t know. I have spoken with my doctor about this on several occasions, but she tells me that it probably has nothing to do with Zetia and she doesn’t know what the problem is, nor is she interested in finding out what is wrong. All I can say is that I didn’t have this problem before Zetia.

About 6 months after stopping Zetia she prescribed Whelchol. I am to take 6 per day, but I still experience the muscle pain/cramping in the calf of my leg. Not all the time as I did with Zetia, but at least 4 times a month. I can’t even walk around a store without experiencing this horrible pain. I have cut my Whelchol down to 4 per day. I just don’t know what to do!

I have been trying to search the internet to find out if anyone else has had this type of problem and what they did to overcome it, but can’t find anything. What can you tell me?


I have been hurting for years and finally said no more. If my doctor was not going to take me off all statins drugs, I was coming off anyway. I came off all, I was on three different ones at one time or another- liptor, crestor, zetia. I can not tell you how much better I feel. I can walk 21/2 miles and can exercise for an hour now. My doctor says I will die of a heart attack now. But I had no quality of life on those drugs. I may change to something more natural if I can find it.

I started out on Lipitor, then Crestor,others in between. Then finally in Oct. 2007 Zetia. Within 1 month ached all over including my feet which burned in the ball of my foot and the big toe felt like someone had a rubber band around it tight. Got off it immediately. The pain went away except the feet, plus swelling around my knees, heart palpitations. Over a year later and its still there. Quit exercising because of the pain in my feet. I feel it is the result. Rather die, than take that crap.

I forgot to mention, that my knees have been a little swollen (just towards the inside of the leg)since July 2007. Also twitching in the arches of my feet and in my lower legs, whenever. Its so weird. I still believe it is from all those cholesterol drugs.

Took Zocor for about two years. Had trouble with hip and legs. Heavy had to stop when walking then could walk again for a little while.
Changed to Lipitor worse leg pain and heavy walked slow and still had to stop and rest then could walk again.

Changed to Crestor-terrible after only 3 wks Legs ache arms and hands went to sleep during night-had to get up and rub them. Pressure in chest and dry cough. Went back to Lipitor and 3 days arms started to keep me up at night as they were asleep. stopped need to call Dr.

I have been on all statins at one time or another. My doctor took me off of zetia when it was shown not to really do any good. I was also taking 200mg of Co Q10 for mussel pain, and it did work. After I stopped Zetia I went on high doses of fish oil and stayed on the the same time I was drinking way to much wine. My Card. found my liver enzymes were really really high and told my F.P. that something needed to be done.

I researched the Co.Q10 and stopped that and stopped the wine all together. After eight weeks my liver enzymes are almost normal...I am not drinking anything now. OK why am I telling al this..My F.P. now thinks I should be back on Zetia to get my cholesterol lower. My LDL is right at 100, My HDL is 35, NEVER MOVES my Trigs are a little high. Started Zetia a week ago. Cost 43.00 $.

Now I cannot sleep because my toes burn so bad and yesterday the joint in my right arm was very painful. I read today that if you have a liver problem statins should not be used. I am stopping the Zetia today and if my toe problems go away I will know it was the Zetia.....I will report in a week. DAP

Unable to tolerate the statins for inherited high cholesterol, I started taking Zetia in 2002, adding Welchol in 2004. By 2005, I thought I had fibromyalgia. My internist ordered an MRI for the lumbar pain, which was normal, and therapy, which did not help. I continued suffering for over two years and then my dental hygienist suggested COQ-10 for healthy gums. I began taking it and within two weeks the "fibromyalgia pain" subsided, leaving me with what was diagnosed as "hip bursitis", for which I began steroid injections.

Still, the lumbar pain persisted. By January 2009, I had a new internist who ordered another MRI, which was negative, and again I was prescribed therapy. Coincidentally, at the same time, I delayed refilling my Welchol because of the cost and, after a week, found that my "hip bursitis" and leg pain had subsided. Nevertheless, I filled the Welchol prescription and the hip and leg pain returned. It was an "aha" moment and the end of Welchol for me. Then, after reading the comments on this site, two days ago I stopped taking Zetia, and while the lumbar pain remains, it is manageable with Ibuprophen.

Interestingly, I have recently read that COQ-10 should be taken with any cholesterol lowering drug - yet when I told my internist that the "fibromyalgia" pain had disappeared when I started taking it (for healthy gums), he said he didn't know what COQ-10 was. During these years of pain, I have been unable to get out of the bathtub, so now only shower, have started using a raised commode seat because of painful leg and hip muscles, and have asked my doctor for a handicapped placard for my car because it was so painful to walk into the grocery store.

I have had to walk at times, holding onto countertops, and spent days in bed, unable to walk due to the lumbar pain. I have nearly fallen down stairs from leg muscle weakness and have even thought that life was not worth living. Is the answer that my doctors have both had samples on hand of Zetia and Welchol, and are beholden to the drug companies? Are doctors not adhering to the Hypocratic oath of "First, do no harm"?

Why have I and so many of you had to suffer, and why is it up to us to be our own physicians? While I am grateful for this "awakening" and the return to a life worth living, the pain of the past five years is still very fresh. At age 71, I have no more time to lose.

I discontinued Zetia and Welchol two months ago after years of agonizing leg, hip and lumbar pain, and am happy to report that I am pain free although some leg and hip weakness persists, perhaps from years of limping. I have tossed my raised toilet seat and no longer have to hold onto countertops to get around the kitchen and the walls of the hallway to get there.

I continue to take Co-Q-10 and have added Niacin, fish oil, and Garlique to my supplements. My cholesterol levels have elevated; however the "good" cholesterol remains high. When I asked my doctor about the years of unnecessary pain, all he would say is, "What's important is that the pain is gone." Bad answer. Were I not so grateful to be pain free, I might waste even more life by being angry. At age 71, time is precious.

I was on Mevachor for about 3 years. Got pregnant with my 2nd child and stopped taking it until after he was born.

Less than a year later (this past February) my bad cholesterol had gone up a little so my doc raised my dosage from 40 to 50 mg.

In May I started having really weird sensations in my right arm and occasionally my right leg. It felt like my arm was losing circulation and would get really cold. It didn't hurt but was very uncomfortable (not to mention disturbing).

I went to a neurologist and had literally every test done on me and they all came back normal. Also went to a cardiologist and found no problem with my heart.

The sensation was constant (and getting stronger) - anytime my right arm would be even slightly elevated I would feel it.

Just a few weeks ago I went back to my regular doc to check my cholesterol and it was still slightly elevated and my liver enzymes were elevated. She switched me to Lipitor.

During the first few days on Lipitor I noticed blood in my urine. This prompted me to look up side effects of Lipitor. That's when I started finding tons of information about the side effects of statins. When I read about the muscle pain and weakness, I immediately stopped taking the Lipitor.

After about 3 days off Lipitor I finally started to feel "normal" again. I went back to my doc and she agreed with my theory that the statin drugs caused the problem so she switched me to Zetia - a non-statin drug.

I started on Zetia this past Friday and today (Wednesday, less than a week later) I started feeling the "losing circulation" sensation a little in my right arm, and also noticed some muscle weakness in my left arm and cramping in my right thigh! I did not take Zetia tonight and I plan to stay off of it for about a week to see if the sensations and weakness go away.

I am 34 years old and 113 lbs. I stay pretty active with 2 young boys, plus I work out a few times a week. Unfortunately for me, the high cholesterol is hereditary. I need to find some way to bring it down, but not with prescription drugs that have the bad side effects.

I got very very bad muscle cramps and pain from zetia.

Your doctor is not correct. The statins don't necessarily cause pain in your whole body; I get severe leg pain from them. Maybe get another opinion, and also it would depend on your cholesterol levels whether going off the statin would be harmful; sometimes I think staying ON the statin is more harmful than trying to see if it is the reason for the pain by taking a break from it. Definitely get a second opinion, that is what I know I would do.

I started taking (Lipitor) in March of 2000 because of elevated cholesterol. Within a few weeks, while in Disneyworld, my leg pain was so excruciating I could barely walk. My doctor said my liver enzymes would be elevated if the Lipitor was the culprit...thus began the fibromyalgis journey.

For 9 years I have lived on massive doses of Aleve and ibuprofen to manage the pain enough to work. Finally, one weekend this June the pain was so bad I thought I must have a deep clot in the left leg. I went to the ER and the ultrasound showed nothing.

The following Monday I saw my doctor and he said...Stop the simvastatin (the last one he prescirbed!) I couldn't believe it. He said he heard this story over and over from other patients and it's the statin causing it.

I quit....within 1 week my legs were so much better. The 2nd week we went on vacation and I was able to keep up with my family and did not have the chronic problem of pain and extreme swelling in my legs.

It's been 3 months since I stopped the simvastatin and my cholesterol is back up to 286. The doc wants to give me some free samples of Crestor to get it back down. I'm not going to do it. I am going to stay active, take vitamins, fish oil, and enjoy my life. I may have a heart attack or stroke. I hope not, but my grandmothers both lived well into their 90's and were never treated for their high cholesterol numbers.

YES - NOT only the statins but also the zetia and the welchol can cause your muscle pain - back in the early 90s before it was common knowledge that the statins cause this pain, I had leg pain - severe. and so, I had a doppler of the legs, bone scan, tested for lyme disease - all were negative. I kept taking the statin, but finally stopped. My leg pain disappeared. Recently I was on crestor and zetia, and I had the worst pain ever and so went to my primary to finally figure it out and step by step we saw that it was the statin.

Then I stopped everything, and my total cholesterol was 499! so upset! I ran home and popped a crestor - no problems but after 3 weeks, the leg pain was back and hurt sooo much. I stopped everything again and then tried welchol - after 3 nights I woke up in the middle of the night in excruciating leg pain. Needless to say, I am frustrated. Let's hope some other type of med is discovered to lower cholesterol. I am only taking lecithin, fish oil and flaxseed at this time. Living in that pain is just NOT living.

Add me to the list-was on Vitorin for two years until I complained one too many times about the severe cramping in my arms and legs, muscle pain at night bad enough to wake up, etc. Tried the diets and supplements-no luck. Now I'm on Zetia, less than 4 weeks in, it's as bad if not worse than Vitorin!

I too was on Lipitor and Zocor. Muscles started to deteriorate. Doctor told me it was not the statins. Got to the point I couldn't walk through the grocery store. Doctor said get an electric cart. She was not at all concerned.

I used to walk everywhere. Could no longer do that so I took myself of the statins. That was 2 years ago. My muscle tone is still so bad. Can't do much walking at all. If I squat down to pick something up, I can't get back up. No strength at all in my legs. I have to crawl to a chair or the couch to get back up.
I think these damn drugs are killers.

Today my medical provider prescribe me the med Zetia. After reading and exploring others comments about this drug I have to admit my thoughts shifted. All people do metabolize and absorb meds in different ways. I just hope I don`t experience any of the side effects or adverse reactions that can come with any medicine. The Zocor really has made a big improvement on my cholesterol studies. My doctor want the numbers to decrease more due to my family hx.

My mom died at the age of 43 yrs. of coronary occlusion and my father died at age 79 of resp. failure with secondary health problems. Their life styles were so different than mind. I am not a smoker or drinker which in turn reduces the risk factors for me. I thank God!!

Originally I was on Baycol and after only about 6 to 8 months, my muscles were so weak that I could hardly get out of bed in the morning. I told my doctor I was going to stop taking them and like others here, he seemed completely unconcerned about the whole matter. I changed doctors and was given Zetia, which I have been taking for some time now.

As I am growing older, I seem to be getting abnormally weaker and experiencing some of the leg pain mentioned by others. I have decided I am going to stop taking the Zetia and try to control this with diet and exercise. I believe the drug companies are killing us with these drugs and no one wants to stand up and do anything about it because they are so powerful within the government.

Obama said he would bring change, but now I see he is working hand in hand with the drug companies like everyone before him.

My Heart Dr. put me on Zetia in December of 08. Since that time have had lots of constipation along with bouts of diarrhea. This has evolved into shortness of breath, heart feeling like it's jumping out of my chest at times, blood pressure shot up pretty high and now either before or during a BM my tongue & lips go numb and my skin turns bright red from my belly to the top of my head. No, that doesn't happen every time.

This occurred in church this morning. On two occasions I had dry heaves or actual vomiting. I quit taking the Zetia but have shown no improvement in the symptoms. So far I have worn an "Event Monitor" for 30 days, had a carotid artery scan and Echo Cardiogram, along with numerous blood tests.

As far as muscle cramps and joint pain, I have that all the time anyway. Only thing that cured that was BEXTRA and it was taken off the market. I feel that Zetia is the cause of my problem since it works in the intestines, but can find no similar problems.

I feel it would be wise to see how you feel when you stop taking the med. Give it at least a few weeks to maybe a month.

I so agree that pain is not a good trade off for lower cholesterol. I am off all cholesterol meds - as far as Red Yeast Rice, I tried two different brands and got horrific leg pain after a few days on each of them. There has got to be another answer to this condition.

I have taken Synthroid (thyroid medication) for 40 years. Then, after taking Zetia and Welchol for a year, began suffering terrible, debilitating, joint, back and hip pain. I gained 20 lbs. and limped so much that I had to have knee surgery to repair tears in the meniscus. Then I read that Zetia and Welchol can bind with Synthroid, rendering the Synthroid useless. I stopped the Zetia and Welchol and tried Niaspan, only to have an allergic reaction.

Desperate, I recently went back to just Zetia - and, after just one month, the back and hip pain have become unbearable. I take corosteroid shots for the hip pain, and yet have recent x-rays showing no abnormalities in the hip. So, fighting high cholesterol has become a downhill battle, as well as a loss of mobility, since permanent damage seems to have been done to my knees and hips, and has left my legs so weak that just walking around the house becomes painful if I'm on my feet for any length of time.

I took my last Zetia last night (took my Synthroid in the mornings as suggested by my endocrinologist), and hope to regain some mobility.

Same thing happened to me - now wondering if it was from welchol, zetia and statins. Off all of them now. It has taken me MONTHS to get better.

I was on statins for 7 years and developed bilateral leg pain. I was then taken off and put on zetia & welchol. 13 months ago, I took 3 levaquin for an infection and was diagnosed with myopathy, after an EMG. I recently took myself off of zetia and welchol, just to see if there was any relief.

My doctor is skeptical, but from what I'm reading, it seems that some folks do get aggravation from zetia and welchol. Has anyone gone through a withdrawal from these meds? How long did it take before the pain disappeared? And, I read somewhere that these 2 drugs should not be taken at the same time. Can anyone help? Thanks.?


I was also on Welchol for over a year and had taken it faithfully and had no side effects what so ever although it was like taking a fiber supplement. My cholesterol was still very high so my md put me on Zetia and Fenofibrate. I was very nauseated after a week on these so I was told to just take the Zetia.

Now I still have the same side effects as others with the pain and heart palpitations so I am going to stop taking it and see if these effects stop. As far as I'm concerned drugs are just that - drugs. They are not natural to the body and can do more harm than good. I will not go through my every day life feeling sick when I felt fine before taking these drugs.

I have been on every statin, all caused severe leg cramps, fatigue, I could barely function. Now Welchol. They said it would not cause these symptoms. Wrong. As I write this, my legs are numb and cramping, my arms are like rubber, I am shaking, my head feels odd. No side effects? They tested me w/o fasting and then said to take four 625 mg Welchols a day.

I think that is over medicating, so I began w/ two. I am a mess. I cannot function on this drug and it is one I will not continue. Now, how long will it take to get back to normal? My cholesterol was 248. Not fasting, 300. Then, she told me to add niacin w/ aspirin. I also have a thyroid problem. It states in the directions Welchol can cause problems w/the medication. Take four hours after the thyroid. No, I am stopping this stuff immediately. I feel worse on this, faster than I did w/the Statin meds. I don't even think I could drive a car right now. I am 46 years old. I feel 90.

I have been prescribed Zetia on a trial basis, as I am unable to take the other statin drugs. I tried two or three of them and all with the same horrible pains in my feet, ankles, arms, wrists hands, down my legs. I was happy to hear there was a medicine, Zetia, that is not supposed to cause these pains because it works through the intestine. So I'm willing to give it a try since I just received two stents and my VAP shows really high levels of the heavy particles.

So I got me a RX for Zetia and nitroglycerin for just in case I have the big one before I can get my cholesterol lowered significantly. I'm trying to be a sport about this but it's only been six days and my wrists and forearms are aching and my heels and ankles and big toes are killing me. I also feel prickly all over, which is an unusual sensation for me. My hip joints are even feeling stiff and achy. Also I'm really tired and my vision is a little blurry.

I have nothing else to attribute these symptoms than the zetia. I'm so bummed cause it was expected to drop my cholesterol 30 percent within a month. Now that I read about others' symptoms not going away for months after discontinuing, I'm thinking I should stop now while I'm ahead, because I suspect I will feel all better in a week. It's all very disappointing. I've been getting plenty of sleep, doing no out of the ordinary exercising, and work is so slow I'm hardly using my hands and arms.


I read your articles faithfully every day in our Buffalo News, and I think you are the only people with any brains at all. I was put on Lipitor years ago because my cholesterol was so high (over 400 at the time) and after only three days I was so sick to my stomach I stopped taking it.

Then he put me on Pravacol and I was able to tolerate is for two years and my cholesterol dropped to about 250. Then I started to have cramps in my legs so severe that I was unable to sleep more than a couple of hrs. at night. Stopped taking any meds for cholesterol and within days I was sleeping through the night.

My doctor retired and the doctor that replaced him decided that my numbers (225) were too high and he has put me on Zetia. The night cramps came back within a day and got so severe that I was up every few hrs. I stopped taking the medicine and am feeling much better.

I am diabetic and am on Metformin and Glipizide. I am careful with my diet and do not eat red meat or anything else that would raise my cholesterol, but he still wants me to take statins. I am almost seventy years old, and although my cholesterol is "slightly high" (his words!) I am not going to take any more stuff that makes me feel so bad.

I tried all the drugs, also - I am 66 years old now, and I will no longer take meds for cholesterol lowering. For over a year, I have been getting a treatment called ldl apheresis - look it up if you have not heard of it - it is very rough to deal with. lately it has become a bit difficult. Without it, my cholesterol will be very very high - over 400. I am now on a strict diet for this and will try niaspan again as well as betasitosterol and policosanol.

no zetia for me - totally ruined my muscles. horrid! just as bad as the statins.

I have been on the drugs for a few years. Works good but the last 3-4 months I have had leg cramps plus finger and hands. I am having thyroid problems so I just thought that was what was doing it. Since reading these articles I know what it is. I did quit 7 a week down to 3 a week and the nights I take it is very bad. Good bye Zetia.

Zetia. Everyone is talking about muscle weakness and cramps but has anyone experienced muscle wasting meaning losing muscle mass. That seems to be what has happened to me unless I have an undiagnosed muscle disease. Any one have this experience?

How long was it before the pain subsided after stopping the Zetia? I have taken Simvastin, Crestor, and then Zetia (I asked for Colestipol, but she wouldn't let me take it, only said it was a bad medicine. I read up on it. The only thing I read was that it DOESN'T cause PAIN... and PAIN was not a side effect... the difference? $40 a month for Zetia, $4 a month for colestipol).

I too am tired of my young lady doctor getting ticked off at me when I tell her I can't move my arms into the air without severely causing the worst pain I ever felt in my life)...

How long did it take for your pain to go away?

Thank you so much Don!

Originally was put on sivistatin and suffered for over a year with what I thought was gout. Was treated for same continually. Could barely get to the bathroom at times without a cane, and had to wrap my feet in ace bandage and wear sneakers untied to work.. quit the drug and symptoms went away but I believe it permanently damaged my joints in my feet and hands and may have weakened my tendons as well. Was put on crestor which I finally quit and then welchol.

After a time realized my back in the area of my kidneys hurt all the time and thought it was from too much beer.. stopped the welchol and the pain has gone from that I am seeing a specialist for cholesterol. He wants me to go on zetia and maybe back on welchol... I am thinking of not doing this after reading the problems connected with it.. Art

I've had 4 back surgeries over the past 35 years, most recently a spinal fusion this past July. I also had a silent heart attack in 2010. Though my cholesterol isn't too bad (170), the Dr. Put me on Crestor, which I stopped after experiencing muscle pain. He then put me on Colestipol, which I've been taking since October.

The muscle pains started gradually, and occurred in areas where I've had trouble in the past (legs, and hip which was replaced in 2008). As a result I had a bone scan, an MRI, a cortisone shot, acupuncture, chiropractic, etc, all believing the pain stemmed from prior orthopedic problems.

Then it hit me like a thunderbolt that the muscle and joint pain was a reaction to Colestipol. I stopped the medication 5 days ago, and may never take a prescription medication ever again!

I have severe joint a muscle pain from taking statins for several years, my Dr took me off a week ago, some of the muscle burning sensation has ceased. My question is, is the joint pain and weakness permanent, as well as the fatigue??

I find it fascinating that the "side" effects of the statins are so similar to the zetia and the welchol, even though they have very different mechanisms. Perhaps it's because these effects are not "side" at all, but they are directly caused by the lowering of cholesterol.

You know there is not particularly much data that suggests that lowering "high" cholesterol is good for you. There is certainly data that says that high blood cholesterol goes along with higher risk of heart attack and stroke -- but that is a LONG way from saying that the cholesterol is causing the risks. Perhaps the cholesterol is part of the body's own defenses against something bad, and lowering the cholesterol interferes and makes your health worse?

It's not that I'm claiming that cholesterol is good for you, the point is NOBODY KNOWS one way or another. They just saw the correlation between the cholesterol and the risks and immediately started engineering drugs to get rid of the cholesterol. I notice that there is a correlation between burning buildings and an abundance of firemen -- do you think we could lower the risk of structure fires by killing off fire fighters? I notice that there is a correlation between people having elevated white blood cells and being sick and dying from infections -- do you think if we give people with elevated WBCs immunosuppressant drugs, or deliberately infect them with HIV, then that will prevent them from getting infections?

Knowing things is good. Understanding when you DON'T know something is far more important.


There was an interesting article, in the Wall St.Journal, on Jan 23. It raises the question of whether healthy people should take cholesterol meds at all.

Like many of the patients above, I have high cholesterol. In 2009, I started on simvastatin. I was in extreme leg pain for 1 1/2 years, each time telling my doctor how much my leg muscles hurt. It got to the point where I couldn't walk back to our parked car. I'm sure the doctor knew the simvastatin caused the leg pain but did nothing to help me. B/C I couldn't walk with out pain, I gained a tremendous amount of weight and then this joker tells me to lose the weight.

How the hell could I do that if i couldn't walk or even stand. I changed doctors and this new one put me on zetia and started to experience the same severe leg muscle pain. So I stopped. I was also taking lisinipril which caused me to suffer endless coughing to the point it hurt so much, I had to hold my head when I did cough. I now take red yeast rice & niacin instead of those other drugs. Now at least I can function like I did before the weight gain.

During a trip I experienced left knee pain. Thinking it was overexertion from the trip I let it go for a week waiting for the pain to subside. It didn't. I went to my GP and was checked for possible blood clots (from long air flight). Then bone x-rays. All were clear.

My doctor wanted me to see an orthopedic surgeon and possibly a rheumatoid arthritis specialist. This advice was too severe in my opinion. I've never had this symptom before. It was acute pain. It had not built up over time. I went to a chiropractor/kinesiolgist. He suggested that the Zetia I have been taking for several years is the culprit. I am taking coQ10 to offset the affects that Zetia does in the intestines per my chiropractor.

I also am going to stop taking the Zetia. Putting an icepack compress on my knee helps. Thank you everyone for sharing your symptoms. Don't put too much faith in persons with GP, MD, etc behind their names. As for me, I will educate myself through research. Happy, healthy, healing! Stacy

My husband is an outdoor active person of 84. He spends most of the day outside, mowing, weeding and keeping the yard up. He takes Zetia. Two days ago he developed weakness in his legs and arms and now cannot get out of his chair. It took 15 min to get him up from the chair and in the bedroom. He says it feels like his legs aren't there. He had bad experiences on other cholesterol drugs after a few months such as flu like symptoms, aching and our son said to stop them. After 48 hrs he started to feel better.

We stopped the Zetia today. He is also light headed and dizzy and this all happened in two days. We had been to the mall two days earlier. Does anyone know why this is happening. Normal vitals at the Dr today so he doesn't know what it is and said to go to the emergency room. Help

I went on Zetia mid February 2013 and pushed through the migraines as my doctor said it was the last solution to my high cholesterol not being able to take statins. A week in I developed a cold which got worse and the muscle weakness and shooting pains increased. I last took it May 2 after a prescription cough medicine, prednisone and 10 days of amoxicillin couldn't eliminate the cold and sinusitis. My hand, chest and leg pains were debilitating, not to mention the weakness. I also have genital herpes from the 70's, breaking out a maximum of 4 days a year until I took Zetia. I immediately broke out and it lasted 7weeks until a few days after I stopped the drug.

The diarrhea, flu, herpes, headaches and shooting pains have gone after a month off Zetia but the joint aches and weakness similar to arthritis are still there. I see others with these horrible side effects and don't see much info on how long it takes to regain strength and lose the pain. Any comments on that and the herpes?

I have fired my doctor as he knew I had hypothyroid and was on a blood thinner. The Zetia interferes with low thyroid and the Fenofibrate (?) he added as the Zetia raised my triglycerides was not filled by my pharmacist as it interferes with blood thinner. Now I am trying niacin coupled with apple pectin which reduces flushes. And, thank you for my pharmacist!

My cholesterol has been under control with Crestor and watching my diet for a number of years.
Five months ago I indulged myself with gelato almost every night as well as rich desserts and red meat! Needless to say my cholesterol shot up to 228.

Two months ago my cardiologist added 10mg of Zetia to the Crestor medication. I have been experiencing aching thighs, arms and lethargy since adding this medication, but never made the connection that the culprit could be Zetia. I am calling my cardiologist tomorrow.

I think it's important to share also, that two months ago both my husband and I have been on the South Beach Diet... Gluten Solution. Not only did I lose ten pounds but I am proud to report my cholesterol diminished to 138...for the first time in my life!!

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