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Can Statins Cause Debilitating Muscle Pain?

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Q. My doctor insists I must take statins to lower my cholesterol even though I experience pain with all of them. Sometimes the pain gets so bad that I struggle not to cry when I walk down the hall of my child’s school.

My doctor says I should accept what he calls “a little discomfort” because studies show statins reduce heart disease. He gets angry if I refuse to take them.

Who is ultimately responsible for my health, me or my doctor? He says this pain is rare but I know a lot of people who have had the same severe muscle pain.

A. We too have heard from many patients who experience debilitating muscle pain as a side effect of statin-type cholesterol-lowering drugs. One reader wrote: “I have had problems with Lipitor and Vytorin. I had severe muscle and nerve pain. My doctor said he didn't believe it was from Vytorin. I stopped the medication and slowly got better. It took 7 weeks.”

Some doctors don’t believe that statins can cause side effects such as muscle or joint pain or memory problems. Others have seen so many cases they have developed different strategies for lowering cholesterol. If your doctor isn’t taking your complaint seriously, you may need to see another doctor.

We are sending you a CD of a radio interview we conducted with several physicians who have studied such issues.

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253 Comments

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I also had pain taking statin drugs. At first I thought it was my age, 70, but not so. My Dr. put me on Red Yeast Rice 600 mg.

I take 4 a day: 2 in the morning & 2 in the evening. Have been on it for over a year, and no pain.

I am thankful.

tp

I have been taking Vytorin for almost 2 months. When people complain of muscle or nerve pain, is it all inclusive? Or could it happen in one tiny part of one's leg? I'm suddenly getting this odd pain (like a very painful twitch) on the outside of my left calf. It happens only on certain movements. Could ONE pain come from a statin?

I have recently had trouble with leg cramps on the front of my legs. I had them when my "mail-in pharmacy" switched me from Lipitor to Zocor some months ago. Then the "mail-in pharmacy" switched me to a generic of Zocor, Simvastatin. The leg cramps became extremely painful.

One afternoon I was coming home from work and the cramps were so bad I had trouble pushing the brake pedal down. I pulled to the side of the road and tried to massage the cramps out of the front of my legs. That is difficult because it doesn't feel muscular.

I called the doctor and told him I was taking myself off this medication (I had just been in for a check-up and had related the problems with leg cramps). Thankfully, he concurred, told me to stop them for 10 days and then restart to see if the Simvastatin is the problem.

I am taking statins too, atenolol 50 mg and pravastatin 20 mg, and I am bothered with leg cramps off and on during the day but especially at night. I used to walk a lot but now the pains stop me.

I took Lipitor from the beginning of January, 2000 through the beginning of November, 2002. After several months, I began having muscle cramps in my calves that would occur multiple times during the night. This developed into cramps that were so strong I couldn’t even flex my foot to get relief. I had to have my husband use his strength to push up on the ball of my foot. On several occasions, in the middle of the night, I had an excruciating pain in one leg or the other that didn’t go away for hours. It was intolerable if I was still, so I walked and cried and begged God to make the pain stop. Then I started to get cramps in my toes on a regular basis. After a little over 2 years on Lipitor, I started to have muscle twitches (fasciculations) in my calves upon awakening in the morning. I could watch my legs “ripple.” This would go away for the rest of the day once I was on my feet. This was followed by tingly, numb-like feelings in my legs and feet. It got so it was very difficult to walk.

The doctor who prescribed the statin did not associate any of these symptoms with the drug. I had numerous tests, MRIs, EMGs, arterial Doppler, blood tests, etc. Everything has come back normal. Then she said something to the effect of, “I’ve just read Lipitor can cause some muscle problems. . .maybe you should try to taper off that for a little while and see how you feel.” I said if there’s even a chance it’s the Lipitor, I am going off it totally. So I discontinued Lipitor as of November 2, 2002. Since that time, I have done a lot of research on statin side-effects and found that many other people have these same symptoms. According to Dr. Peter Langsjoen, a cardiologist in Tyler, TX, most medications destined to cause an adverse effect will do so early on but he found this not to be the case with statins. "You don't realize you're in trouble until two or three years later, and it's hard to relate it to a drug you started a few years ago.” He has found that statins deplete the body’s coenzyme Q10 which can cause serious side effects – including cardiomyopathy (the very thing statins are supposed to protect against.) (http://www.vaccinationnews.com/DailyNews/July2002/StatinInduced8.htm)

I have not taken a statin in 5 years and although I no longer have the excruciating calf cramps at night, I continue to have problems with my toes cramping–-I have to wear sandals or go barefoot because shoes are too painful-–I still have fasciculations nearly all the time, worse at some times than others, and still have episodes of tingling, prickling feelings in my feet and legs. It often limits the things I can do. I have lost much hope of ever being well again.

After reading about it in my "Best Choices from The People’s Pharmacy," I have started drinking grape juice and Certo--mainly for my bad knee--and hope it will help my cholesterol levels as well, although that’s the least of my worries now. When my doctor said, “What are we going to do about your lipids?” I said, “Nothing. I don’t care anymore!” My mother has had high cholesterol levels since they first started checking for such a thing and she never did anything to “control” it. She is now 93 and in good health--still going up and down stairs several times a day. Even now, her doctors want her on a statin! How insane is that? She refuses knowing what I have been through.

The only thing I wish right now is that I could find a physician in my city, Austin, TX, who recognizes statin damage and might be able to help. I have been prescribed other meds for my symptoms, but I am NOT taking another prescription drug and possibly dealing with another set of side-effects!

My husband was hospitalized several times due to severe leg pain caused by elevated CPK levels. These enzymes can rise when statin drugs are taken. Normal CPK is 30; his were over 300. Red yeast rice affected him in the same way. So far, Zocor (10 mg.) seems to be keeping his cholesterol down (to 130) and his CPKs to 30.

I do wonder sometimes if the statins brought on his Parkinson's, however. No family history of this disease but the onset came about 3 years after he started statins.

About 7 years ago, I was put on Lipitor. I didn't like the way it made me feel--extreme fatigue, dry cough, felt 100 yrs. old. I then refused to take it against doctor's advice. I developed neuropathy (numbness) of my toes. Now 7 years later, this neuropathy has spread up to include my whole foot. Went to a neurologist, who diagnosed neuropathy, but he also said it couldn't be due to Lipitor. I am a retired registered nurse and I KNOW that Lipitor caused my problem. Doctors are not admitting that the statin drugs are very dangerous. I hope I live long enough to learn that the medical profession now admits statins are a dangerous group of drugs!! Because I am sure this will eventually happen.

My doctor had wanted me to take statins a year ago because of high cholesterol, but my daughter told me to try red yeast rice with CoQ 10 for a few months instead. My cholesterol dropped 30 points in 3 months after taking this product 2 times a day. My doctor was amazed and I continue this dose. Results of my blood work, last month, cholesterol was 189, my good cholesterol was 62, bad was 102 and my chol/hdl ration was 3.0.

My muscle pain is restricted to the thoracic area of my back, and only occurs while sleeping. When I rise to sit in a chair, it goes away after 30 minutes, and I am pain free the rest of the day.

I am curious about using the Certo and grape juice to alleviate arthritis pain. What amt. of Certo should one
use per 8 oz. glass of juice?

S. Lindsay

I have been taking Lipitor for several years. I started having muscle weakness about a year ago. I told my doctor and she took me off of Lipitor for 4 weeks, after I told her the things I had heard about Lipitor and muscle weakness. She said that was long enough to see if Lipitor was the problem. She put me back saying Lipitor was not the problem. I felt that she was just placating me. I now use a cane. I have lost weight and my muscles are deteriorating rapidly and my body is a mass of skin and "flab". Is there a specialist who could determine the cause?

I have been on statins for many years and started first with Mevacor, and when it stopped being as effective, my docotr switched me to Zocor. I would guess I've been on Zocor for 5 years, taking 40mg. I use the generic. This summer, I started noticing pain in my right thigh. It would be intermittent and it took me about 2 months to realize it was getting worse. The pains started to become stabbing in nature, and I started gasping in pain when I'd get up from my desk at work.

I phoned my doctor and made an appt. She agreed it was probably due to the Zocor and took me off of it immediately and also had my blood drawn. Meanwhile she instructed me to start taking Coenzyme Q-10. The first day after not taking Zocor, I was better, and within 2 days, I did not notice any pain at all. In about 4 days, she called with normal blood test results and suggested I give the Zocor another shot.

After being off of it for a week, I went back on it. I have been back on it for about 3 weeks, and started having the severe thigh pains again yesterday. I decided to increase my Coenzyme Q-10, to 2 per day (50mg). I noticed big improvement today but will need to give it a few more days to determine if the added enzyme is helping. After reading this blog, I also plan to add the red rice yeast. I'll report back later.

I started having leg cramps, sometimes every hour at night, about 1 month ago. My Dr. prescribes qunine 200 mg every other night & I also take Hylands leg-cramp pill--1 every other night. I also started magnesium supplement 250 mg and a Vitamin D 400 I.U. everyday. V-D helps keep you out of the bathroom so much from the magnesium. It is working so far. I do take Lipotor and have for 7 years. Dr. addressed this and said the same thing every other Dr. said. Not the Lipotor! D.Bell

My mother, who was recently diagnosed with early Alzheimer's Disease, started to get muscle cramping and numbness in her legs. Her neurologist said it could be due in part to the AD, but can also be caused by Vytorin, which my mom has been taking for over 5 years. When we mentioned this to her GP and cardiologist, they both said it couldn't be that (based on their thoughts that it couldn't be that).

As the pain became worse and my mom slipped into a down-spiral of depression, my sister and I researched every single one of her medications and found the side effects she was having in at least three of her meds (Vytorin, Atenolol, Hyrdalazine). We told her doctors we were taking her off of the Vytorin to start to try and isolate which medication could possibly be causing this, and would be keeping a daily/weekly log to chart her progress. Her GP said if it were the Vytorin, she would feel the difference within a week, but a lot of posts we read said otherwise, and it seemed 4-6 weeks would be a better assessment of improvement after taking a drug out of your system.

After the 4-week mark, my mom's neuropathy seemed to lessen markedly. During the 5th and 6th weeks, her "attacks" which usually happened once or twice a day, happened TWICE in two weeks. It was evident to us that the absence of Vytorin in her system was linked to her improved conditions.

Unfortunately, her cholesterol went up to 265 and her GP put her back on the Vytorin stating Zetia, a non-statin med, would not be strong enough. It has been almost two weeks since she has been back on Vytorin and she is slowly going back to having muscle pain and numbness more often than not. Is this not evidence or what?

My sister and I are determined to be advocates for my mom and look for an alternate remedy for her high cholesterol so she can be free from the Vytorin. We luckily have her Neurologist who was aware of the effects of this drug and is open to his patients' personal experiences and facts other than statistics.

After taking Lipitor for a couple of years, I suffered loss of muscle mass. Thought it was age-related (I'm 61). Went to DisneyWorld last fall and, due to 12 hour days walking and standing, had extreme muscle pain throughout my whole body.

With my doctor's concurrence, I stopped taking Lipitor for several weeks last January. Notable regrowth of muscles, particularly in my hands and arms. Went back on Lipitor in the spring and muscles disappeared again.

Stopped taking Lipitor in August. Hand and arm muscle mass regrowing already. Just completed a Disney vacation where I stood and walked for 10-12 hours a day. Only my feet hurt. Lipitor is definitely the cause.

I took several statins over a period of several years. I started having peculiar leg weakness and pain after about a year. I complained several times to my doctor but since I am overweight and 57 with arthritis, my complaints were mostly attributed to lack of exercise and weight.

I finally decided to stop the statins on my own and the discomfort lessened, although it has not gone away completely. It seemed to get worse after sitting for any length of time in a hard chair. Pain medication does not help. I DID start exercising in a regular program but this was difficult since standing was painful and some of the exercise seemed to make the pain worse.

Finally I searched the web and found an article about the coenzyme q10. I started taking it 2 days ago and already feel a difference in my legs. Even though I was fat and exercised seldom, my thighs were always hard with muscle. I didn't really notice until recently that my thighs had gotten flabby. After I took the enzyme my thighs are hard again.

I CANNOT understand why doctors do not know about this longlasting effect even after discontinuing the statin. I wonder if I will have to take the enzyme the rest of my life and am hoping that it will continue to work and that it is not just a placebo effect.

I started taking Niaspan instead of the statins and it has not lowered my cholesterol enough. I am supposed to start taking ZETIA but am afraid it will have the same effect. The doctor says it will not but then she didn't connect the leg pain with the statins either.

After reading all these comments and taking Vytorin for about three years I think maybe it has caused the severe nerve pain in my feet. My Dr. prescribed Lyerica two years ago for the neuropathy and it has helped tremendously, but my dosages keep going up. It also has several adverse side effects, many of which I have and have to take two additional drugs to combat those.

Will it ever end? I would like to cut back on my prescription drugs, but don't think my Dr. will easily go along. I am sure I need to do this gradually, but don't know where to begin... I am about 40 lbs overweight, have had two Achilles tendon surgeries in the last few years which makes exercising difficult. Help!

I have been takeing the certo and grapejuice for joint pain for years and it has really helped.

Now I have heard that certo in grape juice or tomato juice can help to lower your cholesterol. Especially if you take 1 teaspoon with juice 3 times a day.

Do you have any information on this. I read this on http://www.healthcentral.com/cholesterol/c/35668/16481/fruit-cure/pf

Have been taking red yeast rice for 4 months. My cholesterol had been around 200. I have seen a friend, mom, and son-in-law lower theirs by 50-60 points after just a few months. I am a retired RN and have strongly suggested to them they not take statins because of side effects.

My son-in-law's MD had prescribed red yeast rice (1200 mg dly) w/ good effect. I, however, began having muscle and joint pain that slowly became unbearable and had extreme difficulty w/ ADLs. After hearing an ad on TV for Lipitor w/ a warning to call MD immediately if severe muscle or joint pain should develop… I further researched the red yeast rice and discovered it is the main ingredient in Mevacor, w/ similar symptoms and side effects.

Apparently red yeast rice can give you the same side effects as the statins, but for a much lower cost! LOL. I have discontinued the red yeast rice because my cholesterol is not too high, and there are studies indicating that cholesterol levels have little or nothing to do w/ cardiovascular disease. One article indicated the set of studies used verifying the efficacy of statins was flawed, that the researcher who compiled the information was convinced he was right and pushed the results to his favor. This is done often. I can’t say where I read that; I have read a lot on line, and have not made note of it.

If you should research red yeast rice or statins, you are bound to come across this and other information. Everyone is urged to research their supplements and drugs. And not just the info the drug companies provide! Most supplements can be harmful or useless.

I have resolved my problem by taking 60 mg of co-Q 10 twice daily and my symptoms seem to be reversing after just 3 days. I hope this continues. I suggest everyone take a co Q 10 supplement w/ either statins or red yeast rice and have your MD test you the same way for red yeast side effects as he/she would for statin use. Better yet, exercise, lose weight, and go on a low carb diet to keep cholesterol under control. Or not. A better attitude about life and illness is far superior to any medication. Be well.
Peg

I had been on Lipitor (20mg) for at least 10 years. Originally I used to take it every other day as it made me feel tired. About 3 years ago my toes started to get numb and then my legs ached and felt weak. It began to spread to the rest of my body and felt like I had flu all the time! I do not drive so I need my legs to work well.

The doctor tried tests and these did not show any problem. He put me on Simvastatin but that gave me blinding headaches after 3 days. I developed leg cramps at night, sometimes both legs at the same time and from my toes to crotch. My circualtion was checked and found to be fine. I developed quite pronounced Lymphoedema in my left leg
and then in my right to a lesser extent. I have never had cancer so this was not caused by cancer treatment. Some vein damage was diagnosed by dopler scan. I started taking Co- Enzyme Q10 having read about this on websites and the situation seemd to get a little better. The doctor gave me 200 mg of quinine. The cramp problem is intermittent though I cannot detect a pattern.

About 6 weeks ago I told my my doctor that I had read about Lipitor givng such problems and he took me off it and put me on the non-statin Ezetrol (Ezetimibe) and thugh still weak and suffering from occasional cramps, things are slowly improving to the extent that today I was able to to dig the vegetable patch over in an hour, with a few short breaks.

It does seem as if Lipitor has a weakening effect on leg muscles for some people and that this can take a long time to become apparent and to wear off. I am not sure if there is any evidence of Lipitor causing varicose veins or damage to the Lymph system.

My quality of life is slowly improving without Lipitor and I am just hoping that I can keep my cholestorol levels down with just diet and Ezetrol.

Vytorin's post marketing side effects lists respiratory disorder: coughing. After 15 months on Vytorin and experiencing a debilitating cough which had me on a cough suppresent at night and another med during the day to function, I inadvertantly discovered an obscure section called "post marketing experience" which mentioned respiratory disorder: coughing.

August '07 I stopped Vytorin and had immediate changes: no heartburn, extreme fatigue disappeared, increased alertness, ability to sleep and slow diminished coughing. In a month I could function w/o medication for day or night, although the cough did not disappear.

It was exciting and I had hope for being cough-free by November. In October I reached a plateau and have not been able to shake the last half of the cough.
I am scared I shall be afflicted for the rest of my life. Has anybody ever fully recovered from respiratory problems? How long did it take and what was your experience?


I took Lipitor for about 18 months, but after the onset of very bad muscle pain and fascilitations [muscle ripple], my doctor took me off them and sent me for checks with little result other than being given a sedative [clonazepam], which did little other than make me feel odd. Another specialist has recently put me on "Atenalol", which after reading the comments from others has similar effects. Can anyone confirm this, as the cramp-like pain and muscle twitching have got considerably worse, plus my legs from the knees down feel like they are freezing.

My life currently is a living hell with little sleep and constant pain plus little ability to rest without being stricken by debilitating pain whose only relief is to walk around, but in walking it holds the prospect that when I stop to rest the problem comes back sometimes even worse.

I have been taking Lipitor for about 2 years, and I get severe muscle cramps. I almost pass out sometimes. They gave me quinine to take, which helps. But now it has been taken off of the market. I have been asking the doctors why am I getting the cramps? I also get them in my rib cage. They all say they don't know. I would love to hear from people that have this same problem. The pain of the cramps is excruciating. They make me cry and scream. I have been searching for 2 years to see if I can find a cause.

I have tried Crestor, WellChol and Vytorin and with all three had excruciating leg cramps or charley horses in my calves that would awaken me from sleep. Then my muscles will be sore for days or even weeks.

I've been on Lipitor for over a decade with no significant side effects--my insurance made me switch to simvastatin. I play soccer on the weekends and thought I had pulled a groin muscle--and my feet hurt more than usual. When the pain didn't go away, I started to suspect the change in meds. Luckily lipitor fell back into favor with the insurance co., and I switched back.

Interestingly, I was talking to another guy on the soccer field, and he had the identical experience with simvastatin (sore groin muscle, burning feet). Gotta think this is not just a coincidence.

After 3 mo back on lipitor, my pain is only marginally better, but exercise seems to help. I started to take coq10, but reading these articles, I'm going to resume.

I have been taking Zetia (10 mg) for over 6 months with short breaks when I was sick or took antibiotics. My gut has not been right since. I have had severe gastritis (NOT caused by bacteria) and recent bouts of lower abdominal pain requiring ER visits and a hospitalization for suspected diverticulitis. All extensive tests negative for that or any other reason... Surgeon called it IBS, but I never had anything this bad (I am 65). My prescribing doc said to stop the Zetia--and I am NOT going to take it again.

I got similar complaints from a couple of other persons taking Zetia. I cannot tolerate statins: weakness/depression and breathing problems.

I was taking 400mg/day of Red Rice Yeast to address high cholesterol for about 2 months till I ran out. Only after about 2 weeks being off the stuff did I start to experience the pain some of you are describing (sometimes sharp pain in the right calf). It felt so diff. I went to the doc and had ultrasound done on my leg looking for clots. The blood test he did came back with elevated liver enzymes which caused me to start doing my research in more depth. I'm fairly convinced that the Red Rice yeast caused my issues and damage to the liver.

Does anyone know how long it stays in your system and how long I might have the leg pain?

Although I have had osteo and ra for yrs, it has gotten worse the last yr... I hve been on generic lipitor for three yrs.. All of a sudden last summer I started having shoulder and elbow pains and lost strengh.. Unable to hold my arm back and bend it like the other arm... Pt and shots didnt help... I really think it's due to the lipitor, and going to stop taking it... I know the dr won't like it... But still will tell her.

I had been on lipitor for almost 10 years. Symptoms were so gradual that I wasn't aware of the reason. My first problem was terrible pain in the achilles tendon, making it very painful to walk. This pain spread to every joint and muscle in my body. I could not do any of the normal things I had done all of my life, even walking to the mailbox. I thought I had developed arthritis and was put on celebrex which had to be increased constantly to help with the pain. I was also unable to sleep, and when I did, I had terrible nightmares. I had never had any kind of pain or insomnia in my life! I also developed several other health problems which made me question the lipitor. I had unclear vision, bladder problems and brittle fingernails.

Since being off lipitor for about a year, I do not need the celebrex because the only muscle and joint problem I have is upon rising from a sitting position, but when I start walking I am fine. My vision is now okay, my fingernails are strong again. I still have the chronic bladder problem (IC) but have learned how to control it. My doctor is not happy that I won't take a statin drug for my cholesterol, but I never will! I did my own researh, but my concern is for all the other people who are now in wheelchairs and may not be able to research or understand the dangers of statins. What will happen to them?

I have heart damage caused by a virus, since I didn't have blockage. They say I must keep my cholesterol lower than most, because of the damage I already have. My last two cholesterol #'s were 240 and the latter 260. My doctor argued I could eat grass and not lower my cholesterol.

I was determined not to take statin drugs and started on Red Yeast Rice, 1200mg twice a day and Coenzyme Q10. Last week I went for bloodwork and got the lecture that these products would not help me. I have been taking them 3 months. The nurse called with my results and I laughed out loud! My total cholesterol was 160. My HDL was 100 and my LDL was 60. So as you can see I dropped 100pts in 3mths and have had no side affects.

Most Doctors don't believe it, because they believe the drug reps and what they tell them. I have to say that my Cardiologist is on my side and said it would be fine for me. He will be happy when he sees how well I have done! Don't take prescription statins. They do more harm than help. If you do take them, you better take the CoenzymeQ10 too. Statins deplete it and leave your heart in danger.

After suffering an ischemic stroke in December 2007, dr prescribed Lipitor as one of my meds. I immediately felt odd after taking my daily dose - tingling in my hands, pain in my thumb, fuzziness in my head.

I initially thought it was aftereffect of the stroke but I experimented with "not" taking certain meds to try and isolate the problem. I finally concluded after my experiment as well as research on side-effects of Lipitor that the statin was the culprit. I advised my dr and he removed Lipitor from my regimen.

The strange feelings almost immediately stopped except that I have lingering pain in my thumb - and it acts almost as if it were double jointed (in a painful way). Any suggestions on how to get rid of any lingering after-effect of the original side-effect?

I WAS ON LIPITOR FOR 3 YEARS, THEN IN DEC WHEN I WOULD GO TO GET OUT OF BED MY RIGHT LEG WOULD CRAMP AND SHAKE FOR ABOUT 30 SEC AND MY LEFT LEG WOULD BURN. I HAD A BLOOD TEST AND A MRI CHECKING FOR MS. EVERYTHING WAS NORMAL.

I QUIT TAKING THE LIPITOR AND HAVEN'T HAD LEG CRAMPS SINCE THEN, BUT MY LEFT LEG STILL BURNS FROM THE KNEE TO MY FOOT WHEN I'M SEATED. SOMETIMES IT DOESN'T BURN FOR A WEEK. COULD THIS BE FROM TAKING THE LIPITOR? I HAVEN'T TAKEN IT FOR 4 MONTHS NOW. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET RID OF THE EFFECTS OF LIPITOR? I STARTED TAKING FLAX SEED. IT LOWERED MY BLOOD PRESSURE. HAVEN'T HAD MY CHOLESTEROL CHECKED YET; WILL HAVE IT CHECKED IN JULY.

My husband was on various statin drugs for 7 years with Vytorin the last straw. He has suffered muscle wasting, depression, atrial fibrillation, forgetfullness, unable to finish a sentence, etc. I would like him to start COQ-10 but am afraid to mix this and warfarin. Has anyone else taken COQ-10 with warfarin? Any problems? I'm sure his doctor wouldn't approve of anything. My husband refuses to take any more statins and has told his doctor so. Thanks to all who have written their experiences with statin drugs. How can we get doctors to realize how dangerous these drugs are?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY ANSWER:

We do worry that CoQ-10 might interact with warfarin. This should not be considered unless under extremely careful medical supervision.

I have tried 3-4 of the statin drugs all with bad muscle side effects. I was encouraged to try red rice yeast--a statin--but my instincts told me to stay away from that which stops the production of cholesterol and other good stuff like CoQ10. Instead I have decided to block the absorbtion... by using plant sterol/stanols found in CholestOff and Promise supershots... It has worked with no side effects so far.

My wife started on Lipitor. By the 2nd day she already had severe side effects. She was in so much pain that she would scream at a lite touch. Muscle wasting, depression, forgetfulness, unable to finish a sentence, unstoppable sweating, ect. She had almost all of the symptoms that are listed in clinical trials, mostly the ones happening in less than 5% of the people taking them. Her Dr. has her now on Red Yeast Rice 2400 mg at bedtime and also on Coenzyme Q10. It's been 5 months since she took the Lipitor, and she still hasn't completely recovered.

My doctor didn't think my pain was from my simvastatin 20mg., so took me off fora week. On the fourth day, started feeling better. On day 7, like a new man. So he switched me to crestor. By day 3, pain; day 4, I was not able to put my own eye drops in because of shoulder pain and hands swollen. Now back on simvastatin. I am now taking SAMe 600 mg a day along with statins. SAMe was developed in europe and can be bought as a vitamin. Also lots on the web. So far I feel better after only a week; may have to increase from 600 mg, but started low on purpose--no use in overkill. 2 yrs ago I could bench press 175. I am 65--now my 53 lb dog is a chore to lift. So check out SAMe.

I started taking a statin about 3 months ago. I developed pains in my upper back, so sharp that it takes my breath away when I try to get up in the morning or after laying down. I read an article on statins causing muscle pain a few days ago and stopped taking it 4 days ago -- now I'm waiting to see what happens.... This pain is nothing like I've ever felt before.......

Back in the mid-ninties I was put on Lipitor by my pysician. Within a few months I started developing muscle pain (but not cramps) in my thighs and upper arms. It became so bad that I had difficulty going up steps or lifting anything with my arms. I was eventually taken off the Lipitor (for other reasons) after less than a year of use. However, before stopping the Lipitor, my muscle pain became more widespread and has continued to this day even tho I have taken no statins since then. Eventually my muscle pain was attributed to fibromyalgia as I seem to have all of the classic symptoms of that disease. But here is my point --- I now believe that it was the Lipitor that brought on my "fybromyalgia" like symptoms. I belive this because there have now been many documented cases of others having a similar reaction to Lipitor and other statin drugs. I am rather surprised that there has not been mention of this side effect in this blog.

My husband has never taken any meds, but at 72 began taking medicine for cholesterol. He has taken about five with statins but cause pain in his legs or back and sometimes affects his thinking. He will go off them for about three weeks then back on with the same effects. He also now has high blood pressure, and given a prescription, also had problems with it. Red Yeast Rice affected him the same as the statins. Do we just go on with life? He takes fish oil, but that only helps one part of cholesterol but there are no side effects.

He has given up in regard to medicine. A friend of his is in a wheelchair because he waited too long to get off a statin cholesterol drug.

I hope that all of these comments will not go on deaf ears to doctors and drug companies. All of these people are living testimonials to the horrid side effects of statins. They seem to be all having the same type of problems that I had while I was on statins.

After 10 years of high cholesterol and adjusting my diet the doctors felt I should be put on statins. I avoided them before this because at the age of 68 I am physically fit and have worked out for many years plus doing yoga, do not smoke and am not over weight. I also have a sensible diet.

The doctor started me on Zetia which after 3 months bloodwork proved that it did nothing. Next came Lipitor and after 3 months on that I had definite muscle pains and cramping in my legs and feet. The doctor then put me on Crestor and after 3 months on that I could barely move. My body was listless and my muscles hurt so badly that I could not roll over in bed.

I know that there is some connection to all of your stories and these statins. The doctor said that I cannot take statins at all. I am wondering if they have played a part in the severe infection that I have with my fingernails now? I suspect so. I would go so far as to say that in the years to come I am wondering if we will find out that these drugs were a blessing and a curse.

I will not go back on any statin and just within a couple of weeks of being drug free I feel much better. I, too, am taking Co Q 10 and have to be careful with the red yeast rice which leads to liver problems. Good luck to anyone that realizes the bad effects from any statins on certain people. I think we are all better off without them. Who knows what they are doing to our bodies?

Just one comment--red rice yeast contains a naturally occuring statin. It actually contains several compounds collectively known as monacolins, substances known to inhibit cholesterol synthesis. One of these, "monacolin K," is a potent inhibitor of HMG-CoA reductase, and is also known as mevinolin or lovastatin.

I have statin neuropathy, so I'm not trying to defend the drugs, but merely to point out that if someone advises you to take red rice yeast as an alleged "natural" alternative to a statin drug, you are being misled.

I have tried every statin out there and got the same results: Terrible leg pains, muscle twitching and finally muscle loss. It got so terrible that I couldn't get out of bed or in and out of cars without lifting up my own legs (I'm only 50) It took me a while to figure out that it could be the pills my doctor has been subscribing. I thought it was because I was just getting older. The last two prescribed were Prevastatin & Gemfibrozil (at the same time) doubling the dose on top of it because my results were still not to where they should be. I decided to stop taking them and look into other alternative medications out there. Hopefully, the pain in my legs will go away and I can get back on with my life the way it was before statins. Shame on all you doctor's out there still prescribing these terrible drugs.

I suspect there is a genetic link. I am a male in my 30's. Both my mother and I had severe muscle cramps in our left calfs within a week of taking statins. Both of us stopped taking the drugs within a month, as we had both cramped so hard that the muscles ripped. It took months for us to recover. That was several years ago, and I haven't had muscle cramps since getting off statins. (I was on Zocor, she was on something else.) My doctor refused to believe that the statins had done this. I got a new doctor.

I started taking Welchol in the fall of 2007, not for high cholesterol, but for lifelong chronic diarrhea. It worked, and I was so happy.

Then 6 months later I started having severe leg aches. I stopped taking the Welchol, but the leg aches continued, and my doctor cannot find anything wrong with me. I continue to work my 12 hour shifts as a nurse, but I hurt so much! Today, July 26, I started taking Co Q 10, and I really hope it helps! I would hate to think this will last forever.

I have tried various chloestrol lowering drugs including Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor, and Vytorin. Each had a set of its own side effects that made my active life miserable. Muscle & joint pains are the most common. My feet feel filled with some load and fatigue.

Now I am taking red yeast and havent seen many of these effects except bloated feet. Off and on I have muscle weakness that goes away but today I took red yeast after a few days of break and am having pains in my left calf and cant sleep.

I have been on Lipitor at least 10 years for high cholesterol. Last summer I attempted a 10 mile walk in the Snowy Mountains. As I walked, I noticed a pain in my left groin developing.

By the time we stopped for lunch it was quite severe and I was glad of the break. In the afternoon the groin pain became so constant and bad that I was seriously worried that I would have to be carried out as an emergency evacuation. However, by going slowly and putting one foot in front of the other, I was able to complete the walk.

My greatest fear was that the right groin would also become involved. So far that has not happened, but I would be afraid to do a 10 mile bush walk again if we go to the mountains next summer. I am getting left groin pain when I take short walks now, and even when standing, such as at lawn bowls. I have taken myself off Lipitor after reading all these blogs.

I don't want to end up in a wheel chair. A friend has told me about COQ10 and fish oil, which can help lower cholesterol. I have always been a fit, healthy person and, at 59 years, should not be having difficulties and severe pain when walking.

I was put on Vytorin for high cholesterol. Within a few months, after running for years, I could not run. The balls of my feet became so tender to walk on, and the muscles in my upper-middle back ached so much I had to lie down to relieve it several times a day.

I told my Doctor and it went over his head. I quit taking the crap and the pain is almost 90% gone. I began eating more vegetables (lots of garlic) throughout the days and My bad cholesterol went from 230 to 137 in three months. No soft drinks,sweets,or any other junk foods. Fish and lean meats.

I developed polymyositis, Fibromylagia,sleep apnea, and neuropathy from the drug Vytorin (took for only 4 months). I affected my liver, kidneys, and pancreas in an adverse way.

I saw two general practioners, an endocrinologist, a sleep disorder analyst, a Rheumatoligist, and finally a surgeon for a muscle biopsy.

Blood studies were ordered by my Rheumatoligist. A surgeon remove a piece of muscle about the size of a #2 pencil and sent it off to Children's Hospital for analysis. The muscle Biopsy confirmed Polymyositis/Intermyositis. The sample indicated serious muscle cell distruction and was saturated with the Statin drug. Several Blood tests for CPK, Lipids, Liver, Kidneys, and Glucose Tolerance were also performed.

My CPK was 2600 almost 20 times what it should read. My total CHL dropped from 250 (H) to 62 (L). The HDL went from 29 to 39. I had severe pain in my back, hips, legs, arms, and neuropathy in both feet and hands. All the above occurred over a 4-5 month period. I have been off the CHL Medication for 10 months and my CHL is normal 199/39. However my CPK that gets taken every 2 months since is still around 900 and goes up and down +/- 100 points.

I still have polymyositis and the pain severity depends on my daily activities.

I have trouble breathing and swallowing and often get dizzy after swallowing food.

I am on CPAP and a sleeping pill so I can sleep for 6-8 hours. Still wake up with severe cramps in both legs, mainly in the calfs.

Initially the manufacturer indicated less than 1% of the people taking Statins are affected like I am. They also indicated 6 months ago they were taking Vytorin off the shelves since it was not lowering Cholesteryl like they thought it would. Since then they are admitting it lowers the Cholesteroyl too much in some patients.

Oh yeah, besides several visits to the hospital, I had to have a brain MRI done because of serious problems with my memory, concentration, and sense of balance. Turns out I lost few brain cells because my CHL was too long. Go read what CHL is good for as far as protecting brain cells etc...

I know many folks that started to take Vytorin, Lipitor, Zocor, and Zetia, and had similar symptoms as I did but some got off it real quick and recovered after a year.

I was on lipitor and ended up in the emergency twice with horrible muscle pain, so bad I could not sit down, along with nausea and vomiting. The second time, I was away on vacation I ended up in the emergency room again for the same thing and a very knowledgeable woman Doctor after asking what medications I was taking , knew immediately that it was the lipitor causing it and told me to get off it immediately because it was causing a dangerous reaction. I am now on Welchol 3x per day with no problems. It seems all the statins are a problem for me.

I've been on Statins for several years with no apparent problems. About 2 months ago I began having leg pain similar to shin splints. My doctor ordered an ultrasound and xrays as I was concerned this was a blood clot. At the same time she increased my Simvastin as my Chol. was going up. Within two days the leg pain was worst to the point that I couldn't lift my foot to get into slacks and unbearable at night.

As soon as I laid down the pain got worst and I started having severe calf cramps. I stopped the statins four days ago and the pain isn't any better. I'm a nurse and I can't believe no one has mentioned the information I've received on this site. I'm going out to get the COQ10 and just hope it will help.

My husband has been suffering from severe leg cramps for several years and recently they seem to be getting much worse. After reading all the comments about statins and cramps I believe it is obvious that there is a connection. We didn't know about this until we saw a doctor on the news talking about it. I was shocked that my husbands doctor had not mentioned this even after my husband complained twice about leg cramps getting so bad. I am so glad I found this site. Now we can take the message from all of you and the doctor we saw on the news to my husbands doctor and maybe he will listen more seriously to my husbands complaints. Thank you all and the doctors too.

My husband started experiencing severe muscle pain and weakness after 2 1/2 years of Lipitor 80 mg/day. After several consultations with a rheumatologist including a muscle biopsy, he has just been diagnosed with polymyositis (muscle inflammation, cause unknown). Treatment will include prednisone and other meds.

The pain is gone now but it may take months to regain his muscle strength. The doctor says he doesn't believe that Lipitor caused his disease, but I am not convinced.... and don't believe your doctor when they say that symptoms can't start after months or years.

I have been on Vytorin for two years....no problems. Just recently, I have developed severe muscle/tendon-like pain in both my upper arms. I can move them forward, but not backwards, like to zip a dress or buckle a bra. I thought age was catching up with me, and it's only just dawned on me that it might be the Vytorin (Have been reading things about statins). Had my yearly physical 4 weeks ago and I discussed the latest news about Vytorin with my doctor. She changed my prescription to generic Zocor, which I haven't started yet. I'm quitting statins completely for a week, to see if the arm pain goes away!

On 8/1/2008 my new insurance company switched me from Lipitor to LOVASTATIN -- a cheaper, generic. On 9/10/2008 I experienced the most intense pain, spasms, and cramping in my left middle back (Latissimus Dorsi muscle group) that I had ever felt in my life. BTW, I have no history of any back problems whatsoever. My physician treated me for back muscle pain with Vicodin and Baclofen and physical therapy which provided minimal relief. By 10/10/2008 I had visited 2 urgent care clinics and a hospital ER for continued and increasing pain; I spent many nights pacing the floor unable to sleep, sit, or lie down -- it was a nightmare. The next day I reviewed my meds and especially focused on the LOVASTATIN since it was the newest drug I was taking. I read in the LOVASTATIN warnings that "this drug may infrequently cause muscle damage (which can rarely lead to a very serious, possibly fatal, condition called rhabdomyolysis)." That is when I found this web site article (Can Statins Cause Debilitating Muscle Pain?) and read all the comments listed above. I immediately stopped taking the LOVASTATIN. Almost 2 weeks to the day that I stopped taking it, my mysterious muscle pain abruptly stopped. I guess I'll never know for sure if the LOVASTATIN was the source of my back pain but I would say, in my opinion, it is highly probable it was. Even though "statins" are a government approved drug group and widely used (and actually was quite effective in lowering my bad cholesterol), I was in, what I like to call, the "2nd test group" -- that is, 20-30 years from now, the drug manufacturer will update their warnings with all the data gathered on the "2nd test group" -- us! Hope this helps someone. Thanks for listening.

I have been diagnosed with severe arthritis for over ten years and told I need a hip replacement. I knew until then I'd just have to tolerate the groin/thigh pain. Well I started taking Lipitor and after about 6 months, I was in unbearable pain, particularly both my thighs and buttocks and groin area. My doc took me off the Lipito and in two weeks, my pain was lessened 50% or more - the right side not helped so much as that is where the "bad hip is".

Well about 2 years ago, my doctor informed me Crestor WOULD not cause muscle pain, etc. - After a year, my pain got worse but I attributed it to the worsening arthritis due to not having my hip replacement and also discovered left hip was also arhtritic. But the past few months - this sharp pain that awakens me at night - or occurs when I just move muscle (mostly in thighs - and buttock) but sometimes in groin and knees. The pain is so deep it feels like it is in my muscles.

I intend to start taking crestor 1/2 a day then 1/2 every other day and see if it helps. Problem is last blood work showed my chlorestol was high. This is third statin I've tried, if this is causing the pain I need an alternative.

I took Lipitor for about 2 years and had little effect on my cholesterol. While I took lipitor I had severe joint pain, neck, arms, ankles plus cramps in my legs and toes. Then I noticed my calf muscles starting twitching (both legs) and I could see my muscles jumping all the way down to my ankles. I ask my doctor about the twitching and she said it was just a tic.

I don't notice it when I stand or walk just when I sit down and at bedtime. My doctor changed me to Crestor about 2 years ago the aches and pain went away but the calf twitching has continued.I think this was a side effect of the Lipitor, I still have leg cramps at night the doctor prescribed Quinine sulfate which I take every night before bedtime for the cramps which really works great.

I to can not take statins. My doc. told me to take a strong dose of a Niacin drug. My muscles still hurt! I stopped taking the Niacin drug as I would get horrible leg cramps and my blood work showed Uric acid! I no longer take statins or Niacin, but still my muscles ache. I no longer get a many leg cramps, but I ache all over, especially at night and mornings.

I take 30 mg Lipitor, 5 mg Norvasc and 25 mg Novo Hydrazide. Taking medication at breakfast gave me cramps mostly at night. In November I changed to taking medication, vitamins, and supplements to the evening. I now sleep well with no cramps and cramps are minimal during the daytime. I feel much better and my tests are slightly better than before.

I took statins (Zocor 40mg) for only about 4 weeks and developed terrible leg pain in both calfs and around my knees within a couple of weeks. After researching online found many people with the same symptoms. I stopped taking the drug for 4 days now and have had little relief so far. I hope each day gets better.

My side-effects mirror what has been written here. I posted in another section so I won't repeat myself. It is beyond me why doctors who prescribe statins don't take the pain seriously. And, it is my opinion that any doctor in related fields such as pain management, orthopedics, etc. should know the possible side effects of statins. I have been met with incredulous looks by other doctors, even with "what is a statin?"

I am a teacher and do a lot of research. My doctor changed me from Vytorin to Lotrastatin and after 6 months my hands are shaking and my muscles are so sore I think I have the flu. I work out every day for an hour on the step or with aerobics so when I am so sore I can't lift my arms I know I had a great work out or something is wrong. I also take many supplements including Co Q 10 since I take a statin but for the last week something has been wrong.

I stopped taking my cholesterol medicine two days ago and feel so much better....coincidence? My ratio for good and bad cholesterol is 1 to 2. 120 to 200. Makes you re-think what is important. Quality of life and oh yes my inflammation is less than .5 Hmmm ...makes you think. I think that my relationship with statins is over.

I started Vytorin 10/80 last summer about the time I started getting into walking. I was up 25 miles a week.

Than my feet started to bother me. I just figured that I had over done it. So I took a couple of day's off. It didnt help.

I stopped taking it in October after thinking about it.It did help but some said the pain I had sounded like Planntar fishitis. I know that the spelling is wrong. With the bad winter we had I was not able to go out walk until feburary.

I went saw my Doctor in January and told him about my problesm and pain. My dad died of heart failure and my Doctor was his,he said that my makeup is taking after him in somwways and that why he wants to get my numbers down. So I tried again with Vytorin 10/40 this time.

I wake up with both feet very stiff it takes about 2 minutes for me to walk almost normal and If i sit to long some thing. My foot feel sore if walk to long like from a parking lot into a store. I stopped taking it about 3 or 4 weeks ago. They feel better my calves are not tight and sore but feet still feel tender and my right foot feels like I am limping on it.

I go backt to the doctor next tuesday. Does the Q-10 help with pain caused by the stain's or does just help lower it. Hope to be back to normal by October so I can walk in the Portland OR, Marthon it would my first.

I had heart attack in January 2008 and was given as part of a programe simvistatins 40mgs a day .in the first month I was having terrible muscle spasms in my back which come and go ,but now my whole body is in pain my shoulders and arm joints knees etc even to touch are extremely painful plus headaches , I feel its like having the flu . my doctor checks me out with blood tests and says everything is fine , but I am not convinced . if everything is that fine how come my pain is getting worse . HELP

I have been taking red yeast rice for several years and was successful in lowering my cholesterol from 220 to 190. In the last several months I have had numerous inflamed trigger points, fatigue, hip, arm, neck, and back cramps, and muscle pain. I have also noticed that over the last several years I seemed to have lost muscle mass and tone. After researching the possible causes, I have discontinued red yeast rice since it has the same ingredient as lovastatin. I hope my symptoms will go away. I would like to know if this is reversible.

I have been taking Lipitor for some years increased to double strength about two years ago.
I am hypthyroid (oroxine) and have hypertension - also take Micardis PLus, cartia, Losec (Oesophygeal ulcer) - had been concerned for some years re loss of words and memory - 62 - working journalist - a damn nuisance. Have had awful pain in finger joints for as long as have been taking lipitor - also much aching of hips, knees through night. Have taken glucosomine for many years which seemed to help - also years of back (disc) problems and sciatica.

Six months ago - injured L5 disc and sciatica worsened so intensely - ended up at surgeon and MRI showed badly damaged disc and compression of nerve root - have had to take stronger and stronger painkillers - now oxycontin. Surgery next month (laminectomy) decided after reading newspaper article a couple of months ago - by English journalist questioning statins to take myself off the Lipitor.

Pains in fingers lessened - still waking with sciatic pains - and it's clear that the disc problem has been the major cause of pain - but my thinking processes do feel better. The oxycontin causes other problems but enables me to continue working at least part time. Anyway not taking Lipitor means one less pill to pop and after what I've read I can no longer have full confidence.

I have been on Lipitor for about 9 months. Before this, I had been on Lovostatin for 5 years with no problems.

Since Lipitor, I have torn a calf muscle. Gradually my leg muscles have begun to ache so bad that the pain is non stop.

I woke up in the middle of the night with excruciating leg cramps and a knot in my calf muscle that felt like a rock under my skin. Since being on Lipitor the cramps and leg muscle pain only gets worse with time.

I did a search today on leg muscle pain and came across this site. I am convinced that Lipitor is the cause after reading so many people having the same problems.

I never had any kind of trouble like this before.

Red Rice Yeast causes the same problems -- get her off the Red Rice Yeast, take CoQ10 and let her recover. Her cholesterol is probably fine without any more of it--and it's not worth the damage to your liver.

I took Red Rice Yeast--all my numbers changed within 6 weeks--down from 225 to 181. That's good enough. The HDL's and LDL's are fine too. But I also developed weak legs--despite my exercising they feel weak--and my right calf seems hard and swollen. Someone else talked about muscle wasting--I'm overweight and my thighs have always been solid and filled out--and the other day I was shocked because they looked lumpy and flabby from the FRONT! I think I've got the muscle wasting going on there too.

I'm going to get some CoQ10 and see if I can reverse the damage. Please--RRY is just as potent as statins. Slow down on it people--every statin drug ad is followed with the disclaimer that they haven't proven links between cholesterol and heart attacks. Maybe we're all getting duped.

I have very high cholesterol. I tried Lipitor a few years ago and developed some muscle issues, so went off of it. Now, again, my cardiologist put me on Crestor in January, 2009. After 4 months, I again started noticing some bad cramping in my feet, mostly, but now also in my legs. I went off of the drug the first of May. My doctor said to wait a week and then cut the dose in half. But the muscle issues did not resolve after a week so I was not anxious to take any dose of this medicine. The doctor said if the muscle issues didn't resolve after a week it was something other than the drug causing it.

But I tend not to believe this. I went to my regular doctor and she is amazingly anti-statin drugs. She told me to just stop taking it. So now more than a month has passed off of the drug and I still have twitching, cramping, pins and needles sensations. I guess my questions is: Can a statin drug trigger these problems and remain long after the drug is out of my body? I am going in for blood work next week.

I had high cholesterol and decided to take the docs advice and go on Lovastatin 40mg. It brought everything down in half after 3 months. I started getting leg cramps and foot pain and lower back pain thinking it was my occupation as I work in the fishing Industry. I continued to take it a total of eight months and the pain got worse and I'm in my off season, so I'm not sore due to heavy lifting.

To top it off my levels were checked and everything is very high again, even on the meds. I quit now for 4 days and am waiting to see results on the painful muscle issue. Pretty sure I won't even try another kind. The way I see it I need to eat healthier and lose weight and take my chances. I don't feel like fixing one thing with the meds and crippling myself in the process. I'm 58 and I was feeling terrific until they make they make you take a cholesterol test and scare the hell out of you with the results. Rather take a chance than be a cripple!

I took Lipitor for 6 months (this was 2004) and suffered muscle pains in my legs, back and chest. Eventually my hip joints lost so much strength my hips actually felt wobbly. I had always been a robust walker but suddenly a 30 minute walk put me in pain for 3 days. I felt weak and I was scared. I looked Lipitor up online and I realized that the statins were damaging me. I had apparently become a "rare" statistic.

So I stopped the Lipitor. But the damage was apparently done. 6 weeks later, as I was sleeping, my back muscles spasmed with such ferocity my wife had to drag / carry me moaning to the car and to the hospital. In great pain I lived with a spasmed back for over a month -- by which time my arm muscles in my left arm had simply wasted away.

Medications and physio (I was going twice a day -- ice, electricity you name it) did not help loosen the muscle -- but fortunately I got huge relief from chinese acupressure. I'm absolutely serious -- nothing else would break the spasm and the pain. That was 2005. Bit by bit my strength has returned. For 2 1/2 years I've worked 3 days a week with a physio therapist -- and now she is more my trainer than therapist as I am fairly fit.

But I still have numbness from nerve damage -- along my left arms and into my fingers. And I still occasionally get leg cramps at night. And I think about the possibly thousands of people out there who have no idea what is happening to them.

In any case, I take 200mg of CoQ10 daily which I have heard is good for recovery. FYI, my doctor originally put me on Zocor -- when I complained of pains (it was almost immediate) she put me on Lipitor. I stayed on Lipitor for 6 months as I could not really believe that I could really be one of those "rare" cases.

From my point of view statins are scary dangerous -- at least for some of us. Considering the number of people reporting problems and pains from statins I am dismayed that the drugs are still so casually handed out. I believe this will change one of these days.

In the end, I am at least grateful I got enough info to stop using them; and got it early enough to achieve a pretty good recovery. Thank you for making this forum available for me to tell my story and to read all the others.

Laura D Grady?

Do you still read this thread? If you do, would you please respond? I am in exactly the same situation as you posted you were in. Muscles are gone and my legs are just skin and this weird flab. Weight is falling off me despite reasonable calorie intake. I can barely walk, and am using a cane. I know it is from the statin I was on. Doctors are denying it, saying that my CPK isn't elevated. I am having an EMG soon and am hoping something will show that will prove it to them.

In the meantime, I hope for both our sakes, and for everyone else out there suffering as well, that you got better.
Thanks,
Cyd

Cyd, very scary. I assume from your note that you are off the statins now. I too think about all those suffering who have no idea. I believe the horror of statins will cross over and become a mainstream issue one of these days.

Hi Joel,

The weakness is terrifying, isn't it? It first happened to me in the shower. I had to call for help. I couldn't stand up or get out.

I was very heartened to read in your story that you are making a good recovery. Would you mind saying how you are feeling now (back to normal or almost?) and what your thoughts are about how much influence on your recovery the Co-Q10 had? I am hoping it will help. I just started taking it yesterday.

Yes, I am off the drug. Unfortunately, my total and LDL cholesterol shot up to 246 and 176, respectively when I went off, which scares me like crazy. I have had heart disease for years and was doing so well on the statin in the two years I took it. Just a short time ago, while still on the statin, I passed a stress test for the first time in ages. I was so grateful. Then this happened.

The fact that these drugs can prevent and reverse heart disease is amazing. But if I had known the price was going to be my legs, I would have torn up that prescription and ran.

Cyd

Hi Cyd,

Thanks for the response.

Basically the spasm in my back created nerve damage along my left arm. I still have numbness in my fingers and I can get a kind of nerve ache down my back and arm when sitting in some positions. My sense is I will always have these remaining symptoms.

But I feel pretty good otherwise. I should say though that it took me about 2 years to be able to say that! It is now pushing 4 years since I stopped taking Lipitor.

I still have high cholesterol, but fortunately I've never had any heart disease; so I believe I am less worried about it than you.

More than ever, since this horrible statin experience, I am focusing on lifestyle:
a) I exercise 3 times a week.
b) I am an omnivore -- I eat everything and I don't worry too much about fat content. I focus on getting nutrients from a wide range of foods.
c) But I eat almost zero packaged foods and I eat almost zero added sugars in my food.
d) I drink wine daily. I like my coffee strong in the mornings.
e) I take a some supplements daily:
CoQ10 200mg
Vitamin C
Vitamin E
Vitamin B complex
Pycnogenal (pine bark extract) 50mg
Grape seed extract
Folic acid
Flax seed oil
Since starting these roughly 3 years ago, you might like to know, my skin and complexion are very fresh and healthy looking.
f) I go annually to get a thorough medical check. Blood and heart (stress test). My doctor tells me, usually with surprise (knowing my cholesterol is high), that my heart and arteries are "perfect". Everything in the blood work is "perfect" other than the cholesterol.
g) I make a priority of getting enough sleep.

I'm 56 years old.

My first intro to antioxidants was reading Ray Strands' book, "What Your Doctor Doesn't Know About Nutritional Medicine May Be Killing You". Very worth reading. Worth noting, he doesn't mention the Pycnoginal (which I learned about elsewhere). I consider Pycnoginal one of the most beneficial supplements I take.

Hope this info helps. Good luck!

I am on coumadin and take COQ10. The thing to remember about being on coumadin (warfarin) is to have them dose you to what YOU do, what you eat, etc. We need vit. K foods for our health, we should never totally cut these out. The trick to managing coumadin is being consistent. If you take CoQ-10 just take the same amount every day.

There may need to be an adjustment in your dose of blood thinner, but eventually as long as you are consistent it will be OK. If you eat a big green spinach salad, or kale or whatever that is high in vit. K, just eat it consistently. I eat something in the vitK family every day.

Pretty much the same amount every day. Can't eat a big spinach salad for lunch and then broccoli and kale for dinner because I know I can't pull that off everyday. I eat everything I want and just make sure I get in approx the same amount of greens every day. INR levels are almost always good. Traveling can sometimes change things up a little, but not by much. Good luck. CoQ-10 is (I hope) helping me heal from years of lipitor and crestor. I will never take that stuff again. My muscles are sooooo weird and uncomfortable in my legs.

I too have had muscle spasm (severe) in the piriformis muscle located in the butt. Nighttime in bed was the worse.The pain has subsided substantially but it took over five months. Therapy didn't help at all, neither did shot of cortisone. I can eliminate the statin because the pain started before the statin but after the atenolol. Therefore I will be concentrating on the atenolol as the cause.

I just happened to find this site because I too have been having severe pain in my upper legs. I have been taking Simvastatin 40mg for about three years. I have suspected the connection to the pain for some time but my Dr also said it would not happen this long after taking the drug. After reading these posts, yesterday was the last time I will take this drug.

Hopefully damage has not been done. I am so grateful to have read these posts because I thought I was losing my mind and my Dr suggested I see a therapist! I will post later on my progress.

I was on a 10mg simvastatin and in January this year my Doctor increased it to 40mg, no explanation and I accepted this. Now in November I have been suffering severe cramp in my legs, shaking in my arms and chest and severe pain in my joints. Having seen a tv programme last week on statins and the effects I approached my Doctor (different Doctor) about the programme and he told me to stop taking the statins for a week and see if the symptons die down.

I am having to walk on crutches because my left leg wont lift up. Shouldn't patients be told of the dangers of these drugs - as in July my Doctor gave me tramadyl and it reacted with warfarin and I collapsed and was black from head to foot.

My Doctor started me on Simvastatin because of high cholesterol. I also have MS but am able to get around pretty fair. I was on the drug for one week and had they terrible cramps in my thighs. I had never felt anything that painful. I try to walk and then the pain comes on and the cramps and it stops me in my tracks.It felt like my muscles were being eaten away. I was only on it for two weeks but now I am off of it. I hope that this pain goes away b/c I have challenges in walking already.

I hope that someone who prescribes these drugs would take notice of these problems.

I was on simvastatin 10g for a number of years then suddenly without warning my dosage was increased to 40g (just over a year ago) even though my cholesterol was 3.5. I was getting cramps and trouble with my left arm. I then started with minor shakes which I am told now are possibly parkinsons disease. I don't feel ill but occasionally have the shakes which I can stop at a minutes notice but return again. I wonder now if this is due to the statins (which I am no longer taking) but my doctor keeps saying start them again.

I have felt better in myself since stopping the statins but of course I have these shakes. I have now been put on Madopar but have refused to go on the higher dose because quite frankly the side effects are worse than the disease. Am I doing right by avoiding these tablets, I am 73 and always been active, should I just take my chances?

I take Lipitor, and my doctor wants me on it... I experience lower back pain, neck pain, and some leg pain... all seem to be persistent and nothing appears to relieve the pain, so I continue to sit in front of the TV, which helps nothing. When I do exercise (like walking) it feels as though my lower back swells up or feels thicker in mass until I sit back down for at least 30 min to one hour... and I try again. Any IDEAS? Thanks.

"Statins such as Lipitor can potentially cause a dangerous side effect of muscle breakdown. Make sure your doctor checks the CK level in your blood; if it's high it could signal muscle breakdown."

I'm going for a CK test this morning because of constant muscle ache mainly in the arms. I jumped off crestor 2 weeks ago after 2 years (way too many permanent side effects). I'm female, have 2 stents. Instead taking 4g vit c, fish oil, chinese herbs) - Creatine something Kinase maybe. Sorry I don't have more time right now but please look it up.

I had taken Lipitor for about ten years,then in Oct. 2006 My cholesterol went from 190 to almost 300. I started walking stooped over, all my muscles became very weak, and I had to use a walker. When sitting I could only raise my foot an inch off the floor. I had a muscle byopsy and it came back inconclusive. I stopped taking Lipitor at once; and have not taken it since.

After four years of going to several doctors, I still don't know for sure if it was just a result of Lipitor. I am able to do most things when I am sitting. I still use a walker. When I stand I cannot stand on my own unless I have something to hang on to. I am unable to stand up straight without it feeling like someone is punching me in the gut. I find it hard to reach for things in closets or anything above my head. I am a lot better than I was 4 years ago, but I would like someone to help.

I have taken Welchol, Zetia ,fish oil, and all kinds of vitamins, but I cannot get the cholesterol down.

I asked the doctor checking my cholesterol to give me the generic for the medicine I am taking since the insurance would be cheaper. I get my medicine by mail. When it came I didn't recognize the name. I was told it was a generic that would cover both of the pills (gemfibrozil). Now I find out it is a Statin drug. This doctor knows I am not supposed to take them. This is the same doctor I have gone to for years, but I have not seen him in almost a year.

I get my blood work done every 3 months. They call me and I go and pick up a copy of the results, ask if he wants to see me and tell them if I need refills. I think I went looking for a new doctor.

I'm 69, very active, and have been on Lipitor for 10 years. It is the only prescription med I take. In the past six months, I've experienced thigh muscle weakness and pain to the point that my activities (biking, skating, skiing) have been severely curtailed. I told the doctor this last week and asked if it was a sign of aging. He said it probably was. When I Googled Lipitor Leg Pain I was amazed at what I saw. The doctor had not mentioned any of this. I've decided this morning to stop the Lipitor for 4 weeks to see if my weakness goes away. Thanks for your forum.

I have been taking vytorin for many years and within the last 5 months have been experiencing nerve pains and itchiness all over my body. My doctor recommended me to stop taking the vytorin for a month, went in to see her today with no change. I asked her if I needed to take more time without the vytorin to see results, since I have been taking it for years, but she said that it didn't matter, I should have seen an improvement by now and that I should start taking the vytorin again.

Shirley,
Have you ever received and answer re: pain in rib cage area? I have the same pain in addition to muscle pain. I just started taking Benicar a month ago.

There is no doubt that statins cause muscle weakness, spasms, cramps, etc.

Hello,
I am hypothyroid, and was under medicated for two years, which pushed my cholesterol sky high. I now have high blood pressure as well. I was put on statins and my body didn't like them at all. I have been through all of them up to press, and was tried on ezetimibe, which was just as bad.

I stopped taking them, but after a blood test I was told I had to get my cholesterol down, which I was trying to do, with exercise, 30 mins a day. I don't smoke or drink, I don't eat meat, so my doc said I must go on pravastatin 10mg. After a month I had a blood test, and my cholesterol has come down but not enough, so pravastatin was raised to 20mg, then the problems came!

My backside started aching in the first week, then the ache went deeper into the ball joint, and down the outside of my thigh. From there it went to the back of my lower leg and into my feet and toes. This means I have to take pain killers (which I already have for my back, but I only take them at night because I don't like taking them too often (Co-codamol 500/30mg, which is 500mg paracetamol, 30mg codeine). These tablets will shift anything; except these pains I'm getting now! I now have pains down my left arm into my little finger, and have now reached the point where I can no longer exercise. So,I am in a dilemma, Exercise doesn't work (if I could exercise), my diet is very good, I don't smoke. I am out of options?

In 2004, I was informed I had high cholesterol. I was otherwise a 56 year old, healthy woman. I started to take Red Yeast Rice. My doctor also prescribed 20mg of Lipitor. Within a month, I could not walk. My thigh muscles were unable to move forward. The doctor said my cholesterol had dropped over a hundred points. Great! She said to stop the Red Yeast Rice and continue Lipitor. I did. I was able to walk again, but I gradually felt increasingly stiff, with aching joints.

The doctor suggested Glucosomine. I took it. No help. In 2006, I relocated and my new doctor increased the dosage of Lipitor to 40mg. I reported increased stiffness and aching. She suggested COQ10. I took it. No improvement. Soon I developed plantar fascia pain, first in one foot, then in both. The podiatrist ordered orthotics. I use them. They help a little.

Then, at the start of November of 2009, I began having severe burning, stiffness and aching in my shoulder joints and ankles along with the heel pain. I suffered for two months. Unable to tolerate the pain, not knowing if there was any connection between my pain and Lipitor, on January 1, 2010, I stopped Lipitor just in desperation. Within three weeks, my pain lessened 50%. The burning in the shoulders stopped.

The constant, intense burning in my ankles lessened. My left shoulder now feels nearly normal. My right shoulder, the shoulder orthopedist says, is "probably bursitis". He did not comment on the Lipitor narrative. Both of my ankles have achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. The physical therapy prescribed has not helped.

I await the results of my MRI on my ankles. I have had blood work done to "exclude such illnesses as Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis." The podiatrist and ankle specialist says they are "seeing an increasing number of inexplicable cases of neuropathy, ligament, and tendon pain." The prescribed Ibuprofen. I cannot walk or stand for very long unless I wear 2" heels to take the weight off the ankles and heels. I believe this is all caused by Lipitor. It seems to have accumulated in my system.

My parents are both 88. Neither I nor my family have any history of illnesses.
The doctors are reluctant to make a connection with Lipitor. They say "there have been no studies to support my symptoms with Lipitor." They say "maybe Lipitor exacerbated a pre-existing condition." My body tells me that Lipitor has caused my condition. I have been off it for four months, but I never improved beyond the 50% reduction in pain that I experienced after stopping Lipitor for three weeks.

I fear I have irreversible damage. I fear I will never take walks again, hike, dance, and shop. I use ice compression several times a day. I wear ankle supports. The specialist ordered night splints, and one black boot. (I had to stop using the boot because it threw off my posture and created pain in the sciatica). Monday, I will see the ankle/foot orthopedist again for follow-up. My ankles are tender, swollen, painful, stiff. My right shoulder hurts constantly.

I will get the MRI results and blood work results Monday. Lipitor does lower cholesterol, but it wasn't worth it to me. I had no heart conditions. I regret ever taking it. I would rather have had an active, pain free sixties than live to eighty in pain and inactive.

I took Simvastatin for about 10 months and started experiencing the most painful cramping in my feet and ankles. This pain became so bad that I could not even move my legs at night. I have an active job which requires me to be on my feet everyday and this pain was debilitating.
I finally told my Dr. and he scoffed at the idea that it was the statin causing the pain. I went off the drug anyway and the extreme pain lessened. I am now Statin free for about 2 year and although I don't have the burning terrible pain I am still having problems in my feet and have used every method to reverse it with mixed results.
I also have high cholesterol numbers and take a drug for my severe neuropothy. (caused by the statin) I also take fish oil,garlic, flax seed milk thistle, co10 etc.

Drinking fruit juice, like the grape juice you drink, can cause your triglycerides to be very high. I was told that by a cardiac class nurse following a heart attack a few years ago.
And, yes, I have worsening leg pains and I am on simvistatin.

I am also hypothyroid and have high cholesterol that doesn't come down even though my thyroid dosage is correct. I went the statin route as you did. I tried two different brands and both gave me severe muscle pain and cramping. The Crestor was the worst. I went off them and will take my chances with high cholesterol. If you read some of the literature you find that they warn doctors to prescribe statins with great caution to people with hypothyroidism. Muscle disturbances can lead to serious permanent problems. My doctor agreed with me... and said to get off them!!

I had already tried Liptor and Crestor, neither of which agreed with me, so my statin obsessed doctor decided I needed to try Zocor. My cholesterol seems to stick right at 240 without any medication. I had it down to 195 without drugs, but that wasn't good enough for my doctor. Well, about a month after starting the Zocar, I began to have pain on my right side. At first I didn't think much of it, it had happened before over the years, with no known cause.

However, the pain became worse and more widespread. Soon my back, sides (left, right or both), stomach, lower abdomen, arms, elbows, and knees were randomly hurting; sometimes all at once, other times just in one or two places. It got so bad I could barely get out of bed or even walk.

I went to my GP (not the doctor who prescribed the statins). Instead of believing a statin could cause it, he had me get a CT and colonoscopy to look for cancers, and when all of the tests found nothing, he told me it was just stress or "spastic colon." All those tests cost me a week off from work and more than a third of my yearly income, even with insurance.

Both my GP and doctor who prescribed the statins told me I had to keep taking the drugs, or else I would "die of a heart attack before I'm 40." I finally decided I was not going to live the rest of my life, however long that may be, in agony just to keep my cholesterol a little lower than it always seems to be.

Obviously I don't want to have a heart attack, but I can't be bed ridden by these blasted drugs. When I go see the doctor who prescribed the statins, he will again demand I take them, accompanied by the usual garbage for refusing to take the drugs he demands.

On 20 mg lipitor for 4 years now, pain in one hip, both knees and thigh muscles that burn all day and night. I'm going off the lipitor and taking the COQ-10, does anyone know how much I should take? I can't believe the muscle that I have lost in my thighs. Help.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: EXPERTS RECOMMEND 200 MG COQ10 DAILY FOR PEOPLE TAKING A STATIN. YOU MIGHT TRY THAT WITHOUT QUITTING YOUR MEDICINE. BE SURE TO CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR.

Anyone know how long it takes for statins to completely leave the system once you STOP taking them??

I had those same symptoms as you with terrible charley horses in calfs and toes. I went off statins 4 weeks ago and still have tingling feeling in legs but no charley horses at night. I don't know how long it takes to get out of system.

I previously wrote about severe burning and stiffness in my ankles and shoulders. After taking Lipitor at 20mg for about three years and then increasing to 40mg for about the last three years, I suddenly developed the intense burning and stiffness in November. I suffered for two months not connecting the condition to Lipitor. I stopped Lipitor on January 1 as an experiment.

I improved 50% within 3 weeks. The surgeon said I would not recover more, the statin was out of my system, that the statin may have exacerbated a pre-existing condition but did not cause it, that bone spurs were irritating inflamed ligaments, tendons, bursae. After blood tests showed no other illness and the MRI showed this inflammation, and XRAYS showed bone spurs, he recommended surgery on both ankles and shoulder. The recovery time is extensive. I am 62.

My left shoulder recovered totally within 3 weeks. My ankles are now at about a 55% recovery; my right shoulder is still painful. I have been treating my ankles with ultra sound 3 x a day, compression ice wraps twice a day, massage, night splints, heel cushions, hydro therapy, elastic support wraps, elevation, walking in 2" wedges (flat, athletic shoes hurt. My exercise is just a recumbent bike and water aerobics. I walk as little as life will allow.

I will continue this routine through the year. If I still have pain, I will re-think the recommendation for surgery or just live with the condition. My gut feeling is that the statin drug may indeed leave the body, but it may leave behind damage to nerves, ligaments, tendons that have stress on them, such as ankles, shoulders, etc. I will have my cholesterol retested next week. No doubt it will be high, but I have no other indicators . . . no other health problems, no history in the family of other health problems. I know Red Yeast Rice lowers my cholesterol, but I am fearful of taking anything that has the same chemical makeup as Lipitor.

I am getting severe muscle pain and weakness in my legs from Atenolol. Did yours ever stop?

This is a general response to some recent comments above:
I have been taking 200 mg of CoQ10 now for many months. I work out with a personal trainer 3 days a week (3 years now). I stopped taking Lipitor 5 years ago. Finally in the last year I get very few cramps in my legs, feet and hands although they still happen occasionally. I don't know how long it takes, I lost so much muscle in only 6 months of taking Lipitor. If I had not been so alarmed as the effects began and stayed on the drug longer I shudder to think.

For more info I do have two earlier posts above : August 21, 2009 & September 14, 2009

I have extreme leg weakness and pain from Atenolol. Please let me know if yours stopped! This is scaring me to death!

I was having cramping and muscle twitching while on Crestor so my cardiologist said to stop it for a week and if the problem disappeared it was the drug causing it, but if after a week it still persisted it was some other problem. Well, the cramps and twitches (fasiculations) did not stop but I still believed it was the drug to blame so I did not start taking it again. It took another few months before the leg cramps and twitches stopped.

During that time my internist (who believes statin drugs are poison) even sent me to a nuerologist who did testing on my muscles to see if anything else could be wrong. The muscle tests came out fine. I am positive it was the drug causing the problems or at very least making worse any minor problem I already had. I tried Lipitor once before with a similar though less severe reaction. Crestor is the most powerful of statin drugs. So now I am living with high cholesterol. I don't see that I have much of a choice. I like my muscles. ;-)

I am a 52 year old male with average height and weight. I was never on any prescription medications. I exercised 1 hour a day for over 20 years. I had cholesterol of 270 so my doctor started me on 40 mg pravachol. After 6 weeks my cholesterol dropped to 190. At that time I noticed pain in my knees and the bottoms of my feet and toes. It caused me to limp around and stop my exercising routine. I became aware of the side effects of statins and stopped taking it about 2 weeks ago. Very little pain improvement so far. NO MORE STATINS FOR ME.

I am a 53 year old male with high cholesterol. Healthy, run 12-30 miles a week and lift weights at least three times a week. I have no other factors that would indicate heart problems but my doctor felt it was necessary to treat my cholesterol. At first I was given Crestor at 20mg and seemed to have no problems but when he prescribed it for me the insurance company denied the prescription due to the fact he had not tried a generic.

I was given the generic at 80mg and that's when the trouble started. At first I couldn't sleep on my shoulders without extreme pain then I noticed my urine had changed to a dark color. I stopped taking the drug and called my doctor. The doctor confirmed there was something going on and asked me not to take anything for three weeks and take another blood test. My own research seems that I developed rhabdomyosis but not sure. After reading all the above, I am taking charge of my health and looking for alternative ways of dealing with my cholesterol without statins. Any suggetions?

I have read all the comments and information posted above. It is comforting and yet very disturbing to recognize my OWN symptoms of severe leg, feet, hips, and total body pain and stiffness. Especially in the mornings when I first wake up, the pain if so severe I can hardly drag myself up out of bed. Each and every morning it is a "process" to get ready for my job teaching first graders!!! Extremely hot showers help with the stiffness and aching pain.

I've been on Lovastatin for about 2 years. I started on 10 mg. then was increased to 20 mg. about a year ago. I didn't connect the increasing pain to the Lovastatin at first because the pain didn't start directly after starting the drug. Like many of you, I've seen several doctors and had many tests. My most current medical diagnosis has been from a rheumatologist who said I had an "autoimmune deficiency" and have fibromyalgia. I just don't buy that! No one seems to want to think Lovastatin could be the problem at all.

Has anyone else had this same diagnosis in their search for what's going on with their extreme pain? I'm only 55 years old, but I feel like 100. Each step in a day is agony and forced... but giving into the pain and just sitting makes things worst. After reading everything above, I am off the Lovastatin for good!!! I, too, notice that the skin and muscle tone in my legs is dwindling. Exercise doesn't help at all... and is so very painful. Picking up my 2 year old grand daughter is unbearable. My arms will ache for weeks on end after one evening with her. I don't want to have a heart attack or a stroke, but the quality of life is really affected with this severe pain. If a person hasn't been on the statin drug as long, is recovery more likely than those on it for a longer period of time?

I will also start taking the COQ 10 immediately. I'm assuming 200 mg. is the correct dose whether a person is on the statin drug or not at the same time. I also have a low thyroid. I was put on medication for this first. Then on the Lovastatin. I can't believe my doctor didn't know that thyroid meds and statins don't mix well. I'm wondering now if I'm on the correct dose of thyroid meds. My doctor says I am... but she also says there are no side effects to speak of with statin drugs either. She told me people have been taking statin drugs for years and years with no side effects and that they are effective. Yet my cholesterol remains somewhat high.

I'm very frustrated and so very tired of feeling so horrible each and every day of my life!!!! Any and all information, suggestions and guidance is very appreciated.

This response is to Rhonda. I also have low thyroid. My form of hypothyroidism is called hashimotos and is an autoimmune form. Did your doctor do the antibody test on you to see if you also have this? Some doctors don't bother, but I think it is important to know. And I do believe my trouble with statins might be linked to this because I started having minor muscle issues when I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. So taking a statin just magnified the minor problem into something far worse.

You said you thought you might not have the proper dosage of thyroid medicine. Do you know what your lab results showed... what your TSH is? Ask if you don't! Some doctors just look at the range of numbers and say you are fine when you really should be on a higher dose of medication because you can feel bad at the higher end of the range. And yes, I did read that statins should be prescribed with caution with people who are hypothyroid and then watched especially in older people.

JGW... good you stopped it. That sounded pretty scary. What surprises me is the huge dosages that are prescribed to people... When I was on Crestor before developing my problem, only 5mg lowered my cholesterol 90 points. I can't imagine taking 20 mg of that powerful drug or even 80... yikes! I think diet and exercise are the only other alternatives. The natural Red Yeast (I think that's it?) also has statin properties... so

I am not able to lower my cholesterol with diet and exercise... I have done both, am thin and exercise regularly. It is just hereditary for me. But my doctor has the theory that doctors are prescribing for us as if we had a disease when they don't know that for sure. They are being preventative. My cardiologist had me take a heart scan which he said is highly accurate. I had to pay for it out of pocket as insurance doesn't cover it. But to my surprise I had a score of zero which meant I had no calcified plaque in my arteries. So somehow he felt my body though making a lot of cholesterol was processing it fairly efficiently and ridding my body of it. (My good chol. is very good at 70) So considering the problems I had with statins, he said don't take them.

I am living statin free and hoping for the best. Anything that gives such severe muscle issues cannot be good for us.

I had been taking Simvistatin for about 2 years. I starting having terrible lower back pain shortly after starting the statin. My doctor gave me an X-Ray and an MRI and determined I had mild degenerative arthritis. I then decided, after reading about the aches people were having while on a statin, to discontinue my high cholesterol medication.

I also was taking 4 Advil in the morning and 4 Advil at night to relieve the pain in my back. I also walk a lot in my job and that was almost unbearable. After being off of Simvistatin for 4 weeks I am pain free. I do not have to take Advil any longer. I will NOT take another statin in my life. I will research on the COQ 10 and other suggestions from other sources to reduce or control my cholesterol. What a racket these drug companies have! I can move again, what a relief!

I'm 57 years old, and I was diagnosed border line diabetic. The doctors told me that I should loose weight. I not only lost weight, however, I got into extremely good condition going from 283 to 190. Anyhow, I went to the doctor, and he said that my cholesterol was a little bit high. He then recommended me to take Lovastatin. Now, I have felt good all of my life, and I have never experienced extreme pain at all. After taking Lovastatin for 2 months, I feel like someone has given me a ticket to hell and back.

I've never been on any medication in my entire life prior to the Lovastatin. In the future, I will research any side effects of a drug before taking it. The doctors should warn you of the side effects of any medication. To all of you suffering out there, get the hell off of Lovastatin, which is from hell. The pain I have experienced seemed to have a will of its own. It would bounce around inside my body like a pin ball machine: it went from my hands, to my feet, to my calfs, and I could not sleep at night. If I were a child, then I would cry. This pain makes me incredibly angry. It was because of my daughter's research that I have been set free from this nightmare.

Ps: Medicine is an art, not a science. In other words, you're a guinea pig and they experiment on you. I would like these doctors to take Lovastatin for a few months and then they wouldn't be so quick to give it out to people. I may sound bitter, but the pain is absolutely horrible and constant that it freaks you out. I can't believe these so called doctors know so damn little about the pills their pushing. Good luck to all of you on it. I've been off of it for 2 weeks now and the symptoms are just beginning to abate a little.

I so hear you with the back pains. I, too, have been on Simvastatin for two years. I was diagnosed with Lyme six years ago and about a couple of months, started developing excruciating pains throughout the body. I was worked up with a Western Blot test, with no sign of Lyme attacking my system. The infectious disease doctor I went to advised me to go off the Simvastatin. I have not yet as I am to finish up antibiotics first.... I am SO looking forward to getting off this horrible drug. My opinion....these statin drugs are an oxymoron!!

My father (age 80) took Red Rice Yeast for about 3 months then started experiencing hip pain. He quit taking the RRY on 6/11/10 but is still suffering now from muscle pain all over his body. He has been to an orthopaedic who did an MRI with no negative results. He has had many blood tests done and nothing shows abnormal except low Vitamin D. After a trip to the ER where they gave him an IV and a shot of steroid he felt miraculously better for 2 days then symptoms started returning. He has gone from being able to work in the garden and mow the yard to having to have help getting his shirt and socks on.

He had a previous bad experience several years ago after taking Zocor and ended up in the hospital then with severe headaches. Do you think he has permanent muscle damage from the RYR after only taking it for 3 months? Is there anything he can do?? His doctor has referred him to a rheumatologist but it's going to be 3-4 months before they can take a new patient. Thank you.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: AT HIS ADVANCED AGE, IT MAY TAKE A FEW MONTHS TO RECOVER. HE SHOULD BE TAKING VITAMIN D IF IT IS LOW, THOUGH. THAT IN ITSELF COULD ACCOUNT FOR SORE, WEAK MUSCLES.

CLJ, I'd try to find a doctor who didn't wait 4 months to see him. The doctors don't really help us much with this. Most don't acknowledge it is the statin drugs that cause the problem... but it sure is suspicious isn't it? It took me a few months before the symptoms left my body. I too had been sent to a neurologist who did testing and they found nothing. Maybe with a little more time, your dad will be o.k. I hope so.

I had a stent put in heart the doc. put me on lipitor for 1 year. After the year stoped taking lipitor. At 72 when stent was put in at 73 plus got put on simvastatin 20mg (lipitor was 10mg) 5 weeks ago my right thigh started throbbing could hardly walk 20 feet had to set down the pain was so bad.

This went on for 5 weeks before I went to my doctor. I quit taking the simvastatin 2 weeks before I went to my doctor. I can walk about 60 feet now but pain has eased up about 50%. I would like to know how long it takes to get the meds out of one's system.

On my doctor's advice, because LDL was 120, I took 10 mg lovastatin per day. After 1 month I could barely stand. The pain is somewhat less now - it's been almost 4 months since I stopped taking lovastatin - but a long way from being gone. Prior to taking lovastatin I had no pain and could walk >5 miles per day with absolutely no discomfort. I no longer can. It seems lovastatin may have increased my risk of heart disease because it reduced my exercise capacity. I wonder if/when the pain will go away. My legs hurt constantly now and never did before taking lovastatin.

The pharmaceutical industry tells doctors side effects on statins are rare. That was what my doctor told me. I've talked to 18 people who've taken statins, and 7 of them, including myself, have quit taking statins due to severe muscle pain. That's more than 1 out of 3. I don't think anyone would call that rare.

You are probably quite right about the statins causing problems. Look at the Merck patents in the 1980's where in one they are applying for a patent for an invention combining CoQ10 with statins to avert the damage their statins do to heart muscle and in the other they are applying for a patent to alleviate damage to the liver caused by their statin.

They never made the drugs (obviously! Statins are too lucrative) but meanwhile nobody else can either because Merck has the patents. And I can't find anywhere any warning by the statin people as to cardiomyopathy caused by statins so they've pretty well succeeded in burying their discovery. Now the facts are coming out anyhow.

The heart is a muscle: not the same as the other muscles in the body, but it's still a muscle and it is a primary user of CoQ10. The leg pains, arm pains, etc are muscular damage signs and anybody suffering from these needs to stop statins immediately and if the doctor disagrees, find another doctor. One warning, however: don't stop "cold turkey" or you could suffer a rebound effect; cut down slowly and then out. As the saying goes: "been there, done that."

I was put on statins twenty years ago because I had high cholesterol. X-ray showed normal lungs, normal heart. I took the statin for about a year and then dropped it. Four years later, a chest X-ray showed pulmonary fibrosis (interstitial lung disease), and in general a pretty bad picture. Now, twenty years later, in Nov of 2009 the European Pharmacovigilance Study Committee of the European Medicines Agency came out with the warning to doctors to stop statins immediately should interstitial lung disease appear.

I also have heart problems now. Too bad I didn't catch on a long time ago, because doctors keep on trying to force statins on me. Finally, my cardiologist at Mayo Clinic says no more statins for me because I confronted him with the evidence and with studies from the internet and with the patents Merck applied for back in 1980 regarding helping to prevent heart damage caused by statins by adding CoQ10 plus some other chemicals to their statin - which they never made, of course, because it would cast a bad shadow on their great money maker, statins!

Hi,

Here's another data point on statins :

I'm a 55 year old male whose cholesterol has been creeping up over the years. This is despite the fact that my diet is good, I'm not overweight (5'9" 140lbs), and I'm a triathlete, so I work out every day. My doctor had been pushing me for a couple of years to start a statin. Finally, this year I said ok. I started taking simvastatin at 20mg per day. After 3 days I noticed that the muscle recovery of my thighs seemed to be slower. After 5 days, I also developed knee pain, sort of a fullness inside the knee, though they don't seem swollen. After 8 days, I found it was all getting worse, especially my knees. And at night, when I try to sleep, it feels like my skin over my thighs and my forearms were a little on fire (uncomfortable but not excruciating pain).

I called my doc and he agreed that I should stop taking the statin. Now it's day 11 (been off for 3 days) and there's been no improvement.

I'm particularly concerned about the knee pain because I really can't work out with the way they feel. I'll be going to my doc in 5 days. He thinks that I'll be better by then, but it doesn't seem like that will be the case. It's very depressing.

Update to my 8/13 entry:

I am improving. The muscle aches are reduced. I am beginning to work out again. But I still have the knee pain in my left knee. I suspect I injured it while working out when I was taking the simvastatin. I'm icing it and will monitor it to see how it does with my workouts. If it doesn't get worse, that will be good and I can continue to work out. If it does, I'll have to curtail all but the swimming.

UPDATE on my post of 6/13. The pain in my knees and feet has decreased by perhaps 50% but is still there. It is no longer debilitating. I take 200mg of Ibuprofen twice a day and it helps to manage it. The knees feel as if there is a swelling or fullness in them but no real external evidence of swelling. The pain is worst in the mornings but tends to subside slightly after an hour or so. I suspect the damage might be permanent. I took the generic Pravastatin for just 90 days before I stopped it. Please UPDATE your entries with your current condition. Thanks!

Don't bet on ever getting totally rid of statin damage. Furthermore, people need to pay attention to the possibility of statin rebound. I quit "cold turkey" and about a month later started having tachycardia and heart palpitations. Now, almost four months after quitting the Simvastatin, I am starting to have leg cramps and leg aches, which are part of the territory for many statin users.

I'm wondering what is going on in my lungs, which have also been damaged by statins (see my earlier posts). Some doctors seem to be handing out statins like candy and they obstinately refuse to believe there can be side effects. I convinced mine by bringing in (a) a copy of the Merck patent application where Merck admits to heart damage from statins, (b) Dr. Golomb's study from the University of California, San Diego, which is a compilation of research on statin adverse effects, (c) the European comments by the Pharmacovigilance Working Group telling doctors to stop statins immediately if interstitial lung damage appears in someone taking statins, and (d) a miscellaneous batch of other excellent research from the internet.

I particularly like Dr. Golomb's comment to the effect that statistics (i.e., the idea that less than 1% of the population comes up with this or that statin-induced side effect) don't matter to the individual person when it's his health that's at stake: so what if he is the one in a thousand who develops lung problems from statins? He's still got the problems, and it doesn't make a bit of sense to say he cannot have the problems from statins because most people don't get that problem from statins!

I took lovastatin for one month on the advice of my doctor. Prior to that I hiked, swam, lifted weights and worked with ease. Three weeks after starting lovastatin I could barely walk because of the pain. My resting heart rate went from 48 to 64, and I had an episode of nearly passing out from doing work I could do with no problem before taking lovastatin.

I was prescribed lovastatin as a preventative. The makers of Crestor® had recently done a study in which they claimed even normal people benefited from their product.

I did research and discovered how they go about misrepresenting statistics regarding statins.

First, they do a pre screen of subjects and eliminate those who get side effects. Then they run the "real" tests on those who don't.

That way they can tell doctors side effects are rare. But if they'd included everyone in the studies, side effects would be common. Per my research, side effects are experienced by about 1 out of 3.

I quit taking lovastatin 4.5 months ago. I still have pain that includes all my leg muscles and ligaments, as well as my lower back. I have shooting pain and burning sensations. I have restarted my exercise program, though I have to temper it because I don't want to cause more damage to already damaged muscles and connective tissue.

Ironically, in my opine, lovastatin has increased my risk of heart disease because I can no longer exercise to the extent I used to.

I have tried various products, such as co-enzyme q10, with what seems like a degree of success, though I'm not sure. It could be placebo effect. Currently I'm not taking anything, just exercise and stretching, and an attempt at a positive attitude, telling myself, "I can heal from this."

The worst outcome is that I no longer trust the medical community. I feel my doctor told an untruth when he said side effects are rare. It's hard to understand how he can believe that. Don't his patients inform him when they have side effects? Over a third of the people I've talked to who've taken statins quit because of severe pain. 1 out of 3 seems to be the real statistic. I wonder what the statistic is for people who are never pain free again after taking statins. What can be done to make the medical community come clean with the truth?

That's very interesting, John... the way they go about getting the statistics. And I never realized how common side effects are, because everyone I know who takes statins appears to have no problems whatsoever. I thought I was just an unlucky soul. I tried to take them twice. The second time, with Crestor, the cramping and twitching muscles scared the heck out of me. My cardiologist said stop taking them for a week and if the problem still remains then it isn't the statin drug but something else.

What a bunch of nonsense that was! I stopped and never started the drug again yet the symptoms didn't go away for a few months, and I KNOW it was the drug and not something else! Finally, thankfully, the muscle issues did resolve. I even went through complete muscle testing with a neurologist who also told me the drug wouldn't have caused this. I didn't believe him either. My cardiologist also did not tell me that statins should be prescribed with caution in people with hypothyroidism...which I have.

By the way...I have a primary physician whom I love and she told me she thinks statin drugs are poison and totally backs me up.

I too had serious side effects from statins - and then found the patent by Merck where they talk about their new pill formulation for avoiding heart failure caused by statins (they never made the pill, and they are sitting on the patent so that nobody else can make this compound either). I quit instantly. I also had found out about statins causing lung problems (which I also got years ago when I was put on Pravachol, which I stopped after about a year because it was too expensive for me at the time).

My most startling problem was tachycardia which started after I quit the statin (heart rate sped up to 138 beats per minute several times per week) and odd heart rhythms. After taking Q 10 for another month, this all came to an end: no problems for over a month already. However, I did ramp up my amount of Q10 to 1000 mg per day, the therapeutic dose used for Parkinson's patients (if it doesn't hurt them, why should this amount hurt me?) so maybe you are taking too little.

Therapeutic results from Q10 are dose dependent (which is why so much Q10 research shows no particular help from the Q10, I suspect: are the pharmaceutical companies running these tests? I wish I knew!). I have the distinct impression that my heart is healing. I already know that it is stronger (ejection fraction went from 55% to 65%).

See my general comment that I just posted. I was having heart problems from statins, but they seem to be going away. I put myself on 1000 mg of CoQ10, after finding that Parkinson's Disease patients benefit from that amount (meaning the researchers obviously consider that amount safe to take). My ejection fraction has improved noticeably (heart is getting stronger).

Follow up: Since I quit in June, I have been giving blood every 2-3 weeks. Same results as always......elevated enzymes. My doctor still denies that this is related to the statins I was taking. The nurse called and said there was definite muscle damage. Duh! The she asked me not to do anything physical since I'm in danger of tearing a muscle or a heart attack. I told her that I just ran 7.5 miles Sunday and have been to the gym three times a week consistently. I feel fine. I really do not know what to believe.

Now he wants me to see a neurologist. From what I have read on this forum, I expect nothing except the same babble I have been given. I have printed off the comments on this forum to give to the neurologist. Maybe he will read them, maybe not but if he doesn't then that tells me where he stands on this subject. I'm not sure if it's a bunch of CYA from the doctor but I feel I need to find another doctor that does not believe statins are the answer.

I'm experiencing the same symptoms, muscle wasting and weakness. I do not have the strength to pick my self up from bed or to lift my legs or arms. I'm scared of becoming paralyzed. I have stopped taking simvastatin and I'm hoping to get better. I stopped taking this medication three months ago. I would like to know if others who have suffered the same symptoms have restored their strength and muscles. I am very concerned about living like this for the rest of my life. Please advise. Thanks, D.

Four weeks off any statin is not long enough to determine anything. Adverse reactions from statins have been known to show up months after statin discontinuation. The problem statins have is that cholesterol and Q10, both essential for human health, share the same metabolic pathway; getting in the way of the one (cholesterol supposedly too high) means getting in the way of the Q10 as well, hence the muscular, heart, lung, neurological and other problems people suffer from statins. Don't, please don't, let your doctor keep you on statins!

Started a statin called Pravastatin.... 20 mg once a day. Within two days, had diarrhea; within five days had severe back pain in lower back. Last dose was taken Monday, Sept. 27th. It's now October 1; diarrhea has subsided but back pain is still there.

Is it normal to take days, weeks or whatever for the effects of a statin to go away?
I am extremely upset about this; I had been taking Welchol, but it stopped working for me.

Ten days are not enough time to test the statin effect. You need a couple of months. Muscle aches are common with statins, indicating that there is damage occurring (and, by the way, the heart is a muscle).

In fact, are you sure you really need a statin at all? Impartial research done in Europe seems to suggest that statins as a preventative are actually useful only for males 20-50 years of age. There are more and more doctors now saying statins should not be prescribed to every patient who walks in the door, even though an advisory group of nine people (six of whom have strong monetary connections to the drug industry) says to the contrary.

Ten days are not enough time to test the statin effect. You need a couple of months. Muscle aches are common with statins, indicating that there is damage occurring (and, by the way, the heart is a muscle).

In fact, are you sure you really need a statin at all? Impartial research done in Europe seems to suggest that statins as a preventative are actually useful only for males 20-50 years of age. There are more and more doctors now saying statins should not be prescribed to every patient who walks in the door, even though an advisory group of nine people (six of whom have strong monetary connections to the drug industry) says to the contrary.

And by the way, an earlier blog of mine says I had an X-ray of my chest four years after taking Pravachol. Since that post I obtained my medical records. Turns out I had a chest X-ray showing normal lungs, normal heart on May 3, 1994, at which point I was put on 10 mg Pravachol because I was in a "risk group" for arteriosclerosis.

On Feb 25, 1995, TEN MONTHS LATER, NOT FOUR YEARS LATER, a chest X-ray taken in an ER showed extensive lung damage (fibrosis, opacities, and a big dense area which the radiologist couldn't figure out). No question: the Pravachol caused the damage. I was on no other drug than thyroid medication, I didn't take any over the counter drugs, I was doing nothing different from before. I didn't catch on until a few months ago when what I saw on the internet prompted me to get my records. In the meantime, I'd been on a statin again for a year!

I am a relatively healthy 40 yo male who only takes blood pressure medicine for elevated blood pressure. At a recent doctor visit, I was informed I had a total cholesterol reading of 260 and my doctor started me on 40 mg of prevastatin generic. I noticed very little after one week but by the second week was in agony. It started with a pain in the tricep of my right arm that was so debilitating that I could not raise it over my head. The pain increased along with a general malaise that made me feel like I had the flu.

I lift all day at my job and it made my work nearly unbearable. Fatigue so bad that I felt like a 100 year old man.

I quit after two weeks and am trying to return to normal. NEVER again. I would rather die of a heart attack than ever feel like that again 24 hours a day.

Update from my Aug 22 update :

After somewhat of a setback, my improvement continues. Almost all the aches and pains are gone. Only some pain in my knees remain. And that has been continually improving for almost a month. I'd say my knees are at about 80% of normal and my workouts are about 85% of normal. I've been working out almost every day. I've even been able to reduce the knee icing. I'm quite pleased by the improvement.

Good luck to all of you.

BP

I had a major heart attack in Feb. 1998 at the age of 45. I am now 57. (I am female.) I had a triple bypass in August 1998. Somewhere during that time my doctors put me on Lipitor to help control my cholesterol. The dosage started at 20 mg. daily. They have slowly increased the dosage to 80 mg. daily, which is the highest allowed. I've always had calf cramps which I could stretch out, but in the last 2 years I've started having unbearable cramps in the back of my thighs that literally make me scream in pain. (And I don't mean groaning.... I mean screaming like I'm being attacked with a sharp knife by a crazed killer screaming!)

They generally occur at night, but I've experienced them during the day too. NOTHING makes the cramp go away. I can't move. I can't stand. I grab my leg(s) [sometimes it's both at the same time] and can literally feel the muscles roiling and twitching under my skin. Sometimes just lifting or bending my leg the wrong way triggers an attack which can last up to 10-15 minutes.

My doctor scoffed at me when I mentioned the cramps. She knows I'm on Lipitor. It wasn't until about 4 weeks ago when my pharmacist accidentally let it slip that Lipitor sometimes causes leg cramps that I became suspicious of what has been causing my problems. I'm afraid to stop taking it because I don't want another heart attack. (I'm also diabetic.) The Lipitor has actually gotten my cholesterol level under fantastic control. But at what price?

I'll try taking the CoQ10 and maybe cut my pills in half to help. Hopefully a lower dose will help alleviate some of the cramping. This blog has been very helpful. Thanks to all who have contributed. I hope if there's a class action lawsuit that somebody will tell us about it and we won't have to find out about it when it's too late.

To dimi8:
I can certainly understand your reluctance to go off of your statin since you had a heart attack at such a young age. But the severe muscle pain you are having is certainly nothing to "scoff" at as you said your doctor did.

My muscle problems on statins were nothing like you were describing yet both my cardiologist and internist told me to get off of them. There is a rare but serious muscle destruction condition called rhabdomyolisis that statins can cause. If I were you, I would at least get another opinion. I always have it in my mind that the heart is a muscle too!!

On another note: I had a friend that almost died last year of pancreatitis. It took her months to recover. Her doctor said it was caused by the statin drug she was taking... again a rare but very real link to statins.
Good luck. I hope the reduction of the drug with CoQ10 helps you, but if not... don't shrug it off.

I think you have muscle damage and the sooner you get off Lipitor, the better. But taper off: if you stop "cold turkey," you could invite another heart attack. It will take about six months for your body to adjust to the new reality of life without Lipitor and back with the Q10 it needs.

I have suffered extensive damage from Pravachol and Simvastatin (see my earlier posts, of which there are several). The lung damage is permanent, the heart block and arrythmias are probably permanent, but the tachycardia is gone and the leg cramps are gone.

I went on and off statins for years, going on because doctors insisted my cholesterol is too high, going off because I hate taking pills, back and forth. The latest was a year on Simvastatin, during which leg cramps came back, muscles under my skin in my legs twitched and roiled again, my peripheral neuropathy came roaring back worse than ever, my lung volume decreased even more (as per before-and-after x-rays at Mayo Clinic), I developed heart trouble (the heart is a muscle too, and can be damaged like any other muscle by statins), and now I can't even go up one flight of stairs without my heart going "nuts" and my blood oxygen level dropping 'way down. I can't begin to tell you how angry I am.

The pharmaceutical industry has really "done a number" on the medical profession. My doctor at Mayo had dismissed all of this until I finally got smart and got my medical records from Allina Clinics. When I came in with those and with a stack of reputable statin research (mostly done in Europe) to back up my view of statins, he very quickly came around to my point of view and said "no more statins" for me.

He still thinks cholesterol is a problem, but actually - see the research done by independent European institutions - it isn't, especially with older people. The unbiased research on older folks indicates that the higher their cholesterol level, the healthier they are. But doctors don't want to hear this: which is understandable. Would you want egg all over your face because your "treatment" has actually been harming people?

I have the exact same thing, only in my right calf. Did you get a diagnosis on yours?

Update from my Oct 11 update.

I'm pretty much fully normal. My knees are at about 90% and my workouts are back to normal. It took a lot longer than I expected, but I'm happy that the effects of the statins are virtually gone. I wish all of you the best in your situations.

BP

I'm so happy to see this site is up-to-date. I am 59 yr. old woman and have a comment or two about my experience with statin and non-statin cholesterol medications. When I was 55, I went into menopause and started with hot flashes so bad I could barely function. At that same time, I went on Zocor for my cholesterol and my gynecologist put me on HRT for the hot flashes. (How's that for not knowing what the other hand was doing?)

They both knew what drugs I was on, and yet somehow, both doctors let me continue to take this dangerous combination of drugs. Well, after a few months, I noticed that my chest was getting very 'tight' and I didn't like the way I felt. My hot flashes were gone (thanks to the HRT) but I decided to find new doctors and I went off both the HRT and Zocor. I felt better within a month or two, and I went to a different doctor for my cholesterol.

She put me on Tricor to bring up my HDL levels, and Pravastatin for my general cholesterol. In the meantime, I was still off the HRT (for the hot flashes) and my hot flashes continued with a vengeance. In the 3 1/2 yrs. of being on the Tricor, my good cholesterol never came up, but my overall cholesterol was lowered.

I finally became a vegetarian and gave up meat and dairy altogether. (Vegan). Within the first 2 months of eating like that, my HDL levels came up 6 pts. Of course my doctor was thrilled - as was I. I was still suffering from severe hot flashes all this time and I noticed that it was happening 5 - 10 minutes after I ate and at other random times too. My diet was so much better than it had been in all those years, yet, I still suffered from extreme hot flashes.

Of course my gyn wanted me back on bio-identical hormones, but I refused. To make a long story short, my husband and I had to travel far from home recently for over a week and I forgot to pack my cholesterol medication. I knew that the cholesterol drugs would stay in my system for a while, so I didn't panic. After 4 days of NOT taking my cholesterol meds, my HOT FLASHES were getting less intense, and were not as frequent.

Hmmmm - When I got home, I looked up hot flashes and statin drugs and low and behold, one of the first symptoms listed was "flushing". I called my doctor right away and told her that I would not be taking my cholesterol medication anymore. The Tricor never did one thing for me all those years until I became a vegan, and the statin gave me flashes or flushes so severe I couldn't function.

My doctor wants me tested again soon to see how my cholesterol count is doing without any medication - especially now that I'm vegan and we will take it from there. I am not opposed to what she suggests after my next test, but I think I can handle my diet well enough that hopefully I won't need a statin anymore. I truly suffered so much all that time, and now the flashes have subsided to almost nothing. A little reminder now and then, but barely enough to notice at this point. I will post my next test results.

I will say also, that my severe knee pain is gone too. I do have arthiritis in my knees, but the pain I experienced while on a statin drug was untouchable with pain medication. Now, the pain is typical arthiritis pain - and I can live with that. After reading about all the side effects, I am now worried about my father's muscle wasting and weakening. That's another post....

Researchers - mostly in Europe - are beginning to think high cholesterol is not the problem: inflammation is, or something else which I don't remember because I am not a biochemist and these terms mean nothing to me. I personally have no intention of ever having my cholesterol tested again, and the doctors at Mayo told me that one's cholesterol levels are genetically predetermined and that diet will do nothing to lower them.

And by the way, one site I looked at says 97% of the world's population has hypercholesterolemia, which according to the drug companies needs treatment with statins! Wouldn't even the most unintelligent human being alive think that there's something wrong with that?

Either the Creator made a mistake and created all of us with a built-in defect which Big Pharma was designed to correct, or this is a heap of nonsense! I'm not interested in any more cholesterol testing or any more medication. Period. The medical establishment/BigPharma has ruined my formerly excellent health; therefore I am as of a year ago in full control of my own health: I'm not letting those jokers have another whack at me! No way!

I was put on Simvastatin 40mg about a year and a half ago. Nothing was told to me about the side affects of statin drugs. I read the information about them but it didn't say that these side affects could happen anytime during the time you are taking them. After a few months taking Zocor I fell on the ice. About a week later my back started hurting and my knee was all swollen. I thought my back was out which happened often to me for no reason at all. At Christmas of last year my arms hurt and I was just out of it.

I was helping my daughter with with dinner and couldn't seam to hang on to anything. I started going to the Chiropractor after that. A couple of times a week at first. I couldn't believe I was getting worse. The Chiropractor had me come in more often. I was tired and trying to work.

I could hardly make it up the stairs at school, my arms, wrists, shoulders were hurting all the time and I started taking Aleve. The pain also went up into my jaw, the back of my neck and if I turned my head wrong pain would shoot up into my ears. I was having problems sleeping at night because I would get leg, my side, and stomach would cramp. If I bent down a certain way I would cramp up.

I kept going to the Chiropractor. I couldn't afford it but I didn't know what to do. My doctor had been sending me for so many tests before all this started that I was way behind on my bills and couldn't keep up with the costs. I told her this. I told her I had fallen and my knee was swollen. Last summer I just kept taking the Aleve. I hated the thought of going back to the doctor because I owed so much all ready. In Sept of 2010 I went to my doctor and told her what was happening.

She sent me to a breathing specialist, then to get x-rays on my knee, shoulders, and lungs and more blood work. When I returned she said there were no problems so it might be my pills. I was in shock. I went off the pill and she told me to return in two weeks. I returned in two week and was explaining to her how bad my shoulders were hurting and she interrupted me and said "Are you feeling better?"

I told her yes and she said fine then it is getting better. I tried to tell her again about things with my arms and she stated if they don't get better then it isn't the medication that caused it. I told her I started reading about statin drugs and she as much as said I didn't know what I was talking about.

My arms at this time are still the same they haven't gotten any better. If I use my arm wrong I can hardly stand the pain. I went to have my heart checked a year and a half ago and was on the tread mill for a long time. The doctor told me I was in really good shape. I can't even walk a half block now without feeling like I am going to throw up. I can't use my arms to lift my self off a chair for fear I will hurt it. I am very very angry at this doctor.

In reply to Donna J.S. I am always amazed by these doctors. I can't believe they don't pick up on this right away. You take statins... you get muscle pain... the first thing that should cross their minds is that the drug is causing the pain, because it is one of the main things to watch out for when taking a statin. I hope your pain goes away. I had muscle problems for 2 months after going off the statin. My doctor tried to tell me the same thing... if the pain continues after you stop the drug it is something else causing the problem. Well, I don't think so!

Many doctors are totally blind to the damage statins can do. Your doctor evidently refuses to see that she may have ruined your health permanently. This would hurt her precious ego. The doctor, after all, is supposed to be the Great Personage Who Knows All and we little minions without medical schooling are just ignorant. We also haven't been wined and dined by Big Pharma, but that's beside the point.

All of us have been so brainwashed by Big Pharma and its slanted research and well-paid spokesmen within the government that I suppose it is understandable that admitting that statins can kill leaves the medical profession with egg on its collective face.

But in the meantime, what about us, the hapless victims? Most statin damage is irreversible. And by the way, there is plenty of research on the web regarding the damage statins do. If presenting your doctor with copies of research reports doesn't do anything (if you are still seeing that doctor, which I hope you aren't), then the situation with her is hopeless.

I would suggest that you try taking Q10 - Parkinson's disease patients get 1200 mg daily; I am taking 1000/day but slowly cutting down now to 800, then hopefully less, because Q10 is expensive - to see if it helps. It may or it may not. It's worth a try. So far as I know for sure, it eventually moistens dry skin and has been known to reverse statin-induced heart failure (Japanese cardiologists prescribe it for their patients) and it for sure got rid of my scary tachycardia and other weird heart rhythms that hit when I had my statin rebound.... (Do not, whatever you do, go off statins suddenly. Taper off over a couple of weeks. You don't need statin rebound; you're in enough trouble already).

I am correcting a mistake I made in the comments on statin drugs. I was taking 20 mgs of Simvastatin instead of 40mgs And they say that is a safest level. I can't imagine where I would be if I had taken those drugs the way I was suppose too.

My doctor tried me on several items to lower my cholesterol, fish oil, flax seed, you name it I tried it. Nothing however worked. Then my doctor tried me on several statins, always after a few months they made me have the worst leg pain, I thought I had bone cancer it hurt so deep in my legs and then the arms started also.

My doctor took me off of the statin. My cholesterol climbed again. The doctor suggested a low dose, 5 mg. of Crestor-Thank God this one works without any of the pain, and my cholesterol dropped over 80 pts. in 3 months, I have been on this medication for about a year with no problems.

Congrats, Beth L on a good outcome. It sounds like your doctor believed your concerns and was understanding of your situation. Together you made some good decisions.

I had written earlier about my problems with statins. My doctor was also understanding, and believed me when I told him I thought my leg pain was from the statin. Though it took a while, I've completely recovered from it.

L. Beth B. I have really been researching the Cholesterol things. The more I dig the more I am finding out that it is all a big hoax. I don't expect you to take my word for it but I will ask you to go to Dr. Mercola's Web site and listen to his interview with Duane Graveline a astronaut and MD who has been a victim of statin drugs and has researched the last 10 years to understand the just how cholesterol works in the body. There are also other researchers from England who have tried to get it across to the FDA how dangerous this drug is.

It may be also a help to go to spacedoc.com and and listen to what these researchers are saying and have been trying to tell anyone who will listen what is really happening in your body.

If you do decide that you are going to follow your doctors advice at least take Coq10 as much as you can afford while you take it. Oh, while you are at spacedoc.com you might want to sign the petition there that you want more research done on statin drugs. I hope this is helpful.

I too have been studying the statin research for over a year, including research done by biochemists and biologists. The conclusions I came to are several:

(a) any doctor who prescribes statins is playing Russian roulette with his patient's health. Adverse side effects may arrive tomorrow, or months hence, or several years after starting on the statin, but they will arrive, and they could be severe.

There is no way for a doctor to know, at present, what will happen with any individual patient, especially since some ultimately fatal side effects such as pulmonary fibrosis may not be noticed for many years unless X-rays are taken before and after the first months on a statin because there isn't much the patient will notice by way of breathing difficulty for possibly ten or fifteen years.

(b) cholesterol is not the problem. It never was the problem. Cholesterol is essential for health and well-being and there is no such thing as "bad" cholesterol. What the problem is, isn't quite for sure known, but it could be inflammation (among other possibilities. Research is ongoing).

(c) there hasn't been enough research to determine whether or not taking the essential co-enzyme Q10 while taking statins will be helpful in preventing bad side effects; it may be that the depletion of Q10 - which happens when cholesterol levels are brought down - is only part of the story. We do know that doctors in Japan and elsewhere around the world use Q10 to treat cardiac arrhythmias, congestive heart failure, ischemic injury, angina, high blood pressure and heart muscle weakness. We also know it helps with breathing difficulties due to statin damage to the lungs because it is part of the respiratory chain (helps cells utilize oxygen), and over a few months it even gets rid of the tough flaky skin around your heels, in case you're interested! Dosage needs to be over 200 mg per day to be effective, and dosages up to 1200 mg have been determined to be totally safe.

(d) don't stop statins suddenly!! Phase them out slowly over 3 or 4 weeks. Otherwise, you will experience statin rebound, which with some unfortunate people can be a living nightmare until the body settles down. In fact, statin rebound can even cause a heart attack. I read a biochemist's account of what happens when statins are suddenly withdrawn, and it scared the living daylights out of me.

Been on Simvastatin about 6 months now and always have hip and upper leg pains. Also get very tired around 3PM and in bed sometimes at 8PM. I get very high strung at times where loud noise puts me through the roof. Get pains in Kidney area... goes from side to side. Get constipation then the runs... Face feels hot and I feel 100 years old and I am 69... My trigs are over 200 but they have been high all my life Howie

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: SIMVASTATIN CAN LEAD TO JOINT OR MUSCLE PAIN AND FATIGUE. PLEASE DISCUSS THIS WITH YOUR DOCTOR, AND ASK ABOUT TAKING FISH OIL TO LOWER YOUR TRIGLYCERIDES. A LOW-CARB DIET CAN ALSO HELP WITH THAT GOAL.

Howie, There are other meds out there that can help you. Get off the statins. I got off the statins last October and my arms are still hurting. Some say you should go off of them slowly. My doctor didn't believe I was having that much pain and still am. I have been researching this since I found out about statins.

There is a Dr. Mercola, Dr. Duane Graveline at Spacedoc.com, Jonathan Campbell. The doctors are supposed to have you take CO-Q10 with statins but most don't know about that. CO-Q10 is one of the enzymes that is blocked by statins and so can cause great damage to your heart.

Get CO-Q10 right away. you will notice your energy come back. I have also been taking very high doses of Vitamin C. and lots of other vitamins. All I can say is research, research, research. We all really have to be on out toes when it comes to keeping our health.

You need to get off the Simvastatin PDQ! I have made a number of comments about statins on this site; read them. Just don't go off "cold turkey" because what happens to the body when you do that is horrific: I found a biochemists's report on that and it scared me. The damage already done to your body cannot be undone, but at least you can prevent more from happening.

If your doctor thinks it is terrible that you left statins, see another one. If I had not taken myself off Simvastatin, I am quite sure I would now be dead. The problem you will have if you do extensive reading on the subject of statins, as I have, is that you will wind up with trying to read highly technical research by biochemists, cellular biologists, etc on how statins affect the body - but you can at least get the gist of the research, which is that statins kill cells and that Simvastatin is one of the worst in this regard. Doctors don't even read this research, probably, because (a) they don't have time, (b) they aren't trained in research methodology, and (c) they think the "research" put out by the pharmaceutical companies is all they need to consider. And they believe the "guidelines" put together by panels, most of the members of which have close financial ties to the Big Pharma.

My husband has had muscle pain for 1 and a half years now from Lovastatin. He can't drive, walk, get the mail or sweep the pool. He can't go to work at a desk, fold laundry, take in the trash cans or play ball with his son. He is a couch potato. He used to be active but has to limit any physical activity because it will put him in bed for a week. Meds don't work and the doctors say time will help. How long is that?

To sbaker, That is what I have been asking for months. My doctors want me to do exercise and the same thing happens to me. I get worse and the pain gets worse. I am no where as bad as your husband but I sure have been wondering how long I have to wait to get rid of this pain. I hope he is taking as much Ubiquinal (CoQ10) as he can that sure helped me get my energy back.

I noticed a difference with in a week. Be sure and read all the entries by the people here, it sure helped me. Take all the suggestions and go to the other sites suggested. I am pretty angry and we need to get the FDA off their butts. I think they should be sued. All they are doing is lining their pockets along with the pharma's. Go to spacedoc.com and sign the petition.

I have recently undergone a triple heart bypass (13 weeks) I was out of hospital after 9 days and improvements seem to be the order of the day for about 11 weeks. At that point My general well being seemed to take a turn for the worst.

I developed debilitating cramp like pain in my calf muscles and permanent muscle strain pain in my chest. I have been going to hospital aerobics class for 5 weeks and instead of getting fitter these leg pains are getting worse. I was on simvistatin (40mgs) but have now stopped this (4 days ago) It doesn't seem to be reducing the pains or maybe I am expecting too much.

two questions:

1. how long roughly can I expect to wait if the pain is statin related?

2. Can muscle damage caused by statins be permanent?

any help would be appreciated - its hard after such surgery to feel like you are moving backwards

Dear DTM, Wow, a heart bypass. I hope you have read all the peoples experiences with statins. It is certainly isn't the same for each person. The pains are actually about the same. Like I never had the leg pain, I had swelling of the knee. My arms were the problem. I am still waiting for them to come back to normal. It was so bad I could not work.

There is no sure measure as far as I can tell. My arm pain will go away a little and then come back with a vengeance. The pain also moves around. I quit statins in Oct of 2010. Many of the people here have started taking Ubiquinal (Which is a form of CoQ10). Quite expensive. I started taking Ubuquinol and the first thing I noticed right away is I started having much more energy. I have taken Krill, and Policosinol and others that have been suggested to rebuild my muscles and stop cholesterol from sticking in your arteries.

I have done considerable research as would be my suggestion for you. One site that I would suggest is Dr. Duane Graveline at spacedoc.com. These people have a much different attitude toward statin drugs. I know I seem to be getting better slowly all the time. It is just very slow.

Hope this has been some what helpful for you. It was a very scary thing for me and my doctor would not admit and at one time stated she did not believe me. Of course I have a new doctor. Do the research and make up your own mind.

I've been on zocor 80mg. for several years, I've had problems with leg cramps, for awhile but lately, I've been having cramps, and my legs draw real bad and my toes and the tendons up the front of my legs will draw all the way up to my knees. The only way I can get them to ease up is by putting heat on them.

was taking Lipitor from 2005 to 2009. Switched doctors and was then prescribed Crestor, then the doctor also told me to take Niaspan with the Crestor. Now I'm suffering joint pain, memory loss, skin rash and my CK levels and aldolase levels are way above normal.

Doctor told me to stop taking the meds which I did more than a month ago. CK levels still were rising so they sent me to a rheumatologist who sent me for another blood test, CK levels were 1737 by then. (Normal maximum level for CK is 215). This means I have muscle damage and if the CK levels continue to rise that could result in kidney failure.

I went for an EMG (nerve and muscle test) done by a neurologist. Nerves were normal but the muscles have some damage. I have to go for another blood test in another week and if the Ck levels have not started to go down, I have to undergo a muscle biopsy.

I'm scared. Statin drugs are known to cause muscle diseases like rhabdomyolosis, look it up. I hope and pray that my next blood test shows that the Ck levels are going down. Please say a prayer for me.

ALL statin drugs have the same side affects. I have been left with such weakness in my legs and arms. When I exercise the pain and weakness get worse. I had not thought about taking Co10 but am going to try it. The doctors have finally given up on trying to lower my cholesterol and triglycerides. I know its hard but you must try eating more fruits and veggies and fish. Doing this my tests came down from 500 triglycerides to 180 and cholesterol from 360 to 220.

Warning these drugs can also damage your liver it did mine and now that I'm off them my liver function is normal.

Amazingly, I was on pravastatin for 1 1/2 years before I realized something was really wrong. The problems did not come on until months down the road. Out of the clear blue I was diagnosed with a case of bronchitis and possible asthma. Of course it was treated with steroids and later my pulmonologist prescribed advair.

My legs hurt so bad until it felt like someone had a vice grip on it and was tightening it. Sometimes it was in both legs, but mostly my right leg. From the front of my leg to the inside middle hurt. I complained to my pulmunologist because I thought it was a side effect of the advair, he checked my chart and said that it was a side effect of statins.

He sent me immediately for blood tests to check my creatine levels. He never called me back for results so I thought that everything was okay. I figured the pain would soon go away. The pain did subside for a while, however, I am left with aches and pains that I never had before taking statins.

I informed my GP about the problems and told her that I quite taking it because of the side effects. She told me that the pain should subside after I quite taking it. It has a little but, but I still have those aches and pains.

In October 2010, I was started on Simvastatin 20 mg, and by the 3rd week I was in a lot of pain. My triceps/biceps hurt the worst (felt like someone was ripping the muscles apart), but I also had pain in my hips, legs and shoulders. I stopped the Simvastatin, and my blood tests showed elevated CPK and decreased GFR (kidney functioning).

I had labs re-drawn in April, and although my GFR is back to normal, my CPK is still elevated mildly. What I'm finding is that when I try to exercise now, my muscles start getting sore quickly and the soreness lasts longer, which makes it hard to exercise. I was taking CoQ10 when I was on the statin, but stopped then. I plan on re-starting the CoQ10, but am wondering what else I can do to completely heal my muscles so I can be more active again?

Hi Jan D,

Stay hopeful. I took Simvastatin for only a week. It took 3 months to mostly recover and another couple of months to fully recover. I'm back to working out hard 6 to 7 days per week without any statin related pain.

I never had any GFR or CK elevation. So if it took 5 months for me, it might take longer for you. Just keep monitoring your improvement.

I have entries on this site dated Aug 13 2010, Aug 22, Oct 11, Nov 23, Feb 17 2011 that chronicle my condition and improvement.

Good Luck,

BP

I have been on 20 MG of Simvistatin for just over a year now. My right leg has weakness and is in severe pain, no matter if I am walking, sitting, lying in bed. I am 62 years old and lost my job in Feb. 2010. I first attributed the symptoms to depression and a pity party. Time has passed and my life is going well, except for the excruciating pain I am in.

Over the past few months, the pain is so great I am unable to go from a sitting position to standing, without someone helping me up. My pain will not allow me to work, even in an office setting.

My physician had me get xrays and they were normal. I have no insurance and he is asking for me to have an MRI and see an Ortho. Not financially possible.

After reviewing all the feedback on statins, I strongly believe this may be the answer to my pain. My question is, how should I cut back and wean myself off this stuff? I understand "cold turkey" may not be the answer. Any help would be appreciated. I truly want my life back!

With as much pain as you're in I would have no problem deleting the cholesterol drug to see if that is the cause. I know people have said here that you shouldn't go off it cold turkey, but I have never heard that from any doctor. When I had my muscle issues with both Crestor and Lipitor (at different times), my doctor just took me off of them. The same thing happened to my husband who is now having leg muscle pain.

His doctor told him to go off it completely for a few weeks' time to see if the statin was the cause of the problem. I'd say to definitely check with your doctor, but I think they'll just have you go off to see if that's the cause. My own cholesterol is high :-( but I can't seem to tolerate the drug, so I'm on nothing. But at least I no longer have have leg cramps, muscle twitches all day and all night long and shoulder pain. Good luck!

About 5 years ago I took Crestor for about 9 months and started to get pain in my hips so got off have tried other statins but the same result. My doctor told me about a new statin that may work for me and I was on it for 28 days, it's call Livalo. One morning upon rising I was fine and about noon it came on all of a sudden the pain was bad I have almost cried with it. It was in the ankle, the right hand my whole back my hips, legs, and knees. I have been off for 5 days and every day is better, I also had watery eyes and wasn't passing urine the way I should. I think the FDA is using us as an experiment. No more of that stuff for me.

no more for me. I'm 36 with only borderline cholesterol levels (210 total, 140ish LDL) and was encouraged last year to try statins since I have a family history of elevated cholesterol. I'm in excellent physical shape and weight train and cardio at high intensities. Went on 10mg of pravastatin and at 30 days I quit. Had major digestive issues and painful abdominal gas pain. I thought I had instantly become lactose intolerant! No other issues I could detect and my cholesterol did drop to 165. Took me about 8 months to get back to normal eating.

Year later, back for my physical and the same old levels as before so we try something new - 5mg of simvistatin. Tiny amount right? 2 days into it I spend an afternoon laying a flagstone patio and the next day felt like I had spent an hour dead-lifting I was so sore. 3 days later, an hour of shoveling mulch led to significant muscle soreness. These are tasks that never would have caused much pain in the shape I'm in.

Final straw was a leg workout I did (similar to the past 8 weeks) and experienced major muscle soreness and joint pain afterward. I quit the statin and now look forward to light workouts for a while until I can kick this. No thanks statins. I'll focus on diet and exercise.

Dear readers and patients;

Society and Western Medicine has many reasons for which to thank the Good Old Boys Club, however Statins are not one of them.

A note to patients: your side effects are real, your intuition is correct. These medicines cause many subtle and not so subtle side effects. Your doctor, well intentioned, has been schooled in a system which focuses on pharmacological treatment of disease. The Western medicine education system, including studies, and classroom information, is a pharmacologic based paradigm.
I would embrace exercise, whatever you can do, healthy eating, deep breathing and stress reduction, and a supplement program which includes Krill oil and Vitamin D, and a B complex.

In Health and Wellness
Susan Kallal MD, Pharm D
Dermatologist, Los Angeles

I stopped taking Crestor last Oct. 2010. I have done all that you suggested and more. Exercise makes it worse. This is the weirdest side effect. When the weather changes it is just like when I first quit taking the Crestor. I can hardly turn over in bed my shoulders hurt so bad. When it gets nice I am fine and my arms don't hurt. I can exercise and move them pretty good.

One thing I can not do is like reach in back of me without screaming. For example to get my safety belt in the car. Reach for something in the back seat. Some times when I just go to reach for something my arm pops real loud. That hurts. At least I can fix my hair myself now. That was the worst not being able to fix my own hair. I live alone and it was horrible not being able to brush my own air.

I have been taking Krill oil, Ubiquinol 1,000 mg, Prolicosonal 20mg, D3, B6&12, Vitamin C, I am very angry about all this. I wasn't sick at all when I was given this and now because the weather changes so much where I live at least once or twice a month I go through that pain over and over again. In my book you wouldn't see me taking any of that stuff.

Who really know just what that stuff would be doing to your heart. That's a muscle too. I suggest researching other type of vitamins that help the heart. They say Policosonal helps because it keeps the Cholesterol from sticking. The biggest problem is I am on SS and they don't pay for any of these treatments. I have had to pay for them all myself. I still think the FDA should be suided for their part in all this. They are the one that approve all this so you know they are being paid by the Pharma's. Well, that's all I'll stop ranting and good luck to all of you. DJS

Help! Background: I am taking Crestor and have been for about a year. I suffer from Bipolar and had ECT (shock therapy) for 3 weeks, ending a week ago. I was put on a new med for high Blood Pressure when I first started the ECTs (a month ago) called Lisinopril (Zestril)and got terrible migraines from the ECTs that never went away. Yesterday I was taken to the ER for the migraines and put on a medicine for the migraine called Butabital/Apap/Caffeine (Fioricet), and one for anxiety called Prochlorperazine (Compazine), which doubles for nausea medicine.

That is when the severe joint pain started, last night. Tonight, my joints hurt so badly I can barely stand it. I cannot move on my own but type and walk and that hurts. I have pain swallowing as well. I saw on Webmd that it is a 10% chance with Crestor and it is not a severe issue but it sure feels that way. I have not taken it today, but have taken the Compazine and Fioricet, and also Motrin. It has gotten worse. I am not sure what to do and I am terrified.

I have anxiety and panic anyway and I fear death. I know that is not realistic, but I have Bipolar and that comes with my illness. I do not need this at all. Does anyone else have this issue and how long did it take to resolve? Thank you in advance and I will try to keep you up to date on my progress. :)

~Jaden

I have been on vytorin for 2 years. I have had pain in my right calf since that time. Nobody including my endocrinologist could tell me why I had this pain. I even had veneous and arterial dopplers done on both calves to rule out a blood clot. The pain was always severe at night and I limped every night. It would always be better in the morning and only slightly sore in the morning which makes sense because that is when I would take it.

I stopped taking vytorin 4 days ago and am 90% pain free in that calf. I feel so much better when I walk that I was able to walk 6 miles yesterday.

Went on Simvistatin for about 1 month. In addition, I was taking Requip for RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome). The front of my legs (top to bottom) hurt so badly (I think I have a high tolerance to pain) that I went to bed in tears around 4:PM to 6:PM each day.

Thought I had bought the farm, and started my will and final directives. Rubbed them, heat padded them. Nothing worked. Finally after pacing the house one weekend, I threw them both in the trash. Cold turkey'ed it - kicked them both. (Many reactions to that - perhaps dangerous even?) >>> I now take MSM 1000 Mg -8 to 10 EA. AND Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc mixture. I have been a 'sugar junkie' most of my life, and am guessing it depleted the Magnesium, I am now up to 4 capsules per day OR 1600 Mg of Magnesium and no RLS and especially NO pain!!!

It has to be gradually taken up to the dose or you get diarrhea - but that too will subside. YOU CANNOT TRUST PEOPLE WHO GET COMMISSION FROM 'BIG PHARMS' to have the common person in their best interest. That boat has floated years ago!!! BE PRO-ACTIVE! May not work for everyone - but IT WORKED FOR ME! >>> This was not meant to replace YOUR doctors advice - have to say that for the brain-washed out there!!!!

Have been having hip and upper leg pain for months. Has steadily been getting worse, especially at night while in bed. My doctor has told me to stop Zocor, which I have been on for years. A few years ago the dosage was doubled. I will have to wait and see if my problem stops or gets better. She has prescribed pain medication for now.

I was taking Lipitor for a few months about 5 years ago, but was not feeling well, when it got to the point where I had muscle pain in my legs and back where I could not even sit along with vomiting . I went to the emergency room twice. The first time the doctors could not find anything wrong with me and sent me home. The second time I was away on vacation and ended up going to the emergency room because I felt so badly.

The Doctor in that hospital told me that it was a side effect of Lipitor and to stop it immediately. I have not been able to take statins since then . The problem I still have after all these years is that I get terrible cramping in all my muscles at various times which I did not have before lipitor, I am wondering if this is a result of taking Lipitor.

Today was eye opening, jaw dropping etc.

I'm 44 and about 3-4 years ago I was put on Simvastatin. About maybe 6 months later I started noticing pretty bad foot and leg discomfort. Soreness in feet, tingling legs with pain under each thigh especially when sitting down. Soon after I started getting tingling and muscle pain in my forearms through the fingers. I was baffled on where all this pain was coming from.

Desperate for answers I went online and much of the information I could find seemed to point toward sciatica. I went to my GP explained the pain and discomfort and he referred me to a neurologist. The neurologist sent me to the hospital to get an MRI. They found nothing but thought based on the scans that I could have a mild degenerative disc issue as well as maybe some mild arthritis.

Seemed like it could make sense since arthritis and back issues are linked to our entire body. The doc gave me some anti-inflammatory pills and recommended physical therapy so I could learn to stretch better etc. I've always worked out regularly but additional stretching, therapy and anti-inflammatory pills had no effect on the pain.

I kept working out and eventually stopped the pills and therapy since it was a waste of money. However, during of my last physical therapy sessions the therapist recommended that I see a vascular specialist. Still desperate for an answer I immediately requested a referral for someone and made an appointment. This is where the next I spent in limbo for the last 2-3 years.

Within 10 minutes of explaining my history as well as condition the vascular doc says with 100% certainty that I have a deep venous insufficiency. He explained the condition, symptoms etc and I have to admit it was pretty dead on what I was experience. With the exception of the minor forearm/fingers issue I was sold. He said there was pretty much nothing I could do about the pain and recommended I continue to work out like I do and to start wearing knee high compression socks.

He thought that many people find the socks helpful with their circulation which could ultimately cut back on the pain. After a year or so of searching I was bummed about my condition I finally thought I had an answer. After 3 months of wearing those horrible things I stopped because it did nothing for me. The pain continued and has definitely gotten a bit worse so I went back to this guy a couple more times over the next 2 years and he continued to say there was nothing he could do.

My GP was proving referrals and I gave him periodic updates on my situation. Overall I kinda of gave up my research and was of the mindset that I just have to suck it up. Well I work for an agency that does a lot of work for Siemens Medical which makes some of the best CT, MRI's and Ultrasound devices on the planet. During a project with their Ultrasound product team I casually explained my situation which caused them to ask about my doppler test.

I of course never got one and realized how stupid that probably was to base this entire condition on one guys opinion. They in turn gave me the name someone that they highly recommend in my area. I made the appointment with the new vascular specialist to get my doppler test done. Here's where my jaw dropped.

After a thorough series of tests on the most state of the art Ultrasound system the doc tells me that he sees absolutely NO evidence of a vascular insufficiency. He said my legs look great inside and out and immediately started probing me about my history on Simvastatin. He explains that many of the Simvastatin side effects mirror that of various vascular conditions and that I wanted to call my GP right away to get me off the drug.

I'm still in shock as this all happened today. Next steps are to get a blood test done so they can test my enzymes which I'm doing tomorrow. Now that this has all happened it's amazing how much information is actual out there on this which is so maddening. I guess I'm most mad at my GP for not catching this however I feel super lucky I didn't give up on this. I'll update as soon as I get me blood tests back.

I have been taking a natural supplement containing red yeast rice to lower my cholesterol. It also contains high B's and a couple other herbs. I have been on this for almost a year. A few months ago I started experiencing muscle spasms in various muscles in my legs, arms, and back.

A couple weeks ago my muscles became swollen and extremely painful. I could hardly walk or move the pain was so intense. Thank God I found a Dr. who brought up this supplement and asked me to stop taking it for a while and see if my symptoms would subside. I have been off this product for about two weeks now, and am feeling better. My question is, how long does it take to be totally gone from by body and what kind of damage could have been done?

Dear DF,
I am constantly jaw-droppingly-surprised that doctors, the educated people into whose hands we put our health, don't look for the simple in your face explanation for symptoms like you were having.

The first thing a doctor should ask is "what drugs are you taking?" I see this happen again and again... One friend was being treated like she had cancer when all she needed was to be taken off Fosomax! When I went to my doctor with muscle problems, he told me to stop taking my statin drug for a week. He said in that time if the symptoms resolved it was the drug... if not it was something else. Well, baloney with that!!! It took months for symptoms to go away but they did.

If it were up to him I would have gone back on the drug because the symptoms didn't subside in the first week and gone to a round of doctors like you did seeking a reason and a solution for a problem caused by a drug. We have to be our own advocates... and do lots of our own research. We just can't trust our doctors completely to do it for us.
LM

I am 42 and a coach that has trained kids in soccer for over 14 years and have never had issues other than Knee surgery on my left knee. I have taken a statin for over 4 years and the last 8 months I started to have all kinds of muscle problems.

1st my left leg was very weak couldn't lift my leg at times to walk and forget about playing soccer with the kids. I attributed the weakness to my knee surgery and getting older. Next came the muscle twitching in my left arm and it eventually spread to my whole body, cramping in my calfs and hamstrings in the middle of the night, no energy needing to take a nap every day for at least 1 hour.

My Dr. has performed many tests and ALL have come back negative. I know its the statins and now off them for 6 weeks. I'm starting to feel better but still weak in the legs and the twitching continues. I hope in a few months I will be at least 50% better as these symptoms are driving me crazy!!! HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO RECOVER IF THAT IS POSSIBLE AT ALL?
T

Dear T,

I am 47 year old female, an athlete, a medical doctor, and I have a doctorate in pharmacy. Your story is far too common.

My advice to you is to take high dose CoQ10- in the reduced form, also known as Ubiquinol. I would suggest 400mg daily. You can purchase this at vitamin stores and health food stores. Make sure you are also taking a quality omega 3 oil, such as Krill oil. Take 2 capsules of these daily. Get lots of rest and do stretching daily to keep your body relaxed. Massage is also great. I think you will recover, however it may take some time. It seems that the side effects of statins are often delayed and somewhat nonspecific, and are thus falsely attributed to aging.
Best of luck.

Dr S

I just started taking these statin drugs. For the past week I can not sleep and have painful cramps and uncontrolled spasms in my back. From what I am reading I should look to a better choice.

Could you tell me what dosage you took please so my father can try this method as he is having trouble with statins.

6 years ago I developed excruciating pain in all my joints. At the time I was taking Vytorin. My Doctor told me to stop taking it immediately. The pains went away in about a month. I was taking Vytorin for almost a year. I quit taking statins for the next 5 years. I started again taking simvastatin a year ago and sure enough I developed the pain.

I stopped the simvastatin immediately (on my own) There is still a little pain in both feet and almost a month now that I quit taking the drug. I am wondering if something can trigger the statin related pain. Or can it take (in my case) a year to create havoc? My (newer) Doctor doesn't think it is the statin. Is he crazy????!!

Statins cause not only muscle damage, memory loss, hair loss, fingernail damage, depression, weight gain but other side effects as well. Doctors are aware of this and continue to prescribe them. This is the voice of experience speaking.

After about 7 months of shoulder pain which was getting subtly worse, I finally took myself off Pravastatin 20MG. This pain came on so slowly I had no idea it was the drug, just thought it was age related. I could barely brush my hair and could not put my hands to my waist, putting on a top was painful, I'm 54 years old. Now, only 7 days after getting off the statin completely, I find myself able to brush the hair and can put my hands to my waist will little discomfort. These drugs are awful. I have talked my husband into getting off his statin drug also. I wish I lived in Europe where they don't even put patients on these meds unless your level is above 330. Remember to be your own advocate. I will not become a cripple just because some big pharma says I might, just might have a heart attack sometime in the future if I don't take their drug.

I've been on statins during the last 5 years, currently I'm on 20mg LIPITOR; all symptoms described here I have. I was on zocor, vitorin and all the rest of them.

I stopped taking the medication two months ago because, as I had suspected from the get-go my left-calf (or possibly achiles tendon, fact is a sharp pain which disables me overtime it hurts) keeps tearing up, I'm in the Army and I run a lot, my left calf is finally healing, however I think permanent damage has occurred.

Funny thing is during year 2007 the whole time I kept tearing-up BOTH my calves during the entire year, I couldn't understand what was going on, I got the proper rest after every event, but during light warm-ups and runs, the result was the same: Torn calves.

I've asked the doctors if it was the cholesterol meds, but every time they're quick to respond, "It's not the meds; it's possibly something else", yes I have had the MRI's done like everyone else here. After I dumped the POISON is when I started getting a little better.

Md prescribed 10mg Lipitor in May 2011.
It only took 2 weeks and I couldn't walk 18 holes of golf anymore, where prior to I walked 18 holes 3x a week. Severe weakness overall, cramping and numbness in my feet is frequent.

Got off Sept 14 for good - hope for a best. Thank you all for your experience.
Tom

I am so glad i found this site. I started out on pravachol 10 years ago, then crestor than added tricor to that one then somewhere along the way i was changed to just simvastatin 20 mg then 2 years ago it was bumped to 40mg. over the years i noticed more and more leg pain. when i walk i feel like i have 50 pound weights on them. I work in retail so i am on my feet 8 hours a day walking. i cant wait to get home and sit down. I cant even walk the mall anymore and i am only 49.

sometimes at night my legs ache so bad just lying in bed. they also sometimes just jerk and move out of the blue. and getting out of bed in the morning i feel like i was beaten in my sleep; I also have hypothyroidism andi take med for it.

i am now convinced that the statins are the problem and i want to get off of them and at least see if the problem gets better. you guys have said not to stop cold turkey but to taper off. i know you're not doctors but how exactly should i accomplish this? Maybe this has something to do with my memory loss, brittle nails, fatigue, insomnia..oh did i mention INSOMNIA, i cant concentrate, i get frustration and none of this has been fixed by hormone therapy.

Julie,
I saw your post and definitely think you should consider stopping the medication. I would check with your doctor about getting off of it, but I know my doctor never said anything about tapering off the drug. I just stopped taking it. It took about two months for the symptoms to disappear, but they did. I too have hypothyroidism, and in researching, I later found out that statin drugs need to be prescribed with caution for hypo patients.

I Started taking statins in June of 2009. In November I fell on some Ice very hard. I thought I was OK and then my back soon started hurting like crazy. By Christmas I could hardly walk, I was very weak, depressed, it had worked into my shoulders. I decided to go to a Chiropractor.

I have hurt my back several times in the past and that usually took care of it. I was going to the Chiropractor three times a week, I continued to get sicker and unable to roll over in bed my shoulders hurt so bad. My knee started swelling and I couldn't make it up the stairs at work. I couldn't walk more than a half of a block. My wrists and fingers stated hurting. I was sick and week.

I am on a fixed income so I held off going to the doctor because I was paying out so much for the chiropractor. After sending me for several more tests she decided it could be the medication. By that time my arms were so sore I could hardly stand it.

I stopped the medication and I started to get better very slowly. She told me that if my arms are net better in a couple of weeks then it is the Zocor. Well, they are much better my knee is swollen but I can't move my arms like I use too. They get very bad with the change of weather.

I just read this whole site. I have been fighting my doctor over this for years and it came up again. (my LDL is 163). He gives me 3 mos to do it on my own. I did it last time even before I lost 30#.

So I started all the supplements I had on hand from last time, only this time I took the Red Rice Yeast as directed instead of haphazardly.

I developed terrible sciatica and saw my chiropractor 3X in the 2 weeks on the stuff. He couldn't understand why I was not responding as I usually do. I got worse each time and felt very "unwell". I could hardly get out of bed and that alarmed him. My limbs felt like they wanted to curl up in pain.

I realized it was the Red Rice Yeast (lovastatin) and I stopped it after 2 weeks time. I still have strange pains and cramping and had a very bad night and barely walked this morning. I'm 64 and very active, usually doing things like Yoga.

I hope I haven't damaged myself too much. My brother has been on statins for years and he's gotten Parkinson's. His cholesterol is very low now. Our eyes are made up of cholesterol. Dr. Guptka said that it depends what size our LDL particles are and people with low cholesterol also have heart attacks. So many little old ladies in their 90's have high rates of cholesterol. There is a lot our doctors do not know. A pharmacist in the family has been after me for years to not take statins. He suggested guggal lipid which I take. After all I had to fight with FIVE doctors who tried to put me on estrogen (HRT) years ago.

I will never take statins again and I informed my doctor. He is very threatening about my "dying" from LDL which is ridiculous. Otherwise he's OK but I might find someone more informed.....

Please be careful and for all those suffering, my heart goes out to all of you.

Reading these remarks from your readers has prompted me to add mine and those of my friend.

My friend, 83 years old and in good health, has been taking Simvastatin 80 mg., and Amlodopine 2.5 mg. for some years. She has often complained of the intense cramps in her legs which become intolerable at times. She has also complained of muscle cramps. Recently, she received a medication alert bulletin from Bi-Mart Drug Store about the effects of Simvastatin and Amlodopine, and advised that the Simvastatin should be reduced from 80 mg. to 40 mg. After phoning her physician, who was on vacation, she talked to the doctor's nurse about this alert she was told to do as she wished.

In my own case, after having taken Simvastatin 5 mg. for five months, I developed a severe burning sensation and deep stabbing pains on the soles of my feet. These sensations occurred at night. It was impossible to rest my feet in bed, and I was forced to place my feet outside the covers. I often cried with the pain. I was prescribed this medication after my blood tests showed an elevated LDL range of 132, although my HDLs were excellent. I have always been a very active swimmer and engaged in cardiovascular exercises, until suffering a nasty rotator cuff tear and hip replacement shortly afterwards.

My recovery period was lengthy and my exercise was nil. Given that I was in such misery and unable to learn anything from my physician and a foot specialist, I researched several articles on the Internet and learned about the number of people who had complained about the very same symptoms after taking Simvastatin, including Lipitor. After having stopped Simvastatin, I am trying to faithfully cut back on fats, although I am a perfect weight, and in good health. I am being treated for high blood pressure (Amlodopine, Propranolol,Losartin, and an occasional Xanax).

Thank you for sharing these concerns. They are immensely comforting to read, although so many people have far worse symptoms than mine. I am eager to know if anyone has had similar symptoms with their feet. Apparently my dosage of 5 mg. was far less than that of most!

I'm 30 years old, and the doctors in the military thought my cholesterol level was too high, being at 200. But I'm genetically bound to have high cholesterol. Anyways, being a 30 year old female, and weighing in at 136lbs, and active and healthy, the VA prescribed me Simvastatin at 20mg...... I took it for awhile and it did lower my points, unfortunately I didn't religiously take them and the cholesterol went back up. They prescribed me 40mg instead.

I took the medication for little over a month, and then the last 2 weeks I noticed severe pain in my right inner bicep. Thinking that I over did it with weightlifting, I took some time off, only to notice the pain to migrate to the other side, down the arms, in the elbow joints, knees, ankles, and shoulders. The pain became so consistent, I knew something was wrong.

Then I started getting "flu" symptoms without the fever. I went to the VA today and found out that I was having severe reactions to the medication. They told me to stop taking it for a week. I think I'll stop forever. It was so bad that I couldn't pick up a 5 lb dumbbell.

LM,
Thanks for the input. I haven't talked to my doctor but the pharmacist recommended getting a fresh cholesterol screen so I know my numbers then take one tablet every other day for about 3 weeks then stop. She suggested I get another screening in 6 months to see what effect not taking the drug has.

Almost two years ago my Father who is 54 started having muscle pain, especially in his feet, about 4 months after starting Lovastatin. He went to the doctor but the connection was not made or even considered and he continued to take Lovastatin. His condition has worsened and is having so much muscle pain that he went to the ER a couple of weeks ago where they ran all kinds of tests, MRI, x-rays, etc and found nothing.

It has gotten worse even though he has stopped taking Lovastatin. He has lost about 30lbs and his cholesterol is now normal and he no longer needs blood pressure medication but walking is extremely painful and difficult. The pain has advanced to his hands and is going up his arms. He is experiencing other symptoms of myositis and rhabdomyolysis..

He's been to several specialists and no one seems to know what is wrong. Originally his doctor thought it was gout, but when the pain didn't lighten up they sent him to another specialist. The pain is now so bad that he has had to shut down his company and cannot work. He uses a wheel chair to get around..

I've read more articles in which people state their pain went away after stopping Lovastatin, so why is my father still in pain?? Will it ever go away? Will he ever be able to walk again? And why didn't his doctor take him off this medication two years ago when the pain began?!

I started on the Statin drug road back in 2001; was on and off the drug until 2009 when I stopped it for good. I will never take this drug again. I am still suffering muscle and nerve pain after two years of not taking the drug. I am hoping I have not suffered irreversible damage to my body systems. One can only hope!

It has been my experience that it takes several months or even years for the side effects to be totally gone; in some cases maybe never due to the damage statins do to our bodies.

I found most of my information at www.spacedoc.net. This site was created by a medical doctor.

All of you having trouble with Lipitor, and especially having doctors saying your muscle problems aren't from Lipitor.... DANGER!!! Find a new doctor. Lipitor's own info that comes with your medicine says this is the most common side effect and that the muscle damage may be permanent. Lipitor kills your Co-Q10 enzyme which is necessary for muscle repair. So as you damage muscles, which happens daily, they don't get repaired. These side effects occurred in over 9% of patients in Lipitor's 53 week drug trial at a 40mg dose.

This is on their medicine insert that comes with the medication!! That's about 10%, and it warns in several places that this muscle pain, weakness, etc means you should stop Lipitor. There are so many other ways to lower cholesterol and anyway the main cause of heart attack isn't cholesterol, it's plaque, and Lipitor does nothing to plaque.

All of this happened to my husband. He was a doctor himself and on Lipitor for cholesterol. He had a major heart attack and that plaque broke away from his heart and went into his brain and gave him a stroke on the right and left and cerebellum areas of his brain. He recovered everything but some of his speech in a little over 4 years. He was walking and active and fine with mobility.

Today, after so much work after the stroke, he can't walk without falling, his arms and legs have no strength and he's in so much pain in all his muscles. We have been to so many different types of doctors trying to figure out why. In May of this year he was fine and he started to notice a little foot drop and a little pain. This has progressed to him needing a wheelchair and help getting up and putting on shoes etc. And he's only 51.

Through self research we made the Lipitor link, and he stopped immediately and he's getting better and better each day. It has been 3 weeks and we aren't sure what of this is going to be permanent and I am so mad that after all he's come thru to be knocked back down by something that was supposed to help him.

I have been sick for about 6 yrs now an the doctor could never figure out what was wrong. This now I believe was after being put on Lovastatin 40mg. Aren't you suppose to go see the doctor every 3 months to have your cholesterol checked??? Mine was never checked and kept taking the 40mg until I had to have surgery and the doctor told me why was I taking it??? But, been back on it an yes after yrs of being on it every joint hurts an days I feel like flu like symptoms, headaches, night sweats, and even had MRI's done since I have been on Lovastatin due to prior Anyerisum in my head that needs to be done yearly, an the MRI's of my brain since have shown A LOT of changes to now the Dr. is checking me for M.S.

MRI shows a lot of deep white matter changes in the brain an small vessel changes. This scares me only because the damage could now of gone to my brain to. 2 yrs ago I complained of upper ABD pain an the Drs didn't believe me.

Last yr in Oct. had an ERCP done an they found my Pancreatic bile duct clogged up an had to have surgery to open it. My lipase levels an triglycerides were up and down. I have been suffering from pain in my joints, headaches, brain is foggy, always tired, and cannot sleep, and my blood work still is abnormal.

So, as of today I stop taking this drug if this is the cause!!! This drug I now believe is the problem that I cannot be cured of.... Now in Nov. I have to have my brain-stem and visual response checked because also my eyes sight has changed out. When I mentioned to a Dr. I was going to stop due to I believe this is the problem an yrs of MRI's probably showed before an after the use of Lovastatin.

Theresa,

What brand of Red Yeast Rice do you take? I am also very concerned about the side effects of statins, but I understand not all the brands of Red Yeast Rice have the same quality or safety.

Thanks very much,

Jade

I Have made several comments about my own experience on this site. There is now a law suite being created against Zocor. I am on that list. I have written this before and given the address to get ahold of but they haven't published it on here. I guess I can't do that. Do some reserch you will find it. This stuff does not go away. I stopped taking zocore over a year and a half ago. It comes back with a vengence when the weather changes. I still do not have full use of my arms after a year and a half off the stuff.

I just went off my lovastatin myself. This is only the 2nd day I've been off but I noticed that I actually stood upright this morning when I got up, not crooked over like a 100 yr. old!!!

I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 3 yrs. ago and take 40 mg. of percocet a day for it. [ female, 63 yrs. old] I have gone from being a total slug to working out at the gym 3-4 times a week for 5 months.

I have been in horrendous pain the whole time [thought I would build up my stamina] my measurements have remained the same and my body still looks like I've lost a ton of weight, though I have not. I also have loose hanging skin, and extreme weakness in my muscles. My Dr. has not called me back to give me his 'blessings' on my quitting the lovastatin but I will not be going back on it!!

I'm going to try and build up my coq10 by taking a supplement daily and see if my problems don't continue to disappear.

In May of 2011 I went into my doctor for routine labs. I told him at that time that this was the best I had felt, ever! I am 65 and WAS in excellent health, with only meds being for blood pressure. Labs were all good except for cholesterol, which didn't surprise me as I have had high readings for several years. Over those years I have been put on numerous types and brands of cholesterol meds, with flu-like, achy symptoms within a few weeks.

I agreed in May to try another type of statin and haven't felt good since! I recall having company and almost being unable to climb up the steps of our deck. I went in for labs, but they didn't show muscle damage, and was told by my doctor to continue the statins as directed. I have stopped them, started them, over and over. I am now refusing to take statins and I am praying my aches and pains subside soon. There is so much I want to do, but so far, my health puts me in a 'hold pattern'. Each day I feel like I have run a marathon. Not the way I wanted to spend my retirement and my visits to grandchildren.

I am 69 years old. I have been on Lipitor 20 mg for 7 years then Lipitor 40 mg for 3 years. I love to walk but about 5 months ago my thigh muscles began to ache accompanied by pain in my right kidney. I stopped taking Lipitor 4 months ago and notified my cardiologist. He gave me a prescription for Simvastatin 20 mg but I have not taken them and will not start until the thigh muscle pain goes away.

If the pain ever goes away I would try 1/4 of a pill (5 mg) and see what happens. If the pain comes back then I will know it is the statin. However, reading all the comments, I am worried that permanent statin muscle damage has been done and the pain may never go away.

mac, I am also 69 and have been taking Lipitor for years. I started having thigh muscle pain in both legs about 6 months ago and have quit taking statins. I have been off Statins for 5 months and the thigh muscle pain is still severe. The pain seems to get worse through the night as I sleep and by about 5:00 am I can't sleep with it and get up and walk around.

The pain is about a #6 when I wake up but after I begin walking the pain begins to decrease and after 1 mile it has decreased to just a weak tired feeling. My hope is that eventually the pain will go away and stay away.

Please let me know how you are getting along.

Dave S.

I had the same situation. The statins affected my thigh muscles--severe aching. But also noticed knee pain.

Go to an orothopedic surgery place that specializes in sports medicine and you might find out that you have a torn meniscus that can be repaired. It seemed pretty easy and I was back walking in 8 weeks. Was swimming within a week. Pretty sure the swimming made my recovery faster.

So far, I have virtually no more achy muscles! Hooray! I have been off the statin for almost one month. Good luck!

I had a mild heart attack two weeks ago. I really had no risk factors. I always had excellent cholesterol numbers and still do. Dr put me on Simvastin 20 mg and Lipitor 10 mg. Discharge nurse, pharmacist and primary Dr didn't understand why heart Dr put me on both. Pharmacist called husband over when he got the meds and told him that is rarely done. I now have muscle pain in both legs and hip pain along with flushing off and on at night.

I questioned Dr when in the hospital. He found a 40% blockage in one small area which was not in a major area. He said he didn't want it to get worse. My cholesterol has always been under 200 and my good cholesterol is perfect. I am a 50 yr old female.

I stopped the simvastin last night and will also skip the Lipitor tonight. I will call the Dr Monday. I just hope the side effects aren't permanent since its only been two weeks. I am so thankful I found this site.

People's Pharmacy response: We agree that prescribing two drugs in the same class doesn't seem logical.

I used statins at the prescribed doses and I started to feel cramps in my legs. I have reduced the dose at 5 mg three times a week. The cholesterol went down. After a year, I started to experience breathing problems, twitching nerves and muscles, and heat in my fingers as well as my toes. I accidentally was reading a novel from Somerset Maugham "Human Bondage" and read that his uncle was suffering from neuritis. I had no idea about the disease so I looked it up in the Internet.

I learned that it is an inflammation of the nerves, which is basically what I was feeling at a negligent dose. Whether my reasoning is good or not, I think statins is actually destroying the nerves by eating away the myelin made of fat surrounding the nerves; thus, among others, the reason of memory loss. I immediately stopped statins, the only medicine I was taking. I am watching the tips of my fingers and my toes. My breathing went back to normal.

Medicine is absolutely scary with all its side effects. The movie Limitless (although exaggerated in its form and entirely fictional) shows what can happen when medicine is taking over someone's body as well as its deleterious side effects. We are dealing with pharmaceutical companies which sell sometimes at more than 200,000 times the initial expenses of a drug. Greed is everywhere at the expense of us all, sad but true.

I too was injured by Lipitor. I only took 10mg for one month, but from the second week I began to experience pain in my big toes bilaterally. I though it was my new shoes and my new job that involved travel. By the third week I had excruciating pain in my feet when walking even barefoot. Week four I woke and was barely able to walk due to weakness in my legs, my feet, ankles, knees were all hurting.

I was also experiencing weakness in my upper extremities and pain in my hands. I went to the ER because I was concerned about Rhabdo due to Lipitor. I was found to not have rhabdo, but the symptoms were eventually blamed on the Lipitor. It is now 6 months later and I am still in pain, no longer able to travel without assistance due to the weakness and pain, no longer able to walk through botanical gardens or zoos, kayak in the ocean and many of the other activities that I used to enjoy.

I have 3 doctors (internal medicine, rheumatologist, neurologist) that all agree I had a serious adverse reaction to Lipitor. There is no guidance on how to treat or what the course of the adverse reaction will take on my body. I have been told that the outlook is not good for recovery when symptoms last this long, but where does that really leave me?

I will never treat my mildly elevated cholesterol again, and I "preach" the dangers of statins to anyone who will listen. I am frightened by the wave of new users that will come with the loss of Pfizer's patent and lower cost, easier availability due to generic Lipitor.

I had used crestor for approx 8 years and initially had a numb and aching right heel. Eventually I now have numbness and pain continually of my hands and feet and most recently my left biceps area. The numbness is spreading further over my body and I have had many tests all to no avail.

As much as the doctors try to say it is not statins I know it is. I have since taken myself off them. It is early days but it seems I will be stuck with permanent nerve damage and muscle problems.

Hi all

I have been on lipitor 10mg for over 7 years, in the last year I have been suffering from muscle pain and joint pain in shoulders elbows and now hip, I am 69 years old, I also suffer with diabetes 2 and have my blood checked yearly etc etc my cholesterol has been OK over the years, I did a lot of water skiing and body building in my 30 and 40s and had really big biceps etc, but I am afraid that my muscles have just disintegrated over the last 5 years to nothing, my biceps look like pimples, this has also put strain on my joints, I have decided to stop my lipitor to-day for the next 3 weeks, been told it takes 3 weeks for the effect of a drug to wear off, hope my pains go away we will see, will post again when I have news, will also see the Dr to tell him what the results are ?

My girlfriend, age 57, slim build has been suffering severe muscle cramps for the past 8 weeks after taking Simvastatin for only a month. Aches, pain, stiffness in joints, swelling and tingling. Unbelievably bad, discouraging side effects. How in the world do we rid her body of the lingering effects of this statin drug once and for all? She has had excellent health until this episode. She is one of the fortunate few who have never had to take any type any type of Rx medication. We have a doctor appointment set for next week. Thanks!!!!

Hi. I'm researching nerve issues/numbness lately... in my case likely from menopause and some past nerve damage. Just wanted to share that at the U.S. National Library of Medicine online you can find lots of great studies. Some things that can help heal nerves are - the mushroom Lion's Mane, gingko biloba, L-Carnitine, Ashitaba, Ashwagandha, Benfotiamine and Skullcap. It's important to have sufficient minerals. Also using a rebounder is good. I hope things improve for you soon! :0) Prayer - the best medicine

(always do your own research, triple check things and work with a natural practitioner whenever possible).

Have your cholesterol level got down?
Where can I find the red yeast rice tablets?

On accident I found this site. I am 57-years old and was a very healthy individual up until 9-years ago. Yes, I have had common colds among other minor bugs and the general crud on occasion, but nothing serious. My problems or rather my nightmare started with a simple flu virus that put me in bed for 3-4 days running high fever and I did and do take a flu shot every year.

The short version is that the virus attacked my heart approximately 2-weeks later and I LITERALLY could not walk across the room. I did not have a heart attack, but was diagnosed with Dilated Cardiomyopathy. My ejection fraction was measured at 8% to which is simply horrible. I received a Heart Pump (LVAD) in August of 2004 as a bridge to find a donor with a suitable heart to which I was blessed with in March 2005.

The trauma of the surgeries were a challenge to say the least. I experienced severe nerve damage in my lower legs and feet to which took a couple of years for the nerves to regenerate. Additionally, I experienced all kinds of complications not because of the new heart, but rather the trauma of the surgeries. Gall Bladder removed, several intestinal blockages requiring emergency surgeries, herniated diaphragm from the heart pump -- the list goes on and on.

Approximately 4 1/2 years ago I started taking Pravastatin only shortly after to begin experiencing severe cramps in my feet and horrible charlie horses that would just sit me right up out of a dead sleep. These cramps were so bad at times that the muscles would hurt for days afterwards. My neck and shoulders became always stiff and I started having headaches unlike anything I have ever experienced in my life.

My problems were gradually getting worse finally to the point I was in chronic pain 24/7 -- the total nightmare.

I complained about this to my doctor every visit and was hospitalized several times only to find nothing wrong. I really believe the doctors thought I was crazy and a complete pain. The patient we can't cure and he won't die!!!

I did finally seek a psychiatrist and was diagnosed with clinical depression. I was placed on 10mg of Lexapro and that seemed to offer some relief. Seriously, I did start to feel better, but the joint and muscle pain was still in the background. Chronic pain 24/7 does become a lifestyle and you tend to forget and/or just tolerate the pain.

I was placed on Lipitor this past September 2011 in place of the Pravastatin and my pain issues have become much worse. I went to the doctor to complain about the increase in pain and was told that my uric acid level was high and the gout was the reason for my pain. I started taking medication for gout, but the pain was just taking over everywhere. For reasons unknown my left side seems to experience the worse of it, especially my left elbow and when I extend and bend my thumb down it immediately shoots big pain all the way through my elbow.

The pain is now unbearable and I was referred to a joint and bone specialist. I was blown away when he reviewed my current medication list and asked how long I had been taking Lipitor. I have never met this doctor until this past Monday and within 5-minutes after some x-rays he was convinced that the Pravastatin and Lipitor were likely the problem. He explained that approximately 10% of the people on these statin medications have my exact problems. Nothing really specific as the pain moves around and varies day to day, though it never totally goes away.

Today I cannot hold a glass of water in my left hand because of the pain.

Of course, I have been researching this since Monday and I am the Poster Child. I am very worried and from what I understand this could be permanent because I have been taking statin medications for years with no clue. My overall cholesterol is 170 and the bad cholesterol is 103 albeit high from what I understand. The rest of my 4-page blood work report showed everything else completely normal....

I stopped the Lipitor today and starting taking CO Q-10 200mg along with 2000u of vitamin C based upon my research. I pray that this helps and gives some relief shortly to which from what I have read is unlikely...

How could my medical team have missed this? In a matter of a couple of hours I have become aware that are many of us or rather too many of us with these exact problems and my medical team missed it... I just can't comprehend....

I am in denial, very mad, upset, worried, and just want to strangle these guys. My entire body hurts and I have major problems sleeping even with sleep medication. My short term memory is out to lunch as I forget where I place things and keep repeating the same things to my wife and kiddos only to be told that I have said the same thing 10 times.... I am a text book case.....

Any advice would be most welcomed -- I am really lost at the moment and have been through too much for something so stupid like this to have happened.

Dear MVF,
You have been through so much. I felt compelled just to write and tell you to hang in there. You possess a lot of courage to endure what you have. And then to have to add the statin drug issue after all this is just beyond comprehension. We at this site have seen this scenario played out time after time. Why in the world isn't this the first question doctors ask when someone is having extreme muscles issues? Are you taking statin drugs? It is beyond me!

I had researched the drug before they put me on it, so I knew when my muscle problems began that it was probably the drug. My doctor wasn't so sure, because when I went off of it the problems didn't immediately subside. But I refused to go back on it. It took a few months for the cramping and twitches to go away, but they did. But I was only on it for 6 months. I hope you will start to feel better.

I was put on Lipitor about 5 years ago by my GP doctor. Within weeks I developed continuous severe shoulder and arm pains, the GP told me to go home, I had mild arthritis. (I've never had any.)

So I went to my Pharmacist and he told me it was the Lipitor. I discontinued it, and it took 4 months for it to be completely gone. I changed doctors, and eventually had another heart attack and was put on Zocor with the same problem. My heart doctor has switched me off and on since to Crestor, Vytorin, and Lovastatin, saying I have to take "something" for my chloesterol.

Finally about six months agao, I was put back on Lipitor and have since developed the leg cramps, cold feet and tingling of the hands.

I have been a "walker" for 25 years, doing anything from 3 to 10 miles every week end. Since now back on Lipitor after 3 mo's, I can only walk a 100 yards B 4 getting severe leg cramps that make it impossible to walk further for at least 30 minutes.

Have stopped taking the Lipitor, waiting for the "side effects" to go away.....they haven't. !!!!! (PS. I still do NOT have any problem with Arthritis and am 76 years old and drink approx. 1 1/2 gallons of regular D milk a week....)

Ok, I am back and can't say enough about CO-Q10 to get your energy back. As you can see reading other people experiences that this stuff can be devastating to your muscles and remember your heart and other organs are muscles too. Be sides CO-Q10 you might want to research a Natural called Policosinal made from sugar cane.

Now it is also important to note that there is a law suit that is now in the works.

I have been working on my arms for almost two years. They are better but still have a lot of pain when the weather changes. Research all you can there is a lot of information out there and for the life of me I can not understand where these doctors are coming from. These doctors are wine and dined by the pharma companies. They tell the doctors it isn't that bad. They are making a bundle off these meds.

I understand that there are new cholesterol tests out there now that we should be requesting. These are the VAP and LPP tests. Apparently, the size and makeup of the LDL and HDL particles are very important. Size matters. So even if your cholesterol shows high LDL, if the LDL is made up of large particles versus smaller ones, your risks are greatly reduced. So before going on these dangerous drugs to lower cholesterol, they are now saying these tests should be administered to further analyze the makeup of the cholesterol.

Did your girlfriend go off of the statin? I just phoned my doctor regarding muscle and joint pain that I've experienced since taking a statin for 3 weeks. Short story is that my doctor agrees with me that I shouldn't be taking the statin (that the bad outweighs the good in my case). I'm going to try the counter-intuitive high protein/low carb approach to managing my cholesterol. The reason being that I tried the recommended diet prior to permitting a statin prescription and though my number did drop but it was all HDL. =(

I have been off of statins for 3 months because of terrible muscle aches. I am instead trying Nordic Natural's fish oil, more fiber, fruits and vegetables while decreasing my meat intake. I visited w/my doctor today and will get lab work done soon. Very anxious to see how the natural alternatives have worked for me!I will share w/ you what I find out!
MJ

I promised an update re/my decision to quit taking the statin I was prescribed. After over 3 months OFF of the statin, but taking a high quality Omega 3 fish oil (brand is Nordic Naturals), eating less meat, eating more fish and veggies, my cholesterol was down by 22 points! My triglycerides plummeted. The current numbers are not ideal yet, but at least they are heading in the right direction.... and WITHOUT STATINS! I was prescribed Zetia, which seems to agree w/my system.... Zetia is not a statin.
I wish each of you who are also battling this problem to visit your local health food store. There are certainly many options out there. MJ

I was on Lipitor for 3 years before I had any side effects, then I began having awful leg cramps in my calves and inner thighs. Almost always at night and so painful that I could not sleep all night. I talked to 2 doctors and neither one believed it was from any of my medications. When it began happening while I was driving I called my pharmacy and told them my symptoms. They told me to stop the Lipitor immediately.

My cramps stopped after about a week. Three months off of the Lipitor and my Dr. put me on Simvastatin. After 3 weeks the cramps were back and even stronger. I stopped them right away, The Dr. suggested I try Lipitor once more at a 10 mg. dose. The first day I took it I was up all night in extreme pain. I stopped taking them that night.

That was 3 months ago and I haven't had a leg cramp or muscle pain since. I don't know why the Drs. are so hesitant to believe their patients as opposed to the drug companies. I have found that you often get better advice about medications from your pharmacist. I have a Drs. appointment next week and I'm sure she will want me to try another cholesterol drug.

My advice is to stop the Lipitor... I took it for 2 years complaining all the time. Either the doctor's are in denial re the side effects or they are getting great kick backs from big Pharma.

After coming off Lipitor, it took me 6-9 weeks to feel normal. Same reaction with Zocor and Crestor. Was on Zetia for 2 years without any ill effects. Then the pain started. I've been off Zetia for 3 months and muscles in legs and hips are no better. Had an MRI yesterday to rule out back problems... I have no pain in my back.. but MD's have to cover themselves..

Have been researching alternative fixes.. There are many, Red Rice,COQ 10, Magnesium citrate, MSM 3000mgs/day, amino acids and Turmeric extract..to name a few...

Read a great report from Bottom Line Magazine entitled 'Are Statin Drugs Destroying Your Muscles'. Google Bottom Line Magazine and maybe you can find the article.

Have not decided what path I'm going to take but will never take another statin.

Just read these stories.. You'll get off it fast. Good Luck!! Eleanor

I had a TIA (Mini Stroke) about 4 weeks ago and was put on 75mg Aspirin plus 40Mg SimvaStatin. Within 2 weeks my muscles were aching, calf cramps had started, Right Hand leg feels full as though swollen. Painful to walk any distance but alleviates with resting. I came off the Statins after 3 weeks and wih 24 hours the pain was alleviating but returned 2 days later but not as frequent.

I am 53, reasonably fit, quite active, don't smoke, don't drink much but about 15lb overweight, my cholesterol was 7 (Should be about 5.5) hence the Statins. It seems to me that natural Cholesterol Control would be better all round - I started doing some research and was amazed than just one egg a day can be as much as 80% of the daily LDL you should have (Bad Cholesterol Levels) - add just one sausage and a slice of bacon and you're at 120% of the Daily Cholesterol!!

I also tried an experiment a few years ago and totally cut out decaffeinated tea and coffee but kept the rest of the diet the same - my levels dropped to 6 from 7. Has anyone found a good book or website that tells you 'Simply' what works and what doesn't using 'Natural' Ingredients?

My husband had a total of eight atorvastatin 10mg. He stopped pills 10 days ago, the thigh pain is severe.

Can a small amount do this? He had injured his back from a fall in January, thought he was healing with that, and then came along high cholesterol. Dr gave him predisone for back and on the third day of predisone and eight day of statin his back, leg were severe. did MRI of back and saw bulging disc which he has had before. Returned to the dr when the leg was worse and no one mention the statin, did a vascular on leg and it was fine. Did some research on statin and we think it's that, so he stopped the meds ten days ago but has not recuperated.

How do you recover from this? He has been on the floor with heat, ice, aspirin. Only walks to bathroom, and to bed. He has survived prostate cancer twice and this experience he says is worse.

8 statin pills, can it really be them?
Thanks pjm

I thought I was getting MS or ALS. My legs feel weak, more on the right than left. Been taking simvastatin for a couple years, so i thought, can't be that. Stopped it for a week, felt better. Re started last night.. and not so good. I AM DONE! and like you.. to heck with the high cholesterol, they are looking more to inflammation now for cholesterol problems anyway. AND I noticed mental dullness with it to. Here is to a long life!

Started Lipitor 10mg in Feb. Had previous muscle probs with Pravachol 4 years ago. Thank God I developed hives and horrid red rash all over because doctor put me on cortisone treatment to eliminate hives and cortisone lessened swelling in wrists, hands and fingers so that a faux "carpal tunnel" disappeared overnight. Planning to remain on cortisone treatment until feeling regained in fingers then will stop THAT scary med.

I'm a 67 year old healthy man fortunate enough never to have had elevated cholesterol levels. Nevertheless, my family doctor has prescribed statins for me several times as a precautionary measure saying I am in a high-risk group (aging, male). Each time has brought on severe joint pain and muscle cramps - each time I've stopped the statins and the debilitating side-effects have disappeared immediately. BTW, my cardiologist - who supervises a stress test for me each year that I've always done well on - doesn't agree with statins being prescribed on a preventative basis.

I love to walk and get around without pain so there's no way I'll ever take another statin. I wonder if in years to come they'll be a class-action suit over all this unnecessary suffering and aggravation.

Ron in Montreal: I would say shame on your doctor for prescribing a statin drug for a healthy man who doesn't have high cholesterol. I would just say no!!!! It is your body!

Finally someone has similar symptoms to mine. My upper arms have been hurting me for 5 months now. I don't know why but today it dawned on me it could be the Vytorin I've been taking for about 7 years! so that's why I did a google and saw your comment. I will stop taking it to see if these muscle pains go away. I cannot even reach behind me anymore, zip up my clothes or put on my bra, its really bad. I can't raise my right arm straight, I've lost my muscle ability, my left arm is starting to be the same. Everyone thinks I need shoulder surgery but I think its my nerves and muscles.

I am off the subject here re/statins, but wanted to get a few more opinions on Zetia, which is not a statin, but still seems to bother my system! (tummy aches, general achiness) It works by blocking the fat in the intestine, I believe. I am really to the point where I think my high quality Omega 3, eating more fish, fiber and less fat is my answer. Any others out there w/Zetia problems? Thanks, MJ

DIET CHANGE WORKS BETTER THAN STATINS - I had a suspect TIA and was prescribed Statins to lower Cholesterol - After 2 weeks on Statins I was in so much pain from them that I stopped and resorted to a change in diet.

In 8 weeks I have dropped from a cholesterol level of 7.6 to 5.3 - It was easy - I cut out hard cheeses (including pizzas etc), butter, eggs, pastries, biscuits, prawns, 80% of chocolate, pasties, pies, fried chicken and other stuff from Fast Food restaurants.

I have more tuna, sardines and fish in general and eat more fibre (i.e from bran, cereals, vegetables and fruit in moderation); I also take broad spectrum multivitamins and walk 20 - 30 minutes a day every 2-3 day + take 1 x 75mg aspirin a day to help thin the blood. I occasionally indulge on the 'bad foods' on special occasions but overall, that was all I did and I dropped to 5.3 - Ace!!

The pains have virtually all gone; though if I feel any chest pain then I just take it easy for a day or so (and walk more). Mark

I'm so happy I talked to my sister this morning about the pain in my calves. I sit on a heating pad daily with little relief. I am on Vytorin. My sister informed me that a lot of statins cause this pain. She previously had the pain, and it was from her medication. I have a doctor appointment this week, and will definitely tell my doctor about what I just read. I'm not taking this medication this week. I'm so glad you site gives a look at what is causing this horrible pain.

Hey, did I write this?

Seriously, now I know exactly what my problem is. No more Lipitor for me. CoQ10 did hold off the side effects for a while, but they eventually came back anyway.

I'm a 60 yo woman with a cholesterol level of 256. Other than that, I'm healthy. My doctor put me on a new statin, Livalo 4 mg daily because it supposedly had less side effects than all the others. Well, after the first week, I started with morning back pain, daily muscle aches and feeling a little "foggy". I was into my third week and began with daily headaches. Then, I developed a fever. I stopped the drug, and called the doctor saying I'm heading for the more natural alternative Red Rice Yeast. However, the muscle aches and fever persist 5 days after stopping the drug. How long will it take 2.5 weeks of statin to get out of my system and start feeling better?

My husband has been on disability for almost 3 years now with severe muscle pain from Lovastatin. He has tried a no carb and no sugar diet. It made the pain go away for 2 months. But now even though on a no carb, sugar diet, the pain came back. It's hard to figure out this puzzle and it is almost like they are flares. He doesn't clinically have fibromyalgia because it isn't in joints, but in large muscles. Perhaps some of you can try this diet as well as an experiment and post your results!

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: You didn't make it clear whether he discontinued the lovastatin. If not, that is something he should consider in consultation with his doctor.

I began taking 2Grams of Full Flush Niacin (B3) three months ago and dropped from 254 to 205 without any special diet. My A1C reading spiked a bit but, have been keeping it low with diet and exercise. I too have been suffering from muscle pain which started in 2003 after several months of 80mg of Simvastatin. Please do your research on how to begin this Niacin regimen. You need to start at a low dose and work up to 2G.

Wow, I am so very very pleased that I found this site and discussion in particular! I am 37 years old and have been a Type 1 (on insulin) diabetic for 26 years. I have no negative side effects from my diabetes, since I am very well controlled.

I was put on Crestor about 5 years ago because of elevated Cholesterol (obviously). I had no specific side effects that I was immediately aware of and I am pretty healthy and active in a general sense. Approximately 3 years ago I started noticing that I could not run as far as I normally would, since my legs (on the side of my calves) would start burning a lot. The problem is that it was such a gradual change that I definitely did not attribute it to the Crestor.

About two years ago I moved from South Africa to New Zealand and started noticing that I could not even walk 200m without having severe muscle burn in my legs. In hindsight it makes utter sense, but I tried to attribute the burning in my legs to changes in environment, food I ate, water I drank... but nothing made sense. Anwyay, I found a new doctor and he put me on Lipitor - and I guess that was the catalyst for even more gradual change.

My pain levels increased whenever I walked anywhere, yet somehow I kept thinking it must have something to do with my diabetes, or lack of nutrients or just general unfitness. Boy was I wrong. It got to the point where just walking from the car park to my office (about 150m) would leave me in agony from the burning calf (or whatever the muscles on the outsides of your calf is called) muscles.

I effectively stopped using my Lipitor 20mg on Friday and I can already see a marked increase... so thank you guys. I'll post my progress, for what it's worth.

Everyone needs to know that statins can do permanent nerve and muscle damage!

I stopped taking them more than a year ago and I am still in pain, still can't walk upstairs without pain and my CK (muscle enzymes) are still elevated, so are my liver enzymes.

Those meds need to be taken off the market. Some people develop rhabdomyolosis from taking statins and some even die from it. They are harmful and there's no getting around that.

I have permanent damage to my muscles and they continue to deteriorate. I am frightened and I have undergone many tests, EMG's; MRI's; multiple blood tests and a deep muscle biopsy. The results of the biopsy were "unspecified imflammatory myopathy". Since there was no absolute diagnosis of any disease I am left with no treatment.

The doctor told me not to lift anything heavy and to drink lots and lots of water. I used to walk 2 miles a day and lift free weights to stay in shape. Now I can no longer do that. I can't sleep soundly anymore. I wake up throughout the night from anxiety now, which I never had before this. I'm scared and don't know what to do.

I go for a blood test every 3 months to monitor the CK levels, which were at 2010 (the highest they've been yet) and that was in July of this year. I'm due for another blood test this month for my annual physical and I'm so afraid they will be higher.

I hurt all over most of the time but I continue to go to work and try not to think about the pain. There should be a law against this sort of thing. My doctor frightened me into taking them. She told me if I didn't take them I would die of a heart attack or liver disease. Please pray for me. I'm afraid.

I gave up pravastatin because of the leg and ankle pain, within 3months of taken it I was diagnosed with atrial fibilation. My life is ruined. I was very fit and every year I have a check up.

This muscle and tendon pain will never stop if gene in body is activated. going for muscle biopsy. if bad I will not continue.

It was suggested that I begin using red yeast rice. I have been traveling a lot and blamed the neck and back pain on that. After a comment someone made in conversation, I realize since I have been taking it I have had these aches and pains. Being in good physical shape I was concerned that my legs felt weak . The arch of my foot was hurting as well. Does anyone know how long it will take to get red yeast rice out of your system? I have taken 60 /600 Mgs over 2 1/2 months
Wondering when the strength will come back in my legs.

I have been on Lipitor for high cholesterol for 2-3 years. Recently, I have had severe pain in my left thigh mostly at night. This got so severe, I had to consult a physician and was sent for x-ray of femur and blood tests, and given medication for pain. I was then told to immediately stop the Lipitor, have been off it for 3 days and experienced improvement to the point that I didn't take the pain medication at bedtime last night, although had to get up a 4:15 Am and take one.

Today am pain free. I will not return to the Lipitor as I am attributing these problems to its use and was shocked with some of the material and experiences of others while on this medication that I found on-line.

So happy I found this website, I spent all morning reading the posts. For the last 9-10 months I've been suffering with muscle pain in my thighs, buttock and hips. (Sciatic pain) I've been on Lipitor 10 mg for about 7 years.

Primary Dr. shrugged off my complaints and said I could try PT, if I wanted too. I tried PT for 3 months which made my muscles more angry and I went to a chiropractor for 3 months which helped very slightly.

I started searching the Internet for answers and low and behold lots of people are having the same problems. I've been off Lipitor for only one day so no change yet but I'm curious to see if I'll have any improvement in 6 weeks or 6 months. I also started taking Q10.

This website has been eye opening for me because I know something is happening to my muscles. I always had very strong legs, now they feel weak. I'll update with any changes.

Is there a general timeframe for improvements?

I hate to tell you this but I stopped taking statins in March of 2011 and my muscles are still hurting. My creatine kinase levels have risen to 2213 now. Normal maximum range for Creatine kinase is 215.

Dr. said if they go up to 5000 he will have to put me on prednisone, which causes other issues. Creatine kinase shows that there is muscle damage. I haven't taken anything since 3/11 and still this is happening. Other things that happened were short term memory loss, hair thinning, joint and muscle pain, fingernails were pulling away from the nail beds at the tips (turned white from the tips to the middle of the fingers).

Hair is getting better and nails are better but the muscles and joints still hurt but it comes and goes.

I've had MRI's; EMG; multiple blood tests, deep muscle biopsy, chiropractic and still no diagnosis other than "unspecified inflammatory myopathy".

Lawyers won't take my case because they say it's too hard to prove that the statin drugs did this to me and yet there is no diagnosis of disease. Go figure!

Donna, sorry to hear you are still having muscle pain, discouraging. I have not been tested for muscle damage yet but I know my legs feel weak and heavy. My pain may to related to a back problem but I want to test my statin theory. I have lived with back pain on/off for many years but the muscle pain is new to me and debilitating. I'll continue with my statin trial and see how it plays out, I need to try something. It really annoys me because I have complained to my Dr. numerous times and my concerns were fluffed off. He is a "Top Doc" too - go figure, very disappointing that Lipitor side effects were never mentioned to me. Glad I'm doing my own research. Hang in there, I hope you find an answer.

Hi Everyone. My doctor placed me on Simvastatin just over a year ago. My cholesterol tests had come back consistently high, despite my careful diet and exercise. He told me to stop taking them immediately if I developed any muscle type pains. He did liver function tests etc before I commenced taking the pills. All was normal.

Everything was fine for several months. Meantime I joined the gym and did some moderate resistance training and some aerobic work (mostly on running machine for approx 30 minutes.) I felt good!! (I am 61 years old).

Two months ago I developed excruciating pain in one foot, to the point I couldn't place the foot on the floor for a couple of days. At first I thought perhaps my gym work was responsible,but I only ever used the running machine for brisk walking never running and only for 20 to 30 minutes. Then I noticed tingling in my toes and fingers and an occasional burning sensation in them too.

Over the last 8 weeks, I have experienced debilitating pain in both arms and shoulders (separately), to the point I have been unable to raise them. Excruciating pains in my feet, knees and calves. The pain is never consistent and can be in a different limb/muscle each day.

I stopped the gym and tried to take up my previous exercise of walking... 10,000 steps every couple of days. I paid dearly for this by suffering horrible pain. I tried shortening my walks, knowing that normally a little gentle exercise will help with pain. All to no avail.

I was aware of the potential side effects of simvastatin, but perhaps naively thought that since I developed no symptoms shortly after commencing taking it, that all was well. I of course now, after doing a good deal of research, know that statins are not something I ever want or should take again.

I stopped them a couple of weeks ago, with a minor difference in my pain levels, but I still wake in the morning wondering which limb or part of my body will hurt that day.
My GP has ordered all the usual blood tests and I am now waiting to see what the results are and agrees I did the right thing coming off the simvastatin.

I will, having seen some of you have found COQ10 helpful, take some. I will come back here with my blood results later this week and any conclusions that may or may not be drawn from them. Meantime, hang in there everyone......

I must say I am flabbergasted to find how little the Drs. seem to recognize the side effects of these drugs. I was a seemingly healthy 53 year old women. I did avoid Dr. checkups and maintenance since I was very active and could move around like an ox. To my surprise I woke up in a hospital cardiac unit with a 5 way by pass heart surgery. The surgeons reassured me that in a few short weeks I'd feel like I was 30 years old again and healthy and active.

I was recovering fine and steady and had hoped to be back at work as promised. Prior to the hospital I had never taken any prescription drugs. I was put on aspirin, insulin, and Lipitor. My Lipitor was increased to 20mg at my first pre op visit. No one took any tests to check my blood or cholesterol. By the 3rd month after surgery I was no longer able to walk for any distance without hunched over pain and limping like a crippled person. My head was all fuzzy and I felt like I was living outside of myself, not connected and feeling like so many here have said "like I was 90 years old".

My Dr did tests for PAD in my leg veins and was attributing that to my present condition. He knew I was taking Lipitor but never even considered that. They had me convinced that there was no remedy and I imagined if it was going to continue getting worst at the same rate I will certainly be no longer able to walk at in the very near future. It wasn't until my hair started falling out at an extreme rate that I once again started searching for the side effects of the drug. What an eye opening experience this has been.

I have a appointment in 2 days with the Dr. to discuss the results of a ultrasound on my legs. I have stopped taking the statin. I refused to be talked into taking anything else. I would rather live a shorter, enjoyed life than live longer in hell. Heck, I've already died and come back!

My initial reason for this response was to question that at the additional medical treatments with the PT and the chiropractor -- none of them noted what meds you were on or questioned that? No wonder I stayed away from the Drs for so long. Think I'm gonna tattoo a big "Do Not Resuscitate" above my heart surgery scar and hope for the best.

thanks for letting me get that off my chest.... susan.

Hi Everyone. As promised I have come back to you after discussing my blood results with my GP.

My CK (the main indicator for muscle damage) is slightly raised. Everything else is pretty much normal, and, in the absence of any evidence suggesting arthritic/rheumatic problems, my GP agrees with me that this is statin induced myopathy.

Now, I know that I am fortunate to have a GP who knows me well and who I know well and trust. He is open to patients thoughts and ideas and listens to what is being said. Many of you seem to be less fortunate.

My GP hasn't and won't even try to persuade me to take another statin.... for now we take care of the pain, monitor things closely and after Christmas do blood tests again. Meantime he has advised me to commence some gentle short walks for exercise. My cholesterol level has risen to 5.5 (UK values), but neither the doctor nor I am concerned about this. 20 years ago in this country, 5.2 was the magic number, but over the years, that has gone down to 4.2. Frankly I don't think anyone really knows what the optimal figure should be, and what is normal in one person, could be abnormal for another.
I will continue to take my COQ10, and do all I can to try to help myself. I am relieved that my GP has been truthful and has accepted what are the facts and that Simvastatin is responsible for my symptoms.

Please take care everyone. I will keep you all posted on my progress, for there may be something I find which could help you. To the owners of this site, thank you!! Thank you for making it possible for us to voice our thoughts frustrations and ideas here.

I wish everyone a wonderful Xmas and a better New Year.
CJ

I stopped taking statins in March of 2011 after my Dr. finally decided to listen to me about my pains and ran a CK level test and found that the range was over 1400 (normal maximum range for CK is 200). Since March of 2011 my CK levels have risen to 2213 *blood test in 9/2012. I am due for another blood test tomorrow. I've had multiple tests run and doctors diagnosed me with unspecified inflammatory myopathy.

I am only taking vitamin supplements now but Dr. said if my CK levels go up to 5000 he will have to put me on prednisone (which can cause other issues). I feel certain that the use of statins did this to my body but I cannot find an attorney who will take my case because of the diagnosis I was given. The lawyer who had my file for a year told me it's just too hard to prove that the statins did this but with so many people experiencing the same or similar symptoms I just don't understand why an attorney wouldn't take the case.

Now I'm left with permanent muscle deterioration along with exorbitant medical bills (in excess of what my health insurance paid). It's just not fair. I am saving my medical files for my children so that perhaps in the future (regardless of the statute) of limitations, they may possible due the drug companies and the doctors who did this to me if I should die from it or become unable to walk.

I don't trust the doctors, lawyers or the drug companies now. It's a money making business and they don't seem to care about the patients that are being affected by it. I'm taking ubiquinol which is a form of COQ10; garlic pills for cholesterol; Omega 3 Krill oil pills also for cholesterol; Resveratrol (supplement from grapes); low dose aspirin; and B-complex daily. That's all I will take now. It's very strange that sometimes I feel better for a while and then suddenly I will feel pain all over my body for anywhere from 3 to 7 days straight, then I feel better again. It comes and goes but the CK levels are going up instead of down and I'm very worried. Please pray for me. Thank you.

Dr Oz did a show on Cholesterol this past week. Dr. Stephen Sinatra and Johnny Bowden were the guests who have written a book called The Great Cholesterol myth. In a nutshell, they basically feel that statin drugs are poison that can cause both cancer and diabetes. And most of us here know about the horrible muscle problems they can induce. In addition they shared that cholesterol is not a bad thing and introduced the "shocking" idea that the higher the cholesterol the better off you are. I think maybe we should check out this book!!!

Yes I am the same my left muscle ripped NOW I am left with a thinner ankle (I am a lady) it is not nice when a dress I take atorvastatin 40mg, I'm stopping from tonight, and I hope that I can rebuild the muscle. CAN ANY TELL ME HOW I CAN REBUILD THE MUSCLE IN THE LOWER INNER LEFT LEG??????????????

My son is getting wed mid next year and I want to wear a dress, BUT I have a ripped a muscle 6 months ago on my inner left leg ABOVE THE ANKLE which followed a bad cramp, I believe it came from lipitor Now I have bad muscle wastage on that leg, PLEASE TELL ME HOW TO REBUILD THIS MUSCLE IF THAT IS POSSIBLE?? (Will on July 23rd 2008 made comment of a ripped muscle he had the same experience as me. HELP HELP ME PLEASE IF POSSIBLE.

I've been On simvastatin for about 5 years and now lovastain for about a year. the cramps, leg, rib and joint pain were absurd and ignored by my doc. At night it was impossible to sleep with the cramping. I finally had enough and stopped completely with statins. About 5 days into the cramps subsided, not only that my energy started coming back and i feel better emotionally as well as in my body. I'm now taking cholestrol off, no known side effects, as a replacement therapy, walking more and watching my diet. Doctor need to get educated to just how dangerous statins can become.

My dear man started to take 40mg of simvastatin and our relaxed, peaceful nights are over not because of sex but his legs hurt so much, the right one more than the left. I decided to massage his legs getting relive also walking helped the pain go away. What is a better solution? We have a great super healthy eating habits but he got the genes!!!

Have been off 10 mg of Lipitor for over a year now. Developed a "faux carpal tunnel syndrome" in both wrists and hands. Previously had "faux fibromyalgia" with Prevachol and told doctor I was afraid to begin even a low dose regimen of Lipitor. He told me "Oh, it's such a small dose and you'll know in three days if it's a problem." Long story short, first severe allergic reaction was flu symptoms, a week later, hives and red splotches and horrid face swelling, then the "carpal tunnel" started like a lightning bolt and became so severe I thought I would need morphine to take pain away. 80 mgs. of prednisone a day finally allowed me to sleep at night.

I began reading on this website and realized that I had had a severe allergic reaction to Lipitor. I would rather be at risk of heart attack that feel that horrid ever again. Taking COQ10, fish oil, eating and drinking healthy and walking. Still do not have feeling back in fingers of one hand and have some nighttime throbbing. Neurologist says I DO have carpal tunnel in both hands and won't believe me that it came on with statin drug reaction. Seems ridiculous to have surgery for this. Just maintaining healthy lifestyle, praying and hoping there has not been permanent nerve damage. Encouraging family and friends to NOT take statins to lower cholesterol. Grateful for this website so I didn't lose my mind going through this frightening experience.

MSW -

My symptoms are very similar to yours. I only took Lipitor for a couple weeks and am having problems. Have your pain and symptoms ever gone away?

Thanks.

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