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FDA Warns of Memory Problems with Statins

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The FDA has just updated its warnings on cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins. These include Altoprev (lovastatin extended-release), Crestor (rosuvastatin), Lescol (fluvastatin), Lipitor (atorvastatin), Livalo (pitavastatin), Mevacor (lovastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin), and Zocor (simvastatin), as well as the combination products Advicor (lovastatin/niacin extended-release), Simcor (simvastatin/niacin extended-release) and Vytorin (simvastatin/ezetimibe).

For years, some patients have been complaining of memory difficulties while they are taking statin drugs to lower their cholesterol. Many find that their brain function returns to normal within a few days or weeks of stopping the drug, but some suffer for a very long time after discontinuation. The FDA has now acknowledged that these drugs can have cognitive side effects; the agency warns patients not to discontinue the drug on their own, but to consult with their health care professionals.

In addition, the feds are alerting patients taking a statin that their risk of type 2 diabetes (also known as non-insulin-dependent diabetes) is increased. The FDA believes that "the heart benefit of statins outweighs this small increased risk." Patients who are already struggling with blood sugar control, however, might well wish to discuss this with their health care providers. There are other ways to control cholesterol that do not raise blood sugar levels.

We have been receiving reports of serious muscle and memory problems linked to statins for decades. We have tried repeatedly to get the FDA's attention about these complications but have been met with a great deal of resistance....until now. For almost a decade we have been warning that statins might raise blood sugar in susceptible individuals. At long last the FDA seems to have caught up with the wisdom of our readers and visitors to this website. If you would like to read more about statin side effects check out this link.

For more information on these problems from statins, readers may want to check our book, Best Choices from The People's Pharmacy, in which we discuss a number of statin side effects and alternative ways to get cholesterol down. It is more relevant today than when we wrote it a few years ago. There is also a chapter on diabetes and non-drug ways that can help control blood sugar.

The FDA urges patients and physicians to report negative side effects of statin drugs to its MedWatch program. We also suggest that you report your experience with cognitive and memory problems below. If you have had more trouble controlling your blood sugar while taking a statin-type drug we would also like to hear from you.


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Its about time our trusty FDA publishes this WELL known fact!! And hundreds of others about STATINS alone. For instance the neuronal apoptosis (brain Cell death) which is a direct result of robbing your ability to make Ubiquinol along with Cholesterol and about 200 other crucial biochemical processes in the Mevalonate pathway....... We were not all born with Lipitor and Vaccine Deficiency

It seems I was never sick until I went to a Doctor???

Every since then, I am just a living side effect of the Drug dealers who walk the halls of the Doctors Offices.

Can you fully trust a Doctor, with Your Life?? "NO"
~BR ~

My father experienced the memory problems on Lipitor that cleared up when it was stopped. Isn't it interesting that the FDA's resistance existed during the years that several major statins were under patent. Now, with Crestor being the only high volume brand statin left, this finally comes out.

Of course, the fact that people sometimes leave drug company jobs, then get a political appointment to work for the FDA for a few years, then return to drug company jobs has no effect, right??? Yeah, right!!!

AT LAST the medical profession is becoming aware of the side effects of statins. Years ago when I complained about muscle and cognitive side effects I was met with a glassy stare. It is totally unacceptable to be in the working world and suddenly have your mind go completely blank in mid sentence. Despite my record the doctors keep wanting to try statins but I think I have finally convinced them that I will be non-compliant and these findings should help greatly.

Thank you for all the warnings you have broadcast. If it hadn't been for these I probably would have been in a mental institute by now!!

I have discontinued my lovastatin after realizing it seems to be what was making my legs have great pain and want to buckle on me. Ever since I did discontinue it; no more pain or trouble walking! I do have problems with memory also.

It's about time the problem with statins are finally coming to light. I personally don't know of anyone who had been taking a statin that didn't end up having to STOP taking it because of some major side effects - mostly the muscle/joint pain issue. My doctor's insistence (and I do mean insistence) that the statin I was on (simvastatin) was not causing my problems ended up causing me to have about a hair's breathe faith in his professionalism.

How often do they have to hear this? There's no way the majority of the folks taking this stuff can be having a psychosomatic reaction to it - does that mean we're suffering from mass hysteria? They'd like nothing better!!!

Do you know the dosage of the statins that causes this? What about low 10mgm per day? PL

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: People vary in their susceptibility, and the drugs also vary in the recommended dosages, so there is no single answer.

I was prescribed "Zocor (Simvastatin)," which I took until I complained that I was in pain all the time (legs, back, etc). My regular doctor did not react but my cardiologist stopped it at once.

I am glad I stopped it and do not need it.

Statins are beginning to sound more and more like a replay of the conventional wisdom of Hormone Replacement Therapy.

I thought that statins were only indicated for use after a heart attack. I was not aware that the drug prevented heart attacks and heart disease as the FDA reports in its press release warning about side effects of statins. That report seems to promote the inappropriate drug use while promoting its sale to the public. I wonder what Dr. Halder thinks about the FDA in this matter.

I was given Crestor because my cholesterol was higher than my doctor thought it should be, although I do not have other risk factors for heart disease. After taking the drug for a few weeks, I noticed that I was having difficulty remembering words, etc. I should have known. I'm a college professor and found myself stumbling in the classroom during a lecture for words and course material that I taught for years.

I told my physician that I was not going to take Crestor anymore, and within a very short time, my memory is normal again. I am happy that the FDA has finally listened to what people have been saying for a long time. It is a frightening when you experience those kinds of cognitive changes, especially at a young age-I'm 58.

I have Diabetes2......My chlorestrol total is 224........Dr. just told me to take 1,000 mg Fish Oil twice a day....I did not want to take Statins, because of bad reviews....... Is the total 224 okay? My A1c is 5.8.....

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: It sounds like your doctor is willing to work with you to find non-statin ways to get your cholesterol under control. Now you need to do your part too.

You can add me to your list of people who took Lovastatin a few years ago, but finally got my doctor to realize that my leg muscle and joint pain were possibly connected to the drug. As soon as I stopped Lovastatin (and took no statin) all my previous problems with pain vanished!

I's day its about time these Memory and Cognition problems were publicized for physicians as well as patients. Dr Duane Graveline had what is called "Transient Global Amnesia" which occurred shortly after he began Lipitor. He has spent probably the past 10 years of his life researching these very real effects of statins.

My Statin problems were similar to his, but mine went a bit further according to Dr Beatrice Golomb and Dr Doug Wallace (A Mitochondrial Disease expert who she consulted regarding my case, both informed me that "Lipitor was the likely causal contributor of my mitochrondrial anomolies seen under electron microscopy post brain and muscle biopsy. My condition closely resembled a Mitochondrial disorder known as MELAS aka Mitochondrial Encephalomyopathy with Lactic Acidosis and Stroke Like Episodes... as much fun to live with as it is to say... I was a critical care RN for 12 years prior to my illness/disability and never was I aware that anything like this could happen to me... what happened to patients knowing the risks versus benefits?

Would this information apply to Red Yeast Rice as well??

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: It's less likely but not impossible.

I have read with interest this particular problem with statins. I have taken Red Yeast Rice for several years and it lowers my cholesterol levels beautifully. I am 76 years old and can't help worrying that RYR may be having an effect on my memory. Is that possible?

yeah, me, too? Joe? Terry?

I believe more doctors are listening to their patients these days. I take 1500 mg Niaspan and increased hdl from 30 to 67. He agreed I could try 2000 mg to get my hdl up. It is the ratio that is important.

I took Red Yeast Rice for several years, twice a day, then I started to have muscle pain. I blamed it on over doing it at the gym, but when I cut back to once a day on the pills, the pain went away. Now I do not take it at all since my cholesterol is not that far out of the normal limits....and who is to decide the normal limits of people as they age???

Every individual varies and some can tolerate it and others cannot. I got the same body aches from RYR as I got from Lovastatin which is one of the predominate compounds in RYR.

@ Leigh Mevacor, one of the first statins was made a to copy the effects of red yeast rice... they (STATINS) all statins and red yeast rice, block the mevalonate metabolic pathway in the body, with the drug companies desired result of blocking cholesterol, but also with the dangerous result of blocking the production of important cell chemicals such as CoQ10, dolichols, and several others.

I actually had a doc tell me she couldn't continuing to see me as a patient if I wouldn't consent to taking Lipitor because there was nothing else she could do for me; but because of my concerns with statins I have refused. This is terribly frustrating to me because my cholesterol is very high (last read was 418); I'm youngish and thin and haven't a clue what to do. I've tried everything else that well-meaning people have suggested with no results. I know that taking a statin would probably significantly reduce my cholesterol but I don't want the side effects. My father experienced the muscular/joint pain to extreme levels; he was on Lipitor for 10 years; his doctors never took him off. I wish I knew then what I know now...I would have insisted he discontinue use.

Before taking statins, I had to use many visual memory tricks to make up for a severe short term memory deficit. Over the course of 5 years the damage to the rest of my memory erased many of these tricks.

My fiancé noticed the deterioration within a year but had no idea why. Two dozen doctors and much research on my part couldn’t determine the cause for the large numbers of symptoms I was experiencing and by year 5 I was starting to look a bit like I had a combination of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. One day a friend discovered my statin bottle and provided me the information I needed to explain how it was related to my condition (some of the information came from this website thank you).

When I quit, improvements slowly started within the first week. Memory improvements were much slower, but after two years had improved tremendously. But I was still having trouble recalling to my boss the intensive tasks I had accomplished just a day or two before without a lot of thought and time. So I asked again for my doctor to look into finding me some strategies to speed up the healing. This time there was a response, but I’ve been getting the runaround from the Neurology department ever since. It seems that nobody want's to implicate lord statin. I fail to understand why a neurologist would expect 5 years of nerve damage to heal in only a few months.

I have been on simvastatin for about 1 1/2 years and until tonight when the FDA report was publicized in the news, never heard about side effects involving cognition. My own memory/confusion problems were at first attributed to age (68) and then when I insisted on seeing a neurologist, she jumped to the conclusion that I should start on aricept because I failed to draw a clock correctly and on a later test, couldn't classify a table and chair correctly (furniture).

After an eeg, mri, blood work ruled out a cause such as a tumor or vitamin deficiency, she has referred me to a major neurology dept at a teaching hospital for some kind of scan and a very thorough memory workup. Based on tonight's news, I have stopped taking the statin and will hold off on that appt to see if this does the trick. I have no idea if the neurologist will be interested in this finding or brush it aside as anecdotal, but she had my list of meds and didn't say anything about it.

I do not have a comment at this time, just want to know where to report statins memory robbers to the F D A. I do notknow how to send in my report to them. e t

You can report Drug problems to the FDA at http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch/default.htm
Not that it will do you much good, I mailed them 7 years ago, never got a reply at all...but maybe if they get many reports they will...hopefully!!

My husband went for a routine visit with his Dr. today. I mentioned the fact of the FDA report, on statins, and he read it on his computer. My concern was even though my husband has always had a normal cholesterol level, and so never needed a statin, he wound up last November needing a heart cath with 3 stents implanted, so my question is why does he still need a statin when obviously his cholesterol level was not the cause of his arterial plaque.

Dr. feels at this time anyone with his condition still needs a statin to ward off a heart attack. So far no side effects, but he has only been on statin since November 2011. I can only hope new info, from the FDA, will lead to more insight into the true need for statins.

My doctor is well aware of the side effects and we have discussed them. We have decided that in my case at least the dangers of having a stroke or cerebral event far outweigh the side effects caused buy the Statin drugs. So far I am fortunate and have not had any problems with the drug Simvistatin.

I am 56 years old and have a STRONG family history of heart disease. Both my parents died of heart related issues in their early 60s. I have been on statins about 5 years and successfully lowered my cholesterol from 288 to 160.

I was diagnosed with Type 2, in 2008. I'm not sure if the statins increase my blood glucose or not. I have started having memory issues that have actually scared me a bit and caught me off guard. I hate to stop the statins because of my history, but I feel like sometimes my mind has a "mind" of its own. I dont want to lose my edge at work or life.

I was on Lipitor for years. I have Fibromyalgia and Sleep Apnea and my memory problems were associated with that according to the doctors. Guess what... after reading so many bad things about Lipitor (and other statins) I decided to go off it. Voila! Memory issues began to resolve. I switched doctors and the new one says yes, Lipitor caused the memory issue and others that I had noticed gone since going off it. The FDA knew about this and hid it... how many other things are they hiding?

Re:statins & cramps (also other meds concerns noted)

I'am a senior citized 75 yrs old and have been taking PRAVASTATIN for several years. During the past few years I have often had leg cramps usually at night, also cramps in my hands off-and-on anytime of the day. I changed the PRAVASTATIN dosage myself, several weeks ago, to every-other-day and have had fewer instances of cramps (I need to tell my Dr I did this).

At my last Dr checkup I'd complained of memory problems. My doctor referred me to a Neurologist who perscribed DONEPEZIL HCL, a 10mg tab that I take at bedtime. I often have difficult headaches since then and a few times have had disturbing dreams.

Other than the 2 RXs mentioned above, I also take: Avapro (irbesartan)300mg,amL/ODIP BESYLATE(Norvasc)5 mg, METOPROLOL SUCC ER (TOPROL) 50mg. for HBP.

FOSOMAX, previously taken daily, was stopped about a year ago when I had severe jaw pain. At last visit Dr. said my bone density deteriorated and I should consider restarting FOSOMAX.

Thanks for reading, if you got this far....... And dearly love your PEOPLES' PHARMCY NPR radio program.

J.Cross

The statins are useful drugs and have been shown to help many with high cholesterol who come from a family background of heart disease. A complete understanding of lowering LDL cholesterol for all cardiovascular disease is not clear at this time. It is easy to decide to take them if you have familial hypercholesterolemia and your parents died in their 40s or 50s from heart disease. I guess that many of us are in the group where LDL is moderately elevated, the family has no history of early death and we have not had a heart attack. Do I take a statin or not?

I have had cognitive issues while using lipitor - failing to come up with a word, not being able to go back in recent experiences for detailed information etc. I am at least temporarily suspending my use of atorvastatin for a few months, eat better, exercise and then have my cholesterol tested. I'll have to make a decision on whether to go back on it at that time. One thing hanging over me is whether my mother would have developed dementia in her 70s if she had been taking a statin.

My doctor took me off of Fossomax and put me on Evista because of bone loss. I am also having lots of jaw pain (chewing and yawning especially). Could the jaw pain be related to the bone density drugs? My dentist says that my teeth and gums are fine and that the pain could be arthritis. I am also taking Simvastatin for high cholestrol. I have not experienced any memory loss, but I would like to discontinue that drug if possible. I take insulin for Type I diabetes.

@Ladydi...I would find a new doctor....he sounds to me like a Pharma Parrot...not really aware of the REAL BENEFITS vs the RISKS

@Sillyme Sure the Fibromyalgia isn't actually muscle pain from statins effects...I too have sleep apnea, had it since 1 year post starting statin.....just sayin...Another recommendation for everyone: Watch the Video FoodMatters....very informative lots of facts! God bless!

Took Lipitor for 2.5 years and had short term memory problems that have not yet got back to normal. I was switched to simvastatin and took that for 2 years when I started to have severe cental apnea problems. The sleep doctor finally told me he could do nothing for me.

If I hadn't tried stopping the simvasatin I would not be here today. After weeks and weeks of 2 to 3 hours of terrible sleep, the day I quit the simvasatin I was able to get 6 hours of good sleep. Again I have not recovered totally, but its much improved. I have not been able to find anything on this problem online.

I suffered from 10 hours of amnesia in 2009 when I was 63 years old. I had been on statins for ten yeaar. Upon rising that morning, my blood pressure was very high and would not drop so I was hospitalized and thoroughly tested, including MRI, EEG and EKG for stroke or other possible causes including blockage of carotid arteries.

All of those tests were negative. My final diagnoses was that I had suffered a TGA (Transient Global Amnesia). I don't remember all those tests but came out of the amnesia feeling well. I went off statins and now control my cholesterol with Inositol Hexanicotinate , 1600 mg daily. My cholesterol is not as low as it was on statins, but is in an acceptable range.

I thought this might be useful information for all your readers who I'm sure value your column as much as I do. Thank you.

My wife takes Crestor and I take a pravastatin. We are in our mid fifties and both feel that our memory has been significantly hampered during the years in which we have taken the drugs.

Ok, so now we have all these frightening comments about statins. I wonder how responsible it is to have all these comments, when there is no counter discussion. Most of us are on statins because we have high cholesterol, and in my case, I have made the recommended dietary changes since 1980, when I was 30. So, do we take statins, or die of heart disease/stroke??

@MS: There is absolutely NO question that Statins will lower your cholesterol, the question lies in the fact that lowering cholesterol really has not really made any significant impact on the prevalence of Coronary/Cerebrovascular Disease. One thing is very clear when you are able to sort through the clinical data, and that is the Benefits DO NOT outweigh the risks...read the article from Dr Christopher Hagy, he explains why the Medical community is so far behind the times in treating CAD...http://www.salisburypost.com/Opinion/022612-insight-nagy-cholesterol-statins-qcd?fb_comment_id=fbc_10150705752534136_23219281_10150773998304136

For those of us who cannot tolerate statins, these comments are very important. We had to put up with doctors not believing us because other patients were not having problems. Ten years later doctors take the side effects more seriously.

If you take statins and have no side effects and they control your cholesterol then you are fortunate.

Since I could not tolerate statins, I learned out here that my next best option was to try things that would raise my HDL since it is the HDL/LDL ratio that is considered most important these days. A slight niacin flush is much preferable to the body aches I had from statins.

L.B.
Your story and my husband's are remarkably similar. He started 40mg Lipitor April 2010. Six months later he couldn't keep his checkbook, so he returned to the doctor and they increased it to 80mg. His cognition and memory took a nosedive. In Nov 2011, a memory evaluation put him in the bottom 1& for both long and short term memory. On Feb 29, 2012 he went off of Lipitor. On March 5, Mayo Clinic diagnosed him with moderate to severe Alzheimer's. The head of Neurology at Mayo was very doubtful that Lipitor was the problem, but said he had no real knowledge on it. We agreed to return in 2 months for an in depth memory evaluation and a followup appt.

His 'recovery' from Alzheimer's, which is impossible, is amazing since discontinuing Lipitor 5 weeks ago. Cognition is much improved, but memory is not so good. I agree that the expectation that all symptoms will resolve after 3 weeks (see the FDA site for this reference) is optimistic if not absurd. They don't even know what the statins do to the brain to cause these problems

What I am really interested in is connecting with others who are off the statins who experienced memory/cognition problems. I want to discuss how long it takes to 'recover', how much you can expect to 'recover' and other issues of this nature.

Can you help?

Thank you so much

Jb

My husband has a similar experience with LIPITOR for 2 years. He went off LIPITOR 2/29/12 and has significant improvement in cognitive ability after 5 weeks, much less memory improvement. He is 62 and had no problems before he went on Lipitor.

I am interested in connecting with others who are having this problem with statis to try to determine how much and how fast recovery might be expected.

Can you help me?

Thank you

@Jb I am going on 10 years post Statin injury...granted I am much better now from where I once was, though I still am unable to work in any substantial gainful employment. I still suffer terribly from Neuropathy, Extreme and profound Fatigue, chronic leg pain, Myoclonus all of which were a result of my statin use, per the Statin Effects study.

I am 43 years old, feel like I am 73 on most days. My cognition issues are still a significant issue in my daily life. I take Ubiquinol 200mg, L Carnitine 1000mg,Alpha Lipoic Acid 200mg, all twice daily, and Brewers yeast (For B Complex) once daily.

I have improved substantially from where I was in 2002, however, many of the same issues continue to impact my life daily. Fast recovery may be possible in some people, depending on the nature of the injury, recovery may never happen. Wish I knew about the REAL risks prior to simply listening to my dr, who just parrots what he is told by Pfizer, Glaxo etc...

That doctor's lack of knowledge on Lipitor side effects drops my opinion of The Mayo Clinic by a notch or two.

Ctj,

Sorry for the delayed response, the long weekend plus taxes left little time to respond.

I was on 20mg for those 5 years. My reaction was slow enough that I couldn't see it myself and what I could see seemed to be explainable via other ailments I had prior to the onset of the statin. After a couple of years, as it became obvious that some kind of disorder was progressing and amplifying all my ailments, I did lots of research and saw many doctors with many dead end medical tests and no answers. In many cases I would combine multiple treatments for individual disorders just to keep going.

Once I quit the statin, improvements were significant in the first weeks and months, but slowed with time. In engineering we might call it a logarithmic curve. I suspected something like this from my readings, but after the first two years I was still having trouble keeping up with my engineering job and the improvements were very slow. That's when I asked my doctor for help. In the 6 months since, I've experienced more improvements to the point where I'm beginning to feel more involved in my work. When my boss asks me about my work, I'm more likely to have the answer, and that answer is more likely to be correct. But it's still not as good as actually knowing what I spent the last 3 interesting workdays doing and what the outcome was, or even worse, what I did last week.

From the time I asked for assistance to the FDA announcement I didn't feel like I was getting any useful advice. Testing showed inferior memory and ruled out all common causes, but no strategies to help and no medical advice that might lead to improvements. Since the FDA announcement I've received a little better attention. I've had one doctor suggest an Alzheimer's drug that boosts cognition and delays progression of that condition, but I'm reluctant to take another drug that might have other hidden consequences. (sorry, I can't remember the name of the drug). I have to admit though that this drug does sound like it might be the kind of thing that could help at least a little. I wonder what it might be like to use it for a number of years and then stop. Would I feel impaired again?

My neurologist has suggested more evaluations to make sure there isn't a secondary issue going on. In my particular case, this seems reasonable. At first the Mayo clinic was suggested, but then someone much closer to home was found. It may take several months before I can get an appointment.

Meanwhile improvements are still occurring at a glacial pace. I have a long way to go to get back to where I was 8 years ago, if I ever do, and it doesn't look like a full recovery will be possible, but recovery to a point where I can be more useful again does look like it may be a possibility in a few more years. I just hope I can hang on to my job that long. I seem to have already recovered enough to keep it until then.

There are a few things I believe I've learned about all of this. Here are some random thoughts that seem relevant:

-Statins interrupt production of coenzyme Q10 as well as the intended cholesterol.
-Co-Q10 is required for mitochondrial function.
-After 5 years, every cell in my body must have been weakened by the impact of this 'starvation'.
-It seems like this weakening should have resulted in dead cells.
-Perhaps fast growing tissue may be less susceptible to damage in this way, but I did receive muscle and tendon damage as a result.
-Nerve damage heals slowly and may take many years if ever to grow back.
-I seem to recall that in my lifetime it was believed that neurons, at least in the brain, couldn't regenerate at all.
-Why would it be expected that nerve damage due to statins would heal in a few months. Is it because there is no good way to monitor the damage or the improvements to know that the initial improvements that give this impression are far from complete?

-Is it true that some body builders use statins to weaken muscles so they 8can build them back larger than before?

-Alzheimer's is irreversible
-Parkinson's is irreversible
-I feel like my symptoms resembled some of both of these then I stopped taking the statin.
-Dementia due to Thyroid function is one of the few known reversible forms of dementia.
-if Statin damage is closer to Thyroid malfunction, then we have hope!

L.B.

crandreww, Your posts interest me. I am also a health professional several years out from what I believe to be a statin-induced injury. I had been taking a relatively low dose (10mg) of Lipitor for several years, when over a period of a few months I developed debilitating muscle pain and weakness. I quit taking the drug in 2006, but still experience weakness, lethargy, easy fatigability and occasional muscle spasms and cramps.

On top of that I have had to have both my knees replaced due to rapidly progressive osteoarthritis, and after months of PT and rehab, I am still unable to adequately strengthen my leg muscles. The arthritis also affects multiple other joints, and I may have to have my hips replaced in the near future (something I am hesitant to do if rehab is going to be so difficult for me). I can easily see how this is all related to the lipitor injury, but my doctors have trouble seeing it.

Most allege that statin side effects are all reversible once the drug is stopped. Where have you gotten your evidence for permanent impairment? Have you ever had a muscle biopsy? I also gather from your posts that you may have actually applied for disability benefits. How were you able to make your case, when most of the available literature and medical opinion say that the statin effects are totally reversible?

So now the FDA warns about memory problems with Statin. The FDA indicates that the memory problems will go away soon after you stop taking them.

I can testify that they may not go away. It fact my memory problem (among other problems from statins) seem to be getting worse even though it has been a year since I stopped taking them. I curse that day I started statins. I have great problems pulling up names or words although I can remember events ok.

Two weeks ago, I think I had my first Transient Global Amnesia (TGA) episode. Two of them to be exact. Both of them while driving.
They only lasted a short time but they were frightening. I was on a six lane road which crosses another six lane road and about three (stop lighted) streets before I crossed the six lane street, I remember noticing all the light ahead were red. Odd too.

I had stopped at one of the lights and the next thing I remember, I was stopping at the first street past the six lane street and I wasn't sure where I was. I don't remember anything in between. About a mile distance. I must have been aware because I could not have crossed the six lane street without crashing. It really frightened me when I realized what happened.

I wonder if anyone else has had these problems? I hope I don't have any more.
Sorry to ramble on.
Regards

Hey GRD,

I have suffered close to 15 TGA mini strokes, between dec 2003 & april 2006 then had a bad stroke that numbed my left side of my face, my left arm, and left leg - the Doctors kept me on statins and added more drugs -

I now have use of my arm & leg and my face has light muscle damage - if you are having the TGA mini strokes you need to contact a doctor as soon as possible - also have your heart checked - I ended up having three bypasses - I have been living in Hell with memory loss and screwed up doctors that I fired and reduced more medications - to regain more of my memories and sense about me - but all this started in December 2003 - now it is 2012???? from 2009 til now I have (woke up) like the clouds of confusion are going away - I am not a quitter - So don't keep living with the mini strokes til it is to late, go to a Brilliant Doctor and let them know whats going on --- I waited to long - I suffered..

I stopped statins about six months ago and I am feeling better, I am going to get my blood tested Friday to see how it has changed since I stopped the drug. Please don't just hope - it will kill you - let a medical doctor know whats up.
~ BR ~

GRD,

I too still have memory issues 2 1/2 years after quitting statins. They continue to slowly improve. After 2 years I asked my doctor for help as described in earlier posts. I still haven't received anything more than evaluations, but memory performance has improved.

I did have one bout of serious confusion. About 7 years ago (2 or 3 , I was on an outing deep in the woods and lost track of my group. I spent about 45 minutes looking for them and even thought I saw one of them before we reconnected. At that point only about 15 minutes had passed by. It hasn't happened since even though I continued taking the statin's for several more yars.

LB

I was lucky. After going off of Lipitor, my memory issues immediately began to clear up. Within a couple of weeks I was sharper than I have been in years.... I hope the issues that you are having clear up for you.

LB
Thank you for your input.
I wonder if the medical profession will ever own up to the Statin poisoning issue.
My dear wife had a heart attack three weeks ago. Heart decease runs in her family too.
She had some heart damage but will be OK at least from the heart damage. She had two stents installed also.
The doctor put her on 20mg of Crestor as her cholesterol was a little high according to the arbitrary values set by the FDA. She told me today that she was having nightmare types of dreams. That was the first symptoms that I had too of Statin poisoning. I told her what I thing of Statins to no avail.
From what the doctor told me, that is standard procedure for someone with heart problems even though their seems to be no connection between moderately high cholesterol and heart attacks. I don't know what to do about that now.
Regards

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Someone who has heart disease and who has already had a heart attack may indeed benefit from a statin. If your wife has side effects she cannot tolerate, she should discuss them with her doctor. It may be possible to adjust the dose or find another medication she could handle.

It is possible that some of the good from statins is due to an anti-inflammatory effect rather than just the cholesterol-lowering action. Though we are certainly not fans of statins for healthy people with slightly elevated cholesterol, we recognize that these drugs have value in treating heart disease.

Hey BR
Thank you for your concern. I have been under a doctors care for other reasons so
he has been fully informed of what is happening. My BP is fully controlled with acebutolol. He gave me stuff called cholestyramine to lower my cholesterol which is not real high but the ratio is not good.

I may go see a neurologist as was suggested to me several times.
Thank you
Regards

I was taking Vytorin 10/80 for awhile when I started to have difficulty recalling names and experiencing other memory related problems. I am only 43 and it scared the crap out of me when I couldn't recall my own wife's name during an introduction. I cut my dose in half and most of the issues subsided, but I still lose a name or two for several seconds. Curiously, when I had a recent blood test, my total cholesterol was 150 (to the surprise of my doctor who I informed of the reduced dose).

I, now, have been trying to solve a problem with very low energy and chronic tiredness. I'm now taking drugs for testosterone and thyroid but still have the energy issues after stabilizing these. Could this be a statin problem?

MS

MS and all, RUN AS FAR FROM STATINS AS YOU CAN! Cholesterol is absolutely necessary for many biological functions, EVERY cell in our body contains cholesterol...the myelin sheath surrounding our axons and dendrites in our brains is made up in large part with cholesterol. Pharma "clinical trial data" use relative risk reduction versus the accurate "absolute risk reduction".....Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics...Google relative versus absolute risk reduction...

Just yesterday I was talking with one of our ministers. I mentioned recovering from plantar fasciitis. She said she suffered from it for 3 years and after asking her doctor, she quit statins and quickly recovered from it. My total cholesterol just hit 275, have upped my Niaspan from 1500mg to 2000mg in hopes of getting my HDL up a bit more. I will take flushing over body aches anyday. But last night was the first of the new dosage with no flushing.

My doctor prescribed Lipitor (Atorvastatin 10mg) after a blood test earlier in year revealed a cholesterol level of 292. I have been on blood pressure pills (Lipitor 20mg) for about a year and a half now with no side effects and positive results. I have taken the Lipitor inconsistently now for 3 months in 'good faith' trying to follow doctors orders. However, after 2-3 weeks each time and enduring the list of side effects mentioned here including muscle pain in legs and shoulders, headaches at night, memory loss, fatigue, tiredness and low glycemic effects, I cannot continue to take this stuff. These effects, in my opinion, do not outweigh the purpose of the the medicine - to lower cholesterol. My doctor has ordered a follow-on blood test to check my cholesterol and I'm going to have to tell her that I have not taken this drug consistently. My next step will be to ask her for advice on alternatives. I cannot a drug that makes me feel this bad.

DW, do you have a family history of heart disease at an early age? Has your doctor explained to you that there is no appreciable change in the incidence of heart disease, since statins were released on the market 20+ years ago...Yep, same amount of heart disease now as there was then....Shouldnt 50 million people who take statins in the US have had some benefit...I would advise that should you continue to take a statin, your symptoms will not improve, but rather worsen, perhaps beyond repair, as is my case...May I suggest you watch an interview with Dr Russell Blaylock MD, retired Neurosurgeon who is an outspoken critic of Statin Drugs.... go to youtube and search Russell Blaylock Danger of Statin Drugs.

I DO NOT want another person to end up like I did, disabled at 34 years old, because I trusted my doctor...If you ever want/need a lot more info on statins, please reply, I would be happy to share all I have.
God bless!
Chris

Yes, 2 days after not taking Lipitor (again), my energy has returned, my muscles feel normal, no headaches, no low glycemic feeling (which causes you to want to eat more because you feel weak) and I will be discussing with my doctor. What I really want to know is - how do 'they' determine that Statins actually save lives? Is it because they get a lower cholesterol reading and that in itself is the determining factor?

I had an ultrasound/EKG treadmill test done a year ago and the cardiology report was normal. All arteries clear and heart looked normal. High blood pressure runs in the family (father and grandmothers took high blood pressure meds), but they all died of causes other than heart (85+).

Anyway, I prefer to feel better and keep my energy levels normal.

@DW There is your proof positive, on the drug=side effects, off the drug=lack of side effects. Good luck and God bless

crandrew, Do you have any literature on permanent statin injury, specifically muscle weakness? Most of the literature I have been able to discover says that the effects are totally reversible when the drug is stopped. Obviously that was not the case for you. But do you have references that support this permanent injury?

http://www.spacedoc.com/permanent_statin_myopathy
Dr Duane Graveline discussing the Permance of Some Statin induced injuries, such as Myopathy, Neuropathy, the lack of any significant improvement on my Brain MRI scans from almost 10 years ago...Brain Biopsy revealed Mutated Mitochondria something which I have not found to be irreversible as of yet, It is next to impossible to find any published data, which criticizes statin drugs...but when I do come across more, I will certainly post it.

My doctors keep trying to get me to take statins, but I am adamant that I will not take them. There is no good reason for me to take them as my cholesterol is only marginally higher than they think it should be. However, OUR BODIES CREATE CHOLESTEROL. It drives me up a wall how WRONG the doctors et al have been about just about everything.

Eating fat used to be though to contribute to our being fat. Nope, they were wrong, it is an excess of CARBOHYDRATES that cause obesity, not by eating fats. Eggs were demonized for years, now it is okay to eat as many of them as one wants.

Cigarettes... well, they were right on about them. I stopped smoking cold turkey. I was laying on a gurney, having my first heart attack, when a voice asked if I smoked. I moaned, "No, I quit." When asked how long it had been that I had quit I said that I didn't know when, what TIME was it?

That was in 1993 and I've not had one since. Recently an old friend of mine died because he refused to stop smoking. He had been found to have pancreatic cancer about 1/8" in diameter. It could have been CURED! Because he had COPD from smoking for 40 years or more, the anesthesiologist would not put him to sleep because he could not guarantee that he could wake him up. Rather than stop, he kept smoking up to the day when he checked into hospice. They made him stop, but it was WAY too late. His cancer had "moved" to his stomach and liver. He refused to believe that cancer could spread the way it did. Neither he nor Steve Jobs had the brains of a toad.

I think statins should be outlawed. I was one of the patients on a trial of Crestor and it damned near killed me, yet my old doctor (I fired him because he insisted that I HAD to take statins) could not believe that statins and I did not get along.

Such is life.

Well it is Sept. 2013 and I am one of those statin users with almost all the side effects you can imagine. Cramps in legs, hands, fingers. Memory loss so bad my family became worried I needed to be put somewhere to get help. They thought I was going crazy for real! And so did I for the longest time. Those missing moments when I did not know how I got across the street or to the store. I just sat in the car and there is was. Frightening not to know you blacked out mentally but physically I made all the right moves in the car and made my destinations.

Here's the deal, screw the drugs. They also gave me pre-diabetes, higher cholesterol, aching bones and pain and arthritis. My doctor did take off for two weeks for the cramping. Big deal. Then what. I am seeking a nutritionist and approaching this whole health thing from a different perspective. Live healthy, live long. Good luck to you all. You must be your own advocate and talk loud and clear that this is your body and you want all the information or no deal. Take you health back.

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