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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  1. david
    Australia
    Reply

    Took CRESTOR and suffered massive muscle depletion. Came off them, but muscles are still weak. Went onto Lipitor, and now off that too, as I have had memory and thinking problems… Very frustrating…. Statins cause more problems than they help, and I don’t believe cholesterol has anything to do with heart attacks and strokes.

  2. kanzan
    Reply

    At you high cholesterol level I would be very concerned, are you on a near vegan diet? Lots of medical studies support this for heart health, see the China Study for an good read.

  3. PJ
    Reply

    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.

  4. Beverly Kurtin, Ph.D.
    Reply

    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.

  5. crandreww
    Reply

    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.

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