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Scary Statin Side Effects Substantiated

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When the very first statin-type cholesterol-lowering drug was approved by the FDA in July, 1987 there was great excitement. Lovastatin (Mevacor) was perceived as a magic bullet for lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart attacks. Within a short time Mevacor became the most prescribed anticholesterol drug in the country. Doctors perceived it as highly effective and well tolerated with few serious side effects.

Despite initial enthusiasm there were a few concerns. Doctors were told by the manufacturer that Mevacor might raise liver enzymes and increase the risk for cataracts. The official prescribing information noted that dogs treated with Mevacor developed cataracts and "There was a high prevalence of baseline lenticular opacities in the patient population included in the early clinical trials with lovastatin." In other words, there was acknowledgment that clouding of the lens suggestive of cataracts occurred during the early human tests of statins.

As a result of these discoveries, liver function tests were supposed to be performed before treatment started and then every month of two thereafter for at least a year. Eye exams were recommended early in treatment and annually thereafter.

The incredible success of Mevacor led to the development of many other statin-type drugs including:

• Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
• Fluvastatin (Lescol)
• Lovastatin extended-release (Altoprev)
• Lovastatin + Niacin (Advicor)
• Pitavastatin (Livalo)
• Pravastatin (Pravachol)
• Rosuvastatin (Crestor)
• Simvastatin (Zocor)
• Simvastatin + Niacin (Simcor)
• Simvastatin + Ezetimibe (Vytorin)

Over the course of 25 years statins have become the most successful drugs in the history of the pharmaceutical industry. Tens of millions of Americans were put on drugs like Lipitor, Zocor and Crestor. Physicians became convinced that these medications were essential for good health and carried very little risk. There were few reports of liver problems, so regular testing dropped by the wayside, as did the fear that the drugs could cause cataracts. We suspect that relatively few patients were warned that they needed to get eye exams regularly and be on guard against cataracts.

We first got wind of the emerging cataract problem in an epidemiological study published in the journal BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) on May 20, 2010. Over 225,000 new statin users from England and Wales were tracked for several years. The investigators noted an increased risk for muscle pain, moderate to serious liver problems and cataracts:

"The time varying analyses showed the risk [of cataracts] was significantly increased within a year of starting statins, persisted during treatment, and returned to normal within the first year after stopping treatment."

Although we thought this was a pretty dramatic discovery, it didn't get much media or medical attention. But now a new study has confirmed that cataracts are associated with statin use (Optometry and Vision Science, Aug. 2012). Canadian researchers studied over 6,000 patients who visited an optometry clinic. Diabetic patients who took statins were at significantly greater risk for developing cataracts than those who did not take statins. The investigators point out that the lens of the eye requires cholesterol for proper cell development and lens transparency.

Patients with diabetes are frequently prescribed statins to prevent cardiovascular complications of their disease such as heart attacks and strokes. But here is another boomerang: statins themselves may substantially increase the risk for diabetes.

A new study in The Lancet (Aug. 11, 2012) confirms what many people were already beginning to suspect. Those with prediabetes are at especially high risk for developing full-blown diabetes if they are prescribed statins. The investigators were quick to point out that the cardiovascular benefits of statins outweigh the hazards of diabetes. That may be, but when a drug causes a condition (like diabetes) that can have such devastating health consequences, we have to ask whether the ends justify the means.

Visitors to this website have been reporting problems with statins since long before the researchers turned up proof. Here are just a few comments.

"Within about a month of starting Crestor at 5 mg, I had calf pain on a consistent basis. And in the same time frame, I was diagnosed as diabetic -- not a great surprise because I was a likely candidate with a history of gestational diabetes and hypoglycemia -- but I had not tipped into the actual diabetes category until after I took a statin.

"The calf pain disappeared shortly after I stopped the statin, but the diabetes remained."
Dallee

++++++++++++++++

"I started out with Questran in the 1980s, moving on first to Mevacor and then to Lipitor in the 1990s. I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes in 1989 when a urine specimen showed high sugars and a 24 hr urine analysis revealed kidney disease. Now after some 20 years of statins and well controlled diabetes (A1C 6.1 this January) I have peripheral neuropathy in both feet. I'm also aware of fuzzy cognitive thinking and loss of vocabulary.

"I'm having surgery on a lumpy tendon sheath in my left thumb next week. It never occurred to me that statins had anything to do with any of these things, but now I'm wondering. In 2007 I had a cardiac syndrome episode with no damage, but a narrowed LAD coronary artery. Both my GP and my cardiologist are big Lipitor fans. I'm 80 years old and realize that decline is inevitable, but not decline caused by a medication!"
Cottonmouth

++++++++++++++++

"I have been prescribed Flonase but never have used it much, which is good, given this possible problem with cataracts. However, I have been using Lipitor for about 10 years now. About 2 years ago I was told that I have a cataract starting in my left eye; however, I am 64 and I imagine that cataracts starting at my age are not uncommon."
Chuck

++++++++++++++++

And that pretty much sums up the statin dilemma. People who are diagnosed with cataracts or diabetes in their fifties or sixties are frequently told that they "are just getting older." With age comes chronic health problems like muscle aches and pain, diabetes and cataracts. What people may not be told is that atorvastatin or simvastatin (or any other statin) might be contributing to those aches and pains, elevated blood sugars or cataracts.

We recognize that many people benefit from statins, especially those who have had a heart attack or a stent placed in a coronary artery. But the benefits of statins for what is called primary prevention are now highly controversial. When a medicine that is supposed to prevent chronic health problems down the road actually contributes to them, we get concerned.

We welcome your comments below. Share your story about statins. We want to hear the pros as well as the cons. Should you wish to learn more about natural ways to control cholesterol and lower heart attack risks, we have a comprehensive chapter on this topic in our book, Best Choices From The People's Pharmacy.


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Thank you for this interesting article.

I was on Lipitor for a few years and because my urine became very dark, he put me on Crestor, but then the same thing happened with that drug. My understanding is that the darker urine is a result of elevated liver enzymes. I have now been off statins for two years and have no more symptoms.

thanks for all of your very pertinent VITAL info...

I do not and never have taken pharmaceutical statins, but I do take Red Yeast Rice. Are the risks of side effects for Red Yeast Rice the same or different from pharmaceutical statins?

What I do not understand, is how we (health Care Professionals) are always overlooking the fact that these so called "scientific studies" which are often paid for by the drugmaker, AND which use Relative Risk Reduction which are massaged data, using made up numbers, and not the "Absolute Risk Reduction" which is a Rock Solid, non manipulated number...for the difference in Absolute versus Relative risk, ex: Absolute vs Relative Risk Reduction

Imagine a subject having 10% risk to die during the next 5 years as a result of complications of high blood pressure.

If his or her risk will decrease from 10% to 7% after after taking a hypertensive pill during several years, then

The absolute risk reduction will be 3% (10% - 7% = 3%),

The relative risk reduction will be 30% ((10% - 7%)/10% = 30%)

See how the actual 3% magically becomes 30%....Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics...

I was first prescribed statins 18 years ago at 10 mg. Over the years it was increased to 20, then 40. I had a knee that occasionally gave out under me but I did not connect the dots. Stroke at age 60. Neurologist upped the dosage to 80 and, after a couple of months of that, I could hardly get up out of a chair, could barely climb steps. New doctors, new tests, lipitor to blame, extreme damage done, pain remains, knees collapse. I can't even tolerate red yeast rice.

I too have minor cataracts, but I grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and never wore sun glasses until I was about 30 yrs old. I thought that was a normal consequence of my "ill spent youth".

I started on Zocor, first 20 mg then, soon, 40 mg in 1994. I went from Total cholesterol of 245 to about 200 (good in those days). I have continued since then with Zocor40,or Vitorin40 since then. Back to Zocor40 (went to generic as soon as I could). I reduced to Zocor20 + 1000mg of OTC Niacin in Mar 2012. I don't know if my aches and pains are due to Zocor but a small dose of Mobic (7.5mg) every second or third day keeps them under control.

I am very interested in reading what other experiences (and solutions) people have had with statins.

Thank you People's Pharmacy for reporting on these important facts. I don't know if my Dr. appreciates them but I give her a copy anyhow.

Yet another mistake made by "scientific" wishful thinking!

I too started taking Zocor lst 20 then 40. Saw body deteriortating, pains in knees, cataracts, hand shoulders. After reading first article published downsized the dosage until I didn't take any more. Big changes in body pains.

To all people who are experiencing these types of pains, talk to your doctor about stopping these Statins. Slowly but surley you'll see the differnce in the pains going away. Go with changes in food and you'll see the difference. Been there.

Thanks People Pharmacy for alerting us about these dangerous drugs. Your books are my Bible to read for better health.

I took statins for years for very high cholesterol. Starting with a low dose and ending in a very high dose after years of trying to lower my count.

I started getting calf and leg pain after a couple of years which increased until I could barely walk and climb stairs. I complained to my physician who insisted that I must take the drug because if I didn't I would have a heart attack

Finally, I had blood work done (after insisting) and found my kidneys were being damaged by the statin drug so they finally took me off of it. That was several years ago and I'm still suffering the effects of muscle weakness and pain in my legs.

I absolutely hate that drug. It's not just a small thing when you can't walk and your kidneys are being ruined. My cholesterol is still high but I haven't had a heart attack and I don't plan on it. God willing (and He is).

P.S. I was diagnosed with a starting of cataracts about 2 years ago and will be checking on that soon to see if it's any worse. This article has now informed me of yet another reason I'm glad I stopped that nasty drug.

I was given a statin after a minor heart problem, within thirty days both feet and my hands were numb and tingling with shooting pains in my feet. The Dr. laughed at me when I suggested the drug was causing my problem. He insisted that I continue the drug.

I refused and sought another Dr. who insisted that statins were safe; again I refused to resume the drug. After 16 years both feet are still numb, the pain has diminished but still there.

I am 63 and have been on statins since 1993. I am currently on 80 mg of generic Zocor.

I have had regular blood tests (initially every 3 months, now every 6 months) to check liver function and CPK, blood sugar, etc.

I recently asked my cardiologist about the pros/cons of statins. She acknowledges the negatives for some people, as with any medicine, and the need to monitor for any side effects involving CPK, blood sugar, etc. However, for those who have a strong family history of heart disease (as I do) and some CAD diagnosed by flunking a stress test in 1993 (no stents, bypass needed as of yet), that statins have been a wonderful contribution and have kept large number of people from needing more invasive tests, stents, by pass.

Thank you for all the great information you provide for us.

Thank you for this info. I have been on statins since the '80's..this past year it has gotten where, from hips down, I have constant trouble. There are days when it is next to impossible to walk; pain in both hips and down both legs into feet. Burning sensations in knees and calves of legs, feet go numb whether I'm sitting with them propped up or if they are down, a feeling like electrical shock in legs.

When walking, my knees will give out on me, and it is an effort to just walk at all. I have been going to the dr since prior to Thanksgiving '11; they seem to like to pass you from one type of dr to another...neuro, ortho and pain management. Have had nerve tests, stress tests, MRI's, Cat scans and no one comes down with a set diagnosis. Now, Wed of this week, a new dr had by blood work done, my thyroid was up and the cholesterol levels had gone way up, so they insisted I go back on Zocor (I had quit those a few months ago due to what I'd been reading).

I have the beginnings of cataracts. Not only have they put me back on the Zocor but they put me on 300MG of Gabapentin at 3x day...thank heaven my pharmacist told me to start it out at about an hour before I planned to go to bed and not 3x per instructions. He also said do that for 3 days to check my tolerance. I followed his instructions...within 20 mins of taking pill, I headed to bed! Slept all night and finally my dog woke me up after 0800. Fell asleep that afternoon for 3 hours and I'm not a nap taker.

Last night I took the 2nd dose, was asleep within mins again and finally this morn, at 0935 my poor dog woke me cause he had to go out! I'm NOT taking it again, nor am I going to take the statin again.

Why won't drs really listen to a person instead of quickly forming their own opinion and passing you on to another. Now I'm back with family doc and they want to start the "round of other docs" all over again!!

I refused to take Lipitor when my doctor wanted to prescribe it. Instead, I eat a highly vegetation style diet and exercised more. This, along with one red yeast rice, and one over the counter niacin brought my cholesterol reading to 70 LDL and 40/42 HDL.

I do have the start of cataracts which I was informed of prior to taking any over the counter meds. My wife first started me on a non meat diet after quadruple by pass surgery it worked so I went back on it. I do eat fish and some chicken and every once in the while pork loin. No red meat and very little dairy. Now I'm concerned with the red yeast rice and niacin.

After being put on various statins years ago with all causing side effects, I now take Crestor. I have been taking Crestor at least for 5 yrs. now but within the last 2 years have noticed a problem walking. I thought it was being casued by stress as my husband was ill, but has been getting worse to the point I can't walk more than 2 blocks without resting.

In addition, when lying down my feet get a tingling feeling which has worsened to a feeling of contractions in my feet. I would like to get off Crestor but my cardiologist does not want me to as I have about a 50% blockage in two of my heart arteries.

I am researching other alternatives, like red yeast rice and would like other suggestions.

I had been taking Simvastatin for a number of years, until about a year ago. The doctor doubled my dosage in 2009. I, too, have been diagnosed with type II diabetes, peripheral neuropapthy and soreness in large muscles.

Worse than that, I bagaun to suffer from lower body weakness, loss of balance and a condition which could be vascular parkinsonism.

None of these symptoms has gone away, even after a year of no statins. I wonder, could the Parkinsonism be related to statins? No doctor will tell me that and I stopped going to one neurologist because he could not give a diagnosis.

It disturbs me greatly that you generally show this paragraph at the end of your negative coverage of statins and their very serious problems including partial loss of health, complete loss of health, death for some users:

We recognize that many people benefit from statins, especially those who have had a heart attack or a stent placed in a coronary artery. But the benefits of statins for what is called primary prevention are now highly controversial. When a medicine that is supposed to prevent chronic health problems down the road actually contributes to them, we get concerned.

You have zero basis for misleading your readers with that 1st sentence. When you show this sentence you are no different than the drug companies telling doctors and the public that statins, after all the negatives we print to disprove this, are after all great drugs. Especially if you have had a heart attack or stents in a coronary artery. You cannot produce true research to back this up and need to stop using this sentence. You are helping the drug companies continue to lie about the greatness of statins. You should be aware that many of the "studies" that the drug companies use to prove how necessary statins are for "their ever growing list of health problems and for prevention of health problems",are conducted in Mexico and India and paid for by the drug companies.

Other than this, your newsletters are outstanding and very helpful to me and many others. I forward many of them to the 1,600 dancers, friends and relatives on my email list. Thank you.

Murray E

I like Sandy am taking Red Yeast Rice for quite some time now. My cardiologist said not to worry as the dosage is so much lower. He didn't address any particular problem to be concerned about. I also would like another opinion as to whether Red Yeast Rice truly has the same side effects as pharmaceuticals and whether there has been any research with Red Yeast Rice to back up the opinions.

I was put on lipitor in 1998 after I had a stent put in because of a large blood clot in my largest artery. Was enough to give me angina. In 2010 I just stopped, tired of the constant pain, I felt my fibro was being worsened by the statin. The pain is still there; however I have decreased my insulin by a third and lost 30 pounds. I am also able to exercise and am, very slowly, increasing my strength.

Additionally, I had cataract surgery and asked if it wasn't early; the doctor explained my diabetes was a factor. I did find that my diabetes was no longer controllable by pills and went to insulin two or so years after beginning lipitor.

As soon as mevacor came out, my now deceased husband, was put on it. I lost him a few years later to ALS, Lou Gehrig's Disease, and since all the negative information has come out, wonder if the statin was a factor. He was 54, high cholesterol ran in his family.

Now I refuse to take anything for my high cholesterol. My hdl is good because of the exercise and so far my refusal has not become an issue with my health care providers.

I started taking Crestor about 6 months ago after my doctor changed me from Vytorin. The 1st lab workup I did showed a drop in Ldl of about 50 points and a slight rise in my Hdl. This is the best report i have ever had. Did you start off with good results and when did the pain begin after starting Crestor?

I appreciate all you do to help us stay current with events that may impact our health, especially concerning statins as I am on one.

B. L.

My mama began cholesterol meds as soon as they first hit drug stores. She had cataracts and liver enzymes/problems by the time she was in her mid fifties. She was also on a low fat diet, really low. She showed dementia problems in her 70's and I think it was largely caused from all the junk she was prescribed. She dropped dead while on a handful of meds, including Avandia.

My father was so affected by cholesterol meds that he would cry from muscle pain; after a few years, his Dr. took him off them. I suspect his dementia symptoms were partly from those meds.

My Dr. put me on crestor, then lipitor; my muscles, my bones and everything in between ached; my short term memory was shot. I could not finish a sentence; my husband told me, and I could not remember the first few items of a short list.

Finally, I told my doctor, "ENOUGH!", and worked off them. My family doctor can not tolerate statins, either.
I hate the "-tors"......

Statins nearly killed me, I am 81 now, and stopped taking(Zocor?)about 10-12 yrs ago,because of severe muscle weakness.

I was put on niacin & aspirin (to stop the niacin hot flushes) prior to the statin.. i had intestinal bleed for 3 yrs, with a few units of packed cells & lots of iron. Then my back became weak, so back surgery 6 yrs ago. (successful, so far).

My chol. isn't even very high, and my HDL is 62. I don't even want them to do chol. tests on me. Waste of time, I eat quite well, exercise about 4 hours a week, take Yoga , take 5000 mg Omega 3 daily, and drink a glass or two of wine before dinner.

If i drop dead, at least, maybe, I can live until I do. I have a good genetic history for a longlife. I am very active, plan to begin 9 holes of golf again when it cools down a bit. I have been practicing. When I was about 70,

I got Polymyalgia Rheum. That is genetic. Been in remission for years. I ,also had 2 retinal surgeries and have scleral buckles in both eyes. So far so good, I see my ophtholmologist every 6 mo and my retinologist every 6 mo's .. I think, the cataract surgery trauma 30 yrs ago, may have contributed to my retinal tears, but I had to have it. They were not as adept at surgery then./

I do the same and would love to know the answer to this too.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Red yeast rice can have similar side effects to statins. The dose is lower, however, so the side effects seem to be less common. There has not been enough large-scale controlled research on red yeast rice to know if it too contributes to the risk of cataracts.

Are there naturally occurring statins in the foods we eat and in popular vitamins and supplements that we should be aware of?


PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Aside from red yeast rice, we don't know of other naturally occurring statins.

Thank you. After becoming familiar with your original reporting, I quit taking the statins I was prescribed even though I had minimal plaque build up and normal hdl and ldl and I began eating more greens and other vegetables ala Hyman. I was Rx the statins because of a diagnosis of hypertropic myocardia which is a congenital thickening of the heart muscle and resultant 'heart murmur' -- Not clogged arteries. My cholesterol has come down further with the diet. Yea!

given all of this ....what are the alternatives to statins?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: There are prescription drugs as well as non-drug approaches to lower cholesterol. They all require more work, but do not have the same scary side effects. Check out our Guide to Cholesterol Control and Heart Health.

I too had a bad experience with statins. About 8 years ago my doctor put me on Lipitor. I filled the prescription and left town on vacation. Almost immediately I began to feel very different. I was itching all over, almost driving me crazy. I took it for eight days. Came back home and called my doctor. My liver enzymes had gone crazy. Was sent to a gastro doctor.

He did some test and found I had Primary Billiary Cirrhrosis. This was caused by eight days of the statin drug. I now take ten pills per day (for the rest of my life) to take care of the damage that was caused by the use of Lipitor. I also have been diagnosed with the beginning of a cataract.

Thank you, Peoples Pharmacy, for the good work that you do.

Both my husband and I were prescribed statins (several different types over a number of years) for high cholesterol and we both suffered muscle aches and pains. My husband's muscular pain was extremely severe.

We stopped taking statins a number of years ago - but I am now suffering from peripheral neuropathy (feet are numb and tingling) and we both have vocabulary and memory problems and have had cataracts removed.

I'm taking only 20mg. of Prevastatin and am told by doctors that such a low dose is safe. I, too, have been found to be pre-diabetic, have developed tingling in feet (scared to death I'm headed for peripheral neuropathy) and will be taking myself off of it. My diet is good and I exercise regularly, so I feel that I'm doing the right thing. Thanks for this excellent (as usual) information. Julia

I hate this drug! My husband went to the hospital for a cluster headache and they put a stent in one of his small veins in his leg! It was an unnecessary operation, but he went to the hospital alone.

He was told that for the rest of his life he must be on statins. He took them for a few weeks and had such muscle weakness that he could not walk without a walker (he was 62), had erectile disfunction, he was always irritated and full of rage. He told the Dr. he wanted to stop taking the drug and his Dr. wanted to double the dosage (!) and said he would die of a heart attack if he stopped taking it.

Well, he stopped taking the damn drug. Within a few days he started walking without a walker, and gradually became healthy again. He is English and they typically have a higher cholestrol than Americans, so his new doctor said not to worry about a higher level than usual.

He has been healthy ever since, and currently does not take any pills whatsoever. He is currently 68 yrs. old.

I'm 62 years old and have been on various statins for 15 years for elevated cholesterol levels. About ten years ago, I had to use crutches for a month after suffering a sudden pain in the my right calf, diagnosed as a tendon tear. However, there was no history of trauma. Since then, I have repeat episodes of calf pain, as well as severe, generalized muscle pains, especially in the chest, thighs, upper back, and shoulders. These pains disappeared when the statins were stopped, and reappeared when I went back on the statins.

At age 61, I had cataract surgery for both eyes when - during a routine eye visit - I was told I had such thick cataracts, I was at risk of sudden blindness from acute, closed-angle glaucoma.

I've recently stopped taking statins and have begun Dr. Dean Ornish's Spectrum Program of a low-fat diet, regular exercise, stress reduction, and increased social support. I plan to see if I still have an elevated cholesterol in 3 months, or can continue without any statin.

This is very interesting to me. I am 45 years old and have been taking 20 mg of Simvastatin for just over a year. I recently saw my eye doctor for a routine exam. He diagnosed me with fast growing cataracts. There was no sign of cataracts at all the previous year and he believed I now would need surgery in 3 - 4 months. My cholesterol was borderline high and my HDLs were quite high. After reading this article, being diagnosed with cataracts at such a young age doesn't seem coincidental.

I tried statins a few years ago, but had some muscle pains and my VA doctor switched me to the low tech cholestyrmine resin in powder form. I take it 2x a day mixed with juice. No muscle pain and my cholesterol is normal again. The only possible side affect I know of is constipation. However, if you eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and other fiberous foods, it's not a problem.

I'd like to hear more feed back from people using it, as it seems some doctors don't think it's any good. Is that because the drug companies would rather push the highly profitable statins instead?

I am well aware that it may be axiomatic in the medical community that correlation not only does not imply causation, it absolutely, positively and without question precludes causation if the hapless patient himself has the temerity to point out what he thinks is a statin>symptom connection, unless (maybe) the complaint is leg cramps (statins: a protected class of drug?). However, for whatever it may be worth, this is what happened:

All at once, starting on or about June 12, 2010, roughly three weeks after I quit simvastatin (I had come upon a very recent European Medicines Agency alert linking statins to interstitial lung disease and realized that this very likely applied to me) I experienced:

1. oxygen desaturation to +/- 79% and a racing pulse after I walked barely ten feet. Before simvastatin and the rebound exacerbation, the oxygen saturation only went below 88 if I walked uphill or up a flight of stairs. Now 82 is the usual low (Pravachol in the 1990's caused pulmonary fibrosis: normal lung x-rays then 10 months after the statin, all four lobes infiltrated, etc).

2. three terrifying runs of tachycardia, which I had never experienced before in all of my 77 years. The first hit June 12 two more came in rapid succession a fe days later. Subsequent "attacks" were few and far between. The last was Oct 1, 2010.

3. spells of wildly erratic heartbeats multiple times every day for about ten days. These too then spaced themselves out, the last occurring Dec. 25, 2010.

4. excruciatingly painful leg and foot cramps, once in both legs simultaneously, every night for about a week (none since). I had experienced these before while actually on statins, but they were never this frequent. To get rid of them, I had to get out of bed and walk, which risked setting my heart on another scary wild ride.My legs now wear out quickly.

5. RBBB, which first appeared on record June 12 (1st trip to ED for tachycardia).

6. sudden worsening of the previously actually rather trivial peripheral neuropathy which I insist began with Pravachol in the 1990’s. Now my neurological “knee socks” are quite noticeable, my parchment-soled feet feel as though I am walking on lumps inside a sock, and I am unsteady on my feet (I have to be very careful).

7. shiny red areas ankle to knee on both legs (eczema?) until January of 2011, when Iceland’s Blue Lagoon mineral spa lotion vanquished them in 3 days.

When the rebound hit, I was taking levothyroxin, omega-3, 81 mg aspirin, calcium, Plavix, HCTZ and potassium; all except omega-3 were by prescription or suggested by doctors.

After watching my aging mother suffer cataracts and stiffness associated with statins, I refused to take them when my doctor discovered my cholesterol was elevated. Instead, I bought a book called Cholesterol Down in Ten Steps and followed the ten steps exactly. Within a few months, I lowered my total cholesterol by 70 points... back to a healthy range.

Have been on Lipitor for at least 15 years. I guess it kept my cholesterol at an acceptable level. Now I am considering hip & knee replacements as the pain is pretty awful. This came on with a rush in the last few months and after reading the comments here I am going to stop the Lipitor and go on Red rice yeast extract with supervision. Who knows maybe I wont have to go through surgery after all. I will keep you posted on my progress.

I get so tired of doctors who laugh at people and do not LISTEN.

This is T.S. again with an added happy surprise. I turned 65 last year and started medicare. Talking with my new doctor one day I said I sometimes feel a little faint in the mornings after a brisk 25 minute walk and then 30 minutes of working out with dumbbells. Well, my doctor said I needed more protein and I should be eating 2 eggs and ham every morning. That really surprised me. So I change my diet and started eating two hard boiled eggs with humus with sardines or tuna every morning. I like to see cause and defect. So after 4 months and the new lab work I was a little nervous to read my stats. Well, my LDL (for lousy) was fine but my HDL (for happy) went from the usual 40 up to 43! Never had it been so high. My doctor said the higher HDL give more protection for the heart. So eggs sure have been getting a bad rap. The nutritionist at the VA clinic said only two or three eggs per week. Your MMV. I thought I would pass this new to me info along.

By the way I have no connections to the egg industry.

T.S.

I quit all statins months ago because of achy muscles and feeling 'fluey'. I started on a high quality Omega 3 supplement and increased my fiber. Since that time, I have had two lab results re/cholesterol. The first count showed a reduced cholesterol level of 21 points, the second and most recent count showed a further reduction of 31 points! I will continue doing what seems to be working! Good luck to everyone out there who is dealing w/this challenge.

Statin authority Dr. Beatrice Golomb of the University of California at San Diego finds no credible evidence that statins confer a mortality benefit on seniors or women of any age, even for those with diagnosed heart or vascular disease. She has available not only the FDA AERS database and the mountain of research and clinical data she and her team have collected over the years from other sources but most likely also the U of Cal’s extensive EMR database.

She has absolutely no connection with any drug company; she has an incredible curriculum vitae - better than that of the vast majority of MD’s, I am quite sure; and she is not against statins per se but against their being dangerously misunderstood and misused.

Statins mess with the mevalonate pathway. Every cell in the body is affected. Since statins are not all that effective, ought not a person be given the benefit of the doubt with regard to adverse effects when his health, perhaps even his very life, may be at stake? Or does the prevalence of drug-induced damage carry implications so inimical to the medical profession that it’s more comfortable to look the other way?

Were it not for the internet and my ability to use it intelligently, I would most likely be dead, because that is how I learned of the statin/peripheral neuropathy connection in 2000 and what got me away from simvastatin in 2010 before it killed me. Statins are important drugs, but they are also extremely dangerous. Close and informed monitoring is an imperative.

I am only one victim of an industry that has put an obscene amount of time and money into determined attempts to fortify its hugely money-making but problematic cholesterol hypothesis while the identification and study of far less lucrative but much safer preventions and treatments for CAD generally have lacked funding (current Akt3 work at Cleveland Clinic hopeful?) and the worst statin adverse effects have been for the most part hushed up.

For example, a neurobiologist emailed me that statins have long been known to be “absolutely horrible for the brain” (Alzheimer-like effects on neurons) although that adverse effect of statins went missing from the lists of what the industry euphemistically calls “side effects” until fairly recently. At least with most statins now off patent, the hype has simmered down, but the damage marches on.

So if you're over 70, forget the statins if you think they are going to do you any good. Atherosclerosis is slow moving; is it not likely that you will die of something else first? Doctors don't generally treat cancers in the elderly (except for certain very aggressive cancers) because those are slow moving, but they have no problem prescribing statins for the elderly - who are in general much more strongly affected by any drug than are younger people and therefore can be hurt much more easily by statins than young folks, and for no reason except for the medical community's love affair with statins. Go figure!

Oh, and by the way: don't quit statins cold turkey because that could kill you. Ease off them gradually. And if your doctor objects to your coming off them, remember that your body and your health are yours, not his, and presumably you have just one life to live.

I was recently put on Lipitor (Atorvastatin 10mg) by my GP due to a high (ish) cholesterol level. I hadn't read anything about statins prior to taking them but did read the leaflet beforehand and noted some of the side effects.
Surprisingly, after having taken only 2 (two!) tablets, I woke up in the night with severe pain in my knees and couldn't lift my leg more than 6 inches off the ground without it hurting.

I ignored this for 24 hours thinking that it was coincidence and that there must be some other reason for my symptoms. I argued with myself that surely only 2 tablets wouldn't have such an effect.

24 hours later and the pain remained together with a general feeling of being unwell. Hot flushes, muscle aches, etc. I phoned my GP and was told to stop taking the tablets and to go in for an appointment to discuss an alternative statin.
I haven't been back as yet as I still feel that the effects haven't fully worn off. My knees still hurt.

Having now read all these comments on side effects, I'll probably stick to dietary measures only and not bother with the tablets.
If I feel like this after just a few, what will I be like after a few months?

Nobody knows for sure whether or not elevated LDL cholesterol levels cause atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) or if those levels are symptoms of something else (maybe inflammation, for instance). Treating the symptom instead of the cause is a neat trick: side effects show up, pills are prescribed for those side effects which in turn have their own side effects so that pretty soon you have a whole cabinet full of drug vials and you have helped the share values of the drug companies to continue to rise.

It is true that cholesterol pieces can break off and travel to other places where they cause trouble (heart attack, maybe), but this can happen whether the amount of plaque in the arteries is thick or thin or anything in between.

Meanwhile, don't bother with the cholesterol level if the statins caused you the trouble you describe (and what else were they doing that you and your doctor don't know about yet?). I don't know where a low-fat diet figures into your situation because most of your cholesterol is produced by your own body and in the meantime you could be causing harm to yourself by restricting fats. A well-rounded diet is best: lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, not much beef or other red meat but get the best quality and tastiest when you do indulge, whole grains, no junk food, plenty of fish. Exercise is also important, and so is stress reduction since stress may be one of mankind's worst enemies.

Actually, some studies have shown that their subjects with the lowest cholesterol levels had the highest mortality rate and subjects with high cholesterol levels (upper 200's, for instance) had the lowest mortality rate. It is also well known that around 70% of heart attack victims have normal cholesterol levels.

I have been on Zocor for a number of years. Recently I changed pharmacies for drug cost issues. After several months on their brand of generic Zocor, I started having occasional fuzzy memory and "black spots" in my memory - couldn't remember the name of simple items. I found there were two different brands of generic they purchased and I seemed to have problems with the most common one.

I stopped taking the meds and all memory problems have cleared up. I also had problems with energy levels and lack of muscle strength - thought this was caused by being a couch potato but I realize now that I'm no longer a couch potato and energy levels are way up. Just wondering if others are seeing problems with brand name product or are all our problems "generically" driven?

I quit Lipitor because all the muscles in my body hurt. The cardiologist prescribed a lower dosage of Simvastatin. My hair loss was unbelievable. I found on the internet that hair loss is a side effect of statins. I am now taking Red Yeast Rice. However, I am still losing hair, but not as rapidly. Does Red Yeast Rice cause hair loss?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Red yeast rice can cause most of the side effects that the statins can cause. The dose of natural statins in RYR is lower, so the effects are often less severe, but people who don't tolerate statins may not tolerate RYR either.

I wish that I had been run over by a truck or shot in a drive by. My life is ruined. The FDA keeps minimizing side-effects. I had cramps so bad, my doctor labeled them as seizures.

I find it interesting that you would use Hypertension as an example and not any of the Statins. Yes, It is very interesting.

I agree. From what I have learned in my research you can get the same benefit to the heart taking a low-dose aspirin.
And this is the reason why everyone stays so confused. Hell, we all die anyway. I would rather die from a massive heart attack then deal with what these folks are dealing with - all because they think high cholesterol is a high disease. I know for middle-aged women the lowest all-cause mortality cholesterol range is 250-300 - yet my mom thinks that 193 is Excellent because her doctor says so.

...and who knows what kind of reaction the statins might have with other drugs (most people take more than one on a daily basis). There have been NO studies done on that.

My husband was prescribed Lovastatin a little over 6 years ago. He went for his liver check when he was told to. Kept to his diet like he was suppose to. He is a diabetic and has been for over 20 years now. Controlled by diet and one pill. He had already been DX with cataracts just not bad enough to be removed yet when he started this med he had to have them removed within the year. He took Lovastatin for 5 months. His liver was checked and was fine.

The problem was not the liver. The problem was his CPK should have been checked. By the end of January he had lost the muscles in his legs. Had sepsis and could not even open his eyelids. His CPK was 14,000. He has not walked or stood since. He is wheelchair bound and requires a lift and hospital bed. Our life has been turned upside down because of Lovastatin.

The side effects page you get from the pharmacy was... blank. We had no idea what to watch for. Who would have known hoarseness was a side effect of this drug. When we brought up to the MD that he was only losing weight on one side of his body he said strange. The company the makes this drug is protected by the FDA and not one lawyer would take our case. He had no insurance and we literately had to fight for a year to finally get MediCaid to kick in and help. He was only 45 when this happened. He still tries to work. It's getting harder and harder.

He has been taking Metformin for about 5.5 years now and started with one 500 mg dose. His sugar increased and another pill was added. He did well with it. About a year ago his sugar went up over 200. Another pill was added and I noticed he had gotten weaker and it did not go down. Has been passing kidney stones. Has more frequent UTI's. I do have to cathe him that is an issue with the uti's. Not as bad as it has been for the past 6 months. My main concern is his weakening condition. He should be getting stronger not weaker.

I am researching to see if his meds are causing this. He also takes 1200 MG Gabapintin Fosinapril 20mg and Glipaside 5mg was added 3 months ago. Now sugar is more controlled. I did remove the additional dose of Metfomin and his sugar is almost normal instead of elevated when I did that. Its around 110 - 120 .

So sorry to hear your husband had such a terrible experience. I also took Lipitor for several years and was slowly getting muscle breakdown. I had to fight for and insist that test be made to determine my cpk. I was immediately taken off the statin lipitor, tried another with the same results. That was a few years back.

I went off all statins and cholesterol reducers after that experience. However, I still have weakness and muscle problems in my legs but at least I am still able to walk and function semi normally. I can't imagine what would have happened if I hadn't researched my muscle pain/weakness and insisted that I have the kidney tested. I wish you and your husband well.

I started taking Simvastin the week of my 40th birthday. 2 months later I was in my Dr's office complaining about my paresthesia in my right foot and minor burning. He insisted that it was environmental. His advice - put baby powder in shoes, alternate pairs each day, etc. etc.

One month after that the burning was in both feet and in my left calf. General fatigue in lower body when doing manual labor. A month after that my right calf was spazzing and fingers going numb in the middle of the night. I was also having bouts with depression. I went back to my Dr and insisted some testing be completed as Dr's don't seem to be as proactive as they used to be. He sent me to a Nuerologist who ordered 5 or 6 blood tests and more meds for the burning. He also said my condition sounded like Peripheral Neuropathy.

I didn't want to wait around a month for the results for action or get more toxic with pain meds so I researched my symptoms, peripheral neuropathy, and the side effects of Simvastin. After I saw a perfect match with my symptoms and simvastatin side effects I called the Dr's office and they acted like I was speaking Japanese.

So I quit the med on my own. After 8 days the burning has subsided IMMENSELY and is almost gone completely; the burning was so bad before I had to remove my shoes 4x a day just to let my feet cool off. The spasms in my legs have all but gone away. The numbness in my hands has all but gone away and the depression is completely gone.

My calves, knees, and ankles still have a "cool" feeling and some occasional paresthesia in them but I'm hoping all the symptoms eventually go away the same way they came - in phases. And I'll see what the Neurologist says in few days. These symptoms did not all happen at once. They snuck up on me one by one and they weren't constant but would rather come and go.

I stupidly attributed some of these to getting older but I should have immediately recognized taking Simvastatin was the only thing that had changed right along with turning 40. I will never take a Statin drug again and I would caution anyone who does to pay very close attention to changes that may come when taking this drug.

I'm 63, 20+ pounds overweight....play tennis once a week. never had any real problems other than a stent 13 years ago. My doctor doubled my statin about 6 weeks ago....total havoc resulted. I fell playing tennis...didn't know why...then the leg pains started. I COULD NOT stand for more than a minute... the pain was that bad. went to my doc, thought it was because I fell at tennis, although the pain started a week after I fell... he said it was because he doubled my statin dose. said I should stop it for 2 weeks, then go back on 1/2 dose. I am NEVER going back.

It's been a about a month since I stopped...I am doing MUCH better...I really feel that statins are poison....for 4 nights I could only sleep if in my recliner...I walked like a guy that was 80....I was thinking about buying a cane to get around...not anymore. I now walk normal and I'm playing tennis again....I still feel weird pains in my legs...ass and shin area...but they are getting better. I'd like to hear from others about this...and feel free to ask me anything.

Bloodwork came back completely normal. Not even close to being diabetic. No blood illnesses. I'm still experiencing an occasional slight numbness in hands still, occasionally my feet are hot in the evenings but not unbearable like before, no tingling or numbness in feet anymore.

I'm glad that my symptoms occurred early. From what I read sometimes it takes a few years for these side effects to kick in and I'm sorry for those whose bodies have been permanently damaged from prolonged use. I'm not a hippie or herbal maniac but just be aware of the potential damage that this drug can do to you. I was miserable for 7 months....

T.S.
Please watch how much tuna you are eating. You can get too much mercury.

I read an article by a physician who was regularly eating tuna at lunch time. His list of symptoms increased over time and he did not immediately tie it to the tuna.

He eventually had his mercury levels checked and they were off the charts. So no more tuna for lunch for him.

Statin drugs do have their bad side. At least mercury is not one of them.

I wondered about that too. WHO benefits from these drugs, who says so, and how do they know?

Hmmmm.... Without going into my complicated story, I was discharged from a nursing home after the better part of a yearlong stay. Aftercare was not provided, so I considered myself fortunate when I stumbled upon a nurse practitioner that would actually make house calls (newly wheel chair confined, I had no way to get around). Unfortunately, she followed the popular fashion of prescribing medications for conditions they aren't meant for (i.e., antidepressants for severe chronic pain, other antidepressants as sleep aids).

She decided I was diabetic and along with the poke-y kit prescribed metformin and a statin. For some weird reason I did not like to take the statin. I would not take it. I think I took it maybe twice this past year. Thank God. If I had taken it as prescribed I may now be a full blown diabetic. As it stands, my blood sugar hovers between 100 and 130 on average (hence my belief that I am not after all diabetic in the least). I found this article after hearing something on television about statin side effects. Very interesting! thank you for the info!

S,W., please check your blood sugar two hours after eating; particularly after a big meal. First you check before and note the result. In two hours your readings should be in the same area of that first test. I suspect it will not be.

However, that does not mean diabetes. It does mean researching diabetes, the best methods of control usually involve your food, and making lifestyle changes. It does mean you may be pre-diabetic. Next step is to get an A1c test; this will measure your average blood glucose over the previous three months, tho it is weighted towards the latter six weeks. If your A1c is over 6 - you have outright diabetes. If between 5.6 and 6, it is more likely pre-diabetes.

Whichever: Changes in diet and exercise can push you back into normal levels. You may need to lose some weight. Even if you are still wheel chair bound, there are arm and bed exercises you can do. Exercise does several things: It builds up your muscles and muscles, even at rest, use more glucose than other tissues. During the exercise and for a while afterward more glucose is burned, lowering your readings. As to diet: A controlled carb diet is the best because people with diabetes cannot burn carbs as they did before and therefore their blood sugars are raised by the carbs. Going near starch free, with your carbs coming from veggies and small amounts of fruits should yield results that are worth the effort.

Surely do hope you read this and save yourself from suffering with outright diabetes.

On the mark! There is a world of difference between absolute and relative risk reduction - and how the pharmaceutical companies love to emphasize the latter! They have a right to make money, but not by shutting out adverse research, dumping money on those happy to toe the party line, and pretending that statin damage is not much more common than they recognize.

As for doctors, does iatrogenic damage carry implications so inimical to the medical profession that it’s more comfortable to look the other way? Were it not for the internet and my ability to use it intelligently, I would most likely be dead, because that is how I learned of the statin/peripheral neuropathy connection in 2000 and what got me away from simvastatin in 2010 before it killed me.

Statins are important drugs, but they are also extremely dangerous.

Like many statin victims, I am a senior citizen who was in excellent health until the medical profession decided to "save" me from something or other (heart attack? stroke? good health?) by prescribing statins. So I took statins in 1994 and quit after about a year, again in 1997 and quit, and then in 2009 when a doctor at the renowned Mayo Clinic persuaded me to take Simvastatin. I took it for one year. I am now on oxygen 24/7.

I told one doctor after another that Pravachol in the mid-1990’s caused my peripheral neuropathy (self diagnosis confirmed by a neurological clinic in 2004), but neither I nor the two doctors who (possibly) were willing to believe that I knew what I was talking about had the least idea that my lungs were also harmed by statins (or Zetia, believe it or not). Until the few years, I knew even less about statins and cholesterol than any of the physicians I went to (not easy, but I managed), else with my suspecting Pravachol to be the cause for my neuropathy plus my knowing what I know now about statins, cholesterol, the electron chain and much, much else of relevance, I would never have agreed to Zetia in 2005 or simvastatin in 2009, and I certainly would not have quit the latter so abruptly.

Now I know better, but it’s too late. Upon getting my old medical records from the 1990's, I found that 10 months on Pravachol were "bookmarked" by x-ray "lungs clear, heart normal" at the beginning and "minimal pulmonary fibrosis all four lobes... area of opaqueness possibly cancer or old fibrosis..." and on and on, a long report of the damage I had incurred. And there were no confounding variables: no other drugs taken, no exposure to external toxins of any sort.

Correlation/causation error? Not in my case, obviously - but would it have mattered? Statin authority Dr. Beatrice Golomb of the University of California at San Diego finds no credible evidence that statins confer a mortality benefit on seniors or women of any age, even as secondary prevention. From the mountain of data at her disposal, she concludes that the possibility of risk exceeds any possibility of benefit from statins for seniors like me. I wish I had known that a long time ago!

Statins mess with the mevalonate pathway. Every cell in the body is affected. Since statins are not all that effective, ought not a person be given the benefit of the doubt with regard to AE’s when his health, perhaps even his very life, may be at stake?

I am only one victim of an industry that has put an obscene amount of time and money into determined attempts to fortify its hugely money-making but problematic cholesterol hypothesis while the identification and study of far less lucrative but much safer preventions and treatments for CAD generally have lacked funding and the worst statin AE’s have been for the most part hushed up. For example, a neurobiologist e-mailed me that statins have long been known to be “absolutely horrible for the brain” (Alzheimer-like effects on neurons) although that AE went missing from the lists of what the industry euphemistically calls “side effects” until fairly recently. At least with most statins now off patent, the hype has simmered down, but the damage marches on. "Above all, do no harm"? How ineffably quaint!

I am so sorry to hear of your travails with statins. Your mention of peripheral neuropathy makes me wonder if you have ever had your blood glucose checked, or your A1c. Statins raise blood sugars, another side effect suppressed for years and one, as a diabetic, I learned, when I self quit, that I had problems from. About a week after stopping lipitor, I found myself with "mysterious" low readings. In the end I decreased my insulin by about a third. Yet never connected it with the statin until I read, several years later, of this side effect.

Big pharma is at fault for always putting profits before people. However doctors share blame too; they allow themselves to be educated (hah) by the drug companies - or influenced by pharma's bribes.

If government were not so corrupt it would have the power to protect the public from these excesses of greed. Certainly the appropriate agencies are in place.

I'm 65 and had a mild heart attack 4 months ago. After having a stent fitted I was put on 7.5mg Ramipril, 5mg Amlodipine and 80mg Lipitor. My rehab was progressing really well, I have always been very fit, lots of gym and a 5 mile run every Sunday morning since I was 25.

After a few months I had a couple of incidences of rapid heartbeat whilst out exercising, 160-180 bpm going on for up to 15 mins even after standing still, (normally when walking as fast as I can it's about 115, I wear a HR monitor to track my progress). Now after 4 months I am getting these tachycardia events almost every time I go for a walk, even a gentle walk, and it's basically destroyed my ability to exercise. I'm convinced this is because of medication as I've just had a stress echocardiogram and my heart is pronounce as being in excellent condition, even though during the procedure it suddenly went up to 197bpm, proving I haven't been making it up!

The big question is which med is causing the problem?
I was on a calcium channel blocker for years before my heart attack so it's unlikely to be Amlodipine, that leaves Ramipril or Lipitor, has anyone had any similar experiences, I'm at my wits end, my consultant doesn't believe it's the statin?

In 2010 I made the mistake of stopping Simvastatin cold turkey after one year on it because I came upon the warning to physicians in Europe from the Pharmacological Working Group of the European Medicines Agency to the effect that if interstitial lung disease develops they should stop statins immediately.

About three weeks after I quit the statin, I had statin rebound like no tomorrow! Not only did the peripheral neuropathy which developed during my year on Pravachol back in 1994-1995 and which had been very mild and unchanged for over a decade suddenly flare up and become a real problem, but I had ten nights of severe leg cramps, I developed a patch of bright red eczema on both legs, my pulmonary fibrosis which I now have x-ray proof developed when I was on Pravachol and which had been unchanged (no breathing problems) in my decade-plus being away from statins took my lungs down so far that I am now on supplemental oxygen 24/7, but - and here's what would interest you - the day when all this first hit, May 18, 2010, was the day I suddenly experienced tachycardia and ten days of nightmarish arrhythmias, all for the first time in my 77 years.

I had never had tachycardia before in my life. I was terrified. What followed was an ambulance ride to the hospital. I had two more attacks of tachy that same week - then one a few months later - then one December 25, 2010, and that was the end of the tachy.

In between the tachy, every day for about ten days I had "attacks" of the weirdest heart rhythms imaginable over and over every day. These spaced themselves out and likewise disappeared. Nothing like that had ever happened to me before either.

My local doctors had me on a heart monitor for a month and Mayo Clinic had me on 24-hour monitoring for a week. Plenty of record of my arrhythmias.

The arrhythmias are long gone. Either they left because I went on mega doses of CoQ10 or whether they would have left anyhow. I only know that ubiquinone improves the cardiac endothelium.

At first the Mayo cardiologist who put in my two cardiac stents insisted, over the phone when I made my first of several panic calls to him, that statins and arrhythmias have no connection to each other. He has since changed his mind. Now he also says I am statin intolerant. This diagnosis came a bit late, methinks,

Genetically high cholesterol (300), 53 year old female, no health problems, normal weight, exercise, eat extremely well and always have. Doctors prescribed 40 mg lipitor, felt fine but CPK test showed muscle damage so was told to immediately discontinue. Year or two later another doctor insisted I go on 80mg of Simvastatin.

Within two weeks developed serious peripheral neuropathy and within 3 weeks stopped sleeping and started having electrical seizures in my head and up my spine. After a couple of weeks of literally no sleep, I was feeling very crazy and very sick. Couldn't stop crying and while normally a very gregarious extrovert, could not stand to be around people or stimulation of any kind. Which made work very difficult.

To make a long story short, a return visit to the doctor resulted in an appointment with a neurologist to consider MS or some other neuro disease. I suggested I quit the statin to try and isolate what was wrong and the doctor agreed. After extensive testing for all kinds of things, I was told my symptoms were from menopause and prescribed an antidepressant. Grrrrrr.

It is now 6 years later, I still have intermittent peripheral neuropathy but fortunately the rest of the symptoms subsided pretty quickly after discontinuing the drug.

It made me angry that the medical profession and the drug caused the problem, but I was told I was just menopausal. I was way too sick to be just menopausal.

anti statin were you diagnosed type 2 diabetic while you were taking statins??...I was, and I never had any diabetic symptoms....but I stopped taking statins over 2 years ago...and every blood test I've had since then...my blood sugar has been nowhere near diabetic...I'm sure it was the statins that caused the rise in blood sugar levels...

I have been on statins, but quit in march 2011. the pain never stopped. My whole body is racked with pain. I guess I could say it is all the statin drug, but I also believe that the flouroquinolone antiobiotic is a big part of the problem.

The real problem is that the F.D.A. and the drug companies are pouring drugs out every day with little or no testing. This problem is destroying thousands of people. Either they die or they are patients the rest of their lives with some very painful diseases inflicted by the drug companies. They are destroying and mutating the cells in our bodies.

I was a stupid sheep like everyone else and believed a doctor would do no harm, but I assure you they will and do. I have reported to the V.A. in Memphis about what these drugs have done to me. They tell me they have been approved by the F.D.A.. I want to bust out laughing every time I hear this.

The drug companies knew these drugs were killers when they first developed them, but they did not care if they destroyed thousands. More work for doctors and drug companies to develop drugs for all the problems they have created. I am 65 years old and 3 years ago, I started looking for the reason I was sick and hurt so bad. 30 something doctors later and I have not been told anything.

Be your own judge about how bad you feel and try to remember how you use to feel. Go back to the natural way of living. Our food has been destroyed and our bodies have been destroyed by greedy and corrupt people. I will be waiting on the other side for them along with thousands of others whose lives have been made miserable. Make your own decisions, but make sure before you put a pill in your body, do you own research. good luck to all of you.

I have been taking 20 mg daily of Ran-Simvastatin for 5 years now and have had no side effects. I have an annual checkup and will be talking to doctor about side effects. The positive side is I have had no cardiac problems to this point (turning 60 in a few months). Cardiac issues are hereditary with parents and siblings. I am enjoying life and not worrying about the next chronic pain that may appear. When it happens I deal with it.

You should not take your risk taking medicine what you should do is take care of you self by changing your life style. What always they said is "prevention is better than cure".

I'm confident that a statin drug caused me to experience multiple spontaneous tendon tears.

I'm 73 years old. Quite a few years ago my PCP prescribed a statin to control cholesterol. The cholesterol level decreased to within the normal range, but in 2008 I was diagnosed with three coronary artery blockages and had bypass surgery. I continued taking the statin.

Two months ago I experienced acute pain in both shoulders without any related trauma. The right shoulder was very bad. An MRI revealed that the bicep tendon had a full width tear and two other tendons had partial tears. Since I'm fairly physically fit (other than the heart of course), the orthopedist ok'd rotator cuff surgery and I'm now undergoing PT. I'm progressing at a better than average rate, but it will be months before I have full use of the shoulder. I read that for some, recovery can take up to a year! All this because of a very widely prescribed and relatively benign drug. The phrase: "cure is worse than the cause" has new meaning for me.

Started Lipotor was taking it for two or three months, when I noticed cramps in the calfs of my legs numbness in my feet and it seemed like my right hip was froze up and did not want to work at times, then I got to where I could hardly walk the pains were so bad in the bottoms of my feet, my doctor told me I'd die if I stopped taking the medicine. I stopped taking the Lipitor about a year ago and I've never felt better. I have had cataract surgery on both eyes and lens implants, I do not regret that I stopped taking it.

Said it before, and it bears repeating: my 93 year-old mom has been on Crestor for more years than I can count. She started with severe muscle pain, then had problems with her balance, then couldn't walk without a walker, can now barely get around even with the walker, developed cataracts, and now is diabetic. I wouldn't touch statins with a 20 foot pole, no matter how high my cholesterol is.

My story begins with the drug Lipitor (40mg daily).

Recently, an MRI scan confirmed dementia. I'm 60 years old with a brain...I'm told...the age of a 70 to 80 year old woman.

I have taken statins of various types for over 25 years. All produced muscle pain and stupidity! About 6 months ago I stopped. I have many years experience in emergency medicine and did my own research into this class of drugs. First, the reduction in cardiac events with statins when compared to aspirin are almost identical. While aspirin is known to produce bleeding disorders these complications are NOT common. Second, the majority of people that suffer a fatal cardiac arrest have NORMAL or BELOW NORMAL cholesterol levels.

There have been no studies that have linked sudden cardiac death to anything but a weak association with cholesterol levels.(hence the now recommended lower importance in "numbers.") Third, recent studies are coming together in agreement that it is PARTICLE SIZE and INFLAMMATION that are most positively connect to sudden death and first time non-lethal MIs. Statins are believed to "stabilize" the fatty deposits and the "lowering" of cholesterol is not the factor responsible for a reduction in cardiovascular events. Most MDs are not identifying the complications of statins but rather associate the patient's complaints with other issues.

In my case my physician said she would have thought my pain in my hips, knees and legs was do to arteritis or aging. After discussion she commented that practically every patient on statins complains about the side effects. Now that she has personally experienced the statin side effects, after being prescribed Crestor, her awareness to the problem has greatly increased. The cognitive impairment is the least identified but may yet prove to be the drug's undoing. I predict that within 10 years statins will be completely removed from common practice and replaced with some form of anti-inflammatory agent. It's a case of the treatment causing more distress than the illness. Use this class of drug with caution and discus other options with your health care provider.

So, in April 2012 I had a stent put in my Right Coronary Artery and was put on Lipitor. High Cholesterol runs in my family even though I have a very healthy diet. Initially I was put on Lipitor, then Zocor, then Crestor... I was able to tolerate Crestor because the other meds gave me severe leg cramps.

After 6 months on Crestor I started having the same problems I had with the other statins but my cardiologist insisted I be on this statin because I had a minor cardiac event in April 2012. After a 2 years on Crestor I started having bilateral foot tingling, numbness and temperature changes in both feet from hot to cold and cold to hot and tingling on the Right side of my back. I immediately stopped taking Crestor. I was referred to a neurologist and they ran every lab under the sun and even did an MRI and everything came back normal so I am convinced the problem stemmed from statin use.

I will never take another statin the rest of my life and have been referred for Acupuncture. Had I known these side effects, I would have never taken Crestor. You can't live in fear about possible health issues; it is also about the quality of life and it is often difficult to make wise health decisions if you are not given accurate information about possible side effects.

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