bottles of crestor lipitor and simvastatin cholesterol-lowering drugs

When Mevacor (lovastatin) was first marketed in 1987 it quickly became a game changer. That’s because it was perceived as extremely effective for lowering cholesterol with far fewer side effects than existing drugs.

Prior to this first statin-type cholesterol-lowering medication there was a certain amount of ambivalence about cholesterol lowering drugs. Lopid (gemfibrozil) was one of the best known and most successful medications prior to Mevacor. It lowered bad LDL cholesterol a modest 11 percent. Although it appeared to reduce the risk of heart attacks, it came with a list of side effects including gallstones, indigestion, stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, flatulence, dizziness, blurred vision, headache, numbness or nerve tingling, lowered libido and erectile dysfunction.

Mevacor seemed like a fabulous alternative and it quickly became the hottest cholesterol-lowering drug on the market. Its success spawned lots of other statins including Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
, Fluvastatin (Lescol)
, Pitavastatin (Livalo)
, Pravastatin (Pravachol)
, Rosuvastatin (Crestor)
, Simvastatin (Zocor)
 and Simvastatin + Ezetimibe (Vytorin).

Initially, most doctors believed that statins had few, if any, side effects. Tens of millions of people were prescribed these drugs even if they had hardly any risk factors for heart disease. In some cases doctors encouraged people to take a statin “just in case,” even if their cholesterol levels were relatively “normal.” The assumption was that the drugs were so safe there was no reason not to take them even if the person was in good health.

When we started hearing reports from people that they were suffering muscle pain and weakness, memory problems, erectile dysfunction, peripheral neuropathy or blood sugar elevations, we were told by some health professionals that these were old folks just showing signs of normal aging. These physicians insisted that such side effects could not possibly be due to statins.

We didn’t buy it, but it was hard to convince some statin enthusiasts that the drugs might be taking a toll on otherwise healthy people. Over the last two decades we have received so many stories from individuals that we could have written a book. In fact we did! We included these stories in two books, Best Choices From The People’s Pharmacy and Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them. There are also hundreds or reports on this website.

Most physicians now agree that statins can indeed cause muscle pain and weakness. Some acknowledge that there can be cognitive dysfunction for certain patients. There is even data to suggest that statins can cause fatigue, especially after exercise (Archives of Internal Medicine, Aug. 13/27, 2012).

The unanswered question, though, is do some side effects persist, even after the statins have been discontinued. There have been very few studies even examining this issue. One intrepid researcher, Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, has suggested that some individuals are especially susceptible to statin side effects. For them, adverse reactions can be devastating and may linger for a very long time. To hear Dr. Golomb describe this scary scenario, click on the arrow at the top of this page.
We just received a poignant comment from a visitor to this webiste. We felt compelled to share Donna’s story:

“Everyone needs to know that statins can do permanent nerve and muscle damage!
“I stopped taking them more than a year ago and I am still in pain, still can’t walk upstairs without pain and my CK (muscle enzymes) are still elevated; so are my liver enzymes.
Those meds need to be taken off the market. Some people develop rhabdomyolosis from taking statins and some even die from it. They are harmful and there’s no getting around that.
“I have permanent damage to my muscles and they continue to deteriorate. I am frightened and I have undergone many tests, EMG’s (electromyography); MRI’s; multiple blood tests and a deep muscle biopsy. The results of the biopsy were “unspecified inflammatory myopathy”. Since there was no absolute diagnosis of any disease I am left with no treatment.
“The doctor told me not to lift anything heavy and to drink lots and lots of water. I used to walk 2 miles a day and lift free weights to stay in shape. Now I can no longer do that. I can’t sleep soundly anymore. I wake up throughout the night from anxiety now, which I never had before this. I’m scared and don’t know what to do.
I go for a blood test every 3 months to monitor the CK levels, which were at 2010 (the highest they’ve been yet) and that was in July of this year. I’m due for another blood test this month for my annual physical and I’m so afraid they will be higher.
“I hurt all over most of the time but I continue to go to work and try not to think about the pain. There should be a law against this sort of thing. My doctor frightened me into taking them. She told me if I didn’t take them I would die of a heart attack or liver disease. Please pray for me. I’m afraid.”
Donna

Even after 25 years of statin experience there is a lot we do not know about such drugs. A recent study revealed what we have worried about for a long time and that is that statins may increase the risk for cataracts. Whether these drugs contribute to ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) or permanent muscle problems such as those described by Donna above, we do not know. We do know that for otherwise healthy people, there are alternate ways to reduce the risk of heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. You can learn about them in our books and guides.

Anyone who would like to share a story (positive or negative) about statins may do so below.

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  1. Carol
    Ma
    Reply

    I have read all the comments here.I tried 3 different statins,the last one was crestor.That one knocked my legs out from under me.It has been 3 years without improvement.I have seen 5 neurologists and a neuromuscular clinc with only dx of polyneuropathy and statin myopathy.No one has helped.I take gabapentin which does not help,just makes for weight gain.No Dr has given anything for pain other than tylenol.Is there anyone out there to listen and help?This should not happen to people

  2. Carmella
    Roseburg Oregon 97471
    Reply

    I am so scared at this point I do not know what to do. I had a heart attack 2 years ago and had 2 stents put in my heart. I was prescribed Simvastatin 20mg and have taken it faithfully. I have had muscle pain, tenderness,weakness, tingling in my hands, terrible shoulder pain, tired all the time, dark urine, sometimes I can urinate and sometimes I can’t, I eat good food but have gained 10 pounds since I have started taking Simvastatin and now I don’t even have enough strength to lift myself out of bed. I cannot dress myself, or lift my legs. Walking is so painful that I avoid it. My stomach hurts after every meal. My normal life does not exist anymore. Please is there any help to restore my life? Should I stop taking this drug?

  3. Rich
    78526
    Reply

    After years of being on simvastatin my doctor put me on atorvastatin. About a month ago I developed pain in my bicep. Then I developed pain in my leg and various other muscles. I have trouble sleeping and walking. Today I saw my doctor and he said stop the atorvastatin to see if the pain subsides. I hope this solves the problem as I have been taking a lot of pain meds.

  4. Bobbie
    NY
    Reply

    I have had a reaction 3 times now. First time was after taking Lipitor for 6 years I developed severe fatigue. I could not even walk the grocery store. I became short of breathe and my muscles would burn but no pain. I had muscles twitching . It took 2 months to go away. The second time I was on Crestor and after 2 months of the drug I felt like I had the flu and was very dizzy and again fatigue. I was out of work for 3 months but didn’t get back to my old self For about 6 months.

    Right now I just had a reaction to simvastatin. I have been off statins 3 months. At first I was so tired then fatigued, short of breath walking to the mailbox, muscle weakness, extreme fatigue, burning in my feet. I am better however, not back to my baseline yet. I still am tired and have some muscle twitching and still some weakness. I just keep praying. Doctors and family do not understand the severity of this fatigue because they have never experienced this but it is a horrible scary experience!!!

  5. Trevor
    Winnipeg MB
    Reply

    I was put on 20 mg of Lipitor in 2007 after a heart attack, I never had high cholesterol and kept asking Doctors why, well finally my cardiologist just said it’s good for your heart, well now that I’m off the after more than 7 years I remember all the horrible times with tingling hands and feet and muscle and joint pain, complaining for all this time, being so weak I couldn’t pick up my 20 pound grand daughter, now it’s all falling together, it must be the statin.

    I’ve had every test, from rumatologists to facial surgeons to almost everything but what it is, the drug. Ask a pharmacist and they will tell you, I tried asking 10 different Pharmacists from all walks of life in different locations and they all confirmed that statins cause great misery. I just pray I get to watch my granddaughter grow up and I can get some form of health back that I can get through my days without huge amounts of pain. Please I hope this can be reversed, and anyone who is on a statin or thinking of taking one, I hope you can find something else to use.

  6. GAD
    Silcer Spring, MD
    Reply

    I have been on pravochol 20mg and was reduced to 10 mg for 3 years. While in bed, I stareted feeling some tingling and numbness in my left leg with burning sensation at the ankle. At presence I am feeling pain and burning in both legs. I have constant headeache every day. I went in to see my primary MD and told her about what I read on this web site. She ordered some labs. I just got a message from their clinic saying that my muscle enzyme is elevated. She left a message saying that I should stop this drug and see her in her office within 2 weeks.

  7. Bob
    United States
    Reply

    To anyone for whom a statin has been prescribed and who was in good health with mildly to moderately elevated Total Cholesterol and Low Density Lipoprotein readings. Please, please be very hesitant AND skeptical and do due diligence BEFORE you take this drug!!! I started taking Lipitor (atrovastatin) for two weeks before I took myself off it without consulting my GP because I felt so crummy. It has been almost five weeks since I ceased the medication and I truly regret having ever put that pill in my mouth. We must all take responsibility for what we put into our mouths even if we hold physicians in high esteem and think they must have our best interest at heart. This is truly a dangerous drug for those who “don’t tolerate statins well.” You can and probably should, alternatively, lose some weight, eat a more “heart healthy” diet, and get more regular exercise, thereby bringing down your “bad cholesterol levels” in a safe and sane manner. Do yourself and family a big favor and run, don’t walk, away from this stuff…you will be much healthier and happier for doing so. It simply is not worth the risk of permanent severe adverse side effects.

  8. Gayle
    Oregon
    Reply

    I just want to report something positive. I have been off statin in the form of red yeast rice, since last June. The pain in my legs was so bad at first I could barely take 25 steps, but now approaching a year later I am almost back to where I was over a year ago before I started taking it in February 2014. I find myself walking briskly to get the phone and other things and realize I am almost pain free. I do take Tylenol a few times a day. I plan to start ‘walking’ again as exercise. It has been just wonderful that I could go back to doing my normal chores which are many as I am a farmer with a lot of physical work to do.

    I have been on a very ‘clean Paleo’ diet, almost no grains, lots of veggies 3 times a day. We even eat kale or chard with breakfast along with tomatoes, onions and lots of garlic and other veggies. We eat veggies and protein every time we eat. Lots of nuts, too. I still drink wine, 2 glasses a day on average. Almost no bread and nothing that comes in a box.

  9. Jim
    Florida
    Reply

    Simvastatin forever changed my life seven years ago from a 69 year old male with no pain, to one with loss of muscle in both my upper & lower body all most over night from which I have never fully recovered. Shoulder pain 24 hours a day, loss of leg & arm muscles, neuropathy in both my upper & lower body. It is difficult to walk most of the time.

  10. Lauren
    Reply

    I would like to know if there are any legal actions as a statin destroyed my mother’s life. After being on it for over 13 years with severe leg cramps she now can’t walk by herself. She is completely dependent and she’ll never dance again. I got her off the statin and leg cramps finally stopped but the damage was done. Why didn’t her stupid dr. put two and two together. He got mad at me when I confronted him about this. It breaks my heart to see her like this. This isn’t fair!

  11. Wilbert
    Virginia
    Reply

    After 3 months of taking statins, my leg muscles locked up and I was walking like a robot and in pain. My doctor did not believe that statins were doing this but I quit them anyway. This is two years later, I played nine holes of golf today and my leg muscles are aching. They ache at night when I am laying in bed. I take one Aleve twice a day to help me. I am sure that permanent damage has been done to my leg muscles.

  12. Sparkle
    Brisbane Australia
    Reply

    I am currently researching the effects Statins have on the body. My husband was a robust, healthy and energetic 72year old and was put on statins 12 months ago. He was also prescribed 2 blood thinners , just in case. He didn’t have high cholesterol.

    The muscle wastage in the top half of his body, is now so pronounced that you can see the sagging skin. When we spoke to his doctor about the fact that all this only happened since taking the Statins and Prasugrel, he got very angry and said that if he doesn’t take them, he risks a heart attack or stroke. One of the blood thinners Prasugrel was to be taken for 12 months and then be stopped. Just recently he had some inflammation and it would have been good to take an anti inflammatory, but the risk when taken in conjunction with these prior meds is unacceptable. He has pain in his shoulder so bad that when he rolls over in bed, his groans of pain are so loud, he wakes me up.

    Some tests done recently alerted us to the fact that there was something terribly wrong with his blood.

    This week we had an appointment with a blood specialist who told us that he has a type of leukaemia called CLL. His blood platelets are very low and his white cell count is very high. CLL is Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia.

    I pulled all his blood tests since 2012 and entered them up into a spreadsheet. The White cell count started to rise, immediately after starting these drugs. First it was the White cells that started to rise and then the platelets just plummeted.

    I did a search on line for statins and Krebs cycle and found a very interesting article that explained exactly how the body works in relation to how its effected by the statins. Sometimes, by understanding how something works one can work out a remedy and so that is the mission I am on. He has always taken antioxidants and in particular Co Enzyme Q10, Omega 3 and more recently Krill oil, and so I am ever hopeful that this has given him some degree of protection to enable us to restore his health.

    As we go forward in this journey of discovery, will keep you posted on our progress. First stop next week, is to find a physiotherapist who understands how to work with a statin induced muscle and pain issue.

    • Harmony1
      Norway
      Reply

      Dear Sparkle, I read your entry with great interest. Most people struck with this drug-induced myopathy are so overwhelmed with “it all” that there isn’t much discussion going on about rehab. I have researched rehab for hours on end, and have come up with very little. I will say this though, it seems it is not possible to start off too slow, or too easy. I found a research report from Japan that suggested a start on a stationary bike with 4 minutes no resistance, and then a 4 minute break, and then repeat this 3 times before getting off the bike, then do this twice a day. After a week, you can add resistance, then again later, add minutes… etc. and in this way build yourself back up again. It is so hard to do this though…since it is just soooooo little… but it is possible to slowly, slowly improve… I tried to start swimming again, and CAN swim for an hour non-stop, but then, if I do that, I practically can’t MOVE for 72 hours. So, I have had to cut back and cut back, until I am down to 20 minutes of swimming and then I can recuperate after about 24 hours of pain and weakness in my legs. Oddly enough, my upper body is not affected by the muscle damage. I have been tested for everything under the sun… and so after a couple of years of testing, we could eliminate all other causes… but it sounds like you have not taken that route yet. Be sure that you have not overlooked other causes that can actually be dealt with … don’t just assume the cause is the statins because you have taken statins, the cause could still be because of something else… you do mention leukemia for example. That is also a serious illness. I am now 62 and stopped taking statins the day a cardio specialist told me that she thought that the muscle “weirdness” and totally incapacitating muscle damage was due to the statins. There is tons of evidence that statins are not the answer for a lot of people taking statins…. though many doctors still think otherwise. I talked my 88 y.o. parents into quitting statins. Statins are also known to cause cataracts, which I also got at a young age, in both eyes. My parents got cataracts at 85…. so… hard not to conclude in my case that this was caused by the statin usage…one would think that genetically I would get cataracts the same age as my parents…. But I did take statins for 10 years… a tiny dose, but all the same… Come back and let us know if you find good rehab methods that work. I have struggled terribly and was very, very athletic before this happened. Now I use an electric scooter to get around. I am a tiny bit better than I was when I went off of the statins 28 months ago.

  13. John Adams
    Mississippi
    Reply

    As with many health problems, optimization of lipids requires more than simply choosing the correct medication without disregard of lifestyle issues such as diet. While many can utilize the statin medications to significantly help improve their lipid profile, there are significant risks, some of which may be permenant such as myopathy. As with any medication, the minimal effective dose should be utilized while educating the patient to improve other risk factors such as tobacco use, increasing Omega 3/Omega 6 profile, decreasing trans-fats, and decreasing high glycemic foods that increase insulin levels as well as triglycerides.
    John B. Adams, DO
    http://www.jncpain.com

  14. Linda
    Texas
    Reply

    My husband has been on Statins for some time now. He has a lot of pain which we were told was from his herniated disc. Then in January of this year he started having weakness. Now he is unable to walk without a walker. The Doctors can’t figure out what is wrong. They have ran every kind of test! His wbc, sed rate and his heart rate is elevated! We just decided to take him off of the statins ourselves, after hearing about some people we know having side effects.

  15. Cincyesl
    Ohio
    Reply

    I sympathise with all these stories and the horrible, unexpected side effects of lipitor.
    My question is: Are there any legal actions we can take?

  16. Ellen
    springfield,illinois
    Reply

    I was put on Lipitor in September 2013. Within 2 weeks I was in so much pain all over I couldn’t hardly move without crying. I was not informed of any side effects to taking this medication. When I called the doctor office his nurse then told me to stop taking the Lipitor because the pain was a side effect.

    It is now 2015 and every day is a struggle to get through because I hurt so bad all over. Sleeping is a major issue because my hips hurt so bad I can’t sleep on my sides. I also have shooting pains in my legs that make it difficult to deal with. Had I been made aware of the problems associated with Lipitor I never would have taken the first one. This drug has forever changed my life. It may be years before this pain stops.

  17. Harmony1
    Norway
    Reply

    wondering how to get an automatic notice when someone write to this thread. We could have that on the old thread….help.

    • The People's Pharmacy
      Reply

      Thanks for your question! There are two ways to do that.

      Way number 1: Leave a new comment and check the box (by clicking on it) that says: “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.”

      Way number 2: Click the link (in dark orange) that says “subscribe” in that same sentence. It will take you to a page where you can enter your email information so that you can be notified when new comments are posted. You do not have to leave a comment to get new notifications if you choose this option.

  18. PINAKI
    DELHI INDIA
    Reply

    I was on atrovastatin, lipitor for only 30 days, I am now turned into a old man due to muscle pain.
    I am scared if this muscle pain will ever go. I am 48 years old and am worried to core.
    please check your response to statins before taking them for a long time.

    • Harmony1
      Norway
      Reply

      I have contributed a number of times… prior to the change in the website… then I somehow got lost in the system… so here we go. Let’s really hope that having only taken statins for 30 days Pinaki, that you will find a return to good muscle health… I used them for 10 years… and started heavy duty robust exercising and THAT combined with the statins was a real downer. I am in a wheelchair now… not sure I will ever be able to do robust exercise again. It has been 2 years since I last took a statin…. and yet… only minor improvement the first 6 months afterwards. I am of course discouraged, but try to keep pushing myself to do a little more and a little more – it does move me forward ever so slightly. I was tested for everything under the sun to eliminate other possible issues. My doctor says I am just so so healthy. Great. I’m so glad to hear that. But no one who is as immobile as I am can be called healthy. So… have heart. I have great faith that your muscles will heal. Take some COQ10….. now and for the rest of your life. I buy the most advanced type there, that in fact uses a strange substance found in India! Wishing you better health.

  19. david arias
    los angeles calufornia
    Reply

    I been raking lopid and I have the same symptoms my stomach hurts, memory loss, my joint hurt, muscle pain, I don’t know what to do neither I’m 5’7 and I weigh 140 pounds I’m not even fat but my tryglocirios are almost 3000

  20. Bencharif
    New York
    Reply

    I want first to thank The People’s Pharmacy as well as those who have shared their experiences and ideas here. I wish I had come here before taking Lipitor rather than after.

    My travails began when I changed Primary Care Physicians. After testing, my new doctor noted a SLIGHTLY elevated ldl cholesterol level and prescribed Lipitor 10mgs.
    How, I ask myself now, could I have failed to make the connection between this drug and my increasing debility over the next two months?

    Thinking I was dealing with a Sciatica — which I had a bout of 30 years ago — I at first did little, thinking it would go away or, at the most, some physical therapy would solve the problem. I finally woke up one week ago, went online, and discovered the very well documented relationship between statins and excruciating muscle pain.

    I have a doctor’s appointment one week from now (the earliest I could get). I will listen respectfully to the doctor’s analysis and recommendations and then I will do my own research. I feel as though I should have been warned about the possible side effects so that I could have acted sooner.

    I was introducing this statin into my system for two months. From what I’ve read here, I gather it may take quite some time to be rid of the effects — if I can be rid of them at all.

    In closing, I will repeat a question others on this forum have asked: Why isn’t the FDA protecting us from this drug — or mandating warnings to be issued when statins are prescribed?

  21. Christine
    Hollidaysburg, PA
    Reply

    Checkout Dr. Sinatra’s website http://www.drsinatra.com/statin-drugs-what-they-are-and-who-should-take-them
    Listen to what this guy is saying. Anyone taking statins should be taking at least 200 milligrams of CoQ10, per Dr. Sinatra. For those who want to attempt to reverse the side effects of statins, see Dr. Sinatra’s regimen at the following link. http://www.drsinatra.com/undo-the-side-effects-of-statins/
    These are NASTY drugs with NASTY consequences and if the doctors listen to the patient, and that is a big if, they want to prescribe more and more medication to address the side effects. Dr. Sinatra makes sense and I have seen folks use the above regimen and decrease the nasty side effects. It will take awhile as the half life of these statins can be quite a long time.

    • Bob
      Oregon
      Reply

      VERY good point. If ever the FDA should step in and issue an injunction on prescribing this drug it is now.

  22. Jack C.
    oregon
    Reply

    I have been taking simvastatin for several years. I am 85 years young and have several health issues but don’t know if any of them are associated with long term use of the statin. I am still reasonably strong for my age. I do have interrupted sleep at night, and walking up hill my hip joints become very sore. as long as I walk on the level I’m ok and can walk about a mile before fatigue takes over. I am currently having gastrointestinal problems but probably not related. I plan to ask my g.p. what he thinks and perhaps cut down to every other day instead of every day. I am diabetic
    and just finished a lab blood workup. everything was ok except my a1c was high. I really feel for those people who are having such problems.

  23. barbara
    massachusetts
    Reply

    Yeah, I was on simvastatin for 2 1/2 years with severe joint pain, muscle pain, memory loss ( short term ) and my doctor said she would not give me anything for the pain until she found out what was causing it. Send ing me from specialist to specialist, 2 and a half years later a rheumatologist said I have fibromyalgia, went to another rheumatologist, she said it was the simvastatin. Its been six horrifying years and I’m still unable to work or lift anything of little weight. Before this I was a strong, healthy 48 year old female. Life sucks now, and no doctor will say it was the simvastatin for sure.

  24. william m
    washington
    Reply

    I was put on pravastatin back in 2010 after a heart attack. Took drug for one year and then stopped due to loss of job. Muscle/joint pain was and is excruciating at times. Only now three years later has any let up of pain occurred . Doctors have said this is not from statin use as it’s been too long a time . While my cholesterol remains high all other numbers are normal . Anyone out there with sustained pain while not on statins . At this point I’m beginning to doubt myself . One doctor tried to convince me this was fibromyalgia . That when statin toxicity ceased this other thing took over .Doesn’t ring true and no doctor gave nothing for his diagnosis .Still hurt
    .

  25. Darsey K.
    United States
    Reply

    wow just got through reading about everyone. I’ve been on statins for a long time i started at 20mg of lipitor then after a year the doctor switched to 20 mg of lovastatin. I have had no problems with either of these doses.
    Now they say I’m high so he switched to 40 mg of lipitor, I had a lot of problems tingling in hands and feet felt like needles, stomach problems too, swelling in hands at night and early morning had trouble sleeping up and down all night joint and muscle pain so I reported it he switched 40 mg pravastatin. Didn’t sleep a wink tingling in arms and hands swelling, feel weak all the time.
    I am at high risk for heart attack so I am struggling at what to do. I have read some doctors over in UK have stated they have done research a lot on women and statins don’t do a thing for them to prolong life or lower risk of heart attacks so I don’t know who to believe any more but I know this drug is hurting me too.

    • Steve
      Uk
      Reply

      Was only on statins for a few weeks but after two weeks felt muscle pains and burning and soreness in my arm, still 8 months later still the same and I work in the civil engineering trade, heavy lifting work, not happy!

  26. Diana
    United States
    Reply

    I was in excellent health until I started a statin about four years ago for elevated cholesterol levels. While on the statin I suffered from severe muscle cramps, weakness and elevated CK levels. My physician had told me that I was at high risk of a heart attack at any moment which I why I stated the statin. He changed me to another statin with similar results. I totally stopped all medications and have not recovered. My CKs go up and down and have recently been at 4000. I feel weak and sick and if I do any physical activity I feel like I was beaten up and take a week to recover. I used to dance, work out, walk the dog, everything with no problems and was in robust physical health. The statins ruined my life. After four years I am experiencing no recovery.

  27. Christina
    San Diego
    Reply

    I had a nasty interaction with mevacor in 2003. I ached horribly,and when we finally got a muscle enzyme lab back it was way over a safety zone, and my doctor told me to stop it immediately. We left on a lovely trip to Eastern Europe, and my husband remembers how much time it took me to recover (thank god!) from the statin. I had genetically high cholesterol with my hdl being very high, sometimes over 100.

    A few years later my doctor wanted to try a small small dose of smivastatin. By that time I had nerve damage in my left leg and while racing though the Miami airport I got horrific cramp in my leg. We flew to our small boat for the amazon cruise so there was not much walking. BUT. as soon as we returned to Lima, I had heel-drop back and could not make it a half of a block.

    The neurologist called it the perfect storm. In 2012 I had a spinal fusion in my lumbar area and recovered very well. Then pain slowly creeped back, an I have been fighting that ever since although I thought I was doing fairly well. Then in July 5, 2014, while visiting my brother in Tuscon, Ariz. for his retirement from the head of the radiology dept. from the U of A Med CEnter, I awoke at 12:30 with violent burning pain and went off to the ER/trauma center where eventually my brother’s cardiologist did a catheterization and employed one stent and gave me a great bill of health.

    He was not pushing diet etc. because of my prior history. However, when we got home, my new doctor talked me into small dose (10) of Lipitor. After exactly two months on it, I woke up with a very stiff neck and a fever and was sent off to ER and isolation for possible meningitis. After two miserable days with no one considering the statin, I am home with cellulitis (MRI) antibiotics and just as miserable as I stated.

    I am very very fearful that this isn’t going to get better, and now I am left without a mainstay of the heart recovery. I am frustrated and scared to say the least and don’t know where to turn. We have Kaiser HMO. I would like to know how to pay for a consult with Dr. Golomb because she can put these elements together rather than ram things down my throat. Obviously, statins don’t agree with me, but I need to get my cholesterol down, but diet doesn’t do it. I just manufacture more.

    • Linda
      Va
      Reply

      I too have extremely high cholesterol levels and 3 months ago had a stent placement. I cannot take statins, tried gemfibrozil and it caused severe muscle pain. I am so scared as I now feel I have no options in improving my numbers. I have an autoimmune muscle disease so I am not really able to exercise. I try to eat healthy but it doesn’t seem to help. I feel like my docs are like “oh well, nothing else we can give you.” I am 55 years old, I work everyday but the fear and anxiety have definitely taken over my life.

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