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Did Zocor (simvastatin) Cause Back, Hip, Leg Pain?

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Q. I started taking 10 mg of Zocor (simvastatin) four years ago.

At that time I was in good physical condition. I would exercise regularly after work. Since that time I have aged rapidly and am not capable of working out due to pain in my back, right hip and leg.

I have been to a great number of doctors, and they have found no reason for the pain. I regularly get cortisone and nerve-burning treatments in my lower back.

I recently had my simvastatin prescription increased to 20 mg per day and almost immediatly my symptoms increased and went into my other hip and leg also. I have an appointment with my doctor scheduled, and now I am thinking the simvastatin could be the reason for all of my problems.

I will write again when and if I get some answers. I would like to thank everyone on this website for all the helpful information you have posted.

A. We cannot answer your question whether your statin has caused the pains in your back, hips and legs. We can only say that all statins are capable of causing muscle pain and weakness. The pains can occur almost anywhere including hands, shoulders, neck, back, legs, feet and knees.

We have received so many reports of similar problems to this website that we don't know where to begin. Here are just a few examples:

"I know dozens of people who take statins. Most of them were always active at work and home. Now everyone of these people, me included, complain of aches and pains in muscles and joints. Some days my legs feel like the won't support me. My arms and shoulders feel like I climbed a mountain. I don't even feel like weeding my rose garden.

"My doctor, my wife's doctor, and my mother's doctor (all different people) all swear that the statins are not causing the problem. Side effects listed on all statins include muscle pain - guess they can't read. Another problem we all have is extreme fatigue. This group of people was otherwise healthy and active, but now some of them feel like they should be in the old folks home.

"Since my cholesterol is very low now, I trying to talk my doctor into weaning me off the statins. I'm hoping he does and I can feel like a human being again instead of a zombie."
Lyn

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

"My husband's doctor, an internal medicine specialist, prescribed a statin drug which he was on for about 1 year. My husband had horrible aches and pain every day, had trouble sleeping and he also developed neuropathy. He has been off the statin for over a year and still has all the problems related to it.

"My concern is that his doctor just puts his patients on a pill and does not take any side affects into consideration simply just says pop this pill. My husband won't question his doctor but I certainly do."
JAM

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

"Muscle pain can mean different things to different people. I was on statins (Lipitor) for years and complained to my doc about muscle pain. The long muscles from hip to ankle are so sore that I can't bear to touch them.

"I have been off statins for two years and there is no relief from the pain. Leg muscles are also weak, making stairs very difficult. Will this muscle sensitivity ever go away?"

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

"My husband started taking Zocor 5 years ago. The first time he started to notice tingling in his left arm and muscle weakness, we told his doctor, and he said it was not what we saw in the list of side effects in commercials on TV, which said if you notice these symptoms, you should tell doctor--AS we did, but he still denied it.

"What we don't understand is why his doctor started him on such a high dose: 80mg. Most people I have talked to were started on 10mg or 20mg. He then totally lost the use of his arm. We then had other medical problems that needed to be taken care after we started to see a nerologist who thought it may be a pinched nerve.

"To make this short because there is so much more, 4 years later my husband had a biospy done, in May of this year and has been told he has ALS.

"He stopped taking Zocor for 6 mo., but I think if we had known about these statins and if his doctor would have been more honest about the side effects and listened more to us about the symptoms, my husband would have stopped taking the drug immediately and would not at 58 yrs. old be fighting for his life.

"I think anyone who is on any of these statins should make sure that there are no other safe options, unlike my husband who trusted his doctor. I hope this helps even one person to have a choice and to know all the true side effects.

"Thank you and I hope that the F.D.A will take a closer look into these statins that I believe are causing motoneuron diseases!"

The FDA denies that there is any connection between statins and ALS or any other serious motor neuron disease. That said, you can listen to our extended radio interview with Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD. She reveals her research into some of these scary side effects. It is the 4th bonus interview arrow in our "Understanding Statins" radio show link.

And please share your own story below. We want to hear all sides of the statin story. You may wish to purchase a CD of the show and give it to your husband's physician to consider.

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A very timely article. I've been on simvistatin for 5 years now. Also had pain in neck, legs, and arms. Mentioned to doctor and he said my blood work did not indicate it was from the meds - probably arthritis. A few months ago he added losartan (Cozaar) to my meds and all pain increased along with blurry vision, headache, always tired and on and on. Had a regular visit a couple of weeks ago and mentioned all my symptoms to him and I asked him if since my meds were manufactured outside the US (I did my homework!) that could be causing my problems.

He said he never heard of that but he ran some tests (head CT and sonogram of my carotid arteries). All tests came back as everything was just fine. After a short discussion he said he'd prescribe the name brands, Zocor and Cozaar and see it it made a difference. I am now awaiting my new meds and hopefully this will be just "what the doctor ordered". I have heard some people are very sensitive to generics (maybe I'm one of them) and also while generics are supposedly the same as the name brand, they do have different 'fillers'.

I looked up all my prescriptions and the manufacturer of ALL of them was in India. Manufacturer is listed on the label. Sometimes I guess we have to do our own homework, we know our bodies better than anyone else.

One other thing I found, I take all my meds at bedtime as prescribed and would always have an upset feeling in my stomach shortly after. Again, looking up the ingredients I found them all to contain lactose - yes, I am lactose intolerant. Now I take a otc Lactaid tablet with my meds. Cured that problem.

I truly hope this may help some of you and now I'm waiting for my name brands to arrive to see if there is any difference. T. Cue

Another victim of statin drugs. I too took this drug per Dr.s instructions and yes, I too developed pains in legs, back, arms headaches, couldn't sleep and stomach problems. Talk to my Dr. and he just said they'll work just give it time. Much later I got worst, no sleep and a host of other problems. Went to another Dr and she took me off the statins and I did recover somewhat, but these pills can damage our bodies forever.

I too, wish the FDA would monitor these potent drugs more carefully before we humans are used as laboratory "rats" or whatever they use to supposedly "tout these pills as "cure alls". Please keep telling people about the horrors of these drugs when people write to you of their experiences with these "horror pills" Thanks Dr and Mr. Gradeon for helping me and others so much by writing these newsletters. You save many lives by doing so.

I'm nearly 71. I'm very active. I do hiking trail maintenance on a regular basis and have never been a couch potato. Approximately two years ago my GP put me on 10mg of simvastatin. Up until early September of this year,I was in constant pain in both knees and right hip. I experienced very bad pain in the muscles of my left leg. Although I did not experience dizziness, I was quite unsteady on my feet to the point where I had to sit to put on my shorts in the morning. The pain in my knees was so bad I was unable to squat.
I took my last simvastatin on Sept. 3. I know... shouldn't do that. Within three days, the vast majority of knee pain was gone. No pain in my legs or right hip and now I can stand on one leg.

I have recently been 'put on' Simvastatin for high cholesterol myself. My pharmacist (who takes the same med) recommended CO Q10 (100mg) daily to help relieve muscle pain and cramps.

Are there any suggested solutions to the problems people are experiencing from taking statins?

Personally, I have been off them for three years, and my symptoms of muscle fatigue and joint pain have decreased but are still present. Is time the only solution?

Thank you.
P.K.H.


I have read and heard over and over again that people who take statin drugs
should supplement with coq 10 since statins block the body's production of coq 10.
please google Dr. Graveline statins on cholesterol and coq 10.

Astrid J.

I read this with great interest. About 4 years ago, I started to have the symptoms described in each of these stories. I have not taken statins and will not. I had thousands of dollars of tests run to find out why I was increasingly weak and unable to do anywhere near what I used to do. My job situation got very stressful and very physical earlier this year, and I ended up in the hospital with pulmonary emboli in my right lung.

I was told I have lupus anticoagulant factor, and am on Warfarin, essentially for the rest of my life. I am having joint pain, and can hardly walk. I will be 64 next week and feel like 84. It is so very discouraging! I am thyroid medicine, because I had very definite hypothyroid symptoms, and that helped for several months but then stopped. I have recently changed from Effexor to Welbutrin and am not getting any relief there either. Why are we taking medicines that don't help and cause further problems??

After having finally caved to the suggestions of my doctor, I started taking the usual (and lowest) dose of Simvastatin about two years ago, even though my cholesterol wasn't really that bad. I didn't think to much of it, except that I felt a failure for my own inability to get the numbers down without drugs.

Then about nine months into the prescription, I went through a period where — quite inexplicably — I was facing every day feeling as if my entire body had been beaten with a bat. Every muscle just felt awful — and it was very much the muscles and not the joints. This had come on slowly, so I hadn't noticed the onset, but I was pulled up short when I suddenly saw the problem as a whole. Mind you, all of this happened before the news started to really break regarding statins and muscle degradation, or at least before I noticed the reports (because of articles on the People’s Pharmacy website — thank you!) But as soon as I started to see reports, something clicked: This is what was happening to me.

I immediately took myself off the statins and backpedalled to the red yeast rice (RYR) I was using before. There was no appreciable change in my physical self. Just about at that time, there were media reports where the RYR was also being implicated in muscle problems. Whoops. I went off the RYR as well.

I told the doctor I was ditching all the statins, both natural and man-made, and she wasn’t happy. She didn’t outwardly pooh-pooh my muscle concerns, but neither did she embrace them. It was my call, and I have stuck to it.

But there’s more to the story...

One other thing that occurred during this time was a sudden onset of symptoms that at least resembled GERD. I say “resembled” because none of it was classic GERD, and I was having peripheral symptoms (throat and breathing) without ever having had the primary one (heartburn). Like the muscle problems, this made absolutely no sense considering my health history and lifestyle. And it came out of nowhere. I was tested for asthma, and those results were decidedly negative.
I was subsequently diagnosed (by upper GI) as having a minor hiatal hernia and minor reflux, all new problems for me, even if “minor.”

So, having been off statins for a couple of months at this point, I now found myself more or less levered into the usual treatment for GERD, which included PPIs. I didn’t want to take these drugs (with so many of their notorious side effects), because their basic mechanism of shutting down perfectly normal acid production simply makes no sense to me. That’s like swatting flies with an AK47. But I felt as if I had no choice but to take them because I was under threat of causing myself asthma or esophageal cancer — even though I still really didn’t have heartburn. All I could do was take what was prescribed and hope that my esophagus would heal.

To my mind, the regime of PPIs just made things worse, and I was a mess for it, including at least one trip to the emergency room to be certain that what was happening was a gastric problem and not my heart. None of these wild and extreme gastric symptoms was present before going on the PPIs.

It was months before I could get myself off the PPIs, which I did despite my doctor’s suggestion that I might have to stay on them for life. But I managed. A recent upper endoscopy confirmed that my esophagus is as clean as whistle. (I’m still awaiting the results of the acid probe that was placed at the same time, but don’t expect any surprises.)

Meanwhile, what “GERD” I have had has dwindled to almost nothing. I have tweaked my diet to nearly eliminate caffeine (though I was never a regular/heavy consumer anyway) and other things that are notorious for relaxing stomach muscles (e.g., peppermint). I take probiotics (always have), eat almonds, fermented foods, and lots of turmeric and other good spices, etc. But I do not have now, nor did I ever have, any of the usual “can’t eat” issues associated with GERD (e.g., raw vegetables, tomatoes, onions, spicy foods, etc.) Now, what does happen — and rarely — is hardly worth popping the occasional papaya-enzyme antacid. Sort of normal.

My physical person is changing with age (female, early 50s), I know that, and perimenopause is very much a factor. But no one has been able to offer any reasonable explanation for why all of this muscle-related difficulty happened relatively suddenly, and for no particular or traumatic reason.

So, here’s my theory: The statins were also responsible for the degradation of my stomach muscles, and it has just taken this long (more than a year) for them to recover. Even so, I don’t think I’m back to 100%, but it feels like I might be eventually, and for that I’m grateful.

Which begs the question: Is anyone in the medical/alternative world looking at a possible link between statins and the degradation of internal muscles such as those of the digestive tract? I am one good argument that there is.

It is the statins that are causing your problems. Stop taking them as soon as possible. While most people will have complete resolution of their symptoms if they discontinue the drug early enough, other people, like myself, may continue to have muscle pain and weakness indefinitely. Worse, you may develop arthritic changes that are not reversible at all.

I have had two knee replacements that I am convinced I would not have needed if I had not taken statins. I also have severe spine and hip arthritis and may need hip replacements in the near future. I am only 59 years young, but I feel 100. Only daily medication can control the pain I feel every day.

I wish I had been reading this newsletter all along. Doctors continue to be skeptical that statins can cause this type of problem.

I too have suffered from a variety of problems since I went on Simva-poison. These included diabetes, muscle aches and pains, peripheral neuropathy, and a continuing weakness in my legs.

My doctor has told me not to worry. What nonsense !! I didn't need his permission to stop taking simva-poson.

It's to be expected that only people with similar problems will comment on these items--but MANY more people READ the items and comments--and could get the impression that everyone has such problems. Not true! I've been using 40 mg simvastatin for five years, and am in excellent health at 71, with acceptable cholesterol; 2-3 days in the gym each week, better results each year. Prior to the simvastatin my doc prescribed Lipitor, and after 2 weeks I felt like I was 20 years older; I told the doc, and he switched me to simvastatin--with excellent results.

Statins have different results on people, and quick reaction to bad results is essential. if your doctor doesn't listen, GET ANOTHER DOCTOR! You are in charge of your health!

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Thank you for the reminder that comments don't provide a representative picture of a drug's effects in a population overall. It is also true that it makes sense to pay attention to your own body and work with your doctor to minimize problems that result from a medication.

November 2009, I was in hospital on a whole different subject when a Hospital Dr. came into room and scared the pants off my daughter, going on and on about my cholesterol. He wanted me to take 3 different medications. Fortunately my insurance would only pay for one of them. Simvastatin 40mg. I lost all interest in every thing except 1. ice cream 2. TV and or reading.
Several months ago, after reading about simvastin in peoples pharmacy I have cut back to 3 a week. What a difference I'm more active do not eat as much ice cream.

Has anyone mentioned taking CoQ10 when you are taking a statin and have muscle pain? A friend who is a doctor says it is often required for some people and should solve the problem of muscle aches and weakness while on statins.

I too, took simvistatin for five years. No problems for the first several years. Then the pains came. Increasing gradually to the point I couldn't take it. Extreme pain in my feet, right hip and left arm. Have been off of it for a month. Feet are feeling so much better but hip and arm are still issues. I am 43, active with no pain prior to this drug. How long until my hip and arm feel better if ever? The medicine has aged my body incredibly.

I was on Zocor for 10 years when I began to develop pains on left side which I thought was a heart attack. Doctor checked me out thoroughly and decided it was not the heart. When it occurred the second time with the same intensity, he decided to take me off Zocor. Within 48 hrs. I was free of pain. A few years later my mom who was also on a statin began complaining of pain in her back and legs (92 years old at the time). Once again we tried different ways to alleviate pain. One day I simply stopped giving her the statin and again within 48 hrs. she stopped complaining of pain in back and legs. Today mom is 94 and doing relatively well.

Everything that is being said in this discussion is disquieting — but entirely helpful.

One writer notes that not everyone has a bad experience with statins, and others note that the drug has probably saved lives. Perhaps true, and I won’t attempt to deny others’ experiences. And I am aware that we tend to hear about things only when there are complaints, especially in certain forums. It’s an unfortunate truth of human nature that we tend to be noisier when we are unhappy than when we are pleased.

But the statin issue is especially complicated because it is apparent that some people either never have any adverse reactions, only have them so late after starting the drugs that it's difficult or impossible to make a realistic connection, or might even be denying a connection with or without prompting from a physician. Some may be immune, and maybe some just haven't made the connection, that's not for me to say. But physicians have been handing this stuff out like so much Halloween candy, and that alone should raise eyebrows. Yet, even when one is bleeding from the eyes, one sometimes doesn’t dare to remove the sharp stick after having been specifically told by a doctor that the stick was necessary to solve some other problem.

That said, I can't help but believe that the connection between muscle degradation (or plain old feeling crappy) and statins is undeniable. Like recent poster Lori, I have more than once made the comment that I feel as if I have gone all to hell while on the statins, and for me it was just a little over six months of medication before I escaped. What I said to my doctor was exactly that, “I feel as if I've aged 18 years in the last 18 months. Why?” To my mind she reached only for the easiest answers, and didn’t even consider ordering me off the statins. It wasn’t even mentioned, and in fact, she offered little help at all.

Sadly, it's all too easy to dismiss real problems or bad drug reactions to menopause, which I will admit can present a whole gaggle of "symptoms" in itself (gentlemen, while you may be sympathetic, you have no idea...) They can also be written off to simple aging or -- worse -- you can be dismissed for being a highly sensitive patient. I have all three of these factors, and know I should change doctors if mine simply isn't listening. That I will do, but for now I need to close the chapter with her, and that happens this month. At that point, I intend to make one last effort and lever her for more comprehensive testing of kidney, cardiac, and liver function, because these are apparently three systems that also take a beating from statins. (Geez, what’s been left untouched by side effects!)

Meanwhile, for what it may be worth, if there is any timeline for recovery from statin side effects, I would have to say from personal experience that it is at least a year from that last pill. Seems unbelievable, doesn't it, that a drug could be so pernicious and tenacious even so long after one has stopped consuming it? But that’s been the tracking of it for me. I’ve come to think of it kind of like when you have the flu and you go through all sorts of nasty phases as the germs are killed off and eliminated, where first one bodily system is affected, then the next. Sometimes you feel worse, and finally, you feel better again, like it never happened.

At least I hope it will all eventually go away. Maybe my measly six months on statins wasn’t enough to do permanent damage, but I don’t know, and maybe never will. I’ve tried to “self-medicate” by shoring up what was already a very good diet and lifestyle (active, longtime vegetarian, etc.), tackling the whole mess with GERD and getting away from PPIs (see earlier post), and am recently supplementing with magnesium and CoQ10, both of which seem to help. There’s probably more I can do, but I’ll keep doing what I am already doing, for now, and see what kind of commentary I get on my final visit with this doctor. If I am made privy to any secrets to happy and healthy longevity after statins, I will report.

It might be helpful if some entity as unbiased as People’s Pharmacy would take up the research on statins relative to digestive degradation, or the drugs’ unintended/negative reach into broader body systems. The starting connection? On those few occasions when I have mentioned statin use to others, the response has always been: “Oh, everyone’s on those!” Oddly, when I’ve mentioned the PPIs, people always seem to say: “Oh, everyone’s on those!” The same chorus, ergo…

Best of luck to anyone and everyone who is dealing with similar issues…

A few weeks ago my doc increased (doubled) my prescription of Atorvastatin to 40mg. could not believe what it did to my body. My legs were burning when I tried to walk.... only sitting would relieve the pain. I had no idea why my legs, from the butt to the ground, were in such pain. I never suspected the med I was given might be the cause. Finally went to the doc last Friday (2 days ago) he said it was the higher dose of Atorvastatin and that I should stop taking it for 2 weeks, and, if I feel better, go back to the 20mg level.

I ain't going back to ANY level. This stuff is crazy bad... I'm 63, in OK health, but I've never felt so bad in my life. Cannot sleep (yet) in bed... have to sleep in my recliner. Described all this to my sister who is 65... she also went through the same thing years ago... she had problems with her shoulders. She stopped taking it and I'm going that way also. Will see my doc again in 2 weeks... see what alternatives there are..if any.

I took Crestor about 7 years ago, experienced muscle aches (and I am athletic and understand athletes have a greater chance of experiencing problems with statins) and stopped taking it within a few weeks. I have since learned that statins may cause pain, muscle inflammation and, if taken long enough, muscle deterioration plus kidney and liver problems. Because my cholesterol in above 200, I tried a newer medication in December. By the end of three weeks, I was miserable, exhausted, in pain and basically a mess. I stopped the medication, one week later things have improved considerably, though there is still discomfort and I'm way too tired.

I also learned that exercise is NOT the thing to do until the statin is out of your system which may take 2-4 weeks. I've been told that if the muscle deterioration continues for too long a period of time, it may not be reparable. Scary, huh? My current GP has recommended a drug that is not a statin and as soon as I feel back to normal, I will begin that - my diet has always been relatively low in fat and at 72 having marginally high cholesterol while not ideal, is not something I am willing to experience great pain and lack of activity to correct.

My experience is similar to the ones above. I was 54 and had been fit and very energetic all my life. I used to walk one hour every morning religiously and I was feeling well. Until just in a routine check up my Dr. found my cholesterol a bit over the limit and she prescribed Simvastatin 10mg. After taking it for about seven months I started having pain on my right kidney side (on my back) after lots of tests, urine, blood, drinking lots of water and visiting my Dr lots of times finally I had an MRI, it was clear my kidneys were fine, but the pain continued during months, then other problems started, stomach pain, I suddenly couldn't resist the eggs or avocado (I would ran the toilet to projectile vomit), then the pain in my feet started and I felt exhausted 24/7. I even had difficulty sleeping, my feet were sore in bed too. So, in the morning I felt exhausted as if I had been up all night. My legs were suddenly so weak, I felt I had to drag them when walking.

My Dr said she couldn't see why I was feeling like this, she thought it was psychological. I stop taking the drug, my decision, and slowly felt a bit better. After about a year I was still feeling exhausted and I didn't eat eggs or avocado for years. And now after five years of the last tablet I still got the sore feet, sore hands, very weak legs, a blood test showed I have liver damage. I am trying to think that one day I will be 100% again but the reality tells me it is forever.

Have read with interest the comments on Simvastatin, my Dr insisted I go on 20mg, last year, went on them & off them when I fractured my shoulder and Humeris, she was not happy when I told her, went back on November 2012, my finger tips tingle in the morning, right hand only, but last night woke up with a severe pain in left leg that has not improved all day, this pain is very different, it seems more to side in the muscles. Has anyone had these symptoms & if so please let me know. Thank you

When I was in the worst of this, I awoke every morning feeling as if I had been beaten all over with a baseball bat, but it wasn’t always uniform, sometimes one body part would ache worse than others, large muscle groups especially. And, as one comment said (Sandy), it was a very distinct kind of pain. I knew is wasn't in the joint or the bones, and it didn't even feel like garden-variety overtired muscles. It just felt DEGRADED.

If it's of any use, I firmly believe that going off the statins made a difference, and I'm now not even aware of any ill effects -- but it's been well over a year since I quite the medication. And it IS really scary to have this happening. Makes a person feel YEARS older than reality. It's confounding, though, that this simply does pose a problem for everyone on statins. Wonder what factor causes the sensitivity?

Good luck being off them. Because my cholesterol numbers were never terribly high (thankful for that), I've just been running a double attack with diet and exercise. Haven't had the blood work done recently, but it was still ok when last checked -- even off statins. Flax, oatmeal, nuts, seeds, olive oil, veggies, etc. Can't hurt.

better forget about those statins. never had so much pain in my life. 2 years after statins still have a kinda of strange pains.

I took statins for five years, developed all kinds of problems in my back, and muscles. so I stopped taking statins, and will never take statins again, and now and now I feel great, but still recovering from the pain they caused. Most of these doctors prescribing these drugs, are idiots. Good luck

Some years ago my doctor prescribed EIGHTY milligrams of Lipitor for high cholesterol, and while it was effective in lowering my cholesterol, the nightly leg cramps and spasms were life-changing. After complaining yearly at my check-ups, he lowered the dose to 40, then 20 milligrams, and I was on this drug for several years, despite the horrific pain of my leg cramps.

It was my pharmacist who suggested taking CoQ10--and that actually made no real difference. Having gone completely off the drug about five years ago, I now feel that this condition is permanent, irreversible, and progressive. I am 69, recently widowed, and about to move to our off-the-grid cabin where I expect to be physically active for the next twenty years.

I am confident about my move in every respect except for the condition of my legs; they are increasingly weak and now my arms have those same sensations, which are hard to describe. I am very protective of how I move, especially at night, and even in the daytime as I am actually in terror of the spasms that occur. In the daytime, rising out of a low chair is only accomplished with the help of my arms. I am a healthy, hard-working woman with big plans for the rest of my life, but I find this situation troubling and discouraging as it seems to be getting worse.

Judy, your symptoms sounds exactly like what I've been going through after taking a blood thinner, Xarelto, for only two months. It is now almost 18 months later and I'm still having severe problems.

The only thing that has helped with the muscle pain is acupuncture. The effect only lasts a couple weeks so have only done it a few times. Can't afford to do more. Morning for me is the worst.

I have written about statins before. I can only say that on the advice of my Pharmacist, she recommended I try muscle relaxers since I had such terrible leg pain. She told me my leg pain was likely from the statin. I stayed off it and made an appointment with my doctor. She tested my cholesterol. My cholesterol went to 200. She scared me into getting back on, this time Simvastatin. I have take some kind of statin since 2004. No more. I have been on pain meds for this awful leg pain. I am so tired of living like this. I got off the statin and am off for good. I had my cholesterol checked and it went from 111 to 161. Not so bad. I am lowering my cholesterol with diet and exercise now. I can only hope the leg pain goes away. I was on an extended release pain med. I have gotten off that with no problem. I only take one pain medication and not nearly as much as I have been since 2004. But, I still have terrible weakness, fatigue, pain, and now liver and kidney problems. I do not drink at all, do not do any kind of illicit drugs and have never done anything to affect my liver or kidneys. There is no family history of this either.

It is time to listen to my body not the doctor. I can only hope and pray that I get better and that no permanent damage has been done. I hear in the media that more people are addicted to prescription pain medications than ever in our history. I wonder if the National Center for Disease control sees a correlation between widespread use of pain medications and the incidents of Rhabdo, ALS, dependence on prescription pain meds and the advent of the widespread use of statins for virtually everyone who may or may not have unacceptable cholesterol levels. How come we don't hear about those statistics? I sure would love to know.

I think the fact that so many people are turning to CoQ10 and similar supplements tells a lot about how awful so many feel on statin drugs. Here is hoping those of us to refuse to live on statins can get back some of their strength and good health!!

Bailey, a 200 cholesterol is really good and healthy for your brain. Your Dr. should be fired!

The body does NOT do well on a cholesterol of less than 150. There are enzyme systems in the body that require cholesterol.

Mine was 110 and I have had a heart attack, stroke, and cancer. It won't go up either without eating really bad fats and that would cause other problems.

Clean up your diet for sure but be sure to get rid of the vegetable oils, other than the Extra Virgin Olive Oil of course.

When my cholesterol was at 215, I was sharp as a tack. I ran a business, had a memory so exact I did not need a phone book to remember all my clients numbers, did not need a calendar etc. I wrote very technical reports and could churn them out in no time. I never needed any medication.

Once on statins, I was then placed on blood pressure meds (although I never had high blood pressure except when I went to the doctor complaining of pain), pain medicines, medicines for nerve damage, you name it. I have cleaned up my diet, do not smoke and just want some hope that I will return to normal. I don't have any heart problems (thank God).

The only complaint I had since the statins was leg pain 24/7 and difficulty ambulating. The leg pain has been the worst. But I was duped into believing my leg pain was radiating from a back condition I never sought treatment for or complained about. I had no accidents. I have to wonder if early on, these doctors were as duped as we were.

If they have figured it out, they are pleading the 5th. Can you give me a good website to find a diet that will help me? Should I take CoQ10 even though I am off the statins?

Thanks,
Bailey

fbl, you jogged a memory in me. I recall that at yearly check ups my doctor always told me that my cholesterol was good. My triglycerides were a little off but not alarmingly so. My cholesterol was always at around 200-220 and I was told I was healthy. If anything, I loved sugar and recall going on a sugar restricted diet and started on healthy fats and basically the sugar busters diet.

My weight was great and I had boundless energy. I always recalled that those numbers were good as well. When did we start being told to get our cholesterol numbers down to below 150? My husband (who died of a heart attack) had a cholesterol reading of 384. He definitely needed the medication.

But when his was 250, they kept upping his dose of statins. It did no good by the way and he died at age 50 of a massive heart attack. He had congestive heart failure and had no virgin veins left because of so many open heart surgeries and stents. So, I believe what you are saying is true.
Thanks again,
Mary

Bailey, probably the only thing that would have saved your hubby was changing his diet completely and getting rid of the grocery store oils and getting some mild exercise. Also the statins destroyed his muscles, including his heart muscle. My hubby's cholesterol was about 335 some time ago and it is now a very healthy 225. I changed the oils! Tried to get him to cut back on his sugar intake (not always successfully).

What happened? The FDA got in bed with the drug companies and changed medicine completely. They also pay for the conferences the Drs. attend so it is really hard for most Drs. to get the good info.

My heart problems are firstly due to a diet drug, phen-fen which screwed up my valve. I have lived with that quite successfully but the trauma from an auto accident did in my heart. The shoulder harness damaged it pretty badly.

Believe me I tried so many times to get my late husband on a healthy diet. He just refused to take care of himself in that way. His answer was to medicate the problems away. He tried for a few months after his first by-pass surgery. But, he just gave up and ate whatever he wanted.

I see now he could have greatly changed the course of his life with those changes alone. But, he just did not listen. I can only miss him, remember the good times, and encourage our son to follow a different path.

In fact, our son had a weight problem. He ate NO VEGETABLES OR FRUITS ONLY THE WORST CARBS YOU CAN EAT. I sent him to a weight loss camp for kids when he was 13. He weighed close to 260lbs. It broke my heart to force him to go but there is a very happy ending.

He learned all he needed to know about health and nutrition and exercise. Since then (he is 22 now), he has controlled his weight, eats healthy and exercises regularly. Had I not sent him to a place where he learned how to eat fruits and veggies, he would not be so healthy today.

I was so frightened that he refused to eat anything but carbs, I made him go while I still had control. He now says it was the best thing I could have done for him. We have changed the course of history here for an entire generation. That is a good feeling!!!

I have had similar problems. I am 44 years of age and was on 20mg simvastatin for the last 5 years. I was very active, exercised, and full of energy before taking simvastatin.

Gradually, I had lost strength everywhere in my body, especially in my left leg. I could hardly raise it to get out of a car or chair. I also began to have memory problems, muscle cramps, muscle twitching, and fatigue.

I went to the emergency room because I was so weak and could hardly walk anymore. Of course, these symtoms mimic MS and ALS, so I had an MRI with and without contrast, an EMG, and all the blood work.

They could not find anything wrong with me, but told me to stay off the simvastatin for 4 to 6 weeks to see if anything changes.

I have noticed huge changes since I quit taking Simvastatin......it has only been 2 weeks since I quit taking it, and already the fatigue is gone, I can walk again, my memory and concentration are like it used to be (at least I think), my strength has returned, and my left leg is feeling better! I still have some more tests for memory and Lymes Disease, but I feel like my old self again!

The Neuro does not think simvastatin could have caused these side effects since I never had them earlier, but I think this is what has caused all my problems. I was put on them due to high cholesterol and high blood pressure, which probably saved my life at the time, and lowered my cholesterol, but probably not something you want to be on long term?

There is definately risk/side effects to using statins, and hindsight is 20/20 now. I would advise not taking them and look for alternative ways to lower your cholesterol.

I'm convinced now that all my pain is caused from Simvastatin especially after reading all the comments. I started taking this pill 20mg a day & have severe lower back pain, hip pain, leg pain. I even had an x ray on my hip & nothing found. I use to jog 5 miles a day & now can't even exercise due to the pain. I use so much icy hot that helps a bit but not much.
Lorene

Today, I took my mom to her Cardiologist. I informed him that I took her on Simvastatin to which he replied "Oh did she have joint pain?" Yes, I said. I did not feel like arguing with him. He then said that taking her off Simvastatin would not matter at this point. Well, I guess not given her history following these drugs.

She was on the dreaded Baycol for quite some time and put on Simvastatin after Baycol was taken off the market. After starting on statins (she did not have high blood pressure, nor any heart issues that required intervention), the horror began. She went downhill really quick.

Rather than protect her heart, this medication has caused her terrible pain and weakness in her legs and back, and memory problems that are similar to Transient Global Amnesia for starters. She also had cataract surgery shortly thereafter. Her mental status has deteriorated so quickly and strangely that my sister and I are confounded.

She suffered six mini strokes, and also congestive heart failure requiring a pacemaker. Not too long ago, she had two stents placed for blockages. Now I ask you, did statins protect my mother in any way? None of this is in her family history.

Then I informed him I took myself on Simvastatin. He said "Now you are too young to get off statins!" Is he for real? I have suffered terrible pain right after starting on statins and it has gotten worse not better. My liver enzymes were elevated, kidneys were not functioning properly for a whole year and I began to have muscle twitching that was alarming to say the least.

I have been off statins for almost four months. I still have peripheral neuropathy, memory problems, stinging and burning in my feet and a whole host of other maladies too much to count.

I plan to stay off the statins and feel hopeful that one day I will go back to normal. I was on so many medications for High B/P, swelling in feet and hands, numbness and tingling in both upper extremities. My last blood work (as a result of an unexpected hospitalization out of town) showed my CK levels were well over the limit of normal. She never checked my CK levels despite numerous and ongoing complaints of pain and discomfort for years.

Now, I will find someone to do repeat CK testing to see where this muscle damage is coming from and a deep muscle biopsy. Not one doctor ever thought my symptoms were the result of statins. In fact, the first time I was made aware that this may be related was through my Pharmacist.

When my doctor switched me to Simvastatin and the pain continued, she used that as a reason why statins were not causing the pain. This time when I told her why I thought I was having these problems and stopped the statins, she put in my file that I had "statin intolerance". Well, it is about time.

Maybe these doctors are getting to a place that they just cannot refute the studies any longer and the fact that STATINS JUST DO NOT PROTECT THE HEART AND VASCULAR SYSTEM and have not resulted in fewer incidents of heart attacks. I am doing better than before now. The pain has subsided, but not gone away. I just hope and pray that one day the pain will go away completely and that I will feel like I am supposed to feel at my age.

Bailey

I have been taking zocor 40mg. once a day for 12 years and no doctor has ever said to stop. I also take zetia once a day but have been on it for six months now... had taken it with the zocor for a year in 2002 then dr. said to stop zetia.

In the last ten years I have noticed I have allot of muscle pains... now can hardly walk very far as my hips, leg bones won't hold me up and the mid, back pain is terrible. I have to sit several times a day for 15 mins. to a half an hour, get up and do what I have to do. The rest helps for another hour then back to the chair.

In the last 4 years I have noticed some loss of memory. Now it is getting much worse. It is frightening. I have always been a very active person, mentally as well as physically but since taking zocor, I have gradually gotten worse.

A tendon broke loose from a bone in back of one of my knees too. falling apart.
..then I had to have a stent. (in 2002). That's when all the meds started and I started having all sorts of muscle problems along with the forgetfulness soon after. Before that I only got hormone injection once a month. never any meds.

I am stopping the zetia and zocor and going on a cholesterol free diet. Can I get my body and brain back to normal? That is the question. I'm 78 but age never stopped my body and mind before and to tell me all these things are because of my age is not correct!

No I do not have alot of pain but the knee is tight in front making walking difficult. I also have clicking/clunking. Would a procedure to change forces on the kneecap be recommended ?

GiGi,
I just saw this post you wrote in October, 2013. I just wanted to tell you that going on a cholesterol free diet is NOT THE ANSWER. Recall you were put on a statin to lower your cholesterol and you have suffered terrible side effects.

People are stuck on numbers. Cholesterol is our friend. It is necessary for every function in the body. In fact, the lower your cholesterol (by any means), the worse your health gets. I realize that is not a popular opinion with so many people on statins. When I considered all the people out there who were suffering debilitating pain and weakness, that is my opinion. It took a lot of research and questioning before I made this oh so difficult life choice.

Try going to the site called spacedoc.net. Dr. Duane Graveline started that site after his own horrifying experience with statins. He has authored some very good books as well. You will see them listed. Also, I just read a fascinating book by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, called The Great Cholesterol Con. There you will understand how cholesterol came to be the villain it is in modern medicine. However, I have learned the opposite is true. Excessively low cholesterol sets the stage for many illness out there, some of which are deadly. I repeat: Cholesterol is your friend. And, while you may be thinking you don't like the company I keep, start reading. You can also go online to Utube and see excerpts from the film "Statin Nation". I actually got a copy of the entire film for Christmas. Boy, was I ever right to get off the statins after so many years of pain and agony.

It has only been 6-7 months since I got off these drugs, but I am feeling better. I do take CoQ10 daily and regular vitamins. I also take a supplement with turmeric and green tea extract. I avoid processed sugars (95% of the time he he), white breads, pastas, white potatoes and rice. I eat only whole grains, brown rice, brown pastas, and sweet potatoes. I also always have a tray of fresh raw vegetables on hand for snacks or to lightly steam. Food is medicine. And, lastly, I eat a lot of protein with fat. I also eat real butter.

The fat and cholesterol won't hurt you. It is what you mix it with that will do you in. That is, all the bad carbs I have mentioned above. Oxidative stress is the culprit, not cholesterol. You sound like a very intelligent person. Read, read and read some more. You will figure it out. But, by all means before thinking a cholesterol free diet is the answer, check out these sources of information I am listing here.

After 6-7 months, I can't tell you all the pain is gone. What I can tell you is this: I was on a lot of pain medicine. I woke up in pain and went to sleep in pain. I have been able to get rid of the vast majority of it unless I have a really bad day... I do still have them. But, I have good days too. That is what keeps my spirits up. When I recall a cholesterol count of 111 and pain so bad, I would cry... when I recall the weakness that still plagues me to this day, but is getting better, I consider myself lucky to be alive. All this pain and misery started when I had just turned 50, yet I felt like I was 90. It made no sense whatsoever.

To all of you out there who have the courage to think for yourselves and read and research for the truth, I applaud you. It is scary to go against an established system. It takes guts to think for yourself and refuse to take answers that don't fit.

Good luck GiGi!!

God Bless,
Bailey

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