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Atorvastatin (Lipitor) Side Effects & Complications

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It is not entirely clear why Lipitor became the most successful drug in the history of the pharmaceutical industry. Tens of millions of people have taken Lipitor to lower their bad LDL cholesterol. It is estimated that sales of this single drug brought in over $130 billion to Pfizer, its manufacturer. No other drug in history has ever come close to this mind boggling number.

Now that Lipitor has become available in its generic form as atorvastatin, it will no doubt continue to be taken by millions of patients, though the cost will clearly come down. Despite its popularity with physicians and its clear ability to bring cholesterol numbers down, there are some serious side effects to contend with. Many of these complications were not discovered until years after the drug was on the market.

We have been reporting on muscle and memory problems for a very long time. Initially, we were criticized by physicians for bringing these adverse drug events to the attention of patients on the grounds that statins in general and Lipitor in particular were life savers and we shouldn't in any way discourage their use. But we received so many stories of devastating complications that we could not remain silent. Here are just a few examples of the kinds of messages we have been receiving for more than a decade:

"I believe that I had the following symptoms from taking Lipitor which disappeared once I stopped taking the drug. (I'd been on it for five years so dismissed the symptoms at first). Eventually I was so ill that I told my doctor "I feel like a toxic substance is inside me."

"While I had complained of fatigue and myalgia [muscle pain], it was blown off. But then, I started feeling a cramp in my right arm which woke me when I slept. It was horribly painful and I thought it was from a lot of computer work.

"Eventually my right hand became so weak that I had to use my left hand to aid my right hand just to put down a cup of coffee. I didn't have enough strength to do it with one arm.

"Then, slowly, I began to feel some memory problems, something that never troubled me before Lipitor. I'd find myself starting to be afraid to go some places that required my mind to click (because in looking back--I was having trouble focusing.) One night I was at an intersection in my car waiting for the light to turn. I drove through the red light. I missed some cars that went by and suddenly realized that I was so confused that I couldn't think straight.

"When I got off the drug, I had no more muscle pains, no more weakness in my arms and my mind is sharp as a tack."


"I was on Lipitor for some time and three years ago had a day of transient global amnesia [TGA]. I knew people, but had no idea of time, day or year. My short-term memory was less than a minute (eg. I knew I had eaten a doughnut because I could still taste it).

"I had a CT Scan, echocardiogram and was hospitalized for 24 hours and was told that my diagnosis was TGA and that it probably wouldn't happen again. Of course the doctors denied that it could be Lipitor."


Memory loss and muscle problems are now recognized as complications linked to statin-type cholesterol-lowering drugs. It took a long time to realize that atorvastatin and other statins could also raise blood sugar. We received a signal about this complication long before the FDA acknowledged it could be a problem:

"I was recently informed after a series of tests over a six-month period that my blood glucose levels were elevated. I have been taking Lipitor for about a year or so and was wondering if this drug could be associated with my rise in blood glucose levels. I don't want to take medications that improve one medical situation (lower my cholesterol) and make another (blood glucose) worse."
Betty, January, 2003


Atorvastatin Side Effects & Complications

• Muscle pain or spasms (any where in the body, including legs, shoulders, back, arms or neck)

• Arthritis 

• Blood sugar elevation

• Memory problems, cognitive dysfunction, confusion, amnesia

• Nerve pain, peripheral neuropathy, leg cramps
• Digestive upset, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence

• Headache

• Insomnia

• Urinary tract infections

• Skin reactions, hives 

• Pancreatitis

• Sexual problems, erectile dysfunction

What we do not know is how common some of these side effects may be. Until recently the FDA assumed that memory problems and blood sugar elevation were so rare as to be almost forgettable. Now the FDA has acknowledged that these are real problems. How common are sexual problems with statins? No one really knows. What about arthritis, nerve pain, cataracts or peripheral neuropathy? Again we are clueless. We suspect that such side effects are more common with statins than most health professionals realize. And people who are susceptible to some statin complications may be especially prone to multiple problems.

We recognize that some people really do need these medications to prevent a heart attack or a stroke. The data suggest that people who have clearly diagnosed heart disease can benefit. Those who have had one heart attack can reduce the risk of a second by taking a statin. And many individuals never suffer any side effects from statins. Good for them. They are fortunate.

Others are not so lucky. We don't know what the true incidence of some of the so-called minor side effects really is. That's why we need your help. Please let us know how you or someone you love has fared on a statin-type drug. You can comment below. Thanks for letting us know about your experience. And one more one should stop a statin without consulting the prescriber. We do not want anyone to go from the frying pan into the fire. Your doctor needs to know about how you are doing on any medication, especially a statin!

Finally, should you be interested in the inside story about some of these problems you will find our book, Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them of interest. You may also appreciate our book, Best Choices From The People's Pharmacy with a wide range of options to deal with things like high cholesterol, hypertension and arthritis. They can all be found in The People's Pharmacy Store.

And please comment below on your experience with atorvastatin or other statin-type cholesterol-lowerind drugs.

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I was put on simvastatin about 4 years ago because my cholesterol was borderline. I started having muscle and joint aches, which at first, I did not associate with the drug. I was also having problems with fuzzy thinking. That was extremely difficult since I was a 911 operator.

I finally started hearing others with their complaints, so I did some research on my own. I told my Dr., but had already stopped taking them. In the years since, my cholesterol is good because of diet and exercise. My memory is fine now, but I continue to have joint pain. I have heard others have continued their pain after stopping statins and am wondering if that is the case with me or something altogether different.

I have been tested for arthritis and it was negative (just the blood test for inflammation). Yet I continue to have horrible pain in my hips and lower back when I get up. It takes awhile for it to go away after walking. My Mom also had to stop Lipitor.

I took Crestor 10mg for several months. I took a trip and my legs were bothering me. I dismissed this as I have a bad knee. A month later I went to New York as I do every fall. My legs were bothering me and I decided to ignore it and walk anyway. By the end of two days I could not walk at all.

I read a lot and I could not get into the rhythm of the book. I told my physician this. He was dismissive, but told me to take Crestor every other day. My legs still hurt 24/7. I was reading a book at the time I thought was difficult.

I stopped taking Crestor all together and my legs did not hurt any more and the book was easy to read.

Lipitor, and all of the statins I tried, caused joint pain. At first I thought this was due to a family history of arthritis, as joint pain was not widely mentioned as a side effect. At the advice of my physician I stopped Lipitor, the joint pain now only occurs as an occasional flare-up.

Ten years ago I started taking Lipitor--but within two weeks I was experiencing weakness and aching muscles over much of my body. I told my doctor--he told me to stop the Lipitor immediately, and prescribed simvastatin. I began taking that, and have had no problems since. My LDL is at an acceptable level, and an angiogram (taken due to a congenital heart valve problem) showed no arterial plaque buildup.

My mother suffered for years with pain in her legs the doctor could not explain and didn't really try to investigate. Since she had "back" problems from her mid-thirties on, no one considered that connected to her overall health. She died overnight from a heart attack. The doctor said her heart just "exploded", it was a muscle and had just shredded.........that had she survived the initial attack, she could not have lasted much longer and there was no treatment.

I have tried red yeast rice for my "elevated" cholestrol, but after almost two years realized I was having leg aches and back problems, aka arthritis. Stopped taking the additive and the aches and pains have gone away. Apparently statins affect me the same as they did my mom.

My sister died from cancer at early age, so can't compare her experience, and younger brother claims no problems so far.
Don't plan to ever take statins, poor life quality versa long life???? I'll take my chances.

I am now taking the generic version and have had some problems with weakness and muscle pains. I started taking a version of CoQ 10 by the name of Ubqunol, (I think that is how it is spelled). I think it has helped with the weakness and tiredness I was experiencing. Maybe that will help you also

Some 20 years ago I began statin drugs following a heart attack and stents. The first was Pravachol. I had problems with that, but I don't recall what they were.

I was switched to Zocor. Over time my hips got so I could barely walk. I thought I was going to need a hip replacement. My doctor thought the problem might be caused by Zocor and switched me to Lipitor. My hip problems disappeared completely. I had no idea Zocor had been the problem.

I was on 10 mg of Lipitor for maybe 10 years, and then 5 mg for a year. But I stopped taking Lipitor at all about 4 months ago due to serious leg muscle weakness (I could hardly walk up stairs), unacceptable bowel control problems and concern thatLipitor might be the cause of my increasingly noticeable memory loss.

I had previously experimented by going on and off lipitor several times and each time the bowel problem went away. But each time my doctor, felt strongly I needed to go back on Lipitor. Without lipitor my HDL remains very good (I take 1500 mg generic time release niacin), my LDL is too high I'm told. But finally I have taken myself off Lipitor and my muscle problems have completely gone away and bowel problems are almost entirely gone. I can't say for sure about my memory but I feel like it is gradually improving.

I feel at least as good, maybe better both physically and memory-wise than I have in some time. (I have had no problem with my four non-drug coated stents in 22 years.)

I have been on Lipitor and then Simvastatin for about ten years and recently have been experiencing symptoms which I attributed to as just getting old. I have memory problems, muscle cramping, lack of energy to the point I call myself a "slug." Recently I started having spasms in my arms similar to bugs crawling on my skin and one day started to feeling a vibration like symptom when touching my computer mouse and thought it was the mouse but when I later put my hand on the table, it happened again. I

complained about my symptoms to a friend and she told me she had the same symptoms until she stopped taking a statin. I stopped the statin without consulting with my doctor since the last 4 times he told me how perfect my reports have been. I have more energy, cramping is completely gone and the crawling-vibration symptom completely stopped.

I will tell him next time I go in for blood work that I want to try diet and stay off the statins. I hope I haven't had permanent damage as a result of taking the drug.

I was on Lipitor for about 20 years. I was on 10mg per day, but decided many years ago to go to 10mg every other day. That dosage seemed to work ok to keep my cholesterol in check.

About 4 years ago I started to experience some muscle problems in my arms. First I had a torn rotator cuff in my right shoulder. That took a year to recover from and a long time in physical therapy. Then two years ago I tore a muscle loose in my left shoulder. I was just standing and turned around suddenly and I felt the muscle break loose in the left shoulder. The torn muscle remains a problem for me.

My doctor immediately took me off of Lipitor and all statins. My cholesterol numbers went out of limit within a couple of weeks after stopping Lipitor. My doctor decided I should try Lipofen which is not a statin drug. The Lipofen seems to be working in keeping my cholesterol under control. I'm glad the Lipofen is working, but I question the side effects? I also wonder why they did not use Lipofen earlier if it is that good.

Questions remain unanswered about Lipofen in my mind and I do not know anyone else on this drug. I know several people that had bad effects from various statin drugs and they were all related to muscle problems.

I had been taking Lipitor for approx 10 years. 3 years ago I took only 1/2 of a 10mg pill because I was tired all of the time. 2 months ago, I stopped taking it all together.

I sleep better at night, I am feel more awake during the day (not tired because I am sleeping better) Instead of Lipitior, I have switched to eating oatmeal every day to help lower my cholesterol.

I have been on 20mg of pravastatin for about 3 years. Diet and exercise and fish oil still left my lipids slightly over the limit and everyone in my family died of heart attack or stroke, some young, although none of them took the dietary precautions I have.

Now, sporadic sharp pains in my right foot when I first put weight on it. A sharply increased inability to remember a name I know perfectly well. I'm 68, maybe that's age, or ....

I was on Lipitor for several really lowered my bad cholesteral, but I had very bad cramps in my feets and was, repeatedly, told by my doctor that Lipitor was not the cause. I went to foot doctors and nobody else thought it was the Lipitor.

I finally had foot surgery and lost a toe...I firmly believer it was the Lipitor. My doctor left town and I left off the Lipitor. Of course, the damage was done as far as my feet were concerned, but I still feel it was the effects of the Lipitor.

When 3 days after stopping simvistatin gave me relief from aching muscles and tiredness, I decided to eliminate any statin. Now 2 years later I started to reconsider when lab reports showed gains in cholesterol. Just starting on Zetia and starting to feel aches. I will give it a full 2 weeks and make my decision. Quality of life is too important and I need to keep exercising to keep my weight under 120. It would be counterproductive to not exercise and have low cholesterol. I will try higher does of fish oil to see if that helps.

My doctor just laughs off my concerns so I need to find a new doctor too. When I told him that death dates of my parents seemed meaningless when in fact they had strokes 12-15 years prior to death. Why didn't they ever ask about that history?

I have been taking red yeast rice for several years to control my cholesterol for several years. It controls it well, and for me there are no side effects.


My total cholesterol was 260 (HDL under 40) and within 3 months of starting Lipitor, total cholesterol dropped to 130 -- and HDL eventually increased to 48. I suffered NO adverse effects from Lipitor -- so I am one of the lucky ones. My body makes cholesterol. I exercise daily and eat healthful, organic, homemade meals, yet I could not control my cholesterol with a healthy lifestyle. I have not had a heart attack, have no heart disease, only a family history of all of the above. I took it as a preventive measure for 5 yrs, and, as a result of your program, I stopped taking it.

Cholesterol went up again -- but hsCRP is .5, and since that's a marker of inflammation and more related to heart disease than cholesterol, I'm OK with higher than normal cholesterol. Thanks for the great information on your website and radio program!!

I had a carotid stent put in because of 80% blockage in the left carotid. After which I was told to take Lipitor. I took it for about 6 weeks and began to experience muscle weakness, foggy memory, pains in my lower back and elsewhere and fatigue. With each pill, the symptoms got worse so I told the Dr. and was put on Crestor, same thing happened, then I was put on Zetia, again the symptoms came back and with less time in between them.

I read in your column about these problems and stopped taking them. My energy level came back, I became stronger and the aches disappeared. My cholesterol level hasn't changed (about 214) and my stent is still clear after 3 1/2 years. I am 72 years old. In retrospect, I see that my aunt who was 90 at the time was put on lipitor and she experienced the same problems. We attributed it to the normal aging process. I now do not think so and feel that she would have experienced her very good health, prior to the drug, for much longer.

This was several years before I had my experience with the drug and didn't know the consequences it could have for sensitive people. I have since discovered that I must be careful of each drug that is added to my regimen. I am also sensitive to the generic thyroid medication but am ok with synthroid, which is more expensive. I was also told by my Dr. to check the bottle each time it is filled to make sure that the generic hasn't been substituted by the insurance co. We really have to be pro-active about our health and check everything out. LWR

I was put on Lipitor after my MI ten months ago. I am in very good health otherwise. After taking Lipitor for three months, I began having extreme fatigue, muscle pain in the legs, back and arms, and terrible memory loss. I didn't understand what was going on. I told my doctor about the symptoms but he just said I was recovering from the MI. At four months, I couldn't take it anymore and quit taking Lipitor. Within a week I was back to normal. I have since been lowering my cholesterol through diet and exercise with great results. In my opinion Lipitor is bad news.

Our family Dr. threatened my hubby saying if he didn't get his cholesterol under control He'd have to take a drug.

At that point many years ago we had bought into the low fat, non-hydrogenated fat diet. I decided that since that wasn't working that we would go back to the original way people ate over 100 years ago.

I got rid of all the grocery store oils other than Extra Virgin Olive Oil. We have used Organic unprocessed coconut oil, palm oil, and for mayonnaise almond, or other nut oil. I save the drippings from our organic bacon to use as well.

Yeah, it worked! It took a few years but his cholesterol number went down 100 points and the other fatty acids are in balance. He stays right about 225 now which is perfect. We use almost no packaged foods so it is not hard to control the fats consumed.

Centurion studies have shown the best longevity at the mid 200 level cholesterol number.

83 years old and have been on statins for probably 15 years (or so it seems). Really bad muscle aches with Zocor so doc switched me to Lipitor (40 mgs a day) about a year ago. Aches and pains subsided but not in my upper left arm; still aches in the evening and at night.

After two triple bypass operations and stents since age 65 these aches seem a small price to pay for survival but it sure would be nice not to have muscle aches (which do seem a bit controlled with daily doses of CoEnzyme Q10).

I do seem to be less mentally sharp now compared to 20 years ago but hard to say whether this is just old age or statin side effects.

My husband and I are both on Lipitor and we both take Coenzyme Q10 because statins interfere with the CoQ10 metabolism. I did have some leg pain until I started taking the CoQ10.

As with all drugs, the possibility of side effects exist.

I wish you would give some data points as to what ratio of problems exist vs the number of people taking the drug!!!

People should be told the "magnitude" to the problem you outline as opposed
to just spreading fear... I guess that the way you get noticed.

I have been taking Lipitor for 15 years and NEVER had any of the issues you describe!

I have genetically elevated cholesterol, have tried every statin including the RX fish oil and was unable to tolerate any of them. My liver actually HATES most medications so I had to consider quality of life versus lower lab numbers. Cardin-vascular disease doesn't run in my family & I'm 65 so I will continue with non-medication controls. Doctors do not believe patients, fact of life.

Until a year ago, I was taking Zocor/simva 40 mg. /day. I came down with weakness in my legs, upper body muscle aches, Type II diabetes, peripheral neuropoathy. My lower-body weakness remains to this day - a parkinson's -like weakness. I blame it all on simva.

After I rid myself of the pain of osteoarthritis of the pelvis, and spine, and, bursitis in the shoulders, I suffered from pain of the sciatic nerve in my left leg, and numbness in my fingers, and toes. Remembering of these side effects being possible with the taking of statins, I stopped taking Lipitor, and the problems ceased after three days.

Since then, I began suffering from pains in my shoulders, and arms,and, numbness, and tingling in my fingers, and attributed this to Crestor. The pains disappeared when I stopped taking the Crestor.

At the beginning of August, I was put on Vytorin 10/20mgs., as, the results of a blood test showed that,the Total Cholesterol was 308; LDL 220; Triglycerides 204; and, HDL 47. Almost immediately, the pains in my shoulders, arms, elbows, and wrists returned, as did the problems with my fingers. I stopped taking the medication mid-August.
Near the end of August, I began taking Slim C, one packet per day, for one week, then, two packets per day. Unfortunately, I'm allergic to citrus, and, began having problems with my stomach after a week of taking two packets daily, and, had to stop, the first week in September.

I decided to try using remedies recommended in your book, "People's Pharmacy Quick & Handy Home Remedies", and, began using Benecol; taking Cinnamon Capsules 500mgs. twice daily; using more Cocoanut Oil for cooking;and, eating an handful of Almonds, and one of Walnuts, for dinner a few days a week.

I took a blood test on the 1st., October, and, the results showed: Total Cholesterol 287; Triglycerides 95; LDL 194; HDL 74.

Lipitor side effect of peripheral neuropathy of both arms and hands. Very painful and frustrating not to be able to use one's hands because of a drug!

This began in Feb. 2012. Once identified, I immediately discontinued use of the drug and while symptoms have slowly abated, I still have problems with my hands. Still no feeling in the fingers and pain in the wrists and hands remains. No more pain in the arms though.

Doctors tell me it will take as much as, or perhaps more than, a year to resolve....IF it resolves. Neither of my physicians had ever heard of this being a problem until I took information to them on relevant lawsuits listed on the internet. It's obvious that company sales reps are not providing full disclosure on this drug (and are probably not hearing about it from company bosses) and/or there are not enough research articles on the issue. The prevailing thought is that if the numbness and pain are not in your legs, it's YOU, not the drug.

Takes some convincing but with some tests, refusal to continue the medication and gradual reduction of symptoms, they'll be convinced.

My cholesterol was consistently in the 250 to 275 range for as long as testing was used. However, 80 to 100 of that was "good" cholesterol. I was not overweight and was very active. It did not matter what kind of diet I ate. The numbers were always the same.

Finally, my new doctor wanted me to go on a statin, so I was put on Lipitor. It was OK for about a year and my cholesterol lowered about 100 points (but my "good" cholesterol was reduced by half as well). I was also taking CoQ10 as a precaution.

Gradually I noticed increasing muscle problems with cramps, weakness, aching, etc. I began to suspect it might be the Lipitor. I finally told the Doctor I wanted to discontinue it and it was suggested to use Crestor instead. I did not have any muscle problems on the Crestor, but I had terrible digestive problems - diarrhea and room-clearing flatulence.

I finally refused to take any more. I am now free of all symptoms and back to my 250 cholesterol level. I am happy with that. My relatives all lived into their 80's and 90's active and in good health and they never took a statin. Quality of life is more important to me than a laboratory number chosen by someone whose intelligence and agenda is not known to me.

My husband has had a heart attack and was put on a statin. He also has had terrible problems with his muscles and with his memory while on them. His doctor stopped the statin and had him try a supplement -policosanol. He is doing fine on that and has great cholesterol numbers. No more statins!

My husband: statins for 10+ years

Off them for 6 months due to mixup in tests. (Late 2008)

Put on Lipitor: (Dec. 2008)
Within 2 months of resuming Lipitor, unable to walk without severe groin pain.
Hip replacement due to a vascular necrosis (2009)

Now diagnosed w Parkinson's Disease, which I believe was intensified/caused by long term statin use.

Symptoms on statins:
*sleep disturbance
*chronic muscle aches/pains
*brain fog
*sexual dysfunction

I asked the ortho if there was a database linking meds to surgeries; he said no, and also remarked that my tires might be slashed in the middle of the night if I mentioned the idea that stains might be causing the increased need in hip replacements!

I to have been taking red yeast rice for cholesterol, I have found my hair thinning very bad so I quit taking it and my hair is not thinning as bad.

In November 2011, my husband had 3 stents put in the arteries of his heart. One more blockage, which was 30% was left alone at that time. He was put on a cholesterol drug and Plavix... the Plavix caused many problems, but since this comment is about cholesterol drugs, I will tell you for all those months he woke every morning saying every bone in his body hurt and I could notice some mental confusion. Finally, this past Sept he stopped both drugs and now has no aches or pains when he gets up each day or at anytime thru the day. Mental confusion seems to be resolving. His Dr. tried to get him to go back on the cholesterol drug, but he refused. His stress test in November, showed no problem with his heart at this time.

I am a 68 y.o. R.N. w/ 3 cardiac stents, placed 12-10, & a strong family h/o vascular disease. I had been on 4 statins over the last 10 years or so, including probably Crestor and Lipitor. I had read about muscle destruction, but didn't associate the "charlie horses" that would make me get up in the middle of the night w/ the statins for awhile. Switching to Zetia stopped the cramping but didn't control my lipid #'s. So, w/ the help of my pharmacist, my doc changed me to pravastatin.

The first dosage made me feel awful and she cut it in half and I did OK for awhile, & then the CAD was dx. I spent a year in the Dr. Dean Ornish program & in counseling and lost weight and learned to manage my stress. (I was already a vegetarian exerciser.) Right around the time of graduation from the Ornish program this May, I started noticing foggy thinking and an inability to concentrate. With the concurrence of my PCP and cardiologist, I stopped the Plavix first and then the statin.

Not only has my mental sharpness returned, but I have noticed that my chronic heart burn, resulting in some esophageal scarring, has decreased to once every 2 weeks or so. (I also stopped my daily calcium after reading about it on this site.) Yes, I still have arthritic & bursitis pain but the weight loss has helped my hips and knees. And the Ornish diet has improved my 8 y.o. pre-diabetic #'s to normal levels. My lipid levels are a work in progress, but acceptable. Total cholesterol is

I am taking Lovastin. Have also took Crestor and Lipitor. I told my Dr. About leg cramps and spasms but she said it is not the medicine when I ask. I stopped taking for the next 3 weeks and then seen Dr. Who insisted I would have a stroke/heart attack if I did not start back taking so I did. Now, 6 weeks later I have added brain fog/memory loss to the side affects. How can I know what to do? I will have a new Dr. In December because my present Dr. Is moving out of state. Nov 1, 2012

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Bring this up with the new doctor when you see him/her. It is worth the discussion.

Was on Lipitor for many years. 3 years ago the VA put me on Simvastatin. Occasional right leg cramp but goes away when I stretch. Memory is spotty but have a wife who remembers everything. Some weakness.

I took Lipitor for several years with no problem, but developed memory problems on Simvastin. My daughter is the one who noticed it when we were visiting her over the holidays. I did some research and stopped taking the Simvastin and the issue resolved in a number of weeks. Looking back, I realized that I had adapted over time by making extensive to do lists for myself as reminders. I also had become anxious about the bookkeeping I was doing for a local org. What a relief to have it resolved.

The above comments reflect my experience: I got stupid(er) and achier. I am not, however, a slow learner and I discontinued the drug and started eating in a healthier fashion: less oil, less cheese, less meat - more vegetables. Not sure how my numbers have responded but I'm 20+ pounds lighter so something is 'working,' and no, I was not trying for weight loss - I'm 65 and prior to shifting my eating had varied +/- ten pounds - it is now definitively and stably lower. I'm slated for a physical and we'll see if my cholesterol has responded.

I have taken 40 mg Lipitor and 200 mg CoQ10 enzyme daily for 8 years since a circumflex stent with apparent side effects. I have recently begun taking the generic atorvastatin due to my health insurance no longer allowing the name brand even with my $4 co-pay card for Lipitor.

Now I am experiencing some mental fogginess and a decreased ability to focus. Could these be attributed to the generic drug, since I never has ANY side-effects from Lipitor for 8 years?

I had to stop taking Lipitor because it caused me to be bedridden with extremely severe fatigue. After stopping Lipitor, took about a week to get back to normal level of energy. One extremely good thing happened while on Lipitor, my cholesterol labs went from over 200 to 64 with just one month on Lipitor!!! Amazing!

Will be starting a second trial period of taking Lipitor in February 2013. This second trial is to see if the extreme fatique happens again while on Lipitor. If it does, then we'll know it was the Lipitor. If not, then I will feel more confident to continue the Lipitor to bring down my high cholesterol.

I am a Deputy Sheriff. Five years ago, at age 50, I had a very light heart attack, and had two medicated stints installed. I was off work for about two months. I noticed short term memory problems immediately upon my return to work. I have always been somewhat absent minded, but let me illustrate the difference. Before the heart attack, I might arrest someone, do the reports, deal with a total stranger for a couple of hours, and then not see or hear anything for several weeks. Naturally, when I would get a subpoena for court I would remember very little: until I pulled my file and reviewed my reports. The difference was, that after being placed on Lipitor, somebody would mention something about a case I had taken just a few days before, and I wouldn't remember it, and then when I looked at my report: I would recognize my hand writing. This did not occur consistently.

Needless to say it threw me for a loop. I complained to my doctors, and it wasn't until about two years ago that they started to admit that statins could be causing this. For everyone's information, I had been having a yearly physical for ten years prior to the heart attack. Only one once did my cholesterol check slightly high, I have never had high blood pressure, but was placed on medication to reduce that as well. After reading the other posts here, I'm wondering if at least some of my aches and pains, that I have written off to aging are caused by this stuff.

I am 53 and female. I started the generic Atorvastatin last Oct. My doctor put me on it even though she acknowledged my cholesterol dropped from the first blood test 3 months prior (252 to 222). Almost immediately, my joints ached to the point I thought I was catching the flu, especially my fingers and shoulders. After about a month I put 2+2 together because it was the only new medicine I'd started taking, so I researched it. After I read about the side effects, I stopped taking it and phoned my doctor. She suggested taking half a tablet 3x a week. I decided not to take it at all. When I last visited her this month, she prescribed a different statin (I think it's the generic of Zocor). I haven't taken it and I don't think I will.

The thing is, my symptoms haven't entirely gone away, especially in my shoulders! My doctor asked me if I still had the symptoms, which tells me I'm not the only one with this problem. Just about every day I have to take Advil for the joint pain!

I friends mother was switched to a generic form back in October. Since then the best way to describe it, is that she has become like someone with dementia. She can not remember stuff, confused, and signs of cognitive dysfunction. She does not see that there is anything wrong with her and that everyone else is the problem. They took her to the ER and they ruled out just about everything. They did blood work but did not test her cholesterol levels and said everything was find. Can all this be from the drug and she just does not realize she has a problem?

My Doctor put me on Atorvastatin a couple weeks ago. First I noticed calf muscle pain. Then my upper legs were feeling crampy. When I woke up this morning I could barely walk. Sitting at a desk all day doesn't help and I still can barely walk. I the past I was put on simvistatin which caused sharp shoulder blade pain in my back. Now with Atorvastatin the pain seems to be in my calves and upper legs. I'm done with statin drugs and am letting my Doctor know today.

Bill M, read my comments above and choose what is right for you before the drugs kill you!

Our nursing homes are filling up with people who have been on the statins. I know several people from church who are firm believers in their Drs. advice and won't go off the drugs, even as their mobility is more limited every day and their brain is not functioning well. They wouldn't even read the info I'd brought in for them to read.

We have been blessed with a good family Dr. for over 20 years. He is a DO, a Homeopath and Chinese Acupuncturist. He gives drugs when there is no other option.

My doctor started me on Lipitor and Plavix a year ago, when my Cholesterol was about 240 and I had what they presumed was a very minor tiny stroke (my hand got temporary paralysis, which I now know was caused by my low potassium level caused by my blood pressure medicine). I am a very healthy person with the exception of a little high blood pressure (over 60 yrs). Have never been hospitalized for any illness. non-smoker. High cholesterol runs in my family - my mom is 91 and has very high cholesterol never took medicines. I was on these meds for about 6 months and started to feel fatigue. It was hard to work. I was soo tired and it was an effort to do anything. I would feel like I was going to fall asleep on the way home from work. I ached all over. Felt like I was 80yrs old!

A few weeks ago I started getting hip aches. If I walked at a brisk pace, my hips started to ache. My lower back ached. I would wake up in the middle of the night because my hips hurt so bad to turn over. I decided to stop both meds. Withing 24 hours I started to notice a difference. NO MORE ACHES AN PAINS!! Such a Relief! I'll take my chances with my high cholesterol. At least I feel great. And my energy is back!

I am a 53 year old female. 3 weeks ago my Dr. put me on Avtorvastatin (10mg 3 times a week) because for the last few years my cholesterol has been high & diet & exercises aren't bringing it down. I also have rheumatoid arthritis & take prescription twice a day for that.

For the past 3 weeks I thought my arthritis has gotten worse! In the morning I can't walk down my stairs. During the day my knees ache like never before. All day long I have awful gas pains in my upper digestive area.

This morning I decided to do a search on Avtorvastatin... I can't believe what I am reading!! I also can't believe my Dr. prescribed this for me when she knows I have severe joint pain to begin with!!

I am not taking it any more. I want to get rid of this digestive pain & be able to walk normally again. But what can I do about the cholesterol? I like the homeopathic idea but I don't think my insurance covers that.
Happy I know why I haven't felt good these past 3 weeks.
But still Unhappy about my cholesterol levels :(

I was on a Lipitor regimen for 10 years but terminated it in 2008 after a physician suggested to me that neuropathic symptoms I was experiencing may have been associated with my past Lipitor use. The trouble is that my symptoms became much worse and I have apparently the condition C.I.D.P. and can no longer drive my car and walking is very difficult. I am also losing the good use of my hands and arms and I have pain 24/7 in my feet and legs. I am also showing signs of Parkinson's. It is too late for me but I want to warn other possible victims.

I get Atorvastatin (10 mg) since six months. Recently, I start to have major problems, such as: Memory problems, cognitive dysfunction, confusion, amnesia, and very nervous all the time.

I know that what affect brain are usually chemicals materials, so I thought about my medication. I stop taking it for about five days, I became correct. I return to Atorvastatin again, immediately symptoms returned. I need this medication, I really don’t know what I do because at Montreal Canada doctors are not comprehensive professional in general, they don’t see things in global. 

I was prescribed Lipitor (40 mg tablets) for high cholesterol by my family doctor just over a week ago. Shortly after ingesting the pill in the evening, I began having severe long cramps in my lower abdomen and back. The cramps felt deep within my body and they lasted for several hours After the second pill, I decided to stop this medication. The cramps stopped the next day but returned on and off during the week. (I've also a pain in my upper back shoulder.)

I decided that I must have the 'flu thinking that Lipitor was not the problem. However, I saw my doctor today who advised that I take a quarter of each pill per day and slowly increase the dosage back to 40 mg. It was impossible to divide each pill in four, and difficult to divide it into two pieces so I took the smaller piece this evening and within 15 minutes, the lower back and abdominal cramping has begun.

I had barely begun to recover from the adverse effects of this drug, and now I've committed myself to another week or more of experiencing cramps in my lower back and abdomen as well as feeling miserably unwell. As I have very high cholesterol, I wanted to give this drug a fair chance, but now I believe that it may do more harm than good. As I write, the cramping gives me considerable pain and discomfort. I do not want to continue feeling so unwell, and I wonder for how long even though I have decided once more to discontinue Lipitor.

I took only 4 doses then stopped Lipitor. I experienced nausea, diarrhea 24/7, headaches, weakness, lethargy and insomnia. This drug is bad news. Cholesterol is only one indicator of CHD risk. Keeping down inflammation and free radicals is vitally important. I am switching back to red yeast rice and niacin. Also added oatmeal and 3 cups vegetables/greens to my diet and am avoiding omega 6 fats. If the natural route doesn't work, oh well. I am not taking a drug "shortcut".

Two sisters had breast cancer one sister on 80 mg Zocor the breast cancer was aggressive my sister died she had DNA proved it was not familial, the other sister stopped lipitor doing great no signs of cancer before the breast cancer she was diagnosed with diabetes. The doctors prescribe to me Lipitor, got fatty liver, Crestor fatty liver could not move x-ray done no arthritis also Wellchol, Niaspan, My breast were so dense doctors could not guarantee I had no breast cancer.

Stopped taking statins 3 years ago the last two mammograms the doctors were happy to inform me I had no breast cancer. I take approximately 4000 mg of omega 3, Chia seeds in soup, eggs, oatmeal on everything. I went through loss of memory, fatty liver, joint pain, diagnosed with diabetes and breast so dense the doctors could not guarantee I did not have breast cancer. I hope the doctor did not ruin my liver. Any statin they tried hurt me. I felt like a guinea pig. I do not take statins

n t, dense breasts are common and I had serious problems with fibrocystic breasts. Mammograms were so painful I asked my family Dr. if I could give them up. He said yes, he wasn't convinced that they were healthy.

He sent me for thermography exams and even though they couldn't see through the masses, at least it wasn't painful.

My Dr. then started me on liquid iodine and my pain gradually got better and the breasts didn't hurt any more. After a few years I discovered Iodoral and found the tablets a much nicer way to get my iodine.

Now I have absolutely no problems with fibrocystic breasts. Also no sign of breast cancer!

I have been taking 40mg of Lipitor for just over a year and have had muscle and joint pain that has been so bad that I have not been able to sit or lie down also bad memory loss which I didn't really think about just thought it was age even though I am only 47. By accident saw a report on Lipitor and the side affects and stopped taking it straight away, it has been a week today and just about all the muscle pain has gone and memory seems to be a little better but still have a bit of joint pain. I will now be very careful as to what drugs I take from now on am just hoping that it does not take too long for the joint pain to go and memory to improve. Will try diet now before taking any other drugs.

I was put on 20mg Lipitor after a suspected TIA and my cholesterol levels were slightly elevated. After only 5 days I was experiencing back pain from my shoulder blades through to my chest so severe it woke me up and I thought I was having a heart attack! I immediately stopped the pills after talking with my pharmacist and went to see my Dr the following week. Even though all my test results came back normal for the TIA.... so obviously wasn't one.... she still insisted I take Crestor at 5mg as my LDL level was slightly above normal but my overall level was average.

After reading the side effects on the website, those pills also hit the bin. I will give my exercise a boost and try niacin tabs first before I poison myself again thank you very much!

After scrolling through comments, I don't think I see others with my particular issue. I took Lipitor for a few years during my 30s with no problem. I stopped in my 40s because I just don't like taking maintenance Rx. I have the inherited so it is always sky-high. Figured that's just the way I'm made--I have no weight issues nor any other risk factors than just the high cholesterol.

In my mid-40s I took it up again, frankly out of vanity--xanthomas on all 4 eyelids. I tried Crestor for awhile, then stopped because of suspected side effects. Side effects went away. Tried it again a couple years later, then switched to Lipitor. Ready to stop again. Why? Although 20 mgs a day has brought my levels from 440 to 283 (yes I am happy--that's a lot)-- the side effect appears to have returned.

So what is it? I start having problems with my left hand and arm. A strange, cold feeling. Sometimes nerve pain in the hand, sometimes sharp pain running up from the wrist through the ulna area. Symptoms that mimic carpal tunnel, but it isn't (besides, I'm right handed and most of my computer work is with the mouse and I just use it at home).

I have always played piano but not lately and right now I don't even want to because of my arm. Anyone else feel cold from the shoulder down their arm on one side?

I was doing fine on Vytorin when I was switched to Lipitor. Immediately I became nauseated, like the beginnings of a pregnancy. I rarely ate at all during the day, all I really wanted was liquid! Then I started having short term memory problems, and then, the worse, muscle cramps. At first my doc shrugged it off, but yesterday, my labs were all normal and he told me to JUST STOP.

This is the first morning in 2 years I awoke without nausea, muscle cramps, and not knowing why I went into the kitchen. MAKE YOUR DOCTORS. LISTEN TO YOU... I WASN'T AGGRESSIVE ENOUGH and I'm a Registered Nurse!!

I was on Simvastatin and complained ao muscle spasms for several years. They could come at any time and be almost anywhere in my body. Legs, foot, ankle, back, hips, even right under my breast area. They last about 5 minutes. Sometimes longer.
The pain was very severe and came in waves.

I was switched to Lipitor about a year ago and have noticed that the cramps are coming more often. I had over 25 episodes in one day. The doctor took me off the Lipitor last week. After 3 days off the medication, the cramps are disappearing. I am sleeping better and I am more alert. No more getting up in the middle of the night with leg cramps.

Thank God my new doctor listens to me.

Have been on Lipitor about ten years. I changed my doctor because I told him I had muscle pain and he laughed it off. He said to take CoQ 10. I changed doctors.

My new doctor noticed when I got up from my chair, the difficulty with my knees and my back.He suggested shots to my spine and knees. I said this ends.

I then said enough is enough. Every joint in my body was aching. Stopped this drug about 4 weeks ago 03/2013. Pains just starting to go away.

Everything seems to be a joke with these doctors. Have you ever seen the drug salespeople in their offices? They are giving them hundreds of samples.

Stay away. Everything people are posting is entirely true.

Joe P

Hi Joe. It is a joke. All the docs know to do is to prescribe meds. I have seen the pharmaceutical salesmen & women in the doctor's office. My husband overheard one sales rep reminding the doc about "bonuses" and "rewards". (Read: kickbacks). The doctors are under pressure from their medical groups and insurance companies to tow the line and prescribe, prescribe, prescribe. Even medical professionals who truly care about patients are largely misinformed. Drug companies have a powerful influence in medical publications and education of doctors. Pretty damn sad.
Linda L

AK, I felt cold on my right arm and it felt like throbbing pain, halfway between my elbow and shoulder. I am always warming the area with the palm of my hand or something. Really odd. I never had that problem until I started statin drugs. I quit Lipitor weeks ago but that arm is still sensitive to cold. I have limited use of that arm due to pain and discomfort.

Hi Joe, I also have been on Lipitor at 40mg per day. I never thought this drug had all of the side effects. I have had much pain the past 10 years...been on Lipitor for those 10 years, was on Zocor before that, but it made my stomach upset. I also have been on Cymbalta since it first came out in 2004 for Fibromyalgia. I stopped Cymbalta 38 days ago and am still having problems with that. But then I thought about the Lipitor and looked at all the posts from Lipitor side effects and what it can do to a person in time. I want to stop taking it tomorrow. I just took my dose for today, before reading posts.

My Dr said, since I started Lipitor, all I need to do is a yearly CBC to make sure my liver is not being damaged. So far she said my blood work is fine. I never was told about the muscle pain or any of the other side effects. Now I am very concerned! I assume my cholesterol will go up in October when I take my CBC, but my question is:

Can you suddenly stop taking Lipitor or are there withdrawals, side effects from discontinuing suddenly?

Cymbalta has been extremely difficult to stop, even after tapering down over a 6 month period. I have been feeling very tired for too many years and muscle pain and everything I have read about side effects and long term use from Lipitor. So if I can also stop Lipitor and have already stopped Cymbalta, I would think I would feel better.

Replies from anyone is much appreciated.

Can't believe what I am reading. I have been on 10mg of Lipitor for 15 years. I was fine until about 1 year ago. My legs are killing me! Stiffness makes me feel like an old lady. Thinking of going off the Lipitor for a while and see what happens. If there is something homeopathic I can take for cholesterol I'm in Also a few episodes of memory loss really scared me. I never made the connection. Thank You.

AMC, what is your cholesterol number? Please read my two comments above.

Unfortunately most people I have talked with who are on cholesterol drugs shouldn't have been on them to begin with! I've only ever met two people who actually needed to be on the drugs because of familial very high cholesterol. Most people in their families didn't live past 40.

Most people who are above 300 only need to make dietary changes and maybe a supplement or two.

I also have had my legs killing me, stiffness, neck hurts every time I drive and all of the other side effects I have read on the posts from people. I also felt fine for many years, but for the past year or so have "felt like an old lady". My cholesterol was very high 10 years ago, up to 300. I have totally changed my diet to healthy, especially over the past year reading ingredients in everything and making sure I do portion control, no over eating.

My cholesterol went down drastically when I first started taking Lipitor years ago and I have not had high cholesterol since.

I think Lipitor has caused the muscle pain, so I stopped last night taking it, after all these years of 40 mg at night. I want to find out if the pain from this statin medication is the culprit to the pain. Perhaps I never had Fibromyalgia to begin with and it was the Lipitor making me feel so tired and muscle and joint pain. Dr's have been known to misdiagnose.

I am going to start taking fish oil, vitamin B's, eat more omega-3, to see if that will help.

Has anyone stopped Lipitor and done this and was able to keep their cholesterol under control?

Spoke to the Dr. yesterday and he said I should just stop the Lipitor because my blood tests were so good. I only wanted to take it every other night and see what happens. Now I am totally confused. I do not want to stop cold turkey after 15 years so I figured I'd do it my way, every other day and see if I get relief. I didn't take it for 1 night and felt better the next day, but how could it be after only 1 night? Took Lipitor last night and you guessed it, my legs hurt me today. So as I said before I am confused. Also a question, if my blood test was so good, why didn't the dr. call me?

I have been told by my Dr. to stop Lipitor after 15 years because I don't need it anymore. Very leery about stopping after 15 years so I am going to ween off it slowly. I will keep you posted as to my progress and hopefully my legs won't feel so stiff anymore and I won't feel like an old lady!

Tonight will be 3 days without Lipitor.

I don't understand how this can be possible, but...

All the muscle pain, my knees killing me...all of it is gone!!!!

I feel much better. If this continues, I will never take Lipitor again.

I am amazed at just 2 nights of not taking it, how the pain went away. I could try to take one pill tonight to see if the pain comes back tomorrow, but I am afraid to ever take it and have that horrible pain come back.

I am curious if I were to take one pill just to see what happens, but I am afraid to.

I am taking ATORVASTATIN 40 mg my legs were hurting before but they now are really hurting real bad I had triple bypass 9 years ago and will have the dye shot in me to see whats going on with the legs. I hope they're not clotted......I was taking LOVASTIN 40 mg tab and to me it hurt but not near as bad I WILL be talking to my DR tomorrow.....

Well my cholesterol turned out to be 153. As I said before dr. told me to stop Lipitor all together. I am taking 10 mg. for the last 15 years. I decided to take it every other day, which makes it 5mg a day. Started May 7 and have seen slight improvement in stiffness of my legs, however I'm not totally convinced that reducing the Lipitor is helping me. I do intend to stop at some point because I am starting to believe that there are more natural ways to lower and keep cholesterol down. But for now there is a slight improvement and I am grateful for that. Anyone else having this experience?

My cholesterol was 153 this month and was told all numbers are very good, so just stop Lipitor! Is the dr. kidding me? Is it safe to stop after 15 years of Lipitor every night? I'm confused so decided to take it every other night 10 mg. which translates to 5mg per night.

Legs are a little better but I'll have to see. I was under the impression that Lipitor was "good for you". Had I known the side effects I might have worked very hard at changing my diet, also when I first started 15 years ago it was 250. Was Lipitor really necessary at that time I wonder.

Every one out there, my wife was diagnosed as being fine with her heart. Doctor said to come back in a year. Fortunately she went to a new cardiologist. End result, 4 valves leaking. One portion of her heart very inflamed. Sleep apnea, because she was having trouble catching her breath.

If she was to listen to her past cardiologist, she probably would have been dead by now. Sleep apnea, unknown to your cardiologist or MD, can be fatal. Am not against all Doctors.
All I am saying is everyone knows their own body. TELL the doctor or specialist you are seeing, every ailment, symptom you feel. You are NOT a hypochondriac. You are you, a special person who knows what they are talking about. Don't be afraid to voice your concerns. Holding back may be bad or worst fatal.

All the best,

Joe P.

I had a stroke, carotid surgery to remove a clot and a pfo heart closure two years ago. I was 48 at the time and I thought in perfect health. I have recovered with the exception of losing sight in my left eye. I am on warfarin and Lipitor the rest of my life. I now have extreme lower back pain on my left side and feel like I have the flu. I'm ready to stop Lipitor! Any suggestions for a more natural approach?

You may be on to something. I now take Lipitor every other night and can tell you that it's only been a week but there is a noticeable decline in the pain and stiffness in my legs. Not gone completely but better. I hope it continues to improve. Just spoke to a friend who was put on Celebrex and feels wonderful. Not me, those side effects are worse than Lipitor. Anyone else getting these results after stopping or reducing Lipitor? I am so grateful for this forum and the People's Pharmacy.

I took Crestor for a couple of years, starting in my early 70s (I'm 77), and it improved my cholesterol substantially. A couple of years ago, my doctor told me that taking it 3X a week would do just as well, which was borne out by subsequent blood work.

When Lipitor went generic, I switched, and have been taking 20 mg 3X a week, but the LDL was a little too high, so the doctor suggested going back to a daily dose, which I have been doing for a couple of weeks. During this time, I have had severe leg cramps several times at night, and I have found that this is on the list of side effects, so I plan to discuss this with my doctor ASAP.

Another issue with this and other statins I have tried is the effect on libido, which could be described as an antidote for Viagra (which I also take). I have learned that this is another occasional side effect of statins.

I am male, 5' 7", 135 pounds, and my hobby is ultramarathons: I run about 50-60 miles a week and participate in races up to 100K (62 miles), and it's normal for me to experience some muscle soreness and fatigue, especially after a race or hard workout, but I have begun to worry that statin use may contribute a portion of this effect.

Around 2000 I was given prescription for Lipitor for high cholesterol (just mid-level high). Within approx. 6 months I had such pain in my feet walking was almost an impossibility. Also I was plagued by shooting pains in my shins and inner calves which would bring me screaming out of my sleep (not always sleeping) not being able to walk, helped out only by drinking cold water and hot wet packs. During this time a tic in my eye began and continued for over a year. My doctor told me to stop using it and put me on Gemfibrosil which resulted in the same symptoms. He immediately found another drug, not a statin (all my charts say "no statin" now) with which to lower my cholesterol.

However, I'm left with feet on which I cannot walk (slowly) for more than a block (now my weight has climbed little by little). I also cannot bend forward to work in my garden for more than 20-30 seconds without fierce pain in the soles of my feet. At first it was thought to be a neurology problem but my doctor prescribed quinine sulfate which helped for a couple of yeas but lost its efficacy. The neurologist after determining the pain wasn't caused by a physiological problem recommended I take two pills per day which keeps the hard core pain away. I seldom have the shooting pains in my legs anymore but make sure I stay hydrated and try to not walk too much because too much walking and not enough water are a dynamite combination for me. I do not advise anyone to take a statin of any kind.

Sally, above, complained of pains in her legs. I think she's the first one I hear of whose pain presented in the lower extremities. Most claim pain in their upper bodies. My pastor is the first one I ever heard who complained of having the twitching eyelids from Lipitor. It stopped when she went off Lipitor after having upper muscle pain.

I just started Atorvastatin 3 days ago after reading all of this I am stopping it.

Peoples Pharmacy response: Be sure to discuss this with your physician. If you are at high risk for heart disease, you may need another way to control your cholesterol.

In March this year I was diagnosed with high cholesterol - I was put the generic of Lipitor. (I've never had high cholesterol before) I bought a treadmill and starting walking. To this day I can't go more than 10 minutes without pains going through my upper right leg..I've been walking on it every night! I've also noticed that I have more lower back pain than I've ever had before.. wasn't until I started reading through here that this is more than likely due to the meds...I didn't have these issues before. I also have noticed a problem with short term memory.. (did I lock the door? What was I getting ready to do etc) or someone talking to me and I don't really hear what they say.. I have sleep apnea so not sure if its affecting my sleep or not.. I haven't slept well in years.

Please, Anne, don't be so hasty to stop only because you might not have any side effects at all or at least not for a long time. A lot of people tolerate it very well and you have to weigh the risks with the benefits. Talk to your doctor!! I stopped it for about a month now because the dr. told me my cholesterol was under control, however my legs still hurt some so I am confused as to what to do. I took 10 mg for 15 years.

I've been living with sometimes extreme muscle and joint pain which I attributed to Sotalol as the pain occurred after increasing my daily dosage. Muscle and joint pain are proven side effects of Sotalol. I'm also on lipitor so it appears I'm getting a double dose of aches and pain. Could theses drugs 'spark' side effects in one another?

I'm almost 60 yrs old and would rather have higher cholesterol than this pain. I was put on lipitor as a precaution after heart surgery not because I had high cholesterol How long does it take for bad cholesterol to affect someone? From family history I figure I got another 20 years give or take a couple.

Do I have to wean myself off lipitor or does one just quit taking it? I live and work outside of major centres so getting into a doctor can take time.

Sept. 9th,2012 had a stent put in and was put on Atorvastatin 20mg. along with three other meds. All was good up en till Month 9 (May of 2013) and I started to get pain in my right and then my left arm, which consisted of weakness, tingling, some cramping at times. It would get so bad at times at night that it would wake me. My left arm was so weak at times that it hurt to pick anything up. And then the twitching of the muscles. I also got neck and upper shoulder/back pain.

This made me a unhappy camper when it came time to focus on any kind of work. And never being a nap person, I found myself getting fatigue and started taking what I call my safety naps to build up a little energy to just get through the day. Finally went to the doctors today 6/7/2013 and the min. I told him the symptoms he said to stop the Atorvastatin and the Effient which could also be causing back pain and the little bruises starting to pop up all over my body. So with that being done today the doc said that everything should be back to the norm in 7 days and if not to come back in. Getting Old, Never A Dull Moment. Or what I say now a days being a baby boomer, Getting Old Isn't Bad, Its The Rest Of The Crap That's A Bummer :)

Was on lipitor - don't remember time. Muscle pain in my legs so bad that it hurt to even walk. A friend told me about Red Yeast Rice.... a doctor had told her that it was a very diluted version of lipitor but had the same benefits. I quit the lipitor and NO MORE MUSCLE PAIN. I can't understand why a doctor thinks it's a good idea to put people on this stuff.

A few months later - without even checking my numbers, his office called and reminded me to get back on lipitor.
I told him I would not do it. I explained what I was taking and he said ok but watch your diet. (reasonable!) Recently I went to him to get blood work done - proactively. Without even waiting for the results of blood tests he pushed the lipitor, again. I am not overweight, do not have heart disease, am 73, pretty active, although I do have uncomplicated diabetes II.
I have found a new doctor!

Pfizer made 130 billion and caused many $$$$$$$$ additionally. Good business. Good medicine?

Went through a quint bypass 3 months ago. Doc put me on an 80 mg per day dose of atorovastatin. Two weeks ago suffered excruciating lower back and right quadriceps cramping to the point of being unable to stand or walk. Stopped st at in for a few days and saw a reduction in pain. Restarted statin and sharp pain is returning. Callings doc today to stop the statin. Have not heard of anyone else on this board taking 80 mg. Why would any MD start with the max dose anyway? Will look at diet and exercise as an alternative even though the chol numbers improved with a statin.

Started taking Lipitor in December 2012. In early Spring 2013, I bumped my knee (I've had minor surgery on it 2 or 3 years ago) and I was a little surprised when it was still incredibly sore over three weeks later. I dismissed it as having probably been a little worse than I first thought but was probably healing so no worries.

Fast forward to the end of May 2013. Mornings I am barely able to get out of bed and get ready for work because of severe pain in my legs and lower back. During the nights I experience sharp cramping in my left arm and right knee, and phases of chills and sweating (fever-like). As I start to take my medications for the day, it occurs to me that Lipitor has a warning regarding unexplainable muscle and joint pain, especially with fever, so I stopped taking the Lipitor and have since called my doctor.

It has now been two weeks since I stopped taking the medication and I am still in an amazing amount of discomfort. I am curious how long it took for the symptoms to go away after stopping the medication. Thanks!

If two weeks have gone by without any noticeable improvement, maybe you should talk to your dr. For me I now take 10mg of Lipitor every other night, legs are less stiff but found out I have bone on bone arthritis in right knee. Will continue Lipitor every other night because my dr. said to stop completely because my blood work was very good, well maybe it's very good because I have been taking 10mg every night for the past 15 years, so every other night will do for now.

I also was worried about the sometime memory loss. That bothered me more than the leg pain. It's very tricky to try to pin this down, there is so much to consider. I don't think the doctors even know. I still think it was Lipitor that caused the stiffness in my legs which is now gone.

I am a 48 year old male. I was just put on the smallest daily dose of Atorvastatin six days ago after a checkup. After two days on it I was awakened at 2am with leg muscle spasms and by last night they had become very strong & frequent, with painful leg cramps and general restlessness. I am now getting almost no sleep. During my workday I experience aching legs, arms, and shoulders along with muscle flutters everywhere. I also have intermittent headaches localized in my temples.

If Atorvastatin is necessary for your treatment, I would strongly advise asking your PCP to start you off slowly, maybe not daily, on this drug. In my case the side effects are so far worse than my LDL cholesterol count, which is only marginally high anyway. I am asking my doctor to take me off it.

I was put on atorvastatin. I have been on it for about 3 years now. I am a 61 year old male. Consider myself in good shape. Run and exercise approximately 3 times a week. Never really felt good about going on it. My levels were on the high side but not extreme. Doc said since I am pushing 60 that the statistics say I should go on Statins. Cholesterol dropped to almost 1/2.

Used to run around 3 - 5 miles couple of times a week but slowly I couldn't get my breath. I would start wheezing after about 2 minutes into the run and could not continue. Then just regular working around the house would start bothering me. Doctor said I have Asthma induced by exercise. Then after said I have full fledged Asthma and put on puffers and steroids. Slowly but surely my sex drive went down hill and standing at attention was few and far between.

Lately there are spots on my skin where there is no pigment anymore. Doctor says it is Vetiligo. Same thing Michael Jackson had where he was turning white. After researching web sites and a program on CBC in Canada about how Statin's were bad for the heart I went cold turkey and stopped taking them.

Five days later I woke my wife up in the middle of the night and wanted to reintroduce intimacy. She declined however. Seven days later went for a hard bike ride and there was no wheezing. I am going to a acupuncturist right now to see if he can get my kidneys, liver, and other internal organs working together again. Think it is working.

I am an 84 yr old female in excellent physical condition. I used to be a hiker and have always been physically active. I suffered a triple bypass 5 years ago and have been taking an 80 mg dose of lipitor for several years. My walking ability has slowly decreased and uphill walking is very difficult. I try to compensate by swimming 5 days a week and taking short walks.

My legs are constantly sore and feel stiff and heavy. Now I am having waves of pain in my pelvic bone area and my doctor does not know why. Is it related to kidney or liver function? I wish I could have answers and know what to do. As far as Lipitor I would rather take it and suffer side effects so I can stay alive a few more years.

My Husband was put on LIPITOR 2004 after heart attack last July Dr. took him off of it the side effects had started a year before .. he can hardly walk he falls a lot the muscles in his legs are either so tight from spasms to no muscle tone .. lipitor striped his vitamin D got low as 13 been taking large amounts of D sinse last Aug. it went up to 36 they say still to low .. his memory is very bad .. No one will give me a answer on WILL HE GET BETTER .. I tell everyone how bad LIPITOR is.. he was always very active can't go any thing now but sit watch t.v. HE'S 72.

I am 54 years old and went in for a routine physical at my local clinic. My doctor analyzed my blood work and after discussing the history of heart diseases in my family (my father died at 46 of a heart attack), he put me on atorvastatin and baby aspirin. I began taking immediately and after a couple weeks my legs began to feel painful in the joints of the knees and also very week. I usually exercise regularly and I found that my legs felt so weak it was an impediment to my exercising and I stopped.

I believe that taking this drug has left me in a worse physical heath condition than before due to the reduce exercise activity. I have stopped taking the drug but continue to taking the baby aspirin which I believe is the right thing to do.

I have another visit with the doctor in a month or so to discuss. My blood pressure has since dropped to 128/86 and I have adjusted my diet to include less saturated fats so in the end my visit will prove to be productive although the statin drug causes my legs to feel as though I am 75 years old.

I have been on Lipitor for almost 1 year. And Like many of you I started experiencing weird symptoms I had never had before. I felt increasingly highly fatigued, my muscles just all ached, I felt foggy while driving some days as if I couldn't concentrate and was unsure driving, which I never had been in my life. On my last Doctor's visit I expressed all of this, along with me complaining to him that my blood sugar seemed to be dropping constantly and it scared me because I started having these sugar reactions every single day.

I said don't you think these new symptoms could be related to Lipitor? I also told him I just recently read that for women over 50 it can cause diabetes and I was concerned. To this he angrily replied, "None of these symptoms are in any way related to Lipitor." I said how can you say that you are not in my body experiencing these scary symptoms. To the sugar reactions, he angrily said, how do you know - do you check your sugar level. I said, I had low blood sugar when I was younger and I know the reactions - I have not had trouble with it since taking the statins.

He once more got very angry and just dismissed me, left the room and then the nurse came in and announced my appt. was over. I was fuming! No explanation - no further tests to see what is causing all these symptoms!! I feel sites like this are excellent because we can hear from others experiencing the same symptoms and hopefully we can eventually get these Doctors to finally take the blinders off their eyes and see things the way they really are!!!

I still am on Lipitor but still feel so crappy every single day. I don't know what to do.

Has anyone every abruptly stopped Lipitor and the next day started taking red yeast rice? I wondered if it would mess you up? Any suggestions?

I quit cold turkey June 5th. There were no side effects from quitting. I started feeling better within 5 days. I feel that my body is steadily improving.
I was on Lipitor for about 3 years. Don't know if my cholesterol is going to go back up but limiting red meat and eating fish more. I've read that the red rice can be just as harmful. I am trying acupuncture but won't know if it works for at least 3 months.

Sometimes unfortunately you have to listen to your gut and be your own dr. I now take Lipitor every other night and have definitely noticed some improvement in my legs. It was difficult to walk too far and now I'm better, not 100% but better. My dr. told me to stop the Lipitor completely, but after 15 years it didn't sit right with me, so every other night seems to be working fine. Also if your dr. was so rude and dismissed you, maybe it's time for a new dr. as hard as that may be. Listen to your gut and feel better.

With lipitor I would like to know if any studies were ever done on the interactions of other citrus fruit (other than grapefruit) while taking lipitor. None of the side effects of lipitor were ever explained to me by any doctor (and I had several that tried to put me on lipitor).

Their reasoning that high cholesterol is the reason for heart attacks, and that explanation is very dubious at best. French doctors believe that the important issue is the balance of fats and not high cholesterol. Current responsible studies point to excessive sugar in the blood as a trigger for heart attacks since sugar is an inflammatory to the body and any healing. I stopped taking lipitor and aspirins etc. and all of their recommended medications and take more natural herbs that lower cholesterol, Guggul is one.

I work at being healthy. Medicine today in my opinion is totally irresponsible since it has no interest in restoring the health of an individual only the prevention of crisis. Doctors who take advantage of vulnerable patients and who never tell them the cons of operations and medications should lose their medical licenses. We would have no doctors left.

I had problems with the generic drug Atorvastatin after taking Lipitor for 12 years without problems. I am back on Lipitor but problem continues. Severe weakness in arms and hands. I spoke to my GP but he does not get it, that this can happen on a generic drug what supposed to be the same. I also realise now after reading all the comments that I have not slept very well for the last 10 years. (does that sound pathetic or what) but I thought it was me. I realise now that I have to go back to my GP and discus the discontinuation of Lipitor. I'll ask for a Creatine Kinase test prior just to be sure.

I was taking statins for over 7 years and was changed to Lipitor 12 months ago. Since then I have had severe muscle and joint pain. The pain in my hips was so severe it would wake me up and no matter what I tried the pain would not recede.
Last month things came to a head when I started having irregular heartbeats and periods of faintness and shortness of breath. I thought I was going to die.

I am built like a brick outhouse and strong as an ox. One day I opened a jar of pickles and the tendon in my left arm felt like it had exploded. After 3 weeks the pain has not gone and I seem to have a very large vein or tendon which is noticeably protruding about 12 inches in length down my arm to my wrist. My doctor has diagnosed arthritis for this and my pain but funny enough told be to stop taking Lipitor immediately.

The muscle pain has eased a little since stopping the tablets but the joint pain still comes and goes like before. The heart rhythm problems and light-headedness have completely disappeared since stopping the tablets too.

I basically now feel about 20 years older than before taking them (I was only 40 when first given them) I am hoping this is just a temporary thing.
I have also lost all trust for my doctors through these tablets.

My family has been very worried about my mother's increasing memory loss and confusion for years. At first it just seemed like regular old age memory loss but as it got worse, we decided to move her (age 82) into an independant living facility which allows one to move on into assisted living and then on to the nursing home, as time goes by. I don't think this would have been done if it weren't for the alarming decline in her memory - she's healthy in all other ways and was always very independent.

A few months ago she was taken to a "memory doctor" and is in the long process of getting all the required testing (MRI, neurological and psychological testing). Her MRI came out showing ONLY signs of regular old age aging and her blood work was all normal except for low B12 vitamin, which she is now taking. I am wondering now why he did not question this Lipitor at all! It's in the FDA warning!

I don't live in the same town, so was recently visiting her and she was so very confused and her short term memory had a time span of about 1 minute. She has an injured arm and can often not remember what is wrong with it. I think she's also had little time warps where she thinks for a second she is in an earlier part of her life. I became familiar with her medications and, while searching the internet for something else, I accidentally stumbled upon all this info about Lipitor and memory loss. (She was originally on Lipitor but was switched to the generic, Atorvastain, sometime in the recent past.) I have NO IDEA how long she has been on this drugs or if she even needs it. I'm trying to sort all of that out because she can't remember and was, of course, in charge of her own health at the time things were prescribed. Before I left town, I had all the Atorvastain removed from her pill box and put into a "do not take" baggie. I hope that was the right thing to do - since I have no idea how long she has been on it and if there would be any bad reactions from going "cold turkey". The thing is, her diet and weight have changed so dramatically (for the better) over the past few years, that I would be surprised if she really even needs it anymore. Certainly not at the risk of this extreme memory loss, which I consider to be NOT NORMAL OLD AGE! There is something else going on!!

It is at the point where they want to move her on into the assisted living and I KNOW she does NOT want to do that! Plus, she just moved in ONE year ago, so another move would be very disruptive.

If anyone knows about any adverse side effects from abruptly stopping the "lipitor", please let me know. I left a message for her GP telling him what I found out and what I was doing (removing pills) and have not heard back, so I guess he must think there is no problem with it. He had taken her off some arthritis medication that she had been on for who-knows-how-long, so must not be a big problem with most medications.

Very anxious and hopeful that there will be some change - but really am not sure how much time I need to give it. Anyone know? I'm thinking she's been on it between 3 to 10 years. Will be calling her last doctor from her past to figure out when it was prescribed as soon as their offices open on Monday. It took me several hours on the phone with her to figure out what that one doctor's name was because she had, of course, forgotten. She has also forgotten the one she had for about 20 years, so I'm hoping the last doctor has that on her chart.

In reply to your story, I am going to be 65 next week and have been on Lipitor for 15 years. I had a few episodes of confusion and disorientation of late and it scared me, so my Dr. said my cholesterol was so good I should just stop Lipitor. That sounds crazy to me so I now take it every other day. In answer to your question, if my Dr. said to just stop cold turkey after maybe try to cut down with your mom.

It's sad but doctors don't have all the answers. My brother is a pharmacist and they are much more knowledgeable when it comes to medications than doctors are. So please talk to a pharmacist. Good luck!

Thanks AMC for your reply. I was able to speak with an old friend who is a scientist and works generally in the pharmaceutical industry and she said there was no problem going straight off of Lipitor (cold turkey). It just doesn't react with your chemistry the way, for example, an anti-depressant would. I urge you, if you are having confusion, to go ahead and just stop taking it. It is not worth the risk of the confusion getting worse.

Charlie, I have been on Lipitor for two years and have horrible pains in my feet. Started with numbness, then shooting pains in tows, heels. Skin is ultra sensitive to touch. Went off Lipitor a month ago. No improvement.

How long have you been off the drug? I'm so frustrated!

A while back you did (I suppose) an editorial about atorvastatine and Ranbaxy. How do I get back to that?

Peoples Pharmacy response: This may be what you are looking for:

Mate on 80 mg of generic lipitor for year plus, replacing Crestor. Short term memory loss and confusion began 7 months ago, along with muscle wasting, anxiety and depression. One brother, also on statins, had similar problems. Another brother refused statins and had no such issues. Their mother and her father had vascular dementia. Supposedly the brothers have genetically high cholesterol levels. Understand now that cholesterol is not cause of artery clogs, but rather inflammation due to sugar consumption, stress. Hope others will comment on our situation.

Thank you all for sharing your very personal experiences. I found them very very informative. My total cholesterol has always been in the 250-260 range. The LDL in the 190's. HDL's are always above 60, often as high as 75-80.

In March I began a regimen of Lipitor generic 40mg daily. I also have been taking a COQ10 supplement of 100 to 120mg daily. A few weeks ago I began feeling extremely lethargic and lightheaded. Having been an athlete all my life I know my body well enough to realize it shouldn't feel this way.

One night of 'missing' a dose and I believe I can feel the improvement. I am reluctant to stop the statin since the total cholesterol did drop to 160 and the LDL was reduced to 90. However, as one of you wisely remarked, the benefits must be weighed against the ill-effects. I wish you all the very best of health and a solution to your respective dilemmas.

I just had a quad bypass at 56, and feel great, other than the insomnia that has been keeping me up til 3:00 am. This started when I quit taking the pain meds(Tramadol and norco). I think they (the pain meds) were masking the insomnia. It has been so hard to get to sleep that the other night I took 2 valium after 2 beers, and finally a small glass of wine! I don't think that I want to become an alcoholic just to overcome the Lipitor. But I have to say that I was taking the tramadol (4 daily) and robaxin (2 daily) with 800mg Ibuprofen because of lower back pain. Now I am taking NONE of them, and the pains and associated issues have gone away, probably lack of blood flow throughout the body. The doc said I was at 40% heart function before bypass.

Cramps in your feet. Did you have any numbness in your feet and hands???

I was on Atorvastatin 20mg/day, which was increased in April to 40mg/day. I started having muscle aches all over, then if I was gardening or doing something a bit more physical, I would be so sore the next day. One day after being quite active at work, I was nearly crippled the following day, my legs hurt so badly I did not want to walk. My work is seasonal, so I quit the drug the day before my first big job, and stayed off for the week of the event.

I felt good, no unusual soreness anymore. When the event was over, that evening I took the pill, and had such extreme upper belly pain, I ended up in ER for the night with high liver enzyme levels. They think it was a gall bladder attack, but the ultra sound found NO gall stones either in the gall bladder or ducts. I stopped taking the drug again. I'm going in for an MRI tomorrow to see if any gall stones can be found. I intend to ask the specialist what role the statin may have in all this.

Follow up to my earlier post. The MRI showed no gall stones or liver stones, but that my bile duct is inflamed, with narrowing of the ducts and "beads", or small round enlargements of the liver ducts. The specialist thinks I may have Primary sclerosing cholangitis, and I will be going to another specialist and will need liver biopsy. The specialist took me off Atorvastatin.

I have always been healthy, all of my life, and now suddenly I may have serious liver disease?! I just have to wonder if the statin had an influence in all this?

I have been on and off of Atorvastatin 10 mil. reason being I have a lot of side effects. I have tried other Statins same side effects. At first I thought well maybe it's not the Statin but I'm sure it is now. I have experienced stomach pain, back pain, memory loss and muscle and joint pain also mood swings plus insomnia. I choose to take the statin every other night on the night's I don't take it. I'm fine so this time I'm going off completely. I'm a 110 pound female 70 year old, active do not look my age, my HDL good cholesterol is always in 80's or 90'. I' m am going to follow up with my Dr. after sharp stomach pains the last few days.

AB, please see my comments above.

I had stent placement in my iliac artery in Feb because I wasn't getting proper blood flow to my legs.
Long story short- I was placed on Lipitor. I have noticed that since taking this medication- I have aches in pains in my joints- like at the elbow, or bottom of my feet, and soreness everywhere. I even recently starting have numbness in right hand.

I was put on 10mg Lipitor. 3 months later my cholesterol was within normal range except hdl was low. My Dr increased my dosage to 20mg. Soon after I started have leg aches, fevers and extreme fatigue. I took myself off the meds. My liver enzymes were very high after a month of being off Lipitor. I've had two more blood tests done within the last month. My enzymes are slightly elevated but I still get upper leg aches followed by a fever. My Dr doesn't feel its from the Lipitor but I think it is. Since my liver enzymes are still elevated (but they have come down a lot in 1 month) he wants to do a CT scan of my liver to rule out any liver problems.

when you stopped taking lipitor did your nerve pain stop or lessen? I have pain in my feet and hands and it seems to be getting worse even with my blood sugar in control. are you on other meds now for cholesterol? thanks for your time and input.

I had heart surgery in 2007 to replace a faulty aortic valve, have a Dacron ascending aorta inserted, and a single bypass. After years of resisting Lipitor due to my 240 cholesterol, I agree to begin 10Mg/day after surgery. I had been an avid 6 day/week work out and bike rider for 20 years prior to surgery and also took supplements including CoQ10.

I switched to very low fat Vegan diet(

He said this was my age ( 69 at that time ), the fact that I had open heart surgery, and the Lipitor. I went home, looked up Lipitor side effects and immediate stopped the Lipitor.

Astounding to me, the torso aches were reduced to about 20 % of what they had been within 1 to 2 days. The next year I began to notice that if I did strenuous lifting or machine exercise that worked my chest muscles I felt ill for days. The following year I brought this up to the cardiologist and he blew it off, denying it might be related to Lipitor. I became cautious about working the chest muscles and moderated my normal extremely active biking, work outs, gardening, etc.

I gradually noticed very slight twitching visible in the calfs of my legs and noticed when I first got out of bed in the AM the tips of my fingers were tender when I typed on my computer key board, but I kind of ignored these issues.
In october of 2012 I would wake in the early morning (say about 4 AM ) and go to the bathroom and then return to bed and attempt to go back to sleep. I would then notice I was having fairly violent muscle twitching in my calfs and a burning sensation in the soles of my feet and palms of my hands, such that I had difficulty getting back to sleep. After a week or two of this I felt like I might not live thru the end of the year as something seemed really wrong.

I have seen a neurologist and had nerve and muscle testing with electric currents and the result showed not completely normal but reasonably close to normal.

The neurologist indicated "benign fasciculation syndrome" for the muscle twitches and just shrugged regarding the burning palms and soles. I went off the vegan diet this year (After 5+ years), added Creatine and branched chain amino acids (Whey) to my supplements.

I feel "OK", but have sore hands and feet in the morning and have substantial calf twitching especially after leg exercises like biking.

I have concluded Lipitor has caused some permanent systemic damage to my system, even though all doctors seem to blow this off as a cause. I also noted that both caffeine and alcohol make me feel ill so I stopped all intake of both. I now am doing OK and hoping the symptoms don't get any worse.

Another reason to continue taking statins, from last week's meeting of European Society of cardiology, 2 new studies showing protection agains dementia, and commentary, as reported on

>>Dr Seth S Martin (Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, MD), who is conducting a systematic review of the literature on statins and cognition/dementia, told heartwire that these current results fit in well with existing studies. "While the study of Dr Lin and colleagues could not control for all possible confounders, the dose response seen in the study is intriguing and supports a causal relationship. The work strengthens existing literature that is compatible with a protective effect of statins on dementia. Overall, statins appear to be good for the brain."

My 80 year old husband had been physically active all his life: college football scholarship, hobby of renovation bldgs, a dentist who began taking Lipitor some years ago.

Two years ago his weakness in both legs began to make walking and standing very difficult and he is in a wheelchair now. He sleeps about 20 hours a day, has no pain but mentally is slow and diabetic.

We thought he was Alzheimic for about 6-7 years ago and he went on Aricept. In my view the suspected Alzheimers has not progressed and he went off the Aricept with no ill effects.

He had 4 stents about4 years ago and takes Lipitor every day since the stents were placed. None of his doctors (primary, cardiology, endocrinologist) feel he should stop taking Lipitor or any of his other many medicines. I think it would not hurt him to try a vacation from Lipitor and see if his mobility improves. But what do I know?

How often do u take red rice yeast and mg?

Did anyone suffer from Acute Pancreatitis after taking Lipitor/Astovatatin? Kindly reply to this site. It would be greatly appreciated.

since starting lipitor 10mg on alternate days in june I have since july had pain/tenderness in upper abdomen like a tight band has been put around me. it was coming and going but has stayed with me all this week. Spoke to dr & he advised to stop again, also had upset stomach & severe wind on &off all this time & feeling very tired /lethargic after just a little work (I am 58). Have very high chol. & previously took simvastatin but had to stop this because of severe muscle pain in feet & legs /becoming unable to walk!. Not sure if this stomach problem can be connected but will soon find out??

Hi I am Antonio from Australia I have been having weakness in my arms and cramps in arms hands legs feet for about 6months my gp doctor did not know what it was and about a month ago I went to specialist and she done a a muscle biology and found it was the Lipitor I have been taking for the last 4 years it has ruined my life I can't I can not work or do any thing I am so weak the doctor says it will take along time to recover.

My husband has been on Lipitor for several years because it was the only statin that controlled his lipids, but he has had "side effects". Last year he was diagnosed with type II Diabetes and required a pace maker for heart block, but I was unable to convince him that Lipitor was to blame. To be honest he is 67 and really doesn't follow the diet & exercise routine he should, though he did lose 30 lbs initially. Recently Express Scripts forced him to go to the generic version from Ranbaxy in India and after just 12 days he quit taking it. Generalized malaise and weakness, he could hardly stay out of bed. Within 2 days he was better and now is back to normal. We have a huge yard and he is once again able to handle the chores. We cannot afford to pay full price & our prior authorization request was denied, so he may go on another statin, or not.

I am 63 year old retired female teacher. In Aug. 2012 (one year ago) started taking only 10mg. daily of Avorastatin/Lipitor. Having dealt with back issues, I assumed that within two weeks of starting this statin, that my back was simply getting worse. Things progressively became worse and worse. Even visited a spine surgeon to "fix my aching back." No one suggested that it could be due to Lipitor. By Dec. - had intestinal issues, abdominal pain,severely weak muscles, etc. I couldn't get up when bending, couldn't walk to mailbox, difficulty writing, couldn't even hold up hair dryer to dry my hair - it was all just too much work.

By March: I couldn't even turn steering wheel in my car - all along: never thinking it was that tiny 10 mg. pill prescribed by my trusted dr. I could not function at all - and finally went back to primary care dr. who prescribed this pill. I felt ill to my very heart, soul and spirit. Tests showed elevated liver & Dr. said it was toxic poisoning from this drug.Within one week of being off statin: things improved. Almost six months off statin, but still have residual issues with my knees and legs (feels like shin splints). Walking is difficult. Am hoping this will not be permanent. Anyone else have lingering effects? Physical therapy isn't helping, but am taking Coquinol/CoQ10, and feel it's slightly making a difference. No more statins for me ever! Not sure who to turn to next on this awful journey....

My husband has been on Lipitor and then the generic form for the past five years. He also has Chronic Lymphocytic leukemia, of which he has been in remission for the past two years. He has had severe muscle pain and fatigue and believed that it was from chemotherapy for the CLL. Neither his primary doctor or cancer doctor seemed to acknowledge the severe fatigue he was telling them about, and seemed to discount his issues because at least he is still alive. His quality of life has been poor due to not being able to do things he use to enjoy. He is 52 and has always been very energetic.

Recently, a nurse at the doctors office spoke with us and told us of the severe problems she had being on Lipitor. They took my husband off Lipitor, and even though their website says no side effects coming off, he has had very strange sensations feeling like his limbs/head are not attached to his body and feeling like he is dying. It has only been three days since he has been off, and one of those resulted in a trip to the emergency room for these symptoms as well as elevated blood sugar to 240. I KNOW THIS DRUG IS THE CAUSE OF THESE PROBLEMS. Looking forward to him getting this awful med out of his system and hoping the muscle pain, fatigue and memory loss problems will resolve themselves.

Within one month of starting with Atorvastatin I developed a severe arthritic reaction in hands and shoulder. Very painful joints when waking up. Kept taking it since I did not associate the problem with the drug. Quit the pill and the side effects were reduced 90% within a week.

People are on these sites looking for answers because they have problems, they don't need your judgmental comments.

I am 59 and have been on Lipitor since it came out; I have the familial type of cholesterol. My cholesterol has been in the high 400's and I have had HDL of only 10, I am on 80mg of Lipitor for many years, my cholesterol is down to 230 and my HDL is 58, the highest it has ever been.

The problem is I feel terrible, I have gained 40 ponds, my breasts are three cup sizes bigger, I have pain in all my joints and throughout my body, I have brain fog, am fatigued and some days can barely walk, I have had every blood test and all are negative, my doctor attributes it to age and arthritis, but I have felt this way for over 10 years, since finding this site I stopped the Lipitor about 3 weeks ago and I am worried about what will happen to my cholesterol; I still do not feel any better, does any one know how long it takes for the symptoms to subside? Thanks!

Barbara's results and problems replicate my own! I am a 76 year old male after quad repair plus large aeortic aneurism, been on lipitor for a two year period after 4 years on pravastatin. Developed severe foot and leg cramps plus both hands with pain and such weakness I couldn't open a pull-top cat food can without aid of pliers. Memory got so bad thought real problem ... Stopped lipitor. Immediate (next day improvement). The stuff can be dangerous!!!

Went on Atorvastatin 20 mgs due to terrible genetically elevated cholesterol and within one month had pains in my biceps and thighs and lost 100 points in LDL and total cholesterol. Dr. said go off for 2 weeks then go back on; when I went back on, I halved the meds to 10 mg; still have pains in my arms now jittery feelings in my thighs and extreme tiredness. Think I'll go off the med again even though an (almost) vegan diet with ample exercise did nothing for the cholesterol numbers. HDLs and triglycerides always good, LDLs getting higher. April total was 291 with LDLs at 191; in August after one month of med total was 173 and LDLs at 92. Despite this and at 61 years of age, I am not willing to incorporate the side effects in my life.

For over 2 years, I have been suffering with major fatigue. This was so bad that I have been having to take 50 mg. Metadate daily to stay awake at work. I was blaming it on hormone blockers because I noticed the symptoms about the time I started on Tamoxifen. I had a sleep study done and they said I had idiopathic hypersomnia. In other words, I was falling asleep for no reason. Without the Metadate, I could get out of bed after a good night's sleep and be falling asleep at my desk an hour later.

I suffered with this for a couple of years as my oncologist said he really wanted me on the hormone blockers. Finally, my eyes started to bother me so he took me off the Tamoxifen for 3 months. I felt a little better, but not much. I then developed a burning sensation below my breasts. When I went back to the GP and told him about it, he immediately asked how long I had been on Lipitor. I had been on it around 2 or 3 years. I had been on Crestor prior to that. Insurance company wanted to change because Lipitor was available in generic. He took some tests that came out fine, but his reaction made me curious so I started looking for things on the internet.

I found out that when switching from Crestor to Lipitor, you are supposed to double the dosage. The insurance company (or doctor, I'm not sure who was responsible) quadrupled it. I was taking double what my husband was taking (40 mg.) and I was more careful about my eating habits than he was. So, I unilaterally broke my Lipitor in half. I started feeling a little better. I went back to the doctor and he gave me 20 mg. tablets. I didn't think I needed that much so I broke those in half and felt even better.

Then after reading information on this website, I am going to watch what I eat and not take any of this stuff again. I still have a pain/burning sensation below my left breast, right below the rib cage. I think it may be pancreatitis as it gets worse when I eat a lot of fatty foods at one time. So I am trying not to do that. I have pain in my joints, which I attributed to my Lupus, and which still may be partially Lupus. My muscles are so weak sometimes that I feel like I can barely lift them to wash my hair. That's not as bad as some folks on this site, but it makes it really hard to do much of anything. The ends of my toes are numb. My sugar levels have been all over the chart lately and I am pretty good about being able to control my sugar levels. My memory is awful. Things I used to do in my sleep, I have to really think about now. I can't remember to do something someone asked me to do an hour ago, which is very frustrating. I, like a few others, attributed this to getting older, but it still kind of worried me as it happened very quickly, and I also felt that I shouldn't feel like this at 55. My mother at 83 feels better than I do.

I was always a person who was doing something. If I was watching t.v., I was knitting, beading, crocheting, or working on the computer. I pretty much did an hour's worth of exercising every day. Since this started, I have not touched any crafting at all and cannot find the energy to exercise. My doctors say that I should make myself exercise and that will make me feel better, but they just do not understand that I am not being lazy, I just don't feel like I can do it.

I have to agree with those here that say the quality of life is worth more than the length of life. I would rather go to Jesus tomorrow and have a day's worth of feeling good than to live until I'm 100 and feel like I have been feeling the past 2 years. I'm sorry this is so long, but I felt I had to put the history in here as others may be having the same problems.

My husband is 62 years old and has been on bacor, zocor, and lipitor the longest. Baycor was discontinued, zocor wasn't on our pharmacy list so he has beenon lipitor many years now. He has had ED for several years now and we believe it is due to the statins he has been on for so long as he never had a problem before. I have discouraged him from going on any more meds for now to counter the ed because they have side effects also.

Other than discontinuing the lipitor and seeing if it will rectify the problem, I don't know of any other fix. Other than that, there have been no other issues; but that is bad enough.

I've been on Lipitor for about 1 year, Im 48 years old. for the initial 8 months, I was on and off, mainly because I would forget to take the pill or would run out and wait weeks before getting a refill. I did not have side effects.

In august of 2013, I was regularly taking lipitor daily, and for the last 3 weeks, have had unusual gas, cramping and stomach aches. Thinking these symptoms were related to my on going issues with kidney stones, I visited the urologist and confirmed no new stones were visible in the ex ray. So, today I decided to stop taking the Liptor and see what changes with my symptoms.

so far, I feel better today than I have in weeks, the gas is not an issue and cramping is minimal comparatively speaking. I will stay off this for the foreseeable future, and if I remain symptom free, then I'll contact my doctor for another medicine or simply try the natural route to control LDL levels.

Starting 20 mg of atorvastatin - high cholesterol. Never taken any drugs at age 61 and no aches and pains. I am a good ginny pig so back in 30 days with results of any side effects.

I have been taking Atorvastatin (Lipitor) for 18 months following a heart attack and 2 stents having to be inserted. During the past 18 months I have presented myself to my GP with various symptoms of Shoulder pain all the way to my numb fingers of the left hand. Was referred to physio. Now suffering neck pain, upper and lower back pain. Referred again to physio and all blamed on poor posture over my life now taking its toll (I'm 47 years old). Extremely painful knee blamed on very early arthritis.

Now I am noticing that my memory is getting very bad indeed. To the point where I read a book and after a page have totally forgot what I've read. I constantly have to keep re-reading. My job is severely being affected. I type letters with the incorrect month on. I correct them and still put wrong dates in. I know my job 200% but am sending out information a month before it is due. I forget what work I have actually done the other day.

My boss asks me for information on events/appointments that he has in the diary the following day, I forget where I have even filed them. This is driving me absolutely nuts. I could go on an on with symptoms like dizziness, confusion, muzzy headaches and my speech sometimes just doesn't come out what is in my head. It really upsets me and I wish someone would listen to me. I am going to visit my GP today and tell him something has to change. I can't carry on like this, it just is NOT me.

I started Lipitor at 10mg per day about 18 months ago. Within a month I began to have muscle weakness and slowing reflexes. I am very active. After a vigorous hiking trip, I experienced extreme intestinal discomfort, constipation, and pain and could hardly walk. I stopped taking Lipitor and all symptoms disappeared within a few days. My doctor then asked me to restart.

Within about a week or two, the bowel symptoms started again - mainly constipation, along with muscle aches and pains. After some research and at the objection of my Dr. I cut the dose down to 5 mg per day and then to 5mg every other day. Most symptoms disappeared or were mild, and my LDL still fell 40%. SO this tells me that for some people a much lower dose is appropriate.

Reading the manufacturers research notes indicate that secondary products of the Lipitor metabolism can have half lives around 30 hours for SOME people and that these metabolites appear to account for much of the lipid reducing activity. If you do a little math, you can figure that for some people, they will build up high concentrations of metabolites over time, which may be causing side effects.

As time progressed, my symptoms got worse and I reduced the dose to 5mg three times a week, with improved symptom results. Occasionally now, I must lay off the drug for a few days, as I get acute flare ups of muscle pain and bowel issues. I am wondering if my body is becoming more sensitized to this drug over time and if a lower dose is needed.

Unfortunately, Lipitor is sold only in 10 mg tabs and larger, so getting to a lower dose is becoming difficult. Pfizer seems determined to sell 80mg tabs for people with severe lipid issues, but refuses to consider a lower dose tablet for the many folks who would benefit.

Here are some other side affects I have had in addition to general muscle pain and bowel issues (mostly constipation) all of which, except the sun one, resolved with lower dosage. Irritable bowel, not fully digested stool (possible pancreatic or bile reduction issue), shoulder pain, knee joint pain, very dry eyes, skin sensitive to sun. I have a dark complexion and have generally never had any severe sunburn over 50+ years. After Lipitor, I got sunburned very badly and it took forever to heal, with a heavy thick peel - after only a couple of hours in the sun. In the past I could spend most of the day in the sun with little more then a mild reddening of the skin. This totally shocked me, but the only variable I can point to is Lipitor.

Also, taking COQ10 does help with muscle issues, although it is no cure. With the new statin guidelines out this month, I may consider stopping this drug. Will see at next Dr. check up.

I started taking Lipitor some five years ago. Now I have rather severe arthritic problems, which has been diagnosed as due to cervical spondylosis, which can be seen in MRI's. I will ask my doctor if he thinks it might be Lipitor-caused.

I also have some memory loss. I am 73, and attribute this to age and not being able to sleep because of the pain from the arthritis.

Was prescribed Atorvastatin 10 mg daily about 30 days ago for high cholesterol. Two weeks on the drug I started having heart fluttering. Also experienced one spell of severe dizziness after 7 days on the drug. Reported symptoms to the doctor. She said she never heard of those symptoms with Atorvastatin. The heart palpitations became more intense, especially in the evenings. I stopped drinking coffee, stopped all vitamins trying to isolate what was causing heart palpitations. Last night decided to stop taking Atorvastatin. Symptoms got better. I feel even better today.

I started taking Lipitor almost 6 years ago after a mild heart attack. I was 46 years old with no history of heart disease and cholesterol level was normal. Not long after I began Lipitor, pain started in my hands, feet, knees, shoulders, etc., and I began to have severe muscle spasms at night. I did not associate these symptoms with the medication, as I thought it was all a part of aging. I had cortisone shots in my shoulders to relieve the pain.

In April, 2011, tendonitis developed in my right elbow. It was so severe that I couldn't walk my dogs or pick up a loaf of bread without severe pain. It would keep me awake at night and I had to use my left hand to lift up my right one. I had cortisone shots in my elbow and underwent physical therapy for it. As it began to improve, the left elbow developed severe tendonitis. I received shots and physical therapy for it, as well. It, too, began to improve, but both elbows continued to have tendonitis and it has been constant pain for almost 3 years!

My mom was recently put on a statin drug and the joints in her hands began to hurt. Her doctor took her off. However, because her high cholesterol is hereditary, he recently had her try another statin. She immediately got tendonitis in both elbows. Her doctor took her off the medication again. I realized my pain was also being caused by the statin drug. I had began taking the generic form (Atorvastatin) when it was released last year. My doctor took me off it in June to see if the muscle pain, joint pain, tendonitis and muscle weakness would improve. Although there has been improvement in the muscle weakness and spasms, the joint pain and tendonitis is taking longer to subside. When he asked if I would be willing to try taking it again 3 times a week, I told him I could not - it is not worth the pain.

I was prescribed Atorvastatin Actavia by a consultant 2 weeks ago because a scan, following what may have been a TIA, showed occlusion of a carotid artery. By the third day on the drug I was suffering from joint pain and muscle inflammation, enough to keep me awake at night and what alarmed me more, severe pain under the lower right ribs, running from back to front.

I stopped taking the medication till the pain went away. This took 3 days. Then I attempted the medication again but lasted only another 3 days before quitting. I then visited my GP, a wise physician who avoids prescribing except where a drug is really needed. She was shocked at what she called these dangerous side effects. She has taken me off the Atorvasatin and is in the process of arranging liver, blood sugar and further cholesterol testing. Meanwhile, a week later, I am drinking lots of water, trying to clear the last of the drug and its painful side effects from my system.

My husband, Bill, went on Lipitor about 4 years ago and started experiencing short term memory loss, muscle pain, general fatigue, and especially extreme pain in his feet, burning and cramping on the pads making it hard to walk or stand for long periods of time. He's a carpenter and so has to do a lot of physically demanding work.

I had no idea that it could be the Lipitor, but I just decided to look up the drug and possible side effects and and was amazed that they exactly mirrored what he was feeling.

I suggested that he stop taking it and see how he felt. Well, thus far he is feeling much more energetic and the muscle pain is gone. But the feet continue to pain him. Some days they're better than others, but we are hoping that eventually the peripheral neuropathy in this feet will go away and that the damage is not permanent.

Further to my comment in December about Atorvastatin, I've had new blood tests which indicate a dramatic lowering of overall cholesterol. Since I didn't take the statins the improvement must be due to the low carbohydrate diet I've followed since being hospitalised with possible mini stroke in September. My doctor advises continuing the diet (which has taken off a few pounds as well as lowering cholesterol) and waiting to see how well that works out before considering statins again. Meanwhile, she'll refer me to a specialist to see if I'm a suitable candidate for a stent.

I have been on crestor 10mg for a few years due to high cholesterol and my family history of stroke/heart attack I also have a neuromuscular disease which is "apparently toxic" for people on statins but was told to stay on it because of my high risks, I had a muscle biopsy in July for my yet undiagnosed neuromuscular disease and I have been diagnosed with non-specific myositis and type 2b muscle fibre atrophy my neurologist thinks it could be statin related and took me straight off the crestor to see if the muscle pain had been relieved.

I am still in pain so I am not sure if it has done any permanent damage but I am not happy I was even put on crestor with my medical history so I will have to wait and see what the next step is when I see my neurologist in a couple of weeks and if there is anything can be done my muscle enzymes test was normal. Cheers Pam

Pamela, how high was your cholesterol? Unless you have the very rare familial type of high cholesterol your number can be lowered by diet. Remove all the veggie oils, other than Extra Virgin Olive Oil and use the natural organic coconut and palm oils instead. Also use real butter and other natural fats. Salad dressings can be made using macadamia, avocado or other oils. Organic of course!

This system works! My hubby's number came down 100 points and has stayed down for many years.

For your muscular pain try taking some magnesium Be careful though as some will cause the runs. Get one that dissolves slowly in your system, timed release. Add a little potassium wit that too for balance. Curcurmin will also help the muscle pain. These have worked well for me.

I have read most of the comments on this website and am thinking that I am experiencing some of the side effects from Lipitor. Prior to taking Lipitor in Nov. of 2012 I had taken Vytorin 10mg (discontinued because it was too expensive but no obvious side effects) and Crestor 5mg (discontinued because I had muscle pain in my calves.) I switched to generic Lipitor 10 mg and had been taking it for about a year and a half.

Looking back I probably had some muscle soreness at 10 mg but was very active playing a lot of tennis, walking and weightlifting so usually attributed aches and pains to overuse. In Dec. '12 after a cholesterol test, my dose was increased to 20 mg. It hasn't taken long for side effects to surface. Mainly, leg muscle pain, and serious lower back pain and right hip pain--to the point last week that I felt I couldn't play tennis. I think I first noticed all over stiffness and soreness getting up in the morning. It was difficult to put pants and socks on and going down the steps was painful. Though I could still play tennis w/no problem (moving around seemed to help). Like many people on this website I attributed it to over-exercise and old age (I'm 66).

In 2007 I had an aortic valve replacement because of stenosis of my bicuspid aortic valve. The surgery was successful and annual echocardiograms show that it is working well. At the time of my surgery (I was 60) I had very few symptoms and was in excellent shape. I can identify with one woman who said "I'm starting to feel like an old lady...." Finally I searched out this website and was surprised to find how many of you have the same symptoms. One I have had that I haven't seen mentioned is a hard to describe kind of numbness in my lower back--not a pain but kind of a tingling on both sides. Anyone else experience anything similar?

Any way --I quit taking Lipitor about 3 days ago and the back pain and hip pain seems to be subsiding somewhat. I will go back to my doctor after a vacation from this drug. I will try to lower my cholesterol with diet and exercise, etc. I started taking COQ10 a few days ago so hope that may help.

So.....about 5 weeks ago my doctor decided to start me on a low dose of generic Lipitor (Atorvastatin) My cholesterol was borderline high and we collectively thought to head it off now before it gets "high."

Sooo anyway.....I started low dose Lipitor. The first week I noticed nothing. As we all know the weather in Wisconsin has sucked the last month or so. Lots of wild temp variations, snow, wind, rain et al. I noticed rather dramatic changes in how and what I was feeling

As the days and weeks wore on what I was feeling was getting markedly worse and wild, something was affecting me in more ways than I could count, from sleep, to eating to breathing to walking. Last week was the coupe de grace'

Not quite five weeks into this damn drug... Lipitor/Atorvastatin, I can't walk much more than 50 feet without being out of breath and so winded I cant hardly talk. I'm sleeping less than 90 minutes most nights no matter what time I go to sleep. I either wanna eat all the time, or I'm nauseous all the time. I have such bone deep pain I hate to move. It hurts to walk or shower or sleep or cook or shop or just to sit still@!!! I've had 30 surgeries over the years and none of that pain compares to this. It never stops. It's uncontrollable, bone deep from my hands to my neck to my toes. Massive doses of vicodin cant touch it. The insomnia is unreal... the feelings of exhaustion never let up. Then there's the lower leg and feet edema. OMG that's almost worse than all the rest. Painful and itchy 24/7 accompanied by discoloration

Now WHY.... ya gotta wonder what happened. The ONLY change was adding that damn drug so I started doing some research. It seems that this med is notorious for causing all these things and much worse in many many people. Many countries have done extensive studies on the benefits and risks and have determined it simply isn't worth it. The proof just isn't there. Nobody tells you the benefits do not out weigh the risks, and yes there are benefits to moderately high cholesterol and many many risks when cholesterol is too low.

I stopped the damn stuff this last Monday and I'm already seeing changes... for the better. They've added this group of drugs, aka statins, to the long long list of drugs I can no longer take. I will yell this from the roof tops to anyone who'll listen. I'm still in shock at how fast this went bad for me. I'm hoping to see an improvement is less time than it took me to get here.

Was given a prescription to take Atorvastatin about 2 years ago. I had all the prescriptions filled, but was hesitant to start taking it. I had heard and read many controversial things about the drug. However, my cholesterol is (and has always been) very high, especially the LDL. I am 51 years old and the first time my cholesterol was brought to my attention was back in about 1984 (I was 22); my cholesterol was over 200 at that time. The difference between LDL & HDL was really just becoming important around that time... the test I had taken then didn't specify the individual numbers. In any case, my doc at the time said to really watch the diet (cut out the fast food basically, especially the red meats). I did for a while, but not long (couple of years at best, young & stupid). At 51 now, my overall cholesterol is about 270 and my LDLs are over 200 (don't recall the exact number)... so, I'm clearly a candidate for some serious treatment. Finally, about 3 weeks ago, I decided I'd better start taking the Atorvastatin I'd hoarded. Mostly because I was feeling short of breath and just generally felt like something wasn't right. I'm getting some bloodwork tomorrow and hope to see an improvement, I'm a bit scared.

Oddly enough (and I didn't correlate the two until today), I woke up the other night and my left shoulder was killing me, like I had pulled a muscle or ligament. As far as I know, I wasn't doing anything strenuous in my sleep. My wife remarked that my shoulder was my only uncovered area and with the ceiling fan on, it was quite cold (my shoulder itself felt cold to the touch)... so we chalked it up to a muscle cramp or spasm of some sort.

Now I'm wondering a couple of things: could it be an Atorvastatin side-effect or could it possibly be something like Prinzmetal's Angina? Anyway, my doctor is looking into all this now as I finally got sufficiently concerned and went to see him last week. Echocardiogram and bloodwork tomorrow should tell us something.

On a side note, I have not noticed any memory issues as of yet. No muscle soreness to speak of (except the shoulder thing, which felt more like a cramp). I've always been quite healthy, albeit I have very high cholesterol. My diet is not great, but much better than when I was young. I don't exercise enough, I'm not seriously overweight, but I'm not skinny either... I'd be called stocky I'd say (6' 2" @ 225lbs). I was definitely in better shape when I was younger.

If I do have plaque buildup in my arteries (which I probably do), hopefully it's not too late to turn it around.

I've been taking Atorvastatin for about a year, 10mg daily (my prescription is for 20mg, but I cut them in half because the 10 mg pills cost just as much as the 20s).

Last weekend, at age 77, I won the US Track & Field Assn. 100K (62 miles) national championship for my age group ( M71-79), on a tough trail course in the West Texas hills, in a time of 21 hours and 49 minutes. I was only the second 70-year-old to finish the course in the history of the race.

I'm not saying this to brag, because I'm not a particularly outstanding runner: I'm very slow, but I have good endurance. But this seems to suggest that a low dose of Lipitor, in my case, has not necessarily been an obstacle to athletic achievement.

Individual response to medications of any kind can vary widely, but for me the benefit of a substantial lowering of the bad cholesterol has come with no detectable side effects not consistent with normal aging.

I have two different Lipitor experiences to write about, one in regards to my mother and the other my husband, both whom have had extremely negative side effects.

My mother took Lipitor when she was 70 years old (she is now 85). She began experiencing muscle atrophy soon afterward. It began slowly with aching, or pains, but it became so bad that after time she could barely walk. The pinnacle came when her lower jaw dropped and she could no longer hold it up. She had linked it back to the Lipitor and stopped it cold turkey. She began noticing marked improvements within weeks of stopping the drug, and within 1.5 years all her muscles had regained the strength they had lost. She has no residual side effects from it, thankfully. She was however, prescribed other similar drugs, all with the same side effects, but she was able to notice them quickly, and inform her doctor right away, thus being able to also stop taking them right away. She began a regimen of Red Yeast Rice to help initially lower her cholesterol levels, along with a different diet, and she is now off of the RYR as well and her cholesterol remains at good levels.

My husband, now 15 years later, just two weeks ago was prescribed Lipitor. I was apprehensive when he was given the drug, of course, and warned him about my mother's issues. Turns out his side effects were totally different, yet just as frightening. Almost immediately he began experiencing brain fogginess, and memory loss, whereby some of the most basic, rote tasks, became difficult for him to accomplish (he is 53). He would find himself "stuck" trying to figure something out, that normally you would just automatically do (put your shoes on, grab your briefcase, know where you car keys are, make a sandwich).

He feels dizzy, spacy, and nauseous all the time, and began missing work because he can't walk or drive. Anxiety and depression also crept in a couple days ago, as he feels like he is losing his mind. So, I began an internet search on Lipitor, and wow, in a matter of milliseconds I was able to read to him account after account of other people who are experiencing the exact same things he is. Who knew?!

We have an appt. with his doctor today, and I have no doubt with the removal of this drug from his system he will be better soon.

I have read other people here have had poor results from Red Yeast Rice. Our son also took it (he's a fireman, and young) to lower his cholesterol (just bad DNA - as he is very very fit), and within one doctor's visit to the next the bad cholesterol had dropped significantly. So, hubby will be taking that soon as well.

Hopefully others come to this site and read all of these posts. This page seems to be a comprehensive list of people who have had varied results, worth reading, as it has obviously made me want to write something, which is not normal for me.

So here's the deal, in the span of 15 years, both my 70 year old mother and my 53 year old husband have both had very different, yet very negative side effects from this drug. I see it as extremely dangerous, and am thankful it was not permanent in my mother's case, and can only hope and pray that we caught it early enough in my husband's case that he does not suffer any long term effects from it now.

I was prescribed Lipitor at 45, when it first came out (in the mid-80s) and thought I had no side effects until I started getting high ALT levels (37) and borderline diabetic glucose levels in my regular blood tests. I don't feel those effects. The big problem is that I've been fighting very painful peripheral neuropathy in my feet that started shortly after I started Lipitor. At that time, that was not listed as an official side-effect, so I never made the connection until recently. It has kept me squirming awake at night with burning pain and numbness in my feet all these years. If I had known that painful possibility, I might not have started any statin.

I have to say the decision of whether or not to discontinue Lipitor has been the hardest one I've ever made, and I still can't make that calculation.

I underwent an angiogram about three months back. Doctor put me on Atorfit CV 10. For the past two to three months I have severe pain in the legs and arms (looks like muscle pain) and I really go mad. I have lost sleep in the night for nearly two to three months. I am going to stop taking Atorfit CV 10 and observe the result after reading all the above stories. I think that is the one which is creating all problems. I wish I give a good reply after one or two months.

I started Lipitor 10 mg a week ago. I am now off the drug, as of yesterday. I was experiencing extreme bicep muscle pain. This morning I woke up with calf cramping and now I have severe calf pain and tingling in my feet. I work in health care and I'm confused if I actually need a statin.....I'm afraid to try another one, but I'm also afraid of the consequences of not taking one.

Lj, my answer to your question is lost in all the posts above. Statins are a drug company boondoggle! Long term studies show NO benefit. Below is my prior email:

fbl | October 30, 2012 12:22 PM | Reply

"Our family Dr. threatened my hubby saying if he didn't get his cholesterol under control He'd have to take a drug.

At that point many years ago we had bought into the low fat, non-hydrogenated fat diet. I decided that since that wasn't working that we would go back to the original way people ate over 100 years ago.

I got rid of all the grocery store oils other than Extra Virgin Olive Oil. We have used Organic unprocessed coconut oil, palm oil, and for mayonnaise almond, or other nut oil. I save the drippings from our organic bacon to use as well.

Yeah, it worked! It took a few years but his cholesterol number went down 100 points and the other fatty acids are in balance. He stays right about 225 now which is perfect. We use almost no packaged foods so it is not hard to control the fats consumed.

Centurion studies have shown the best longevity at the mid 200 level cholesterol number."

Has anyone ever heard of insomnia being aggravated by statins?

I started taking Lipitor because of high BP and slightly elevated cholesterol. Within 4 months, I was using a cane because of sudden onset of severe hip and knee pain. I spoke with my cardiologist, and he said the problem was not from the Lipitor. But the pain was so bad, I decided to go to an orthopedic doctor.

After x-rays, the ortho doc also told me the pain was not from Lipitor, my x-rays was good, the most likely source of my problem was my back. I knew he was wrong, it was not from my back. So, I took my self off Lipitor.

Within two weeks the most severe pain was gone, I was walking without a cane. I continue to have hip and knee pain after one year of being off Lipitor, especially at night. I refuse to try any other drug for my cholesterol - it is only 129, which is the same as it was when I started this nightmare.

Insomnia: I had been on Atorvastatin for a few years to control my cholesterol, and gradually my insomnia became worse and worse. Some nights I thought I was going to break the record and go completely through the night without any sleep. I saw my Doctor who advised stopping it for a month as a trial. I have slept like a log ever since. The trial has now been extended to six months with a cholesterol check at the end of that period.

I am having a few withdrawal symptoms such as slight nausea and dizziness but a full nights' sleep is wonderful again. Is the improvement just psychological since stopping the drug? I don't know but I don't want to live in a sleep deprived fog any more. Hope this helps.

I've been on Lipitor and I am having a lot of the above symptoms. I thought is was just me, but my memory is so bad. I can't remember anything. Most days I haven't a clue on what day it is. My hands do not want to work, pain in thumbs is horrible. Doctor asked if I would rather have a heart attack or a little pain. I have abdominal pain which no doctor can find a reason for. Walking is painful. Depressed and can't sleep. Having trouble with my eyes, floaters, blurry vision. I also read that it can cause rosacea, which is not responding to meds. I have a new doctor and will certainly discuss it with her.

People's Pharmacy response: If you have heart disease, your previous doctor's response might be justified. If not, there might not be a compelling reason for you to be on this drug. Do ask the new doctor.

my doctor put me on atorvastatin 40mg for myocardial vascular disease and high blood pressure. My cholesterol levels are perfect but he felt I should stay on the meds. Since I started taking it in January I have had cramps in my calf and feet and my eye would twitch constantly. I noticed I am also forgetting conversations that I had days ago. I work out 4 days a week and stopped taking it after asking my doctor repeatedly why I really need it if my levels are perfect? Also this statin breaks down muscle which defeats the purpose of weight training. I continue to take the blood pressure and cardiac meds but refuse to take the atorvastatin.

I am on 10 mgs of Advastitan and I am having awful aches in my right arm and I cannot sleep and get really bad wind. The doctor says what I eat is really good but the problem is in my genetics. What can I do as my cholesterol was really high?

I've never suffered from high cholestorol, but here in the UK you are more-or-less automatically prescribed statins when you hit 40. So I've been on Simvastatin for years, then 2 years ago it was changed over to Atrovastatin. I wish I'd tied in my symptoms a lot earlier. Just this weekend, my friend was talking about side-effects, and it was only then I realised what it could be.

Joint pains, especially elbows, wrist and thumb, have been making my life a misery...luckily it has not affected my musical abilities as yet ! My feet and ankles have constantly hurt, been taking aspirin, paracetomol and anti-inflammatories as if they were candies!
That's me off the Atrovastatin as of today, see how it goes.

I was on Lipitor 80 mg for one month and started to get muscle cramps and pain. I stopped taking it right away. I have been off of it for seven weeks now and no apparent relief. How long would you think it may take to get better? I was also put on effient 10mg after my stent. Could this be part of the problem? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

My question.... why would my Dr put me on Lipitor when I am diabetic? It could raise my blood sugar? I started taking it within 3 days. My sugars were thru the roof, I was throwing up, had terrible headache for 3 days, stomach cramps gas and heartburn. 4 th day I didn't take it, by the end of the day I was fine???

Just started avorstatin about a week ago, after my physical showed another high cholesterol level. I was already having backaches and hip aches from possible lack of stretching (I'm only 45, but play lots of tennis.). Doc rec Lipitor, but said common side effect is new muscle aches DO show up. Well omg, I can barely walk my hips hurt so much. She prescribed 5% lidocaine patches for my precondition, but even those plus 800 mg ibuprofen didn't seem to make it pain free. Today is the worst. However, I have been cleaning house and on my feet a lot, but still!

Simvastatin for a year resulted in painful leg cramps and severe jaw pain (could not even bite into an apple). Saw numerous doctors and specialists, with many saying it was a sinus infection. Took prednisone which was a disaster and had to stop because of serious jaw muscle spasms. GP felt it was the statin so stopped and all symptoms vanished.

Now on Lipitor for one month and extreme tiredness and back aches have popped up quickly. Also brain fogginess which is difficult when you are working.

Age 65, healthy with higher LDL than what doctor feels I should be at. But, will stop Lipitor and focus on healthy diet instead. Great website and reassurance from others that Lipitor is not for everyone.

I have had M.E./CFS for the past ten years but it has worsened over the past three years or so. Inactivity and poor eating as a result of the CFS raised my weight way beyond a healthy weight, and very quickly. I also have some autoimmune issues (hashimotos)and because of this very little thyroid left. The doctor has me on 100 mcg thyroxine, amlodipine and atorvastatin, as well as another medication for reflux.

I noticed the symptoms worsening badly lately, having taken the statin for about two years now. My hips are in agony when I try to walk to strengthen legs, which have gotten weaker, weight has increased despite the strict low fat, healthy diet i put myself on. My memory has worsened to an embarrassing level. I hate complaining and am the type to do my own research to try and help myself, so finding this site and seeing that others are having similar problems gives hope and courage to keep pushing to find solutions. I feel as if I've lost years of my life battling some of these things but I sincerely do remain optimistic that there will be an answer and discover ways to rise above these things. I've made up my mind to stop the statin and see what happens.

I'm 69 born with minor cerebral palsy in hips, legs and feet which is now becoming major. I had a double heart bypass 16 years ago and was prescribed a statin due to raised cholesterol (around 7).

The benefits of the statin over preventing stroke/heart attack are ALWAYS used as the case for me to take the drug and as my walking is deteriorating monthly I have to make the decision of POSSIBLY another heart problem if I stop taking the drug over the problems of fatigue,sleep and memory loss whilst on the drug and continuation of walking problems which doctors state are NOT connected to the statin......

HELP, what should I do?
I have been on and off the drug for the past 15 years sometimes as much as a year off and because my cholesterol level returns to 7 from 4.2 whist on the drug I get scared and resume taking it.

So, to summarise;
Cerebral palsy/ Heart Bypass/highlight cholesterol........not taking the drug or
". ". ". ". Low. ". ........ Taking the drug, BUT all the side effects running the risk of ending up not walking
A difficult choice, a HEART or NOT WALKING!!

Reduced energy and memory loss COULD just be the aging process, but without the means of checking my arteries for re- clogging I am left with this dilemma as 'to take or not to take'!

In my case it is not clear whether the benefits EVEN with heart disease outweigh my cerebral palsy, memory loss, muscle fatigue, sleep loss, liver, diabetes, low thyroid.......I guess no one can answer this and I must continue 'to gamble' my life away!

anonymous, I should think the choice is clear. Lose the statins and remove all unnatural oils from your diet so that your cholesterol can lower naturally. My hubby's came down over 100 points by eliminating the grocery store oils and going back to real butter, organic coconut and palm oils. Do NOT eat any hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. This means cooking at home as almost all prepared foods are full of the stuff.

You can use nut oils or plain sesame (not toasted) to make your mayonnaise.

This system works!

I took simvastatin and gave up because of severe cramps. I have had a replacement aortic valve. Angiogram says coronary artery ok but slight deterioration not needing surgery.
I am taking dabigatran. Cholesterol level was 5.1 at last test

Doc said atorvistatin would be good with few side effects. I enjoy cycling and wish to avoid any more drugs I know that statins weaken the muscles. My inclination is to resist the lipitor prescribed.

Am I wise to do this?

Switched a few months ago from zocor to Lipitor. Since, have regular headaches, confusion, neck pain, but I am also very physically active for my age and am in the army. The confusion part is scary because of my work. I am stopping taking it today and want to see if the headaches go away. They are very frequent. I also experience sleep problems and difficulty sleeping.

OMG!!! Just read your post and had to share that I too got tendonitis in both arms, steroid injections and the pain is back in both arms again. Would never suspect Lipitor!!! Stopped my Lipitor last night. I'll be watching to see if these symptoms go away, as well as many others described by other commentors.

Boy, oh, boy....has this site ever been an eye-opener for me. I swear I was going crazy - having terrible cramping - at night especially, but really any time. Have been taking Lipitor for a couple years now because of my high end cholesterol #'s. I am also a cancer survivor, so many things "wrong" with me I thought were from the Stage 3 melanoma of the axillary lymph glands I had removed. Now I KNOW it's that lousy Lipitor. I have had excruciating cramps, in my legs, arms, and even in my torso if I turn the wrong way. I eat Tums & gas tablets like crazy because my stomach is so sensitive now & gas is ever present in excess. My back gets so sore I can't even ride in a car for long rides any more - the cancer hospital clinic is over an hour from home & it kills me to make that trip. By the time I get home, I'm thoroughly tired & sore.

I also have had mental "fogginess" & have NEVER had that problem before - I'm the one everyone asks what this or that is because I remember everything. I'm taking myself off the Lipitor on a daily basis & just taking it every other day for a week, then every 2 days for a week, until I'm finally off it altogether. Next cancer center appointment in Dec. I'll see if there's any increase in my cholesterol #'s - should prove interesting. Have also noticed no UTI's but do have "funny" smelling urine - I drink lots of liquids during the day, so it's not because of that. Plus my glucose is always on the "high" side of normal - like 108 or 109. Will be interested in seeing if that changes next blood test as well. I am sick & tired of these meds CAUSING more problems than CURING them & wish they would test things properly before letting them go on the market.

With all the differences of Opinion by experts over Statins, people are becoming confused. One week the experts tell us they are safe, the next week they are not safe. Who do we believe?

All I can say is that I stopped taking Statins after being advised by the experts that they were not good for you. We were then told that the final verdict is that Statins are safe. I have been back on them for just over a week and now find that I am having serious arthritic problems in the joints of my thumbs and fingers of both hands.

I am convinced that these problems are caused by the Statins and intend to visit my Doctor to discuss the issue. I remember having the same problem before after taking Simvastatin for a long time. I also had memory loss. Things improved when I stopped Simvastatin.

On a visit to my Doctor I explained that I had stopped the Statin and they told me that the benefits far outweighed the disadvantages. They put me on Atorvastatin and my Arthritis returned, after stopping it for one more medical dispute I started again one week ago, now my thumb joints lock very painfully so that I cannot bend them without assistance or pain. I intend to finally stop taking Statins and rely on common sense when eating. Being mainly a vegetarian, not eating Red Meat, not using dairy products and not using processed foods must be the way forward. Stopping Statins must be the bonus I hope for.

I have great cholesterol good and the bad dr. said it's too good, but being black and 60 years old and with asthma and a black male, I have a 10% risk of having a heart attack with/in 10 years and this drug atorvastatin will be great to lower the percentage risk factor to 1 or .01 percent. I took my first pill today this am........... all this stuff about statins is scaring me, well looks like I will have to talk to my doctor again ...... um I must report after 5 min of taking this....20 mg pill my left ear had hurting pain and it went away.... this never happened in my life I am not taking this stuff, can't wait until tomorrow when this med will be out of my body.

I took my first Lipitor today first time in my life, first my left ear had pain its gone now but I still can feel it ...second I feel high like I am loaded. I will never take this again, took one 20 mg pill 2 hours ago.... my dr. told me being that I am a black male, 61 years old, (have asthma real bad), my hdl and hld is verrry good. My dr. says she's never seen these good readings in a long time ref, to good and bad cholesterol...the reason that she wants to put me on this atorvastatin is because I have a 10% possibility of having a heart attack with in 10 years and this will lower that risk to 1.0 to 0.1 percent. Dr. says the risk outweighs the problem .....any feed back from you will be great tks

I started taking 10MG of Lipitor in middle of May along with several other medications my doctor prescribed. She is a reservist doctor and would deploy for overseas duty within three weeks. So I began the regimen of meds each morning and evening, taking the Lipitor at bedtime as directed.

I had total knee replacement (TKR) at the end of May and began taking pain meds in order to make it through the day and night. After getting back to "normal" pain wise, i.e. not having to take pain meds, especially for sleeping, I began to notice I could not get to sleep. I would toss and turn until 2-3 in the morning and still not sleep well at all. This has been going on now since beginning of July.

After reading all the posts from this website and a couple others, I am going to ease off the Lipitor by cutting the pills in half. I'll take the Lipitor that way for a week or so to determine if there are any complications. If none, then I plan on stopping altogether.

I would rather live with the risks of high cholesterol and enjoy my days, however many I have left @ 64, than to have low cholesterol and unable to sleep, pain in quadriceps, knees, calves, fast pulse rate, etc. I just don't get it.

When my doctor returns from Afghanistan I'll make sure she's aware of my decision and for now I'll let her fellow doctors, who are covering for her, know my decision as well so they can run all their tests to cover their you know what!

Thanks to all for the information. Praying each of you can get your lives back to at least where they were before statins!!!

no. It doesn't work. I had used it for 1 month then I have got backache.

My dad, age 88, was changed from Vytorin which he had taken for years to Atorvastatin in Feb. 2014, after his insurance company sent a letter asking that his cardiologist consider something other than Vytorin. Several months later after starting the Atorvastatin and doing some yard work Dad began complaining of terrible soreness, especially in his shoulder. Instead of getting better as muscle soreness from working should, the pain increased and spread to his hips. His primary care physician thought the cause might be the Atorvastatin but blood work did not indicate that was the case. The primary care doctor indicated the pain is just from muscle use combined with Dad's age and suggested pain pills such as Celebrex. My dad has gone back to the Vytorin after talking with the cardiologist but the pain continues. In the past, Dad took the Celebrex only occasionally for arthritis/gout flair ups. After just a few days of the Celebrex, his pain would be gone. He has taken Celebrex daily for two weeks or so now but the pain in his shoulders and hips remains, although sometimes less than at others. My dad has always done yard work and would experience some soreness at times and said what he feels now is not from working. The Atorvastatin is the only new thing to which we can attribute the pain he feels now. He took Atorvastatin several months before the pain started. We hope it will eventually go away since he now longer takes it.

I suffered a stroke and 3 subsequent Seizures at 23 years old whilst living in Vietnam. I then spent a week in hospital mostly unable to walk or speak, with complete paralysis of my right side initially, then that faded eventually, but is still lingering.

My Doctor's in Vietnam put me on a variety of drugs, including Phenytoin, blood thinners and Lipitor. I didn't really notice any problems at first, or rather I assumed the problems were simply result of the stroke.

But it's 5 months on now, and I haven't recieved any follow up on the medicine. The Phenytoin has been gradually reduced to 50mg a day, from 300mg a day. But the Lipitor.. I don't know? I'm experiencing memory loss, panic attacks, weird flashes of 'why am I here, this is insane', muscle fatigue across my entire body, extremely severe as I am a Powerlifter in training, not a good combo! I can barely muster the energy to get up in the morning, I find if I am motionless, the first though it my brain is always 'It's going to be VERY difficult to start moving', almost constantly have a headache, no appetite, unable to sleep at night as a result of imsomnia and hyperactive brain, despite being physically exhausted and tired always during the following day. Perhaps the worst is the interpretation of regular contact with skin on my right side as being unbelievably painful, wind blowing, water hitting skin, somebody touching me.. all results in a burning feeling.

And Lipitor does what beneficially for me? I'm not sure. Lowers my LDL Cholesterol? I was completely unaware prior to this that I had anything resembling high cholesterol. As far as I and my UK Doctor can tell, the stroke was a result of thick blood from dehydration and very small and weak blood vessels in the left hemisphere of my brain as a result of birth defect, a blood vessel then rupturing and haemorrhaging into my brain. What does that have to do with Cholesterol?

So I'm going to stop the Lipitor for one month and see what happens. I will take regular blood tests to see if anything seems amiss, but otherwise, I can't deal with the risk to benefit ratio.

I too have been experiencing recurrent bouts of fatigue, especially in the mornings, whether or not I've gotten a decent night's sleep or eaten breakfast. It's dispiriting not to have energy for the many chores needing done or even to focus on reading. Having been on Atorvastatin since this spring (4 to 5 months now) I haven't been tested to see the results, but like many on this site, I'm weighing whether or not to stop taking it for a while to see what happens. I should see if the statin has lowered my total cholesterol before beginning. I suppose that's my next step.

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