For decades we have been receiving messages from people who have experienced devastating and debilitating muscle damage from their use of drugs like atorvastatin (Lipitor), rosuvastatin (Crestor) and simvastatin (Zocor). By 2007 we had names for these reactions: ALS-like syndrome, necrotizing myopathy and myositis. Here are just a few stories that barely scratch the surface of the pain and suffering people have described:

“After 4 years on Lipitor, my husband can no longer walk on his own. Two weeks ago I mentioned the possibility of Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) to his M.D. She said it was Parkinson’s disease.  After reading your article, I am confused.” C.D., Aug., 2007

“I began taking Lipitor in April 2000 due to a blocked artery. I was 50 years old.

“I started having memory loss after 4 years and took myself off. I got better, but in 2005 my cholesterol was up and the Dr. put me back on, but changed it to Crestor. In 8 months I developed weakness in my legs and couldn’t get up out of a chair, go up/down the stairs etc.

“I went off the Crestor on my own in Jan. 2007. I started exercising more, I had already been using the gym 3-4 times a week. I got stronger, in that I could get up out of a chair without using the chair arms. However, I began to see a loss of thigh muscle and was being diagnosed with osteoporosis.

“I mentioned my leg problems to the rheumatologist. He was concerned and after having electro-muscle probes and a muscle biopsy, I have been diagnosed with the rare Inclusion Body Myositis.

“There is really no treatment for this debilitating disease, but I am trying home injections of methotrexate. I’ve been taking the shots for a month. I’m not sure if I’m any stronger yet. I will continue for a few months and hopefully I will improve. If not, I will stop the shots and there will be nothing else to take.

“There is very little research on this disease since it is so rare. However, I did find an abstract in the Science Direct written in Feb. ’07 that research is linking statins to necrotizing myopathies suggesting statins may initiate an immune-mediated myopathy that may respond to immunosuppressive therapy. So, I’m somewhat hopeful.

“With us baby boomers using these statins to supposedly improve our lives, there may begin to be more cases of these muscle diseases. I personally think the statins, especially Crestor, initiated this disease. I will live with this the rest of my life and unfortunately the prognosis is that in 10-15 years I will be unable to walk without support.” B.A.H., Oct. 30, 2007

“My sister, after taking Lipitor for about a year or so, was diagnosed with ALS.  She lost her speech, ability to swallow, her balance, became totally degenerated and she died 18 months ago.  She was in perfect health and very strong for her age (76) until this dreaded disease struck her.

“It is imperative that people are made aware of this.  Too many of them are taking this medication and the pharmaceutical companies are making a fortune.” A. Nov. 4, 2007

“My father took Lipitor for two weeks. He refused to take it after that because he said his legs bothered him when he took it. He was a perfectly healthy active man before taking Lipitor. Nine months later he was diagnosed with ALS. 

“Because he refused statins, the doctor told my mother he was a hard head and didn’t listen. His cholesterol was only slightly elevated; borderline high. I remember him telling his ALS doctor that Lipitor caused his ALS, but the doctor told him that is not possible. 

“I find it terrible that doctors refuse to listen to their patients, and to an extent, almost ridicule them, when they try to save themselves from bad advice. I am not sure what is the bigger evil, statins possibly being the cause of my father’s death, or the doctors refusing to listen, possibly allowing more people to die.”  J.M., Nov 5, 2007

“Starting about two years ago, I took simvastatin daily for about three months in an effort to reverse known, but early-stage, coronary-artery disease. I discontinued it because of worsening weakness in my hands.

“Three months later, I agreed to try pravastatin which I took for about 7 months before the symptoms once again worsened. I once again stopped the medication and have not taken any statin drugs since. Nonetheless, my ALS-like symptoms are progressing and spreading.

“I am currently undergoing thorough neurological evaluations. Did the statins serve as a catalyst for a pre-existing condition? Were they simply unfortunate coincidences? Were they responsible for my other symptoms? So far, nobody seems to know.” M.R., Feb. 23, 2009

“I developed muscle weakness soon after starting Lipitor. When I complained to my doctor, he switched me to Vytorin. The muscle weakness continued even after being off the statins for 6 month. I was diagnosed with biopsy proven inclusion body myositis. My muscle strength continues to decline and my neurologist says that there is no effective treatment at this time.” M.K., March 26, 2013

“After taking statin drugs for approximately a year, I developed muscle cramps. I discontinued the drugs, but the muscle cramps and then muscle weakening continued. I was diagnosed with ALS in June of 2013. 
Until the muscle problems started, I had always been very healthy and active.” Dona, Feb. 2, 2014

According to the FDA, such reports are mere coincidence. The agency analyzed data from clinical trials and concluded that:

“FDA Analysis Shows Cholesterol Lowering Medications Do Not Increase the Risk of ‘Lou Gehrig’s Disease’ Agency recommends no change in prescribing and use of statins”

The trouble with the FDA’s assessment is that it relies on industry-sponsored studies. When patients develop complications during such a clinical trial they may be dropped from the study and their data may disappear without a trace. In addition, there may be a genetic susceptibility that makes some people more vulnerable to this reaction than others. Clinical trials may not detect a signal that affects a relatively small number of people. But given that tens of millions are taking statins, even a relatively low risk can quickly turn into a large number of people.

A New Understanding of the Mechanism Underlying Severe Statin Myopathy

Doctors like mechanisms. In other words, they often don’t believe something unless there is a scientific rationale to explain it. That is why the ALS-like symptoms and myopathy issues have been so controversial. Many doctors have just refused to believe there was a reason for this complication other than simple aging.

Now, an article titled “The Spectrum of Statin Myopathy” published in Current Opinion in Rheumatology (Nov. 2013) reveals a potential cause for irreversible muscle damage triggered by statins.

The authors point out that 5-20 percent of patients “do not tolerate the side effects of statins, resulting in discontinuation of therapy.” Most of the muscle problems disappear after discontinuation of statins. The authors go on to say:

In these patients, statins are thought to cause a direct toxicity to muscle fibres that is self-limited, here referred to as toxic statin myopathy. In contrast, a small number of patients with concurrent statin use develop a progressive, autoimmune necrotizing myopathy. This disorder is characterized by progressive muscle weakness, elevated muscle enzymes, specific autoantibodies against the target of statins, HMGCR and progression of symptoms and signs despite discontinuation of statins.”

The word “necrotizing” should raise red flags for any physician. It is derived from the Greek word nekros or death. It literally means “causing the death of tissue.” In the case of statins, the death of muscle tissue.

The article goes on to say that statin-induced muscle damage can occur within a week of starting treatment or after four years. In our experience with visitors to this website, it can even occur after more than a decade of use. The higher the dose of statin, the greater the risk, though some people seem to be so vulnerable that even a small dose can trigger severe muscle reactions.

The Bottom Line

Although most people are able to recover muscle function after discontinuing statin therapy, a minority develop an “autoimmune necrotizing myopathy” that continues despite stopping the medication. The authors of the report state that “Anti-HMGCR antibody testing may provide a useful noninvasive test to help diagnose these patients and direct their treatment.” Employing powerful immune-suppressing drugs may help control the progression of this disease, at least temporarily.

Ultimately, the FDA needs to come to terms with the large number of people who are suffering statin side effects. A re-analysis of the many ALS-like and myopathy case reports may lead the agency to reconsider its exoneration of statins. In the meantime, we hope that patients and their families will become more aware of this potential complication and take heed.

Share your own experience with statins below in the comment section. You may also find our book, Top Screwups Doctors Make and How to Avoid Them of interest. We discuss the tunnel vision that has made it hard for so many prescribers to come to terms with a variety of devastating drug side effects.

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  1. Don

    I have been a committed cyclist for years racing in the Masters category Men’s 60+. I finally agreed to start Zocor 20 msg. to help bring down my LDL under 100. My physical came a week after doing a 206 mile USACYCLING sanctioned race, were I had a podium finish and set a personal best at 9hrs:48minuts: 4 seconds.

    Two weeks after starting the ZOCOR my hips and knees were so bad I couldn’t walk. Went on prednisone for six days and symptoms mostly left but returned in a week. Can’t get out of a chair up off the floor or walk normal. I’m going back to Doc to discuss options. I know it’s the statin. Went from the best shape of my life to being “crippled” almost overnight. Yea, I’m scared, cycling has been a lifesaver, hope this eventually resolves itself.

  2. TTM

    I’m sharing in a few articles. Hope it’s okay. I have been visiting for a few days so I don’t remember what articles I have shared on already because they have not been approved yet.

    I started taking 10 mg pravastatin a few years ago for cholesterol.

    I am overweight and often have muscle and joint pain. But I work full time and i’m on my feet all day. Cholesterol consistently stayed high.

    I have currently have PCOS, Type 2 Diabetes (controlled), thyroid issues and have had High BP in the past so I am on

    1000 mg Metformin
    25 mg Levothyroxin
    50 mg Metoprolol.

    Last year (April 2013) after my type 2 diabetes Dx. I changed my way of eating to low carb high fat and my (second blood work 6 months after new way of eating started) blood work showed my cholesterol , triglycerides and A1c all in normal range along with some weight loss. My. Dr. did not want me off the statin though, for my health.

    My muscle and joint pain increasingly got worse. I got heart palpitations, flushing and I started having muscle spasms and cramps like a Charlie horse in my upper back/shoulder blade area and arm along with neck, elbow, knee and smaller joints pain, fatigue and anxiety. I had EMGs, stress tests, neck MRI and EKGs, done and it was determined I have spinal stinosis/pinched nerves, and herniated discs.Thankfully no heart problems. I started PT and it helped a bit but not completely. During PT my arm muscles would tremble and I would get cramps. PT ended and life went on as did the pain in my arm, neck and trembling in my arm and back. Then my face went numb. Primary Dr put me on

    .25 mg alprazolam for anxiety 6/14
    5 mg cyclobenzapri muscle spasms 6/14

    And said to have follow up with neurologist. Made an appointment and he ordered a Brain MRI for 8/5/14

    They found white spots on the brain MRI that could be the start of MS but could also be a result of previously having diabetes, high cholesterol and headaches. I have a follow up with the neurologist in 3 months on 12/15/14. I need to chart my symptoms.

    After reading posts online I stopped taking the pravastatin 8/28/14

    I made an appointment 9/6/14 and asked my primary Dr if I could stay off the statin? The answer was yes. I am also having lab tests done on my feces because of the abdominal sensations.

    I was placed on
    20 MG fluoxetine for anxiety 9/8/14
    25 MG hydroxyzine to help me sleep 9/8/14,

    I stopped taking the
    .25 mg alprazolam anxiety
    5 mg cyclobenzapri muscle spasms

    I have been off the statin for 13 days at this point. I have not had any severe muscle spasm. I have a lot of muscle pain, twitching and weakness in my legs, calfs, back, arm, along with severe hip pain and a continued feeling of buzzing in my abdomen and thighs.. I also sometimes get the feeling my hips, left knee, left elbow or shoulder might come out of joint. I am feeling very tired, a lot of anxiety and fatigue. And started feeling nauseous.

    I have to wonder out loud if the statin has played a roll in my symptoms. Are these symptoms others have had after taking and finally stopping a statin?

    If after taking the anxiety med for 4 weeks I am still feeling “MS” symptoms my primary will send me for a second opinion with a different neurologist for further testing sooner in Boston.

    I started taking
    200mg CoQ10 9/9/14

    What type of Dr. Would diagnose and or treat issues related to statin muscle damage?

    Should I print out my words in this message for any of my doctors to read? New or old neurologist, primary?

    • Carl E

      My heart goes out to you for I know of the difficulties one experiences with statin use and the hell that your life can become. I am not a doctor but I told my doctor I would not go back on the statin since he did not recognize all/any the side effects I had as a result of using statins. He just smiled kindly and said I was getting older.

      I still go to my doctor and my latest test result were nothing short of a miracle. The best in nine years. Recovery for me was slow. I thought that after six months with no statins and feeling a world of difference that I was cured. Not so. The damage for me was so extensive I had lost memory of what I used to be like.

      This may sound corny but I feel re born. A new lease on life. So hang in there and take good care of yourself. One study showed that statin use could extend life by as much as two weeks. Wow! For me, today, it is about quality of life. Now all I have to worry about is running out of money.

  3. Helen M

    PS Don’t walk thru the bakery; stay away from these areas of the stores where junk food lives. Do not set yourself up for failure; avoid this stuff as much as possible until the cravings are conquered. You have come so far already. I would also suggest looking up paleo dessert recipes, all gluten and sugar free. Look up Maria Emmerich, a friend of mine has had great success eating her way. Lost cravings and 70+ pounds. Good luck.

  4. mps

    My father was on crestor for awhile to lower his cholesterol. A short while after he started to experience weakness and pain in his shoulders, arms and hands. 2 years later he is home on a ventilation. They say it is ALS.

  5. Helen M

    Good for you Kim!!!!! Now, go a step further and stop putting sugar in your coffee. Even that little will increase your cravings. Use cream or half and half instead. To eliminate cravings, you have to go low carb. And no artificial sweeteners. However, you can eat fruit, in moderation. Berries and cherries give the most bang for the buck and are incredibly sweet, once your taste buds have been re-educated. It can be done. Add fats like avocados and olive oil, coconut oil, which are all good for you. And are you eating your greens and colorful veggies?
    Once again, good for you, I am sure it took a lot of willpower. Helen

  6. Kim

    After blood work in Feb. 2014 – and my Cholesterol was up to 204 – I decided then & I refused to go on medication. So I cut out 85% of my sugar intake! Of course I get some thru certain foods, and put a little in my coffee, but before I was a sugar-holic and feasted on candy, cakes and cookies.
    I watched the talk Dr. Robert Lustig (fat chance) gave and that re-enforced my desire to cut out all sugar! I kept eating my fats! I love Blue Cheese dressing – I kept eating that I kept eating bacon, cheese burgers occasionally, I did not cut back on my fat intake. I love CHEESE! 6 months later my Cholesterol was 156. So this goes to prove – it is the SUGAR! I only drink water – never anything else. I never drink diet drinks – no fake sugars, no sugar of any kind – I read labels and if tomato sauce has more than 3 grms of sugar – I don’t buy it! I just work hard at reading labels and not buying anything with over 3 grms of sugar in it! And I do feel by just doing that, made the difference.
    The problem is I’m still , 6 months later, so addicted to sugar I can’t stand it. I crave it daily. I walk thru the bakery and look at every cup cake, pie, and want it so bad. I want to drive by Krispy Kreme! Everyone promised that the cravings would go away, but for me it has not and I feel like I’m going to break any day! That is what scares me! What will happen (stressful) to make me sit and consume 6 cup cakes or a box of donuts! I’m really disgusted with myself and this horrible massive craving for sugar I have! I’m just scared it will never go away!

  7. JK

    Thank you! We have been fed a lot of misinformation on fat and cholesterol for many decades. Cholesterol and fat are not our enemy. Sugar and foods that turn into sugar are the problem. I eliminated all sugar, grains and beans from my diet and added quality fats. It has changed my body composition, blood work and my life. People need to wake up and get educated.

  8. Donna Z

    I too have had a similar experience with statins, but luckily my doctor ran a blood test for my creatine kinase (CK) which measures muscle enzymes, so I knew immediately that I could not take the statin.
    I think all patients should demand a CK blood test while on any statin. Previous to taking the statin I had done things to reduce my cholesterol like, grapefruit juice with every meal, low meat and fat diet. Nothing made much of a dent in my elevated cholesterol. So I started the statin as a last resort, then was told within 30 days I had to stop, I did not have any muscle pain either.
    So I started a regimen of Crystaline Niacin of 3,000 mgs a day to lower my readings, and it did drastically lower my triglycerides and raise my HDL, but again my CK levels were very high. So now I am not sure what to do, she wants me to take Zetia which works in the bowel, but I already have bowel issues. So I am reluctant to try that. I am overweight, so losing weight seems to be the only thing I have not committed to. Anyone have suggestions?

  9. david

    Hello,I too had a terrible time taking statins (Simvastatin). I thought the difference in me was too dramatic to be a coincidence and after 6 months I stopped taking them and hoorah I am back to my “normal” self again. For the 6 month period I had arthritis flare ups in my feet and pains in my leg muscles that were driving me nuts. My memory was shot to pieces and until I was able to think more clearly I really believed I was in the departure lounge of life. I would say DO ANYTHING to avoid this statin nonsense and if it is not a matter of immediate life or death then give yourself at least 7 days to consider with great care if you should start this treatment. Myself I will never take another statin medicine. I am reminded that medicine is a blind science but it is never blind to a money making scheme.

  10. EM

    Hi James,
    I have used apple cider vinegar – the brand with the mother. They are sold at health food stores or supermarkets. It does work wonders. This apple cider vinegar is mild. I add a tsp or more to a glass of water. A lot of celebrities use this including Jack LaLaine.

  11. T M.

    Thank you for this link. My sister was a nurse for 33 yrs and died 9 months after being diagnosed with ALS. She was positive the statins caused it. We all have high cholesterol. in my family and NO ONE has died from heart disease, stroke, heart attack, etc. I refuse to take statins.

  12. Dianee

    My cholesterol was very high and my doctor put me on Lipitor. My next visit did show a decent drop but was still over 200 and my triglycerides were through the roof. I told my doc I didn’t want the Lipitor because of all the side effects I read about so he changed me to Zocor and told me to take 1200 mg of fish oil twice per day. My sister recommended the CVS brand which has absolutely no fishy taste at all! My cholesterol dropped to 170! all this without really changing my diet! So now, I am going to change my diet (I don’t eat eggs or beef very much anyway). If my cholesterol goes even lower I will ask to stop the zocor/simvastatin!!
    My mother in law has been having memory loss and all the signs of getting dementia but I don’t feel she does have dementia. She was on Lipitor for some time but her doctor changed it to Crestor because he thought she was having muscle weakness. thinking back, this memory loss has increased since she’s been taking it! My doctor told me for people over 80 there is no evidence that shows the statin she’s taking actually lowers cholesterol so we are going to take her off the Crestor to see if the dementia symptoms will decrease.

  13. Mike e

    Statins can be horrible. Check with your doc about niacin 500instant release. My wife’s numbers all greatly improved and her total dropped 79 points in 8 months along with exercise and diet change. Her cholesterol is genetic

  14. Martha M

    Years ago, I started Lipitor (for slightly elevated cholesterol), and within less than 2 weeks began to experience weakness and pain in muscles and tendons, especially in the wrist. I was very healthy and strong, but found that I could not get up from a sitting position on the floor because my wrists would not support me. I dropped the Lipitor and the symptoms disappeared within a couple of weeks.
    Now, 25 or so years later, my doctor insisted that I start crestor, though I explained my earlier problems with statins. I did “well” (no appreciable symptoms) on a half-dose, and I was told to increase by alternating full and half-doses until I was on a full dose. Less than a week later, still alternating, I began to feel tired, weak, and sick, with muscle and stomach cramps. My temp was 101.6 (very unusual for me; I almost never have a fever). I got a work-in apt with my doctor, who thought I had flu (I didn’t, he determined) or possibly diverticulitis (again, he determined that I did not). By then, about an hour later than the first temp, my fever was over 103. When I went home without a diagnosis and only an offer of antibiotics which I refused, my temp was 106. I did not take the statin again. The symptoms all went away over the course of a few days. I will not take another statin.

  15. Greg

    Insurance company switched me to a generic statin – since then I have experience chest pains off and on. Sever pounding in my chest – heart pumping very hard, wakes me up at night. It subsides after a few hours, however I end up sleeping on the couch so I can be semi-vertical. I never had this issue with Lipitor. Anyone else experiencing this?

  16. Helen M

    I stopped the lipitor on my own; just stopped and my blood sugars went into the basement. It took me several days and I wound up lowering my insulin usage by about a third. However, if you want to, you can wean your husband off. If it is a pill, cut it. If a capsule, drop down one every four or so days. If he is taking any diabetes medication, keep close track of his numbers.
    As to the comment above about a stent: I had one put in 1998, an angiogram last May showed it plain and clear; the doctor was amazed. My blockage was a blood clot, thus far, has not happened again. I also use Q10, 100mg a day. And, as far as I am concerned the most important: I take a gram of arginine three times a day. Keeps the arteries flexible, blockages do not happen. As I take a slew of supplements, I cannot reason it out; however my HDL is 99, virtually no exercise.
    People are waking up faster than doctors as to the dangers of statins and the sales are heading downward. Another pharmaceutical cash cow heading for the dust! If your doctor won’t continue treating you in spite of your refusal to take statins, doctor shop until you find one who will accept your participation in your health care. They are there; I have one.

  17. Kim B

    I had written awhile back about my husband and his problems with Lipitor. He is 64 and was a heavy smoker, till 2006 and he quit smoking because of a blockage and needed a stent in 2007. His cholesterol was never high. He always had excellent HDL, LDL, Trig numbers.
    The doctors put him on BP med and Lipitor after the stent in 2007. Then the problems started. First “Restless Legs.” Then Pre-diabetic, then starting in 2011, Memory problems, complaints of severe weakness in his arms and hands. Bad cramping and he was unable to pick up a hammer, get milk out of the refrigerator.
    Thanks to this forum and the peoples pharmacy I started getting educated. Someone recommended the book “The Great Cholesterol Myth” which I read. In January I went to his doctor and demanded help. So she put him on “Lopid” it is not a statin. But I didn’t like it cause it still could have the same side effects. But I’m scared, I don’t know whether to just take him off the cholesterol drug or not. But he started on the Lopid Jan. 27th, 2014. Then I added 100 mg Ubiquinol CoQ10 to his daily pill taking. (1 x day) book says 2 a day, but I start out with the lesser.
    He announced to me yesterday March 10, that he no longer had any hand pain or cramping, he was able to use tools again and hold on tight. He was bending his hands and fingers showing me how they were getting back to normal. He was thrilled and I was thrilled. Memory still is terrible. He goes the end of this month to have his blood panels done, to see how his “Glucose” and A1C is doing.
    And as I said – his Cholesterol numbers have always been great. And why I loved the book because I always said the same thing. If your cholesterol is good, why, even with a stent does he need to be on the drug? I fear early Alzheimer’s from these cholesterol drugs! I say his blockage came from smoking and since we stopped that I feel that would have solved the blockage problems.
    I will question his heart doctor next appt. But around here, our doctors are from the old school and taught the old old ways and never up on the current findings. So I’m sure he will look at me with those glassed over eyes and laugh at me.

  18. LF

    My husband has been suffering the same muscle weakness and pain as described by all of the others who have contributed their comments. Today we saw a new neurologist who was quite willing to listen and she agreed to run more tests, including the Anti-HMGCR antibody testing mentioned above. However, it couldn’t be scheduled because none of the labs had ever heard of it before. She was assuming that it was a blood test. Could you please give more information on what this test is, how it is administered, and where it can be done? The doctor is quite interested in the test and eager to learn more about it. Thank you for any information or assistance anyone can provide.
    People’s Pharmacy response: The antibodies are available for laboratory use, but it is likely that most labs aren’t doing this test. Here’s an abstract about it:

  19. HB

    I feel so bad for all the people that are and were on those dreadful Statin Medications —I was lucky because after four weeks on Crestor —I started having severe joint pain in my legs arms etc. I didn’t have this problem until that Drug—–I told my Dr, and he said, “Statins do not cause joint pain but they do cause muscle pain”, and I told him that is not what it said on my medication bottle, that the Crestor came in!!!!!
    It said, can cause JOINT and Muscle pain!!!! So I told him, I got to the point where I couldn’t walk up my stairs to the second floor. I told him I am off this drug -he said you refuse to take it—and I said you got it –no more for me.
    I feel so bad for all that have suffered with other issues because of any medication–not fun —and when a Dr. tries to belittle me like I am some kind of idiot–that is when I say Adios to him. Which I did and I am so grateful I did. These Statin drugs do cause issues and mine was joint pain and I mean it was not a pleasant experience and do not want to experience it ever again.
    My heart goes out to all of you—-may you find something to help you with your health problems.
    God Bless

  20. LCF

    Ask your doctor if Fenofibrate would be helpful. It helped my husband, but they tell us even though his numbers are now good, there is no research the med works. Go figure.

  21. Randy M.

    took SIMCOR for over a year. Played Hockey and ran 5k’s. Muscles cramped 20-30 times a day. Diagnosed with A.L.S. a year later.

  22. crandreww

    @Jn I understand why/how you were persuaded to take a statin, because SO MANY DOCTORS AND PRESCRIBERS as well as patients are given this ABSOLUTELY FALSE sense of security that by taking a statin, you will reduce your risk of a heart attack up to 50%…that is a LIE! That is manipulating the data, to get it to look much better than the Absolute Risk Reduction of 0.34%….That is less than 1/2 of 1 percent chance that you will see any benefit from taking a statin…Not worth it in my eyes…watch this video from Australia ABC, and decide whether or not you want to take these drugs.

  23. Jn

    I am diagnosed with muscular dystrophy long before I went on a statin. First was on Lipitor developed muscle pain.
    Switched to pravastatin have been able to pravastatin. The muscular dystrophy is getting worse. In between a rock and hard place with strong family history of heart disease and an inherited muscle disease. Tried fish oil it was a big failure. So still on pravastatin.

  24. sylvia m.

    I have been taking Simvastatin for several years without any serious side effects. I do have occasional leg cramps at night but don’t know if the statins are to blame. They do help my cholesterol levels. You make a good point about long term studies needed. I was a volunteer @ NWMH for the estrogen study.

  25. MB

    I tried Zetia after having problems with both Lipitor and Crestor – same problems after about 2 weeks. I took myself off and said no more! I’ll accept the consequences. So far I’m still alive…

  26. Marti V.

    I’m convinced that years on Lipitor hastened my husbands slide into Alzheimer’s. After being on it for 3 months myself I quit taking it and told the doctor I refused to take any type of statin. She reluctantly agreed and put me on prescription Niacin, it seems to be working. I’ve also lost weight and upped my exercise routines to 4 days a week.
    Reading The Great Cholesterol Myth gave me wonderful new insight into the fraud big pharma uses to get us to take these dangerous drugs.

  27. Enid

    Several years ago, I was put on 20 mg of lipitor because of high cholesterol. after a few years my arm muscles were too weak and painful to lift a gallon of milk from the fridge. When I learned about similar problems with statins, I stopped taking the lipitor and the weakness and pain stopped.
    My doc insisted that I try a smaller dosage and put me on 10 mg. This time my leg muscles became so weak that I feared falling. So I stopped the Lipitor again.
    About 2 years ago, I had a mini stroke. So my doc insisted I try 5 mg of crestor. now the muscles in my legs are bothering me again. When I’m out shopping, my left leg feels very weak under my body weight. I have a dr. apt. scheduled for Tuesday. I am anxious to hear his recommendations to address this problem.

  28. RLH

    Thank you once again Terry and Joe for giving us information to HELP US MAKE INFORMED CHOICES ABOUT OUR PERSONAL HEALTH! Just as we all have different opinions about various aspects of life so do doctors.
    Some life choice options that I may decide to make may be different from my doctor’s opinion. That is MY choice and RESPONSIBILITY. I have a vested interest more than anybody else on the planet (except maybe my husband) about my health.
    Thank you again for helping to disseminate information, connecting folks and helping me to feel empowered to make my own (intelligent) choices!

  29. Helen M

    In the mid 80s, after two heart attacks in his early 40s, my husband was put on Mevacor, one of the first statins. This despite an angiogram showing mostly clear arteries. After the first heart attack I began making oat bran muffins, the recipe found in 7 weeks to a cholesterol cure, which I believe lead to the good report from the angiogram he had after the second heart attack.
    No male in his family made it to the age of 55, they all died with heart disease, which is why he went on the mevacor. He was also taking bp meds, something else he inherited. In 1989 he was diagnosed with ALS, in 1990 he died. We first saw signs less than a year before diagnosis. It was all very fast. Never did I connect his ALS to the statin.
    In 1997 I had an angiogram, they found a blocked artery, although all others were clear, and inserted a stent. My doctor insisted I begin a statin; I did have total cholesterol in the high 300s, so I accepted. In 2010 I decided enough was enough and discontinued the lipitor on my own. Suddenly I began having blood sugar lows; I am a diabetic. My insulin usage dropped by about a third. Today I have spinal stenosis, related?
    My total cholesterol is now in the low 300s, my hdl 99, and my doctor is making noises about a statin. A recent angiogram showed one very small blockage in one very small artery; all others are clear. I made negative noises back and he retreated; but made it clear that was “for now”. I am 76, a product of so much disinformation and doctor error, in constant pain, have been warned that I must do specific stretches several times a day, or a wheelchair will be in my near future. Who needs lipitor?

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