bottles of crestor lipitor and simvastatin cholesterol-lowering drugs

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

Lopid (gemfibrozil) Never Became a Blockbuster:

Prior to this first statin-type cholesterol-lowering medication there was a certain amount of ambivalence about cholesterol lowering drugs. Lopid (gemfibrozil) was one of the best known and most successful medications prior to Mevacor. It lowered bad LDL cholesterol a modest 11 percent.

Although Lopid appeared to reduce the risk of heart attacks, it came with a list of side effects including gallstones, indigestion, stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea, flatulence, dizziness, blurred vision, headache, numbness or nerve tingling, lowered libido and erectile dysfunction.

The Statin Revolution:

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

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

Side Effect Reports to People’s Pharmacy:

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

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

What About Muscle Pain?

Most physicians now agree that statins can indeed cause muscle pain and weakness in some people. That is in part because many physicians have themselves experienced these symptoms after taking statins. There are also reports in the medical literature documenting these adverse reactions, even though the original clinical trials somehow missed these complaints. An article in the BMJ (October 22, 2013) points out this discrepancy:

“the prevalence of muscle pain in statin users is 50% greater than in non-users. In absolute terms, this increase in muscle pain is 100 times greater than that reported in clinical trials…”

Some health professionals acknowledge that there can be cognitive dysfunction for certain patients. There is even data to suggest that statins can cause fatigue, especially after exercise (Archives of Internal Medicine, Aug. 13/27, 2012).

Do Statin Side Effects Persist?

The unanswered question, though, is do some side effects persist even after the statins have been discontinued? There have been very few studies even examining this issue. One intrepid researcher, Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, has suggested that some individuals are especially susceptible to statin side effects. For them, adverse reactions can be devastating and may linger for a very long time.

We received a poignant comment from a visitor to this website. We felt compelled to share Donna’s story:

“Everyone needs to know that statins can do permanent nerve and muscle damage!

“I stopped taking them more than a year ago and I am still in pain, still can’t walk upstairs without pain and my CK (muscle enzymes) are still elevated; so are my liver enzymes.

“Those meds need to be taken off the market. Some people develop rhabdomyolosis from taking statins and some even die from it. They are harmful and there’s no getting around that.

“I have permanent damage to my muscles and they continue to deteriorate. I am frightened and I have undergone many tests, EMG’s (electromyography); MRI’s; multiple blood tests and a deep muscle biopsy. The results of the biopsy were ‘unspecified inflammatory myopathy.’ Since there was no absolute diagnosis of any disease I am left with no treatment.

“The doctor told me not to lift anything heavy and to drink lots and lots of water. I used to walk 2 miles a day and lift free weights to stay in shape. Now I can no longer do that. I can’t sleep soundly anymore. I wake up throughout the night from anxiety now, which I never had before this. I’m scared and don’t know what to do.

“I go for a blood test every 3 months to monitor the CK levels, which were at 2010 (the highest they’ve been yet) and that was in July of this year. I’m due for another blood test this month for my annual physical and I’m so afraid they will be higher.

“I hurt all over most of the time but I continue to go to work and try not to think about the pain. There should be a law against this sort of thing. My doctor frightened me into taking them. She told me if I didn’t take them I would die of a heart attack or liver disease. Please pray for me. I’m afraid.”

Even after 25 years of statin experience there is a lot we do not know about such drugs. A study now reveals what we have worried about for a long time and that is that statins may increase the risk for cataracts.

Whether these drugs also contribute to ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) or permanent muscle problems such as those described by Donna above, we do not know. We do know that for otherwise healthy people, there are alternate ways to reduce the risk of heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. You can learn about them in our books and guides.

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

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  1. Carol

    I was a fit, active 56 year old woman, who had a vegetarian diet with no cheese, when I had a mild heart attack, so mild that the doctors told me it would not have been identified two years before and was now only found because of better blood testing.
    I had a blockage in my RCA which was stented and put on 6 drugs:
    Aspirin 74mg, Atorvastatin, Clopidogrel, Lisinopril, a beta blocker, fish oil and something to stop the acid reflux caused by the other drugs.
    Beta-blocker was dropped due it affecting my walking – it was like wading through treacle.
    Atorvastatin caused severe cramps and was replaced by four other Statins over four years. All either effected my liver or caused cramps. I was eventually given Rosuvastatin and was fine for two years but began to get problems with numb feet, which then began to affect my hands.
    Fish oil was discontinued by hospital – too expensive. Clopidogrel was discontinued after two years as it was no longer needed.
    recently my cardiologist stopped the Lisinopril as he thought it was affecting my sense of smell and taste.
    I had two years of no Statins and although my numbness and burning sensations got a little better they did not abate completely. I was given Ezetimibe to help control my cholesterol.
    I am now on Praluvent and aspirin I have been for 6 months now.
    The Praluvent causes swelling, heat and redness at the point of injection which itches like mad, this slowly goes over the next two weeks then it begins again with the next injection.
    I have now got a return of the peripheral neuropathy and feet are once again getting number, hands and feet burning mainly at night and my two index fingers are painful.
    Although I have a low fat diet, lots of exercise etc my cholesterol levels are high without treatment.
    I am now thinking of giving up every drug as my life was much better without them and I think what the heck there are worse ways to die than having a heart attack.
    Do the doctors actually know what they are doing?
    I am 63 and have had enough of being treated like a guinea pig because to date the studies do not show an increase in longevity when drugs are given.

  2. TiredDoctorKate

    I’m an MD but in pediatrics; I’ve never prescribed a statin. I’m a 55 yr old female with a normal BMI and no chronic health issues. My internist is a fanatic about cardiac preventive medicine and routinely performs carotid ultrasounds to assess inflammation in the arteries. My cholesterol was a bit high, and my ultrasound put my carotid inflammation at the 75th percentile for age. Not hugely abnormal, but he really, really, really wanted me to start simvastatin. I did in November 2016. Dose was low at 10mg, and I took CoQ10 200mg daily.

    In the past eight months I have become more impaired than I’ve ever been in my life. But stupid me, muscle pain was my least-bothersome symptom until the past six weeks. It finally dawned on me: simvastatin! I’ve been blaming all my symptoms on being perimenopausal and/or clinically insane. What are my issues: Bone-numbing EXHAUSTION that NO amount of sleep helps. 14 hours of sleep is no better than 3. I have lain on my couch every moment I’m not working. I lost an entire summer. My kids think I’m a sloth.
    INSOMNIA! Could not fall asleep before 3 am despite the exhaustion.

    BRAIN FOG: I’ve been secretly worried about a much scarier brain disease than statin myopathy. The previous symptoms all started before my muscle pain became too bad to discount. My thighs hurt the most. My grip strength is affected, too. Walking a lot is the worst. Not only do my legs hurt that night, my exhaustion is out of this world. After spending three hours in a museum several hours from my home, I FELL ASLEEP DRIVING HOME. ON THE FREEWAY. WITH MY DAUGHTER IN THE CAR. That was the last straw. I’m used to living life sleep-deprived. I was a med student and resident before they started limiting work hours. I’m up for 36 hours or more once a week but I have never, ever come close to falling asleep driving. I didn’t think it was possible. Wouldn’t my cortical brain override drowsiness? Like it has a million times before?

    I’ve been off the statin for nine days, and while I’m still fearful I won’t fully recover, things look favorable thus far. The brain fog began lifting really quickly (whew!) I started sleeping all night on Day 5. I am still not normal in energy but I feel better. I have avoided long naps the past three days and have gotten by with resting only, getting off my legs. I know my pain is not as severe as what many of you have experienced, so I hope I don’t sound too whiny. I do notice it has lessened already. It still hurts to go upstairs, get out of my car, etc. but less.

    I don’t know what has happened to medicine. I probably should have mentioned that I bailed out of medical practice a few years ago. I can’t take care of a patient in seven minutes. No one can. If they try, they’ll never figure out patients who come in with more than a head cold, especially when the symptoms are vague, and there are few objective findings. I truly hope everyone here recovers fully. I guess we’re the “lucky” ones they forgot to include in the clinical trials. Real people with different bodies, lives and minds.

  3. Cynthia

    My short story is, 2014 I suffered a stroke left brain, within 4 weeks I was told I had very severe aortic stenosis and would need a prosthetic aortic valve put in or I would most likely only live 6 mo to maybe 1 year. I quickly had a aortic valve replacement in 2014, 4 days after heart surgery my bottom of my heart would not beat any faster then about 45 BPM. I had complete heart block from all the stenosis they had to remove from my heart. I had a pacemaker put in , and am forever now 100% pacemaker dependent. This is when they first put me on a statin, Lipitor, within 1 week I hurt sooo bad all over my body I was told to stop the statin.

    1 year later my cardioligist put me on another statin due to my very high cholesterol and triglycerides, this time it is Simvastatin. after about 6 months of taking this statin he decides to add to it a Fibrate call Gemfibrozil to it. After 1 week of this combo I have severe pain in my back shoulders and legs, and soon all over my body and I am having trouble walking and getting up from sitting position. I stop my simvastatin and the fibrate immediately, and let my doctor know I have stopped both. 2 weeks later I still am having pain and having trouble walking, I went in to see my GP and was told my CK-MB blood test was normal and so was my Sed rate. It does not matter to me if they are normal I still am in severe pain and am afraid it will not go away. I will never again take any statin.

    I am not sure what to do now, they prescribed a loading does of prednisone for my issue, I will not be taking that either, then I was told to restart my statin after 1 week, Hell no!!!
    Never again.

  4. Graham
    United Kingdom

    I have been reading the comments from these unfortunate people suffering from severe cramp with taking statin’s provided to them By there doctors and some being left with permanent damage to there muscles and joints, I have very much sympathy for them and my symptoms are simular, I was diagnosed as being type 2 diabetic about five years ago and was put onto metformin tablets which I still take no problem, however!!

    I was also put onto simvastatin tablets, at first I started suffering mild joint aches and pains which despite my age at that time of 64yrs old I had never really suffered from before to this frequently, and just put it down to getting old!!

    However this past year or so I have been suffering absolutely excruciating pains starting from the back of my knees with cramp so bad that I could literally cry and never been in so much agony in my life on one occasion I tried to stand up hoping the cramp would go away and ending up that my entire leg went numb, my symptoms have always occurred after I have gone to bed, sometimes i am actully scared to go to bed thinking its going to start again, I had read before that statins can cause cramps and pains, but after reading these post’s I have decided I will no longer take them!

    And feel I am more at risk of having permanent damage done to myself with taking simvastatin than not taking them at all, heart attacks? Yes I feel I WILL have one if I keep taking these dreadful tablets as the leg cramps I had last week I felt like I WAS going to die, I have not had a simvastatin tablet now for one week and so far no problems, this is my experience and do not want to influence people to take the same route as me, I have a doctor’s appointment on Monday and will see what he has to say but in my opinion the disadvantages are outweighing the benefits, I have never had heart problems and am now 69 and have been getting quite worried just lately, I am now fairly sure in my own mind it’s these damn tablets that are responsible and I will no longer be taking them.

  5. Helga
    NewYork NY

    I can certainly back up every thing each person has reported in your Statin articles. I am just so grateful finding this site. My rheumatologist today put me onto Prednisone and I am desperately hoping this will be a cure.

    Even though my problem has existed for only three months, it has been agonizing and totally devastating. My search for help has entailed a Pulmonologist, a Cardiologist, and finally a very caring Rheumatologist who importantly believes the problem exists. Hoping and praying that the Prednisone route is the answer. I shall report back in a couple of weeks, hopefully with good news and some hope to other sufferers. And if legal shall shout his name from rooftops!

  6. Dianne

    I have the beginnings of cervical disc degeneration. For sometime I have had a lot of neck tension and shoulder tension that has caused some numbness and tingling in my arms I managed it by yoga stretches and being careful of my sleeping positions and posture. Recently the numbness and tingling in affected my left chest and migrated up my neck a little bit. Though I knew what it was I wasn’t comfortable not getting it checked out because of the cardiac implications. I went to the ER and was, of course, admitted as a cardiac patient. They did every test known to man including a catheterization – my labs and all tests look good. (And this includes my lipid levels which were only slightly high.). Upon discharge, my head was very fuzzy from all of the drugs and sedatives they had given me and I was prescribed a starting dose of atorvastatin 80 mg! I took it in the evening as directed and the next morning I could not sit up without falling over – I was like a Weeble and the weight was in my head ! Not realizing what was causing it, I took it again that night. The next morning I couldn’t even begin to set up and my back was in such horrible spasms that I could not bear the pain. Called a close friend who is an ARNP who was kind enough to come see me (since I could not move) and she quickly told me to get rid of those things and prescribed stronger muscle relaxers, a strong anti-inflammatory, and prednisone. Follow up with the Doc provided a stronger anti-inflammatory and even stronger muscle relaxers! It has been three weeks and I am unable to work or function without the muscle relaxers. The spasms return at about eight hours so I have to be sure and take them every 6 to 7 at the most. I am praying that the effects of this massive dose will wear off in time and I would urge anyone taking any staton drug to stop immediately!!! Diet can control lipid levels!!! Keeping a detailed file for the class-action suit that is sure to come…

  7. Bev

    I was prescribed a statin for a year as precaution to slightly raised cholesterol. Three months ago I started to develop cramps in knees and legs. Having never had these symptoms before in 70 years I ceased the drugs two months ago but still struggle to go up stairs, as one knee has collapsed twice. I feel as if I have been undoubtedly damaged and have met 5 friends with a similar story.

  8. Lisa
    Reno, NV

    First – I’m just a trucker and silversmith – not an expert! But I must ask you all to remember…. CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION!!!

    I had bilateral migratory muscle pain in my legs for 6 years that coincided with statin use.

    The pain was mild to severe but would sometimes remit for weeks at a time. As the years went by the episodes became more frequent. I saw many Docs for the problem- rheumatologist, orthopedic, neurologist, and my family Doc. I had numerous tests to include MRIs’, nerve conducting tests, blood work for ck and aldolase. My ck was never elevated but my aldolase was. I also have RA so this can muddy the waters across the board and can affect my ck to show a false negative.

    The only thing that gave me rapid and profound relief was prednisone. Must be an inflammatory problem, says my family Doc ,and we tried stopping statins. I had lasting relief well after I finished my prednisone taper. Looks like problem solved, right? Not so fast.

    Remember that I have RA, so occasionally I needed a once-a-week taper of prednisone for joint pain.
    I’d also gone back on Crestor at one pill, 5 mg, twice weekly.
    The leg aches crept back in; and of course I attributed the pain to statins.
    I again stopped the statin and went on another prednisone taper for both RA symptoms and disabling leg pain.

    My rheumatologist ordered hip xrays, negative. During a clinical exam she said my leg symptoms were sciatica and ordered an MRI. I was sure the leg pain wasn’t sciatica but I’m just a patient right? I knew I had back issues from an old injury but the difference in my back pain vs statin induced pain was very different.

    I saw the orthopedic Doc again who – without doing a physical exam – agreed with my rheumatologist; it was sciatica. I was tearful and frustrated, knowing that there was more going on. The MRI showed a disc extrusion he said, it WAS sciatica.

    I next was referred to a physical medicine Doc, and finally, after ove 6 years of suffering my problem revealed itself. I did have sciatica…. but the leg pain with muscle aches was simply bilateral bursitis in the greater trochanteric region. Two injections, one each, into the bothersome bursaes and I WAS CURED!

    I’m back on a daily statin as my RA and other risk factors greatly increase my risk of CV problems. I have no side effects.

    People MUST remember that correlation (coincidental symptoms) DOES NOT EQUAL causation.

    It is easy to jump on the statin side effect band wagon, but what if it’s NOT a side effect of the statin? What if your continuing symptoms after stopping the statin are NOT actually from the statin? You could suffer for years – as I did -from something entirely different. Be warned – CORRELATION DOES NOT EQUAL CAUSATION!

  9. jill

    Reading the comments about statin use & statin side effects …..I was nodding my head in agreement to so many of them. I was on 40mg Crestor & then changed to lipitor & gradually reducing dose to 10mg. over 10 years. After a couple of years I suffered terrible leg cramps. In the last 4 years I had 5 falls and in the last 2 years of taking statins I felt my legs weaken & when walking was afraid they would “go to jelly” & I would fall. The pains in my legs took me from a person who went to gym & regularly had great walks to someone who shuffles along with bent frame. I was finally taken off statins 18 months ago.
    HOWEVER…. stretching excercises from a sports physio, walks that built to 20 mins 3x per week , myopractic bowen helped me initially. But I couldn’t keep it up. I now hardly walk at all but have taken to swimming every second day. At first the pain at night was terrific…so I gradually built up sets of excercises & can even swim lanes now. With all this I found that a good day of complete rest is necessary . I wonder if I will ever be over this affliction but know the saying “use it or lose it” is one that I’ll hold on to.

  10. Jani

    My husband has been taking Pravastatin for abut 13 years. I’m not sure why, neither was my husband, but he had high blood pressure. While he was pretty healthy in his 70’s he started to deteriorate about four years ago.

    It started with carpal tunnel syndrome, for which he had an op, then he began to experience falls. He went to his GP who referred him to a Parkinson’s specialist, as he had developed a tremor in his right hand. For two years the specialist monitored him and finally, at the beginning of this year, said he did not have Parkinson’s and stopped the Sinemet he was taking. Despite this he still had balance problems and that tremor. He was trying hard to build up his strength by going to gym.

    He has worked in the studio every day until this time last year. At 84 he had other health issues, but not life threatening. However, he had better and worse days, with muscle pain, extreme fatigue, slowness of thinking, and a dribble. He had a chest infection starting in March, and despite antibiotics he has not yet recovered. His walking had deteriorated, his legs shook, and he could not move them.

    I rang his GP ask what his cholestorol reading was. I said he thought he had side effects listed for Pravastatin. I later got a message telling him to stop Pravastatin. I had stopped it the day before. It is 2 weeks now. He now has Ubiquinol 200mgs and Vitamin B. I believe his balance problems were related to muscle weakness caused by taking statins. The physiotherapists just thought he was inactive/lazy. Statins are the elephant in the room.

    He is currently very fatigued but his balance issues have virtually disappeared, and he is far more lucid. I am hoping he will recover some of his ability to walk unaided but think it will be a long job. Despite this I have hope. He is essentially quite strong and not frail and has recovered from his falls well.

    I have to add that I was advised to take statins myself for normal cholesterol. No information on improving lifestyle or side effects. I refused

  11. Ck

    I find this very interesting. I was taking prevastatin for a couple of years. About 8 months ago, I started hurting with muscle weakness and tightness in my thigh/hip area upon wake nag and standing in the morning.

    It finally dawned on me it might be the statin. So I stopped but the muscle atrophy hasn’t and every Dr I spoke to says if the problem was a statin, the muscle pain and weakness would have gone away when I stopped taking. Well it didn’t. So, I have spent much time and money (chiropractor, massage, PT, blood tests, etc) trying to figure out what’s going on.

    I checked in with a cardiologist with a side request, and told him the situation, and he advised me…you guessed it to go back on statin.

  12. Lars

    In addition to hair thinning, confusion, speech impairment , muscle aches, loss of muscle tone and muscle mass on Simcor, I have now been diagnosed with a stress fracture of the knee many years after I stopped taking it. Does anybody else have experience with calcium loss, bone density loss or stress fractures caused or contributed to by Simcor or its simvastatin component?

  13. Linda

    I’ve been in pain for almost 2 years now, I’m pretty convinced it’s the Statin drugs I was put on after having a false positive result for a heart attack.
    My GP wanted to put me on Lipitor as my cholesterol is high, he told me if I didn’t go on them he’d say “I told you so ” when I went back to see him with a heart attack…… I told him no so many times as I did not want to go on them, I was a fit and healthy 51 year old, going to the gym 5 days a week.
    I had to have knee surgery and since then I’ve suffered DVT, PU and suspected heart attacks, my Gp was happy that the emergency dr made me go on 40 mg Lipitor, I was so ill from this drug but wasn’t sure it was definitely that, as I had so many other issues going on.
    Once I came off of them I got a lot better but my cholesterol went up even higher so he guilted me to go on 20mg Lipitor, I got so much muscle/ joint pain and brain fog, memory loss, he changed me to 10mg Crestor and it just was unbearable, he was worried and did blood tests to see if my muscles and liver had been affected, test came back clear.
    I refuse to go back on them and now have a female GP who agrees some people just can’t take Statins.
    I’m still suffering, I can no longer go to the gym, when I lift anything heavy my hands and fingers swell up, I ache everywhere, I feel like a hypochondriac and hate going to the doctor. I hope I haven’t been damaged for life after taking these drugs.

  14. Augie
    San Antonio, Texas

    I had been taken 2mg of Livalo for the last 3 1/2 years. The side effects finally caught up to me and I stopped taken this statin on Feb 25, 2017 due to severe arm, shoulder, upper chest pain, blurred vision, confusion, wake up with numbness on my hands and plantar fasciitis. While my LDL is at 112 and in the range for normal people.

    My cardiologist tells me it needs to be at 70 and wants to put me on Repatha. This a drug that you have to inject either twice or once per month. When I told my cardiologist that no I am not going to take this drug. He told me to stop arguing with him and that he knows what he is doing. I do have one stent that was installed back on September of 2013 so I am considered to be a heart disease patient.

    I have been working out for the last 30 years but got more serious about my workouts and what I eat since the stent. Now I have lost 20 pounds and only have 19.8 percent body fat. I went to see my primary doctor and explained to him what I am experiencing. So he wants me to try Zetia. It is a oral drug that targets only the LDL with minimal side effects. But, he told me not to take it until my existing side effects go away.

    Well, it’s been 6 weeks and the side effects have only gotten worst and really intensify during my workouts. This really makes me sad. Especially when I here other people going through these similar side effects. I hope the side effects have not cause permanent damage. Not sure what to do but pray and hope for the best.

  15. Marianne
    US (California)

    My LDL went down precipitously when taking just 10 mg atorvastatin every other day. That was great but the HDL went down too, and the level was deemed unsafe so we stopped the med. I also had notable loss of muscle mass, though CPK blood tests were normal. I had bruising and weeks-long recovery times for tiny injuries such as a stabbed toe.

    I took the statin for just 6 mo but it then took 18 months for my HDL to go back up to where it was before the stain. Now, I have good lipid numbers because of an ultra-strict diet–rewarding albeit not fun. I’ve not seen any mention of people whose HDL goes down on a statin. And publications regarding non-lethal muscle loss and other tissue issues seems woefully lacking.

  16. linda parks

    I was put on Lipitor 5 years ago after my regular doctor retired. Ringing in the ears and hair loss was first sign. New doc said I’d have to live with it. Then my blood pressure went sky high. So more meds, which caused me to be on two more meds because it was draining my potassium and magnesium. Now sugars are high, and doc says high blood pressure is caused from kidney disease. All this from lipitor! Today it goes in trash forever!

  17. Patty

    I was first introduced to the drug Lipitor in October 2014. My cholesterol level was over 300. Which was bad. So, I began taking Lipitor by the time July 2015 rolled around I was so tired all the time I felt like I was going to die. So I had an appointment to see my doctor in August 2015 I slowly weaned myself off of the Lipitor.

    And then I saw my doctor in August. I told her my issues with the medication. So then she introduced me to pravachol 20 milligram. I took that for a while and it seemed to be okay not any side effects to speak of.

    But then my cholesterol level jumped a few points so she switched to me to a 40 milligram tablet. But since I have been taking that I have begun to start feeling fatigued again no energy achy muscles. And then low and behold December 2016 I went Christmas shopping and by the time I got home that evening my right foot was hurting so bad I could hardly walk.

    So, I dealt with it for a few days and decided to see a podiatrist. He told me I had plantar fasciitis. He offered me a shot of cortisone I declined. He said I will see you in a week. So, I went back the following week I was in such excruciating pain that I told him I wanted the cortisone shot. He said that it sounded like the nerve was affected and that’s why I was in so much pain and that the shot would take the edge off.

    Well, five days later I went numb from just below the knee down to my toes. I had to go see a neurologist and have an EMG test on the nerve in my leg. It shows that I have damage to the nerve. The doctor was baffled because what I have usually is caused by an injury which I had none. It has now been two months since this has happened I am now beginning to have some feeling in three of my toes.

    The neurologist says It will take a while for all the feeling to come back but he is confident that I will get better it will just take time. I have since weaned myself off of the pravachol and have a doctor’s appointment in 2 weeks. I will tell her then that I am not taking that particular type of drug anymore. I need to find a new way to treat my high cholesterol. Also just an FYI I do not take any other kinds of medications whatsoever. I am generally a pretty healthy 58 year old woman.

  18. John

    I got severe muscle damage in my lower legs from 20mg Lipitor a day. It started with stiff legs when I got out of bed, and shuffling along until everything loosened up.

    The statin also affected other muscles such as my diagphram, as I had trouble breathing when lying down.

    I developed muscle twitching and weakness and thought I had ALS for about a year.

    Most symptoms have gone now but there is some permanent damage.

    The worst part is my doctors telling me it could not possibly be the statin, they love these drugs and won’t listen. It is hard to believe statins are still so popular when there is a wealth of bad experiences on the internet.

    • Judy
      Brisbane Australia

      I was on Simvastatin for over 10 years when I suddenly developed muscle twitching quickly followed by tingling then numbness in my feet, hands then legs, face and torso. My doctor sent me to a neurologist who told me it was stress and put me on an anti depressant.

      I went to another neurologist who told me he didn’t know what it was but it wasn’t stress and changed the tablets I was on. Long story short it took 3 years for them to diagnose Peripheral Neuropathyand by the time they had I had severe muscle weakness and could hardly walk, very poor balance, constant pain, anxiety attacks, 4 stays in hospital with cardiac problems and no reasons why.

      At one stage I was going to a psychologist to deal with the stress one neurologist said was causing it. What a debacle. I have idiopathic PN, they won’t admit the statins caused it but there is no other reason. It affects every part of my body including my speech and my eyes. I have limited driving ability, can barely write and can slowly and with a walking stick walk about 200 metres, any further and I need a wheelchair. The doctors writing out these scripts are a disgrace and should be sued.

  19. Dolores
    New Jersey

    I have been taking Lipitor for 10 years and have not had any side effects at all. My LDL, cholesterol etc are perfect. I have also been taking CO Q10 as advised by my doctor to replace good cells that die off with age and to combat any potential side effects from statin drugs (Lipitor etc).

    Statin drugs are life saving. Anyone who stopped taking them and are still having alleged long lasting side effects are foolish. If the ailments are still present it means they weren’t being caused by the statin drug. You should go through all your medications and see if one of your other meds are causing your symptoms. I have had problems with other drugs. Here are two of my stories. I was having horrible back pain and I had an MRI that showed herniated disks. But my pain was off the charts. It went from my head down my spine, into both arms, done my legs. It was nerve pain and it also felt like pins and needles.

    I finally figured out that one of the meds I was taking, Wellbutrin, can cause muscle rigidity. I stopped taking it (tapered off) and the horrible pain went away. I still have pain from the herniations but they are controlled with pain medication.

    Then I was on Lamictal for depression and it cause heart pain and palpitations and an abnormal EKG. I went off it and the symptoms went away. Lamictal has a lot of bad side effects affecting all parts of the body. So my advice is to look at all your medications and make sure it’s the statin causing the problem because it really is a life saver. My brother was prescribed Lipitor, never took it and 9 years later had to have quadruple bypass heart surgery. He is currently recuperating from that. Good Luck to all.

  20. Missy

    My mom has no mobility after taking a statin drug. She has been through so much. It first started out with her falling every other day. Then it came to the point where she could not do anything on her own. My mother has been in and out of hospitals and nursing homes for the last past six months. A lot of doctors haven’t had patients with this kind of rare disease so they try to treat it to the best of their ability.

    I am here to give everyone hope and a piece of mind. This disease is treatable. You have to find a doctor that has treated people for this. No matter what state you live in. You need to go to one of the hospitals in your area that is a teaching hospital. For example like the mayo clinic, Northwestern Hospital, Loyola, etc.

    My mother is on the road to recovery. She can use her hands again and the pain in her back is gone. She is still not walking yet because she just went back to rehabilitation a couple of days ago. But each day she gets stronger. My advice to anyone that is going through this is to act fast we almost waited to late because this disease was effecting her breathing and swallowing. As a result to this she has a temporary trach and feeding tube. Once she’s stronger they will remove all of this.

    • Bob

      Missy “Anyone who stopped taking them and are still having alleged long lasting side effects are foolish”

      Perhaps the statins had an effect on you ability to display empathy and compassion….

      • Harriet

        She’s on antidepressants so there is your answer.

    • Karen

      I am glad you have been helped by statins, but it is not logical to assume everyone else’s body should have the same results. I was an athlete who was healthy but was prescribed statins due to some artery plaque.
      I now have constant muscular symptoms which are still there a year later and worsen with excercise.

      • Karen

        I want to add that my physician’s relatives have also suffered side effects. There may be a genetic link, as other people I have known have shown similar shared familial effects. None of these people are “foolish.” I, myself, felt as you did until I took them, and, believe me, it is not a figment of our imaginations, and the cause cannot be attributed to other factors. The change is dramatic and the symptoms new.

  21. Jane
    Mission Viejo

    I am a 60 year old female with very high total and LDL cholesterol when not on statin. My father died at age 30 from heart attack and my mother developed Alzheimer’s at age 70. I have been on different satins for the past 11 years including Lipitor, Crestor and Livalo. After a month on Lipitor I developed mild depression.

    Lipitor was stopped I tolerated Crestor but I developed pains in my hands and my nails started to change as well as my hair started to thin. I was seen by dermatologist and nail cultures were negative for fungal infection. Because I was postmenopausal and my mother had thinning hair I accepted all that as being part of aging.

    When Livalo came on the market, I started taking 2 mg daily. I was hoping that pain in my hands would resolve and that my nails will started to look healthy. There was no change except I was loosing hair…..I started to take Biotin and Biosil supplements, my thyroid was normal, I had no anemia and I decreased my hair weaving from every 2 months to every 5 months. Despite all this I lost 50% of my hair. One week ago it hit me very hard when I realized that I start shedding hair after I started to take Livalo.

    I am off medication for a week. I see less hair in my comb ….I will be off statin for about 6 weeks than I will re-start rosuvastatin 5 mg and I will add Co Q10 100 mg daily, continue with Biosil & Hair Skin and Nail vitamins. I hope that I will be able to stop hair loss and if I am lucky I will re-grow some of my hair.

  22. Donna
    Montgomery, Alabama

    I know it’s the statin in the drug/my dad almost died from statin (Lipitor). I got put on it not knowing and was telling my dad my stomach was upset and especially plus terrible headaches:/ My muscles, even my head was sore: he told me when he took it he felt like he had the flu.

    I’ve been off the Lipitor for over a month, my bones pop, my arms and neck are so sore, Tylenol doesn’t work and neither do pain meds. Till I looked it up I thought I may have fibromyalgia/then I read where a few peoples muscles ache from Lipitor for years sometimes:/ It even said statin may be dormant in your muscles.

    I can’t lift my arms over my head to take my shirt off. I have Faith and I have wisdom. I think I read anout steroid shots/I’m calllimg my doctor tomorrow I’m a little worried about this. I hope I helped someone. Donna T

  23. Debra

    I had been on several different statins over a 5-year period. With each different brand my side effects would increase or add another one to the list. My doctor always insisted that I should go off of them for a week and then restart the medication. After 4 major statins I was led to believe that not all brands of statins cause these problems and that if I did not not take them I had about 10 years to live before dying of a stroke or heart attack. Crestor was the last and final one I took. Let me say that with every side effect that I tried to talk to the doctor about, I never got an answer. It was as though he didn’t want to listen. I was reminded that I was in my 60’s and to take this into consideration.

    The side effects started with outrageous pain in my arms and legs, then rashes, hair loss, and head aches and progresses to having no strength whatsoever to even walk across the street, and then on to the most horrid upper belly pain I have ever experienced. After that the backs of my eyes swelled, leaving me with blurred vision and medication for that for the rest of my life. The final blow was some serious memory loss.

    I run a business, and the memory loss almost cost me the job. I am an artist, painting professionally. When I had no memory of how to turn a computer on at work or be in my studio and wonder just what it was I should be doing with a paint brush, I panicked and took myself off of the statins. I eat extremely healthy, and after almost a year now I can walk about a 1/2 mile, certainly nothing like my 2 mile walks in the mornings before this. I still have weakness in my arms and legs at times, however.

    My biggest concern is that I still have bouts of that horrible upper belly pain. The mental torment is that this all started 5 years ago, and they brow beat me into fearing I only had 10 years to live. Does this mean I now have 5 years left?

    I do not believe that statins of any kind can or will prevent my having a heart attacks or strokes. What they can achieve is a life-time of side effects that ruin my quality of life. Will my upper belly pain ever go away?

  24. Denise
    Mustang, OK

    I guess I realized I had high cholesterol when the doctor prescribed me a statin cholesterol-lowering medication. when I was going into early menopause I did not realize that high cholesterol goes hand-in-hand with menopause. I would take the pill but didn’t like how it made me feel. Doctor would scold me for not taking it because the lipid panel would be high again. So then I got it into my thick head that I have to take this freaking pill every single day for the rest of my life.

    After reviewing some of the medications I was on I realized that I hurt in places Ive never hurt before. I would tell the doctor, and he would prescribe me something else, and it helped, but then I realized that I was just feeding my body a bunch of stuff that was not normal. I wanted to be normal.

    So here I am three weeks after stopping the statin medication. I still have places that hurt, and I don’t want to move. I have spent thousands and thousands of dollars for scans and x-rays to find out the source of my pain but realize now that it was probably the stupid statin medication.

    Now I’m wondering if the pain will ever go away. Week one after stopping the statin was great. In week two I was having trouble sleeping. In week three I have the pain but don’t nothing else. I hope that it’s not permanent. I hope that it does go away in time but I don’t know, and I don’t think anybody else really knows either. If anybody has the answers please let me know.

  25. Tom
    Camas, WA

    My husband took Atorvastatin irregulary for some time. Recently, the doctor requested he go on 40 mg daily “to help his diabetes”. He did not have a cholesterol problem. I noticed he began “shuffling” as he walked but did not connect it with his meds. Two weeks into the statin regimen, he began crying out in pain trying to get up from a chair. His legs, shoulders, and arms were very painful. He became disoriented.

    A brief search of his meds came up with the culprit being Atorvastatin. I suggested he go off it immediately and get an appointment with his doctor. The doctor totally dismissed his statement that the statin was causing him problems. We ended up at the emergency room and that doctor initally felt it could not be the statin, as he had been off it for about 2 weeks (supposed to be out of your system in 24 hours, true but the side effects linger). Found two sites, Dr. Mecozzi & Dr. Sinatra that had lists of supplements you could take to help reverse the effects of statin damage. It has helped but the swelling of his lower legs and hand have me very concerned.

    Prior to this, he was walking a couple of miles a day and living a fairly normal life. The first two weeks after going off the drug, he was totally incapacitated, needing help for dressing, walking, getting up and down from chairs. I do see improvement, he has been able to walk slowly for some distance and no longer screams when trying to stand up, but it has been very slow.

    What is most discouraging is the attitude of the medical professionals (chiropractors being the exception) who absolutely defend the drug and deny the connection with it and the disastrous complications that linger well after stopping it’s use.

    He will not be going back to that doctor who basically said he was throwing his life away if he went off the statin.

    2 Big questions: HOW do you find a doctor that specializes in statin recovery when most will not even admit there is a problem that can linger long after one stops taking this drug?
    Did anyone find relief for the swelling in the lower legs and hands?

  26. Terrye

    I have the pre-diabetes, leg pain, memory, and feet neuropathy.

    • lee

      Glad to know i am not the only one facing such bad side effects.
      I’m 32 & recently diagnose with Type 1.5 diabetes 3mths back. On Lipitor for 3mths and i have stopped taking it for almost 2 weeks. The muscle pain is still there and i’m hoping it will eventually go away. I’m currently wearing compression socks to try to help me with the pain. I can deal with anything else EXCEPT the horrible migraines i had the 1st 3wks and now the very bad muscle aches.
      Will taking COQ10 help?

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