Q. I am a 63-year-old male who competes at the national level in masters bodybuilding. My doctor had me take Crestor for one month and my total cholesterol went from 260 to 189. Sounds good, right?

The after-effects of the muscle degeneration has been the worst pain, other than shingles, I have ever experienced. My legs, back and shoulders are in agony and I have no energy at all.

It has been three weeks since I took the last pill, but I still cannot train due to extreme exhaustion. I will not compete this year, as all my gains from last year have been lost.

I work as a deputy sheriff and the loss of muscle tone is readily apparent. This is the worst drug anyone could take.

A. Statins are notorious for causing muscle discomfort and even pain, but relatively few people are taxing their muscles as hard as you. Vigorous exercise appears to aggravate the problem (Muscle & Nerve, Oct. 2010).

There are other ways to manage cholesterol and other risk factors for heart disease. We are sending you our Guide to Cholesterol Control & Heart Health, which provides many non-statin suggestions.

A recent study reveals that some people react to statins by developing an irreversible autoimmune disease called necrotizing myopathy (Current Opinion in Rheumatology, Nov. 2013). In this condition the body attacks muscle and breaks it down.

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  1. Bob

    I have been on statins for years simavastatin after heart bypass suffered depression memory loss no energy muscle pain bad temper after hearing on the radio about muscle damage caused by statins I went cold turkey I have been re introduced to myself no deprescion remember peoples names no bad temper more energy if I drop dead it will be as myself and not a zomby keep them

  2. crandreww

    Cholesterol is an ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY SUBSTANCE IN OUR BODY! ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY…Where do we get off, thinking we should get rid of it, that is as absurd as lowering our Oxygen levels. To the Deputy who posted this…Statins lower Cholesterol by blocking a key enzyme (Acetyl CoA Reductase) which is necessary in order to allow our body to PRODUCE Cholesterol, Vitamin D, Testosterone, Steroid Hormones, Dolichols…etc etc and so on. ALl in all Statins, by blocking this enzyme, block our ability to produce these and as many as 200 other Essential elements. The best any statin study has ever shown, was a 0.34% absolute risk reduction, which means, by taking a statin, you will lower your chance of a heart attack by LESS THAN ONE-HALF of 1Percent….Hardly worth the significant life altering risks associated with ALL statins. Take it from a former Critical Care RN, disabled by Lipitor for 11 years now…

  3. paul43

    PAO– I was on Simvastatin and not only was getting the leg cramps but started suffering from MEMORY Loss.
    I stopped them immediately when I found out about the memory loss.
    Statins are the biggest SCAM pulled by big Pharma— I think nobody should be taking them– change your diet, even if it is a little and you will see the results.

  4. LouisianaJoe

    I watched my 80 year old mother turn into a zombie from the many medications that her doctors gave her. One day, she called me and said “I’m back”. She had run out of one of her medications and and was lucid until they refilled her medications. I lived in another city and I could not monitor her like I now monitor me.
    I had some tests last year and my total cholesterol was 182. My LDL was a few points under the maximum and the cardiac doctor told me that he would probably put me on a statin in 6 months. I told him that based on my research, that was not going to happen. I canceled the followup appointment and will return to my GP.
    I research all medication before I take it and I have quit some after one pill because of the reaction.
    PAO stated that most people want to increase longevity. I respectfully disagree when it comes to me. I would rather live a shorter quality life than a longer one enduring the reactions to medications.

  5. fbl

    PAO, I believe the folks at People’s Pharmacy are pretty astute and they are NOT wrong. They have read the actual studies and statistics-don’t believe the hype put out by the drug companies.
    You can’t argue with results. Yes, over 30 years ago I believed all the tripe about low fat diets etc. and put my hubby on one. His cholesterol got worse and worse and he felt awful. I gave up and said we’d eat the way our forefathers ate and got rid of all the unnatural veggie oils and started using organic palm and coconut oils, virgin olive oil and cooked with drippings from organic bacon. We make our mayonnaise with nut oils or avocado oil.
    PAO, the proof is in the results! My hubby’s cholesterol came down slowly over a few years and is now over 100 points lower. In a very healthy range, 225-235.
    If you had read about any of the centurion studies then you would know that the folks that have low cholesterol simply don’t make it to age 100. I think the average is about 250 but don’t quote me on that one as it has been awhile since I read the study.
    One surprising benefit from all these natural fats is both my hubby and I have incredible skin for our 68 years. Our family Dr. even commented on it.

  6. PAO

    The guidance that you gave was bad. A total cholesterol of 260 needed treatment (I don’t think you disagree). I think you gave the wrong guidance) and statins are the best for lowering LDL and reducing mortality (all cause and CV). You know this and it should have been apparent in your response.
    It is not the worst drug anyone can take. Yes a statin can cause muscle pain but often this can be alleviated by switching from one to another. The information on necrotizing myopathy was of little value.
    If this reader wanted to die earlier from elevated cholesterol, so be it. In general most folks want to increase longevity. The choices should have been made obvious to him.

  7. JKB

    I am a 71 year old male. I have been weight lifting for 28 years. I take 40mg of Crestor every other day, and have for one year. Before that, I took 40mg every day for three years. My cholesterol is 129.
    I have been hearing these reports of losing strength and energy with statin drugs. I work out three days a week for 2 hours each day and then walk 2 miles on the treadmill. I have seen no reduction in strength and have no pain or discomfort.
    I am strong for my age. For example, I do bench presses with an 80 lb. dumbbell in each hand. I do three sets of 12 reps. I do three sets of dips 22 reps each. I do behind-the-head tricep extensions with a 40 lb. dumbbell in each hand. I do four sets of of 12 reps bicep curls with 40 lb. dumbbells. I could go on.
    I never saw any change when I started Crestor. Of course, I am not a weight lifting competitor. I only work out to stay in shape.

  8. nb

    Sometimes I wonder how many who are not subscribers to your newsletter have their health ruined by something like this.

  9. L.D.

    I took statins for three months and have since suffered from sensory peripheral neuropathy. When I first saw a neurologist for my condition that seemingly came out of nowhere, he told me to immediately stop taking statins.
    Alas, the neuropathy remains.
    A friend of mine took statins for eight years, and his muscles deteriorated to the degree that he had to use a walker. He has slowly and painfully improved, but likely some pain will always remain.
    What really amazes me is that statins are now recommended for warding off heart problems. What damage will we see down the line? Why is nothing published in the popular literature about the dangers of statins?

  10. MS

    I have always had very low HDL and high LDL. I tried Lipitor and it did a number on my stomach, so I quit and felt so much better. After a lot of reading I decided to try 500 mg. a day of niacin (the kind that makes you flush). I did this for a few months and had blood work done. My doctor was shocked: total cholesterol was 300, but my HDL was 2/3 of the total! Abram Hoffer, M.D., Ph.D. explains: “Niacin is one of the best substances for elevating high density lipoprotein cholesterol (the “good cholesterol) and so decreases the ratio of the total cholesterol over high density cholesterol.”
    You need to balance the B vitamins (source, Adelle Davis):
    Equal amounts: B1, B2, B6, folic acid
    20 times the above: Niacin, pantothenic acid, PABA
    500 times the equal amounts: Inositol, choline (these can be found combined in one capsule)
    Biotin – Adelle Davis reported that amounts not determined (I take 300 mcg.,daily)
    B12: 1-3 micrograms, daily

  11. Dave M

    I had the same negative reaction to simvastatin. I discovered-on my own-that statins breakdown the chemical CoQ10 in the body. I began taking 100 mg of CoQ10 and the problem was cured OVERNIGHT. I’m not exaggerating.
    It is unconscionable that doctors do not tell patients about this simple “cure”.

  12. fbl

    His original cholesterol of 260 was just fine! That’s the saddest part of this story.
    If he wanted it lower, all that needed to be done is eliminate the grocery store oils-other than virgin olive that is. At that number I don’t think I would have had my hubby do that either. His was mid 300s and came down 100 points just by changing the oils.
    Now we use only organic palm oil, coconut oil, organic butter, saved drippings from organic bacon and nut or avocado oils to make our mayonnaise.
    Where are all those ambulance chasers when you need them. There ought to be some class action lawsuits over these statins. There is plenty of evidence that they do NOT help cardiovascular diseases-well with one exception: those who have congenital lipidemia. Even the statins don’t help those folks for long. My step mom’s son died young from this problem.

  13. ldq1997

    I have never taken a statin drug or any other drug for high cholesterol even though I have very high total cholesterol, always over 250 and sometimes over 300. Nevertheless I am 81 years old and without any kind of heart trouble. However I have high HDL, always in the 70s and sometimes over 80, and very good triglycerides because I take fish oil. I also spend 30 minutes a day on the treadmill and use an exercise bicycle too whenever I can. In my opinion, there is no need for statin drugs.

  14. Kathleen K

    Each time I read another article about statins, I cringe.
    My husband took them for 13 years, and thru a mix-up, was off them for 6 months. Many things improved.
    His GP put him back on Lippitor, and within 3 months, his hip deteriorated to the point of needing replacement.
    Both he and his daughter (35 years old at the time and who had also taken Lippitor) were diagnosed with AVN – avascular necrosis.
    (Her story gets worse– she’s had to have a second replacement because of receiving a metal on metal hip. She’s 42.)
    A year later, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. You had reported that a study was being done in NC to see if there was a link between statins and PD. Have any results been released?

  15. CGB

    Some have found that taking the supplement CQ10 has helped. I understand that Statins block this essential element and it is needed by our muscles.

  16. alxzba

    would like to receive comments here. thanks.

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