The People's Perspective on Medicine

Doctors and Patients Confused About Statins and Muscle Damage

The FDA lists myositis as a statin side effect but many people are clueless what that means. The connection between statins and muscle damage is bewildering.
Statins cholesterol statin drugs

Tens of millions of people take statins such as atorvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin and simvastatin. Most physicians acknowledge that they have patients who complain about muscle pain and weakness after taking statins to lower cholesterol. But some researchers maintain that statins don’t cause serious side effects (The European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, March, 2014). Drug company-sponsored research has been very good at minimizing muscle-related symptoms from clinical trials. But there is growing awareness that statins and muscle damage can be severe. Myositis is very worrisome.

A Reader Reports Statins and Muscle Damage:

Q. Several weeks ago you wrote about the side effects of cholesterol-lowering statin medicines. According to the article, these drugs can attack muscle tissue and the damage may be irreversible.

That is what happened to me. I now need to use a cane when I walk, and I worry that someday I might need a wheelchair. I took statins for only a short time. The doctor told me that my cholesterol was fine, but I should take these pills as preventative medicine.

Can you please tell me more about the research on muscle damage? I believe we all need to know more about the risks of these drugs.

Documenting Statins and Muscle Damage:

A. Most health professionals recognize that statins can cause muscle pain (myalgia). They may not be as familiar with the adverse reaction called inflammatory myositis. This autoimmune muscle disease is rare (occurring in approximately 3 people out of 100,000 taking a statin) but it is debilitating and potentially irreversible (JAMA Internal Medicine, Sept. 2018).

Symptoms of this condition include difficulty doing normal activities such as walking up stairs, getting out of a chair or lifting arms. Muscle weakness and soreness that do not go away are other potential signs. There is no cure.

Read more about this devastating muscle condition at this link.

The FDA Obfuscates Statins and Muscle Damage:

The FDA makes only passing reference to myositis in its prescribing information for atorvastatin (Lipitor), pitavastatin (Livalo) and rosuvastatin (Crestor). Here is how the agency lists this very serious statin complication. You will see that myositis is lumped together with lots of other scary side effects. It could easily be missed amidst the medical word salad:

“Postmarketing Experience

“The following adverse reactions have been identified during post-approval use of atorvastatin calcium. Because these reactions are reported voluntarily from a population of uncertain size, it is not always possible to reliably estimate their frequency or establish a causal relationship to drug exposure.

“Adverse reactions associated with atorvastatin calcium therapy reported since market introduction, that are not listed above, regardless of causality assessment, include the following: anaphylaxis, angioneurotic edema, bullous rashes (including erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and toxic epidermal necrolysis), rhabdomyolysis, myositis, fatigue, tendon rupture, fatal and non-fatal hepatic failure, dizziness, depression, peripheral neuropathy, pancreatitis and interstitial lung disease.

“There have been rare reports of immune-mediated necrotizing myopathy associated with statin use.”

Reader Stories About Statins and Muscle Damage:

Chris has been permanently affected by statins:

“I for one, have had my health and my life destroyed by statins. Myositis is the tip of the iceberg for my last 16 years of disability. Muscle biopsy confirmed it. Brain biopsy confirmed apoptosis (programmed brain cell death). Electron microscopy confirmed mitochondrial mutation most similar to Mitochondrial Encephalomyopathy with Lactic Acidosis and Stroke-Like Episodes (MELAS).

“Even with all this data, all of my physicians (who eagerly prescribed these drugs to my healthy 29 year old body), vehemently denied that statins could cause anything but rainbows, unicorns and puppy dogs. They arrogantly spew the phrase ‘Tell me again how your Google Search trumps my medical degree.’

“The biopsy findings were confirmed to be the result of my three years of statin use.”

Allison shares this story about her sister’s experience with statins and muscle damage:

“My sister is in a nursing home now because of polymyositis. She has had this disease for about 15 years. We believe it started with her taking Lipitor.

“She used to be able to walk 2-3 miles per day. All of a sudden she started falling down. It got worse and worse. She went from being on a cane, to using a walker to a wheelchair to now…completely bed-ridden in a nursing home. This all happened within 15 years.

“For some people statins may work without complications. For the 10-20% of people they harm, it’s just not worth it in my opinion. My doctor prescribed a statin to me due to my cholesterol being a point or two over the norm. Well, I refused to take it!

“Seeing my sister just cry and cry because she cannot do anything for herself is heartbreaking. She is only 66 and has been in a nursing home for three years. She needs help to turn over or get out of bed. I wish there were a way to reverse her polymyositis and muscle atrophy.”

More Information About Statins:

Many, if not most, people can take statins without experiencing any side effects. That’s a good thing. But some people experience serious adverse reactions. They should not be ignored. At the first symptoms of myositis, patients should alert their health professionals. You can learn more about other serious statin side effects in our book, Top Screwups. It is available at your local library or online in our bookstore.

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    Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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    I have been taking Mylan Simvastatin 5 mg. for a month, with no problem at all, but in trying to refill it, have been told they are not making the drug any longer. At my pharmacy I have been offered Apo or Ran Simvastatin and I am concerned as to which I should take. Can you please help me. My lipids are very good yet my kidneys are not and I am going in to have a stent placed in the kidney artery. I think the choice is critical to me. Can you please advise me? Thank you in advance.

    I will say again… drugs do NOT create health. At best they mask or alleviate symptoms. Giving powerful chemicals as “prevention” pushes up against malpractice to me. ALL drugs have side effects, sometimes they are severe so prescribing something that could do great harm to someone who is healthy “just to be safe” or whatever is extremely poorly thought out and seems very counter to the “first, do no harm.” caveat.

    I knew many years ago my mothers cramps and progression to awful weakness were down to statins – she now has bad memory problems all down to statins (my strong belief). I hope this will inform your readers of all the very real ramifications of statins and the ‘seeming’ failure of doctors to understand cholesterol: Primal Questions with Dr Malcolm Kendrick
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2Hv7ErHyFM

    Twenty five years a doctor attempted to put me on statins and I refused. I am now 81 and in good health. I walk and exercise 50 minutes a day, five days a week.

    About 15 years ago my Doctor said I had marginally high cholesterol and I should be taking Crestor. So I began taking as directed and after 6 months there was no change in the slight cholesterol. After another six months still no change. I had begun to have painful leg muscles. I quit the Crestor and within several days the pains disappeared. I set the Crestor aside and never took it again. I changed Dr. after several more years and and he advised me not to take any similar medication. He did have me take a blood test for cholesterol full detail. He pointed out that I had good HDL above 40. and the LDL measured around 1750. The HDL was around 60. The simple test, not separating the two’ I would and did measured a total of 2200. I’m now in my 80’s and life is good.

    My husband took Lipitor for 2 years in the 90s. Forget Myositis, he had outright muscle cramps all over his body at night. This caused a chronic rhabdomyolysis which severely damaged his kidneys. My pharmacist and I figured out that it was the Lipitor. Did a 2 wk trial OFF it. No cramps. Tried going back on it.48 hrs later cramps started. That was the last dose he took. Several docs thought his renal dz was due to diabetes/HTN except for one little thing. 6 mos after stopping Lipitor, his kidneys quit dumping protein. PMD finally agreed with me, it was due to statins.
    The real kicker is that in 2009 he had a heart cath. Cholesterol and triglycerides were high. in spite of that, he had virtually no heart disease. One artery, posterior, had a 40% blockage that they did nothing about. His mother died at 90 with very high cholesterol and NO treatment during her life-time. The real key to heart disease is genetics, IMHO. Just saw a 54 yo woman drop dead. Skinny, took care of herself, exercised regularly, no abnormal labs like chol or trigly. Bad family history. The runner, Jim Fixx was a good example. Died young from heart disease. I have cautioned my adult children and my grandchildren not to take statin drugs.

    I am now 66 years old and was told 16 years ago to take Lipitor. I did for 6 months and quit. Painful elbows and feeling tired all the time. Still don’t take them and never will. Most recent study indicates the life expectancy of someone on statins vs. not is only 4 or 5 days longer- essentially do difference.

    Another problem is they focus on total cholesterol. I’ve been told it’s the small particle lpa that is the concern. Anyway it boils down to what you want to do with your life. I sat in front of a Johns Hopkins lipid specialist who lectured me for 60 minutes about statin therapy, how it works and why I must be on them. I listened as it was very clear he had NO interest in what I was doing with my life. Before parting he told me the secretary would call me an schedule an appointment for follow-up. That never happened and that was 2 years ago. I am very careful with my diet and am very active. Still play competitive baseball and work in construction.

    One final note. there is no easy and reasonable way to collect data about any drug once it is released. Many tell their doctor about symptoms but are either ignored or lectured. It isn’t until many years afterward we learn of things that may have wrecked our life. My advice is be informed, be smart and look out for your own best interest. Sometimes you are right!!!

    In March 2018 I went to the ER with a suspected heart attack. The symptoms were severe back muscle pain and arm pain on the left. After being thoroughly tested (EKG, CT scan, blood tests) I was found to have clear arteries and no sign of heart disease, but was still in agonizing pain that even morphine didn’t help. I was told to go see my doctor the next day. She (a doctor I had had for only a few months) told me to stop taking Simvastatin. In two weeks the muscle pain was gone and has not returned. Prior to this incident I had been having painful spasms in my back muscles for 15 months, was beginning to have trouble going up stairs and would get out of breath easily. All those symptoms are gone. Because I am 80 years old, my former doctor chalked it up to age. I didn’t think it was age related, and I am glad I found a doctor who listens. I would never take a statin again.

    I think I have muscle weakness & peripheral neuropathy, after taking 40 mg. Of Simivastin for a number of years. My blood
    shows at or below minimums. Is there much harm in stopping at 79 years of age?

    I think statins are a very dangerous drug. My husband has been on them for years and has muscle wasting and very weak muscles. The doctors just will not listen and I think they are ruining his health.

    See the op-ed in the NY TIMES on 12/17/18: “Dr. Google is a Liar” by Haider Warraich, a cardiology fellow at Duke. He describes a patient with a “sky high” cholesterol level who refused to take her prescribed statin because of articles like this. He blames “misinformation” for the heart attack that led her to see him as a patient. He argues that there are proper indications for taking statins that should not be ignored.`

    Don’t overlook statin induced Rhabdomyolysis with it’s resulting and permanent chronic kidney failure. It’s another form of acute muscular pain and permanent muscle loss that can be caused by statins.

    The Wall Street Journal reported some time ago about a controversy at Harvard Medical School in which an instructor derided a student who challenged statin therapy on the basis of its adverse effects. Turned out the instructor was on the payroll of a statin manufacturer but had not informed the school nor, of course, the students.

    Gary Taubs in Good Calories, Bad Calories (Anchor Books 2008) discussed the cholesterol theory of heart disease and reported that, as of that writing, it was still a theory, which had its basis in politics, not science. In that vein, the Journal article reported on the growing opinion among medicos that the limited beneficial effect of statins may come from their anti-inflammatory properties rather than their effect on cholesterol. That in turn raises certain cost-benefit questions vis a vis other anti-inflammatories, say, for instance, aspirin. By the way, there are credible studies which correlate low cholesterol with dementia. We might want to see some focus on that.

    I am a 70-year-old patient in the VA system with no history of heart disease. I have low triglycerides, low sugar (no hint of diabetes, incipient or otherwise), good blood pressure, yet for ten years the system has been trying to get me on statins. Why? There’s no financial incentive. The reason is doctrine. Doctrine from where? From such as that instructor at Harvard. The doctor who made the crack about a medical degree trumping research (he said Google; PubMed is on Google, but maybe he doesn’t know that), if that doctor got his degree at Harvard, and his instruction on statins from that pharma stooge, certain mysteries — whence such arrogance, whence such ignorance — clear up.

    I was given atorvastatin in the early 2000s despite getting my cholesterol down to 177 with diet. My doctor was unhappy with the ratio of HDL to LDL or so she said, but I will always suspect her of getting a kickback for prescribing it. And so I took it. I experienced lethargy and depression soon afterward, but did not associate it with the drug. As time went on, I began experiencing pain in my arms which the doctor wrote off to tendinitis because I used a computer every day at work, and she didn’t bother with any testing or examination of my muscles.

    One night in a hotel I was unable to throw my bath towel over the shower rod to dry and within a few months I went into a severe, suicidal depression and had to be hospitalized. During this time I completely lost my ability to raise my arms above waist height. Despite my cholesterol being at 134, no one picked up on this level as being dangerously low nor did anyone comment on nor question the bruises on my arms, which I found out later – on my own – was a symptom of muscles tearing. Because of the depression, I was put on quite a load of psychiatric drugs, all of them with serious side effects, which didn’t affect the depression for over eight weeks, and which took me three and a half miserable years of recovery after quitting them too quickly, although under doctor’s supervision.

    A few months after returning to work, I realized that the statin had caused the depression and the muscle problems and threw them away. Within a month or two the antidepressants were making me hyperactive and had to be stopped as quickly as possible. Today, eight years after the hospitalization, I still cannot raise my left arm any higher than my waist although my right arm has improved a bit. I’ve seen an orthopedic surgeon who was astonished that I was able to live on my own as the CT scan showed I have no rotator cuffs. They were apparently worn away from the drag of deteriorating upper arm muscles. The surgeon agrees with me with that the statin was likely the cause. He also tells me there is nothing that can be done. My doctor is in denial about the whole issue and still suggests statins to me at nearly every physical. I’ll be changing doctors soon.

    Why not red yeast rice?? Artichoke etc?

    All amazing stories. The problem is the medical community who doesn’t believe in any of this. When my wife’s cardiologist insisted on her taking a statin she told him about all the research I’ve done and stories from web sites like this. He totally denied that any of this was true and that there is no formal studies that indicated issues like the above were real.

    So until you get the doctors to do their homework many of those taking statins will end up with muscular issues and some will be severe. Also too many doctors use the trial and error approach where they will prescribe a med then if there are serious side affects, then and only then will they suggest to stop taking a drug. That’s too late and the patient pays the consequences. Bottom line is our medical system is seriously flawed.

    To Bobby, @ mid-USA: Very smart not to take the drugs. I personally will take my chances, change diet maybe, but will never take these horrible drugs. It’s all about the $$$$$.

    After taking Lipitor 6 months I could barely walk the short distance from my car to my front door. I quit taking it and gradually started to regain muscle strength in my thighs. I told the doctor I’d rather die an early sudden death than die slowly by a statin. I read “The Cholesterol Myth” and now asses my risk by calculating the ratio of triglycerides to HDL. Look it up!

    Is this fear-mongering about some rare and fairly uncommon side effects about statins? I’m not sure what the purpose of this article if it isn’t meant to install fear in readers who are considering statins, especially since the acknowledgment that the vast majority of people who take them do so safely and with no significant side effects?

    I wonder how of your readers also took any Fluoroquinolone antibiotic drugs like Cipro or Levaquin and many others in that group. Many may have had eye problems and were given the fluoroquinolone eye drops especially if they were having cataract or lasik surgery. This causes the same problems as the statins do.

    Maybe you can ask.

    I have high cholesterol related to other meds I take for other medical issues. My doctors over the years have prescribed every statin on the market. I could tolerate none of them. I last took pravastatin because the dr said it caused fewer problems. That was so far from the truth. After taking it for a few months it got to where I could barely walk. Now years later I still have extreme leg and foot pain. It is only getting worse. When we went to Disney last year my family had to push me in a wheelchair.
    I am only 63. I try to stay active but what does the future hold. Drs don’t tell you all of these horrible side effects. They are too quick to bring out the prescription pad. I now try to manage my cholesterol with diet and krill oil caps.

    A hospital nutritionist suggested I eat a breakfast of a combination of half cup oatmeal, 1/3 cup oat bran and a tablespoon Benecol (in margarine section at the grocers, contains plant statins) added after cooking the cereal.At 6 months check -up, 240 cholesterol was down about 20 points, eventually to 200. I got bored and stopped the “gruel” after a few years of eating it 4-5 times a week. Cholesterol went back up. My doctor prescribed Crestor, which I took for a month. I had muscle aches in places I didn’t know I had, stopped taking Crestor and the aches went away immediately. I waited a month, started Crestor again and started aching again. (Kept doc informed.) Back to the gruel. Fewer polyps found at colonoscopies (colon cancer in family), due to the fiber, I think. Also Squatty Potty works for me! Non-related: I quit my 8-10 glasses of wine a week habit, happened to have a check-up 6 weeks later. My high triglycerides were way down. My blood pressure dose was cut in half when I started walking 2 miles 5x a week. Quit because of knee pain when biking or walking (no cartilage). BP back up. Just had partial knee surgery, eager to get back on the treadmill. I’m 76. I really appreciate your column. Thank you.

    I was a healthy 75-year-old when I was prescribed my first low-dose statin (pravastatin). After a few days I noticed I was unable to achieve and maintain my previous cycling speed. Blaming it on the statin, I stopped taking it after only 13 doses. But my strength and endurance didn’t improve much, so I questioned whether the statin was the real cause or not.

    Fast-forward 2 years, when a flunked angiogram led to coronary artery bypass surgery. I was prescribed a stronger statin prior to surgery (rosuvastatin). The next few months I was mostly focused on recovering from the surgery, but when I returned to “normal,” I noticed, again, muscle weakness and fatigue. A fresh stress test showed the overhauled heart was doing fine, but my cardiologist (who prescribed the statin) said to stop taking it after about 5 months. But my condition worsened. My legs started collapsing, and now (a little over a year after starting the statin) I have poor balance, little strength, walk with a cane, can no longer get up from the floor unaided, and it’s getting worse.

    My current stable of MDs has offered little help (or hope). We initially suspected myositis, but a muscle biopsy ruled that out. An elevated CPK warned of rhabdomyalysis, but that’s been ruled out somehow. They’ve eventually settled on peripheral neuropathy (which I’ve had, with no significant problems, for close to 15 years), but it’s apparently suddenly become severe. I’m scheduled to see the local neuromuscular disease guru, but that’s over 2 months down the road, and I don’t expect to be able to walk at all by then.

    Twenty-five years ago, at the age of 55, I was troubled with significantly worsening essential tremor which, incidentally, does run in my family. At that time I came across a full page ad for Zocor in a leading national newspaper. The appearance or worsening of that affliction was listed among several possible adverse side effects, and only after showing that ad to my internist was I switched to another cholesterol-reducing medication. The severity of my tremors dropped markedly, and only recently have they approached that level again.

    But that’s not the end of my tale.

    Several years later I became involved with a pair of researchers at a large hospital complex providing advice on preparing graphics in support of their publications related to structural faults in human eye lenses. During a conversation one of them asked me if I was taking a statin. I replied that I had for about a decade, but had been switched to something else three or four years earlier. Their response was that at some point in the future I would develop cataracts. The operative word was “would,” not “might.”

    Not long after being apprised of my impending fate, one of the statin manufacturers began to claim in TV commercials that their product may reduce the likelihood of developing cataracts.

    In the spring of 2015 I had both cataract-clouded lenses replaced. As far as I know, I’m the only person on either side of my family to experience cataract development.

    Several years ago, my (then) doctor prescribed a statin. I developed a tremor in one hand, which is pretty much controlled by Primadone. I asked a pharmacist about it, and he swore up and down that tremor was NOT a side effect.

    My current doctor would like for me to take a statin, but I refuse to. I’m a weaver. I can’t afford to risk the other hand!

    Tried statins twice. 1st time ambulance had to come and get me. 2nd time ended up in wheelchair cause I couldn’t walk both times. Same experience w/my niece. No more statins, thank you.

    My doc prescribed Crestor to help with slightly elevated cholesterol and triglycerides. 24 hours after the first dose, I started feeling muscle pain in my sides and torso. 48-72 hours, and it was difficult to put a shirt or coat on. 4 doses, and I called my doctor. He advised I stop.
    My wife was prescribed with Lipitor. One dose, one only, and the next day she could barely walk.
    We are both now taking Omega III supplements.

    I know pravastatin is not as strong as the other statins, but it is water soluble and causes far fewer side effects. I don’t know why doctors have to go with the statins that push you towards diabetes whereas Pravastatin decreases your chances of becoming type 2 diabetic by 30%. Diabetes runs in my family. I’ll take pravastatin any day over all the other statin drugs. Far fewer muscle issues with pravastatin too, as it is water soluble versus fat soluble.

    Thank you for your tip about pravastatin. My doctor started me on pravastatin about 20 years ago because of my high cholesterol numbers. After a couple of weeks my muscles started to hurt: I had trouble sleeping at night. The only thing I could think of was the pravastatin so I stopped it and the pain went away. I went back to my doctor and told him. Fortunately I have a great doctor who listens to patients instead of dismissing their comments, like a lot of doctors. He still wanted me to try a statin so I tried 3 other statins and had the same problem. Just a couple of days ago I read a report by a group of distinguished doctors claiming that people complain about muscle problems because of what they read on the internet and it’s all nonsense. But this happened to me before you could get information on the internet; in fact, the reason you read about it on the internet is because people have had these problems over many years. Fortunately for me stopping the statins quickly solved the problem but I see that not everyone is so lucky. Thank you, People’s Pharmacy, for trying to give a fair account of this issue by listening to people’s experience.

    I’ve been suspicious of statins since I noticed they on’t really lower BP for me. Then there was the recall. Doctor said I could stop that one, then second one was recalled. I’m still taking the second one with fear until I can get back to doctor. These meds manufactured in China and other places even in USA with no regulations are dangerous. Regulations and laws out the window now so we should make our decision on what we swoller. Cholesterol med for normal numbers should not be taken, in MY opinion.

    Ann,
    Statins are not supposed to lower your BP. Aside from that, I agree that statins are bad for many people for many reasons, and I would never take them.

    Just curious: are you guys doing what this NYT article suggests is confusing patients and scaring them away from statins, which are relatively safe for the vast majority of people who take them? And the advantages of taking them far outweigh the rare side effects (one of which you called out in this article, while burying the fact that statins are very safe as a class of drug until the last paragraph of your article)??

    Anyone who suggests taking a statin as a preventative measure is someone I would avoid, as they are not up to date. No drug should be taken for preventative measures for cholesterol issues. The body is sending a signal that the diet or foods you are consuming are not healthy. But instead of changing the diet we simply want an easy fix and take a drug. But if the diet is not changed, other health problems are likely to occur, because you are not listening to your body’s signals.

    My HDL is 88 and my LDL is 73 simply by avoiding sugar, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), polyunsaturated fats, and GRAINS. But that eliminates all the good tasting foods we enjoy. But my mantra is this, eat to please your tongue and you are setting yourself up for health issues. We must eat to maintain our body, we do not eat to please our tongue.

    My mother was on Simvastatin 80mg for 5 years because she had a mild heart attack during outpatent surgery. Her cardiologist saw her once a year and her Internist saw her twice a year, nobody questioned the high dose of Simvastatin. I even asked and they said well the cardiologist must want it.
    One morning while brushing her teeth her legs collapsed and she broke her leg in three places!
    Before this her legs had been getting weaker and weaker and we thought it was age related. A normal dose is 10mg nobody questioned this dose of 80mg for so long.
    Muscle weakness is definitely a real effect!

    I was on simvastatin for 48 hours and began experiencing leg muscle pain and violent spasms which lasted several months even though I immediately stopped taking the drug. My doctor was in denial so I left him behind. Despite many good people who work in the medical field, overall it is just an industry selling product with little regard for the consumer.

    In the statin trials, muscular damage is only recorded if the blood level of creatine (a marker of muscular damage) is more than ten times higher than the normal value.
    Furthermore. all adverse events, including muscular damage, are minimized because most statin trials include a short run-in period, where the participants test the drug under investigation. After that, those who suffer side effects are excluded from the trial. This method was not used in the IDEAL trial, where a high statin dose was compared with a low statin dose. In that trial, almost 50% of the subjects in both groups suffered from serious adverse effects, which demonstrates that a run-in period is an effective method to minimize their number.

    I started having muscle crams within a year of starting atorvasatin. Took potasium supplements, then added magnesium. After 2 years, cramps returned always at night, making it difficult to stay asleep. My PCP asked me to stop taking the statin, and for 2 weeks now no muscle cramps at night. No more potassium, or magnesium supplements. Sleeping all night now.

    My doctor recommended beginning statins in 2014 to address my 219 cholesterol score. I successfully opted to change my diet in lieu of medication. I work in physical therapy and have had patients tell me their diagnosis of rhabdomyolysis was due to long term statin use. I was motivated to change my diet by increasing plant based foods and eliminating fatty cheeses and lard laden breads and desserts. My 2018 lab result was 198.

    My Doc bugged me for 4 years to take statins even though my cholesterol and triglyceride levels were fine. He said that they would be heart healthy for me. Finally, last year I caved and picked up my first bottle at the pharmacy. The next day I got a pill out to take and I just couldn’t. That full bottle is still in my cupboard. I don’t want to take drugs unless I believe they are necessary. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong but you place your bet and you take your chances.

    I would run from any doctor who thought prescribing a drug for a patient when there was no need was good medicine. The words, “First do no harm” seem to have been forgotten in medicine for both humans and animals.

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