The People's Perspective on Medicine

Scary Statin Side Effects Substantiated

Statin drugs are widely prescribed, but statin side effects can include an increased risk for muscle pain, moderate to serious liver problems and cataracts.

When the very first statin-type cholesterol-lowering drug was approved by the FDA in July, 1987 there was great excitement. Lovastatin (Mevacor) was perceived as a magic bullet for lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart attacks. Within a short time Mevacor became the most prescribed anti-cholesterol drug in the country. Doctors perceived it as highly effective and well tolerated with few serious side effects.

Despite initial enthusiasm there were a few concerns. Doctors were told by the manufacturer that Mevacor might raise liver enzymes and increase the risk for cataracts. The official prescribing information noted that dogs treated with Mevacor developed cataracts and “There was a high prevalence of baseline lenticular opacities in the patient population included in the early clinical trials with lovastatin.” In other words, there was acknowledgment that clouding of the lens suggestive of cataracts occurred during the early human tests of statins.

As a result of these discoveries, liver function tests were supposed to be performed before treatment started and then every month of two thereafter for at least a year. Eye exams were recommended early in treatment and annually thereafter.

The incredible success of Mevacor led to the development of many other statin-type drugs including:

  • Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
  • Fluvastatin (Lescol)
  • Lovastatin extended-release (Altoprev)
  • Lovastatin + Niacin (Advicor)
  • Pitavastatin (Livalo)
  • Pravastatin (Pravachol)
  • Rosuvastatin (Crestor)
  • Simvastatin (Zocor)
  • Simvastatin + Niacin (Simcor)
  • Simvastatin + Ezetimibe (Vytorin)

Over the course of 25 years statins have become the most successful drugs in the history of the pharmaceutical industry. Tens of millions of Americans were put on drugs like Lipitor, Zocor and Crestor. Physicians became convinced that these medications were essential for good health and carried very little risk. There were few reports of liver problems, so regular testing dropped by the wayside, as did the fear that the drugs could cause cataracts. We suspect that relatively few patients were warned that they needed to get eye exams regularly and be on guard against cataracts.

We first got wind of the emerging cataract problem in an epidemiological study published in the journal BMJ (formerly the British Medical Journal) on May 20, 2010. Over 225,000 new statin users from England and Wales were tracked for several years. The investigators noted an increased risk for muscle pain, moderate to serious liver problems and cataracts:

“The time varying analyses showed the risk [of cataracts] was significantly increased within a year of starting statins, persisted during treatment, and returned to normal within the first year after stopping treatment.”

Although we thought this was a pretty dramatic discovery, it didn’t get much media or medical attention. But now a new study has confirmed that cataracts are associated with statin use (Optometry and Vision Science, Aug. 2012). Canadian researchers studied over 6,000 patients who visited an optometry clinic. Diabetic patients who took statins were at significantly greater risk for developing cataracts than those who did not take statins. The investigators point out that the lens of the eye requires cholesterol for proper cell development and lens transparency.

Patients with diabetes are frequently prescribed statins to prevent cardiovascular complications of their disease such as heart attacks and strokes. But here is another boomerang: statins themselves may substantially increase the risk for diabetes.

A new study in The Lancet (Aug. 11, 2012) confirms what many people were already beginning to suspect. Those with prediabetes are at especially high risk for developing full-blown diabetes if they are prescribed statins. The investigators were quick to point out that the cardiovascular benefits of statins outweigh the hazards of diabetes. That may be, but when a drug causes a condition (like diabetes) that can have such devastating health consequences, we have to ask whether the ends justify the means.

Visitors to this website have been reporting problems with statins since long before the researchers turned up proof. Here are just a few comments.

“Within about a month of starting Crestor at 5 mg, I had calf pain on a consistent basis. And in the same time frame, I was diagnosed as diabetic — not a great surprise because I was a likely candidate with a history of gestational diabetes and hypoglycemia — but I had not tipped into the actual diabetes category until after I took a statin.

“The calf pain disappeared shortly after I stopped the statin, but the diabetes remained.” -Dallee

“I started out with Questran in the 1980s, moving on first to Mevacor and then to Lipitor in the 1990s. I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes in 1989 when a urine specimen showed high sugars and a 24 hr urine analysis revealed kidney disease. Now after some 20 years of statins and well controlled diabetes (A1C 6.1 this January) I have peripheral neuropathy in both feet. I’m also aware of fuzzy cognitive thinking and loss of vocabulary.

“I’m having surgery on a lumpy tendon sheath in my left thumb next week. It never occurred to me that statins had anything to do with any of these things, but now I’m wondering. In 2007 I had a cardiac syndrome episode with no damage, but a narrowed LAD coronary artery. Both my GP and my cardiologist are big Lipitor fans. I’m 80 years old and realize that decline is inevitable, but not decline caused by a medication!” -Cottonmouth

“I have been prescribed Flonase but never have used it much, which is good, given this possible problem with cataracts. However, I have been using Lipitor for about 10 years now. About 2 years ago I was told that I have a cataract starting in my left eye; however, I am 64 and I imagine that cataracts starting at my age are not uncommon.” -Chuck

And that pretty much sums up the statin dilemma. People who are diagnosed with cataracts or diabetes in their fifties or sixties are frequently told that they “are just getting older.” With age comes chronic health problems like muscle aches and pain, diabetes and cataracts. What people may not be told is that atorvastatin or simvastatin (or any other statin) might be contributing to those aches and pains, elevated blood sugars or cataracts.

We recognize that many people benefit from statins, especially those who have had a heart attack or a stent placed in a coronary artery. But the benefits of statins for what is called primary prevention are now highly controversial. When a medicine that is supposed to prevent chronic health problems down the road actually contributes to them, we get concerned.

We welcome your comments below. Share your story about statins. We want to hear the pros as well as the cons.

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About the Author
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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My dr put me on 80mgs of Lipitor when I was in the hospital due to a heart attack, had double bypass and mechanical heart valve and that hospital had me on them. I’m 8 wks post surgery, and now. I’m having muscle pain on rt side and back, I’m stuck in my recliner for now. I got off the Lipitor 5 days ago and trying to let work it’s way out of my system. It’s really sad when a patient has to self diagnose because your drs won’t help you.

I was put on 40mg Lipitor in 1992 by 1997 I had developed full blown diabetes. No mention from doctor about connection between statin drug and diabetes. Remained on 80mg of Lipitor then in 2004 was told I had a small cataract in both my eyes but was not ready for surgery. By 2007 when I could not see to drive at night or see to read I was told I had cataracts in both eyes that were “ripe” and had surgery to have them removed. I have since stopped taking statin drug (my choice) due to problems walking and other muscular problems. I took my health in my own hands and have lowered my cholesterol and blood sugars by following a low carb diet and daily exercise, my health is the best it’s been in 20 years.

The doctor insisted I should take statins after I started to take them had chest pains 7 days after starting to take Statins and on 10th day nearly called the local hospital because I thought I was having a heart attack, I did not take any statins for about 6 weeks then took one no reaction. On second day I had a very severe reaction to statins and have refused to take any since.

After HER2+ breast cancer in 2003: collapsed backbone due to radiation for tumours in backbone in 2005 then heart attacks – 2013 and 2015 (four stents later) I was put on 80mg dose (yes!) in 2013 to ‘lower my cholesterol ‘ in 2013 after 1st heart attack – I was told, I would “not have another attack” well guess what, 2015 came along and despite the huge daily dose of Atorvastatin I did have another attack! After feeling really ghastly (altho I am 76 I never felt old ’till then) with hot/cold pains in legs and inability to walk at times, decided to ditch all meds (including blood thinners and of course the statins) I have been off them for 5 months and starting to feel ‘normal’ – veg diet of 25 years, meditation, CoQ10, some B12 when needed, Vitamin D3 and selenium, keeping up with very heavy gym sessions, plus 6 years of remedial massage each week to sort out my collapsed backbone (due to radiation to ‘fix’ my cancer in the backbone) am starting to walk normally and getting rid of ‘widows hump’ which has taken a long time.

Ah, the medical profession! All my blood tests, prior to, during and after the cancers and the heart attacks had been “amazing” according to the doctors, my cholesterol has always been “very high” and I have extremely low blood pressure (due I suspect to 2 and a half hours meditation daily which lowers metabolism ) BUT I was under extreme stress during the time these events occurred – nothing else – so now it seems more attention is being paid to the number of people who have no prior indications but stress – not even genetic dispositions. Life is great!!!

I only started on Statins about 6-weeks ago. Since then I’ve had a headache and dizziness and feel sick. I suffer with my hip and knee anyway but a week ago I found I could hardly get out of bed and can barely hobble around. The pain in my butt, legs, back and arms is indescribable and I just feel if this is it why bother. Have been back to doctor who said to stop taking them and as I have never had a heart condition anyway they might be irrelevant. So I shall stop taking them from today and hope this awful pain goes away. Can not believe that a tablet could do this to the body!!

I started stations several years ago, simply because the Dr. said cholesterol was a ‘little’ high. OK.
Never cautioned to report anything about muscle pain or any other possible side effects. Since then, I have seen at least a dozen other MD’s and none mentioned side effects to watch for. About a year ago, I lost complete control of my legs for 6 days and stayed in the hospital until the effects of stations wore off. I was fortunate it was temporary. Afterwards, the MD still wanted me to take stations at a lower dose and sent me to a Dr of Pharmacology to review my meds and suggest another stating strategy. Ok. Tried a reduced dose of different brand. Muscle pain started and was reduced again. Can not feel part of my left foot and left hand fingers are tingling and less feeling in fingers.
I had a cardio Dr look into to my heart (through leg artery) and two different tests showed no buildup of anything. Perfectly clean. Cholesterol had not ever accumulated there (or anywhere else as ‘plaque’.
They keep saying take it. I am now convinced that although stations reduce cholesterol, the epidemic of prescriptions as almost solely due to the extreme profitability of this drug. I do not know if the producers of stations ‘paid off’ or otherwise provided phony data to the FDA to keep these in the top drug spot, but they are extremely dangerous, and like cigarettes, the truth is likely to be covered up as long as possible. This stuff is poison.

This is all so interesting. I have had 2 episodes with statins.

First it was Vytorin taking my total cholesterol down to 105. Every medical professional told me how great my levels were. I would ask them why I felt so bad. I was extremely angry, developed insomnia and some post menopausal bleeding. My hormones were all screwed up and that was adding to the madness. I stopped the statin and 3 days later I was a normal person. The doctor was amazed.

The 2nd experience was last year. I was put on Lipitor 40 mg which brought my cholesterol down to 138 almost a 100 point drop. The doctor was pleased but I toldhim it was too low and I wanted to reduce the Lipitor to 20mg. He wasn’t my regular doctor and I wasn’t really that nice to him. After lowering the Lipitor my mood improved. I explained to my doctor it was like having someone behind you in the shadows whispering in your ear.

Now my only problem with the Lipitor is heartburn. I never had heartburn before. Now drinking water in the evenings will give me heartburn.

I am startng to think the experience of extremely low cholesterol increased the development of cataracts. My ophthalmologist had told me I had decades before I would need to do anything about them. I think it was 4 years later when the optometrist could only correct my vision to 20/40 in the left eye. He said the cataract on the left eye was ripe. I was 58 and had cataracts taken off both eyes.

I am amazed when the doctors treat you like a nut case because you see the connection and they don’t or refuse to.

After 4 months on Crestor in 2015, I was unable to walk or use my shoulders with extreme pain. Could not roll over in bed due to pain. Needed help to get out of bed, to shower, to dry and to dress. Mostly sat inside watching tv. Doctors unable to diagnose. Urine went the colour of black tea or coke.

Using internet, I self-diagnosed rhabdomyolisis and stopped Crestor. That was 28 October 2015. I have very slowly improved. GPs, cardiologist and rheumatologist all agree with my diagnosis. Now, weak damaged thigh and shoulder muscles but no constant pain, only when extending myself. Now, nine months later, with continuing improvement, I am optomistic that I may improve to 85-90% of my former self over the next 6-12 months, but I suspect the cells of my major muscles are permanently damaged and scarred. The only advice I have received is from one GP and one cardiologist which was “all the best”.

I started on statins at age 40. At 47 I had cataract surgery in both eyes. Had the risk factors of mild Type II diabetes and significant myopia, but still I was very young. Over the years I have been on several statins and all give me the classic symptoms – muscle weakness, cognitive confusion, difficulties with word find, memory loss, etc.

I stopped working several years ago because of the mental issues. Every 6 months or so when the side effects are too much to handle I take a break of a couple of weeks. Doctors insist I need them and I need my LDL to be around 70. Someone in the comments mentioned nose bleeds. I have been plagued by them for years. The ENT found no physical cause and told me to keep my nasal passages moist, but that’s just a little help. I wonder it the Crestor has something to do with them. My doctor wonders if it contributes to my slightly low platelet count. The stuff is more harm than good.

I have been taking Lipitor for 15 years. I cannot walk properly. I have been speaking to friends on statins they all complain of unexplained muscle pain and soreness.
I’d like to heard from others. I am 64 and my quality of life is a mess.

Some days the pain is so bad I need a walker other days I can walk with a cane. I am good for about 100 feet either way and anti-inflammatories seem to help a bit.
I have hip pain when I sleep on my right side.
Doctors are at a loss to explain why I cannot walk without excruciating pain and have muscle weakness. I have had X-Rays, multiple MRIs. blood tests, an EMG and a lumber puncher. I suspect Lipitor is the cause.

I started having severe nosebleeds 3 days ago for the first time in my life. After doing an Internet search, I discovered its a side effect of statins. My doctor, nor the one in the ER mentioned it. My father had nosebleeds for years and was on a statin. My mother has hair loss and cataracts, possibly from statins. My father suffered and last year died from interstitial lung disease, all the while his doctors kept him on a statin. I am very angry having read all this today and the complete ignorance of doctors. I have also been suffering from elevated A1c, lactic acidosis, peripheral neuropathy, fatigue, and memory problems in the 6 months since taking Lipitor. I’m stopping. For years my resting heart rate has been 100 with no explanation. Now I wonder if it was from taking a statin for a year about 10 years ago. I’m 55.

I am an RN, now retired. Most of my career I worked in coronary care units, so when lab tests revealed, at age 50, high cholesterol and lousy ratios (high LDL, low HDL), I readily agreed to start statins. Several months later, I noticed my right hip would ache when I was walking my dog. I mentioned this to my doctor and I was switched to a different statin. Unfortunately, that made the aching worse, so I was switched to yet another statin, with the same result. I finally discontinued the statins on my own and my aching hip gradually disappeared within 2 months.

Fast forward to my mid 50’s…I began going to a new physician who enthusiastically embraced the newest standards regarding elevated cholesterol. Because I had a prior history of muscle pain with older statins, my doctor recommended Pravastatin (brand name Pravachol). He assured me I would not experience muscle pain because this statin was metabolized differently from the older drugs. Several months later, I complained that my right hip ache had returned and escalated into pain. I was told to stop the drug for several weeks and report changes in my level of pain. As I had experienced before, my hip pain abated.

My doctor agreed to let me try controlling my cholesterol with a low fat diet and exercise. I had uneven results… my cholesterol level was 200, six months later, it was 268. My doctor tried to persuade me to restart statins, but I resisted the idea.

I was 57 when my doctor began insisting that I restart the statin therapy. I finally agreed to start on 5mg of Crestor and was assured that the low dose would protect me from having joint pain. Several months later…you guessed it… I developed shin and calf pain, in addition to my aching hip when I was walking. Again I stopped the drug. 9 months later, at my annual physical, I described my new shin splints to my doctor and confessed that I has stopped the drug without first consulting him. He became very angry with me and abruptly left the exam room to cool down! When he returned, he handed me a prescription for Crestor and told me I MUST take it. When I protested, citing my lower leg cramps, he said that was not a type of muscle pain related to Crestor and reiterated his instructions to begin therapy… and not stop.

Several months passed and my shin splints became unbearable. I developed plantar faciitis in my right foot. I had orthotics made by a podiatrist and wore them faithfully, in addition to daily anti-inflammatories, ice and stretching exercises. Nothing helped, so I opted to have steroid/lidocaine injections in my right heel. Slowly, the plantar faciitis resolved, but the shin splints remained. I began to gain weight, which was very unusual for me. My hip pain returned, but I was afraid to say anything to my doctor. I honestly felt the 30 lb weight gain was the cause. I was constantly fatigued, I became depressed, developed joint pain in my shoulders and elbows and had difficulty walking. I was always short of breath and mentally foggy. I attributed all these symptoms to “getting old”. I actually considered purchasing a walker.

5 years ago, I developed a nasty case of tochanteric bursitis and limited range of motion in my right hip. After conservative treatment and physical therapy failed to relieve my pain, I had the tendon injected with steroid/lidocaine by an orthopedic surgeon. Six weeks later, the bursitis was still present, so I returned for another injection. Fortunately, my daughter accompanied me to that appointment. She insisted I tell the doctor about my joint and muscle pain and the gradual decline of my health. He immediately checked my chart and said… “Oh no… You’re on a statin! Stop it immediately and see your doctor asap-today if possible…your symptoms are totally due to your statin!” I actually started to cry… I wasn’t crazy or just getting old… I had been right all along…it was the statins!

My doctor was out of town and I was examined by another doctor in the practice. My liver enzymes and CPK were all elevated. I was told never to take statins again. I was lucky I hadn’t sustained permanent damage to my heart muscle! This doctor suggested I try a plant based diet as an alternative to control my cholesterol. 6 months later, I had returned to my normal weight and my muscle/joint pains had mostly disappeared… except in my right hip… I also couldn’t raise my right leg beyond 60 degrees… It felt as though it was catching on something inside the joint. X-rays showed I had no cartilage left in my right hip ‘socket’ and on the head of my femur! X-rays of my left hip showed normal cartilage distribution. In fact, the radiologist commented that I had the left hip of a much younger person! My depression and mental fogginess evaporated.

I did my homework and found a surgeon who performed an anterior muscle-sparing hip replacement 2 & 1/2 years ago. 6 weeks after surgery, I resumed a healthy active lifestyle. I’ve adopted a pescatarian diet… vegan with the addition of seafood. My recent cholesterol was 182…my LDL is low, my HDL high! To this day, not one medical professional can explain the atypical damage to my right hip. I firmly believe it was a direct result of the statins, however, I can’t prove it since I never had hip x-rays to document the condition of the hip until the irreparable damage had been done.

I tell anyone who is on a statin and complains of muscle pain my story and urge them to talk to their doctor about alternative treatments to lower their cholesterol levels.

I find it alarming that the American Heart Association, the AMA and big Pharma appear to be cozy bedfellows. Hopefully, 25 years from now, medical schools will be teaching their students that statins are to be avoided in most cases!

By the way, after my hip replacement, I switched to a physician in a Wellness Institute who practices alternative medicine. I’ve never felt so good in my entire life!

I am 70 been on atleast 5 different statins for 25 yrs. I stopped 3 different times because of joint & muscle pain. Wish the government would take control and do the studies needed to protect and inform us without any special interest groups benefiting from results!!! Every problem that I deal with is always due to my age and arthritis. That covers the time from 45 years till present. My heart dr. will not even admit I have been overmedicated probably for years for bp. Told him my home readings n have been low. They were not in his office (white coat) finally took me off water pill and cut my bp in half. Bp stay in ok range, my sleep improve greatly. Bad sleep for lots of years. He didn’t see or acknowledge any connection.

Looking on Internet found that can be a side effect of bp meds. The change in meds is the only change in my life, logic would make the connection even if you have no med background. ? My life in fact has been very stressful in recent times. I could go on& on with my concerns, but I agree with the one who said in 10 yrs. They will tell everyone oops! We made a mistake about statins, I WILL MOST LIKELY BE DEAD BY THAN, OH WELL

I had an MI in September 2014, and had stents in my right coronary artery. I was put on Plavix, Aspirin, Micardis and Lipitor. The Lipitor was 40mg. Due to the Plavix 75mg and Aspirin 100mg, one weekend I suddenly had acute stomach pain due to bleeding, and with black tarry stools. I went off the Aspirin and drank warm water or milk with slippery elm powder and after two days the pain resolved and stools went back to normal.

Following the weekend, I had blood tests, ultrasound, colonoscopy and gastroscopy which revealed an ulcerated stomach from the blood thinning and anti-coagulant medications. They also found that between the two blood tests I had had, one before the bleed and one after, that I had lost over a pint of blood and so needed a blood infusion. I also had aching legs at night from the Lipitor, so was swapped to Crestor, however these made my muscles ache throughout my whole body.

I have now been taken off the statins to see if they are the cause of the pain. After several days I have no leg pain or muscle pain! Because I went off the Aspirin due to the bleed, my cardiologist has said he was going to take me off the Plavix but because I went off the Aspirin I will probably now be on that for life! I did ring his office after my stomach bleed and left a message with his receptionist to let him know I had gone off the Aspirin and about what had happened and she said that he would ring me back. He never rang me!

My cholesterol level has now gone up to 5.8, it has never been this high in my life. Do statins have a rebound effect after going off them? My HDL cholesterol was good and my triglycerides were good also, just my overall cholesterol was higher than he wants it to be at 5.8. He then told me to take Pravachol 40mg, I asked if I could go on a lower dose to start with as all the medications so far seem to affect me, so he said to try 20mg. I really want to go off the Plavix and to try and keep my cholesterol low through just diet. Has anyone else been able to go off Plavix and if so how did they withdraw from that? Were they on Aspirin at the same time to cover the withdrawal effects of the Plavix? Is anyone else trying anything else instead of statins for lowering their cholesterol ? There seem to be so many side effects from the statins there has to be another way.

Wow, what a rough ride it’s been. I’m 51 years old and had my annual physical about 2 months ago. I’ve always been active, gregarious, and joyful, a kid at heart and in body until…. My doctor and I discussed it was time to start a statin regimen. I was about two and a half weeks in to my prescription when insomnia accompanied by anxiety and extreme sadness seemingly came out of nowhere. I’m not prone to crying or outburst of emotion but crap, I was a mess; I thought I was having a nervous breakdown or had a brain tumor. I’d sit in my truck and cry for no reason or have to leave my office.

My doctor thought I may be having anxiety issues and he prescribed me Chlorazepam. I filled the prescription and then got cold feet worrying about going down the path of Benzodiazepines with my addictive personality. Anyways, I requested a familiar drug from when I was to coping with my wifes cancer; specifically, Mirtazepine which has an off label use for insomnia. Things got worse, much worse. At night I would take both meds and throw up for no reason, I had jitters, tingling, a weird pain in my Achilles tendon, constipation, tired, headaches, leg cramps, and a general feeling of being pissed off, yeah, I must have a brain tumor. Things got so bad I just stopped taking the statin because, well frankly, I didn’t give a crap if I lived or died.

I was really feeling terrible and worrying about my cholesterol wasn’t a priority anymore, Just surviving without my children seeing me such a mess was priority number one. Anyways, after a few days of not taking the statin I started to rebound and was able to focus again. I did some research on the side effects of Mirtazapine and then Prevastatin and wow, I had no idea of the side effects of statins other than joint pain. Long story short, It’s been two weeks since stopping the statin and I’m sleeping with no anxiety and getting through the day without ultra sadness. The depression is lingering but I have hope it will go away.

I feel so bad for people that never connect the dots and continue with their statin in the face of such side effects. How many marriages have been compromised, how many people have done the unthinkable? Why isn’t this recognized as a massive problem in the medical community? I’m worried about my cholesterol and will take aggressive steps in my diet and exercise and try the supplements Niacin, and Omega 3’s.

I’m considering statins again but with eyes wide open and with help from a physician or psychiatrist that understands the serum, serotonin, and brain cholesterol equation. I just hope I haven’t provoked a latent depression that sticks around much longer. Be well and if any of this sounds familiar you can beat it.

I can relate totally!! I went of the statins about 6 weeks ago. My leg cramps and burning sensations that I had in my back, thighs and calves are GONE. I am still having sadness bouts and I wonder if they will ever go away. As a result of feeling better, I now can get up and move around and get some exercise. I am sleeping better also. And the brain ‘fog’ I was having is GONE. I would rather live on Romaine Lettuce than take another statin!

I started simvastatin (Zocor) a few months ago (10mg) and about a month ago bumped up to 20 mg, which is still a lower dose.

I’ve been having intermittent tachycardia and now it’s chronic. Talking excitedly sends my heart rate over 115-130 and start to hyperventilate.

Have had Holter monitor test showing tachycardia and going in for more testing. I wonder if statin could be culprit? I had some mild arrhythmia a few years ago in response to a different drug, and when I stopped it, it went away.

I’m 36, overweight and generally sedentary with very high cholesterol and triglycerides which I’m sure doesn’t help, just wondering if it’s “general poor health” or specifically triggered/exacerbated by the statin.

Did you find out anything or get any treatment, I’ve been having the same symptoms.

Further to my posting of last month re pulmonary fibrosis (I’m a little surprised I received no comments from anyone), I today saw a solicitor about a possible medical negligence claim and he is going to research the disease and its relationship to Simvastatin. I had been on 80mg Simvastatin for over 5 years and not once was called in for a medication review. Even after my GP received a formal diagnosis from the specialist (about 6 months ago) and a recommendation that an urgent review of medication be undertaken, nothing was done. It was only when a friend of mine rang the GP’s surgery on my behalf about 3 weeks ago that any action was taken.

The result of the doctor’s indifference and inactivity was that I carried on taking the massive dose of Simvastatin for some six months after the diagnosis of pulmonary fibrosis – and it now seems clear that every day of that six months my lungs were being further irreparably damaged. If that’s not medical negligence then I don’t know what is.

Pulmonary fibrosis is a horrible progressive disease for which there is no treatment and no cure. The average life expectancy after diagnosis is between two and five years … I’ve already had over six months of that time.

Any comments would be appreciated.

David (UK)

My doctor has prescribed atorvastin (Lipitor) as she considers at the age of 68 I’m at high risk for stroke/heart attack although I haven’t been told I have a heart condition. I do take blood pressure tablets but I am relatively fit for my age. I’m reluctant to take this drug as the doctor also told me last week I’m border line for diabetes 2 at 6.1 which rather surprized me as my diet is very good.

(March 2015) I was on Simvastatin 80Mg for nearly 5 years until a few days ago. In September 2014 I was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. It’s getting progressively worse and it looks like my life will be curtailed by some ten or fifteen years. Now that I have learned over the past week or so that statins can cause pulmonary fibrosis – a terminal disease for which there is no treatment or cure – I have of course stopped taking the drug, but it’s too late. I am doubtful if I could bring a successful claim against the health authority because PF can have other causes. It’s a dreadful situation to be in.

I’ve been on statins for 15 years and 15 years of hell. I’m suffering lower back pain feet pain dry eyes blepharitis cataract diabetes hair loss dry scalp and hair dry skin disturbed sleep UTI. So where are the benefits of these drugs? Only to the multi billion pound drug Co s. I also have leukemia now.

I was recently diagnosed with a large blood clot in the 3rd chamber of my heart. I had several strokes as a result and was shocked as I exercised daily was a regular swimmer with no history of blood pressure or cholesterol problems. I was prescribed two blood pressure, cholesterol limiting, and a blood thinner. The clot was gone quickly, but the drugs with side effects remain. These doctors run amok with drugs and I think they cause more harm than good. No wonder they are being sued and deservedly so. They are not professionals and lack basic judgement.

I had a cholesterol problem, so my doctor had me start simvastatin 40mg for 6 month then again same. When I stop taking the medicine I started having some vision problems. I went to my primary doc, and he send me to an eye doctor. They detect my both eyes cataracts. Now 19 jan 2015 my first right eye will be operated on, then next one will have the operation 4 weeks later. It is a big problem with this medicine. I am very worried about this situation.

I took Simvastatin for 7 months and had many side effects where I went to the doctor and they did not suggest I stop them. Granted, the doctor prescribed it when I was already taking a medication that states they should never be mixed. After a pharmacist told me I should not combine them I quit the other and continued the statin. I then had severe shoulder and hip pain, had gained 28 pounds in less then 3 months, pins and needles in my feet and hands and my fingers were locking. When I developed the trigger thumb I researched myself online and it brought me straight to a Zocor warning. How did the doctors miss my symptoms as side effects to the statin and also miss the drug interaction for months?? I thought I would get better after stopping Simvastatin but have now been diagnosed with carpal tunnel, plantar fasciatis, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. I can no longer drive to work due to the pain. I am screwed because of this drug and no doctor will say it was from the statin. I was fine before taking it. How can they get away with this? If doctors reported this then maybe it would save some people from what I am going through. They think the drug is safe but that is because of all the denial. I am mad as HE** this did not need to happen to me.

My eyesight has deteriorated, seeing double since going onto atorvastatin.
Lots of flu-like symptoms, sore muscles and joints, so much so l wake frequently and have to walk and exercise the muscles and joints to get relief or l cant sleep. I also often feel very nauseas.
I was put on them over a year ago and have never had any tests to see if they are causing any harm despite telling my doctor.

My eyesight has deteriated, seeing double since going onto atorvastatin.
Lots of flu like symptoms, sore muscles and joints, so much so l wake frequently and have to walk and exercise the muscles and joints to get relief or I can’t sleep.
I also often feel very nauseous.
I was put on them over a year ago and have never had any tests to see if they are causing any harm despite telling my doctor.

So, in April 2012 I had a stent put in my Right Coronary Artery and was put on Lipitor. High Cholesterol runs in my family even though I have a very healthy diet. Initially I was put on Lipitor, then Zocor, then Crestor… I was able to tolerate Crestor because the other meds gave me severe leg cramps.
After 6 months on Crestor I started having the same problems I had with the other statins but my cardiologist insisted I be on this statin because I had a minor cardiac event in April 2012. After a 2 years on Crestor I started having bilateral foot tingling, numbness and temperature changes in both feet from hot to cold and cold to hot and tingling on the Right side of my back. I immediately stopped taking Crestor. I was referred to a neurologist and they ran every lab under the sun and even did an MRI and everything came back normal so I am convinced the problem stemmed from statin use.
I will never take another statin the rest of my life and have been referred for Acupuncture. Had I known these side effects, I would have never taken Crestor. You can’t live in fear about possible health issues; it is also about the quality of life and it is often difficult to make wise health decisions if you are not given accurate information about possible side effects.

I have taken statins of various types for over 25 years. All produced muscle pain and stupidity! About 6 months ago I stopped. I have many years experience in emergency medicine and did my own research into this class of drugs. First, the reduction in cardiac events with statins when compared to aspirin are almost identical. While aspirin is known to produce bleeding disorders these complications are NOT common. Second, the majority of people that suffer a fatal cardiac arrest have NORMAL or BELOW NORMAL cholesterol levels.
There have been no studies that have linked sudden cardiac death to anything but a weak association with cholesterol levels.(hence the now recommended lower importance in “numbers.”) Third, recent studies are coming together in agreement that it is PARTICLE SIZE and INFLAMMATION that are most positively connect to sudden death and first time non-lethal MIs. Statins are believed to “stabilize” the fatty deposits and the “lowering” of cholesterol is not the factor responsible for a reduction in cardiovascular events. Most MDs are not identifying the complications of statins but rather associate the patient’s complaints with other issues.
In my case my physician said she would have thought my pain in my hips, knees and legs was do to arteritis or aging. After discussion she commented that practically every patient on statins complains about the side effects. Now that she has personally experienced the statin side effects, after being prescribed Crestor, her awareness to the problem has greatly increased. The cognitive impairment is the least identified but may yet prove to be the drug’s undoing. I predict that within 10 years statins will be completely removed from common practice and replaced with some form of anti-inflammatory agent. It’s a case of the treatment causing more distress than the illness. Use this class of drug with caution and discus other options with your health care provider.

You are correct, in my opinion this stuff isn’t worth it.

My story begins with the drug Lipitor (40mg daily).
Recently, an MRI scan confirmed dementia. I’m 60 years old with a brain…I’m told…the age of a 70 to 80 year old woman.

Said it before, and it bears repeating: my 93 year-old mom has been on Crestor for more years than I can count. She started with severe muscle pain, then had problems with her balance, then couldn’t walk without a walker, can now barely get around even with the walker, developed cataracts, and now is diabetic. I wouldn’t touch statins with a 20 foot pole, no matter how high my cholesterol is.

Started Lipotor was taking it for two or three months, when I noticed cramps in the calfs of my legs numbness in my feet and it seemed like my right hip was froze up and did not want to work at times, then I got to where I could hardly walk the pains were so bad in the bottoms of my feet, my doctor told me I’d die if I stopped taking the medicine. I stopped taking the Lipitor about a year ago and I’ve never felt better. I have had cataract surgery on both eyes and lens implants, I do not regret that I stopped taking it.

I’m confident that a statin drug caused me to experience multiple spontaneous tendon tears.
I’m 73 years old. Quite a few years ago my PCP prescribed a statin to control cholesterol. The cholesterol level decreased to within the normal range, but in 2008 I was diagnosed with three coronary artery blockages and had bypass surgery. I continued taking the statin.
Two months ago I experienced acute pain in both shoulders without any related trauma. The right shoulder was very bad. An MRI revealed that the bicep tendon had a full width tear and two other tendons had partial tears. Since I’m fairly physically fit (other than the heart of course), the orthopedist ok’d rotator cuff surgery and I’m now undergoing PT. I’m progressing at a better than average rate, but it will be months before I have full use of the shoulder. I read that for some, recovery can take up to a year! All this because of a very widely prescribed and relatively benign drug. The phrase: “cure is worse than the cause” has new meaning for me.

You should not take your risk taking medicine what you should do is take care of you self by changing your life style. What always they said is “prevention is better than cure”.

I have been taking 20 mg daily of Ran-Simvastatin for 5 years now and have had no side effects. I have an annual checkup and will be talking to doctor about side effects. The positive side is I have had no cardiac problems to this point (turning 60 in a few months). Cardiac issues are hereditary with parents and siblings. I am enjoying life and not worrying about the next chronic pain that may appear. When it happens I deal with it.

I have been on statins, but quit in march 2011. the pain never stopped. My whole body is racked with pain. I guess I could say it is all the statin drug, but I also believe that the flouroquinolone antiobiotic is a big part of the problem.
The real problem is that the F.D.A. and the drug companies are pouring drugs out every day with little or no testing. This problem is destroying thousands of people. Either they die or they are patients the rest of their lives with some very painful diseases inflicted by the drug companies. They are destroying and mutating the cells in our bodies.
I was a stupid sheep like everyone else and believed a doctor would do no harm, but I assure you they will and do. I have reported to the V.A. in Memphis about what these drugs have done to me. They tell me they have been approved by the F.D.A.. I want to bust out laughing every time I hear this.
The drug companies knew these drugs were killers when they first developed them, but they did not care if they destroyed thousands. More work for doctors and drug companies to develop drugs for all the problems they have created. I am 65 years old and 3 years ago, I started looking for the reason I was sick and hurt so bad. 30 something doctors later and I have not been told anything.
Be your own judge about how bad you feel and try to remember how you use to feel. Go back to the natural way of living. Our food has been destroyed and our bodies have been destroyed by greedy and corrupt people. I will be waiting on the other side for them along with thousands of others whose lives have been made miserable. Make your own decisions, but make sure before you put a pill in your body, do you own research. good luck to all of you.

anti statin were you diagnosed type 2 diabetic while you were taking statins??…I was, and I never had any diabetic symptoms….but I stopped taking statins over 2 years ago…and every blood test I’ve had since then…my blood sugar has been nowhere near diabetic…I’m sure it was the statins that caused the rise in blood sugar levels…

Genetically high cholesterol (300), 53 year old female, no health problems, normal weight, exercise, eat extremely well and always have. Doctors prescribed 40 mg lipitor, felt fine but CPK test showed muscle damage so was told to immediately discontinue. Year or two later another doctor insisted I go on 80mg of Simvastatin.
Within two weeks developed serious peripheral neuropathy and within 3 weeks stopped sleeping and started having electrical seizures in my head and up my spine. After a couple of weeks of literally no sleep, I was feeling very crazy and very sick. Couldn’t stop crying and while normally a very gregarious extrovert, could not stand to be around people or stimulation of any kind. Which made work very difficult.
To make a long story short, a return visit to the doctor resulted in an appointment with a neurologist to consider MS or some other neuro disease. I suggested I quit the statin to try and isolate what was wrong and the doctor agreed. After extensive testing for all kinds of things, I was told my symptoms were from menopause and prescribed an antidepressant. Grrrrrr.
It is now 6 years later, I still have intermittent peripheral neuropathy but fortunately the rest of the symptoms subsided pretty quickly after discontinuing the drug.
It made me angry that the medical profession and the drug caused the problem, but I was told I was just menopausal. I was way too sick to be just menopausal.

In 2010 I made the mistake of stopping Simvastatin cold turkey after one year on it because I came upon the warning to physicians in Europe from the Pharmacological Working Group of the European Medicines Agency to the effect that if interstitial lung disease develops they should stop statins immediately.
About three weeks after I quit the statin, I had statin rebound like no tomorrow! Not only did the peripheral neuropathy which developed during my year on Pravachol back in 1994-1995 and which had been very mild and unchanged for over a decade suddenly flare up and become a real problem, but I had ten nights of severe leg cramps, I developed a patch of bright red eczema on both legs, my pulmonary fibrosis which I now have x-ray proof developed when I was on Pravachol and which had been unchanged (no breathing problems) in my decade-plus being away from statins took my lungs down so far that I am now on supplemental oxygen 24/7, but – and here’s what would interest you – the day when all this first hit, May 18, 2010, was the day I suddenly experienced tachycardia and ten days of nightmarish arrhythmias, all for the first time in my 77 years.
I had never had tachycardia before in my life. I was terrified. What followed was an ambulance ride to the hospital. I had two more attacks of tachy that same week – then one a few months later – then one December 25, 2010, and that was the end of the tachy.
In between the tachy, every day for about ten days I had “attacks” of the weirdest heart rhythms imaginable over and over every day. These spaced themselves out and likewise disappeared. Nothing like that had ever happened to me before either.
My local doctors had me on a heart monitor for a month and Mayo Clinic had me on 24-hour monitoring for a week. Plenty of record of my arrhythmias.
The arrhythmias are long gone. Either they left because I went on mega doses of CoQ10 or whether they would have left anyhow. I only know that ubiquinone improves the cardiac endothelium.
At first the Mayo cardiologist who put in my two cardiac stents insisted, over the phone when I made my first of several panic calls to him, that statins and arrhythmias have no connection to each other. He has since changed his mind. Now he also says I am statin intolerant. This diagnosis came a bit late, methinks,

I’m 65 and had a mild heart attack 4 months ago. After having a stent fitted I was put on 7.5mg Ramipril, 5mg Amlodipine and 80mg Lipitor. My rehab was progressing really well, I have always been very fit, lots of gym and a 5 mile run every Sunday morning since I was 25.
After a few months I had a couple of incidences of rapid heartbeat whilst out exercising, 160-180 bpm going on for up to 15 mins even after standing still, (normally when walking as fast as I can it’s about 115, I wear a HR monitor to track my progress). Now after 4 months I am getting these tachycardia events almost every time I go for a walk, even a gentle walk, and it’s basically destroyed my ability to exercise. I’m convinced this is because of medication as I’ve just had a stress echocardiogram and my heart is pronounce as being in excellent condition, even though during the procedure it suddenly went up to 197bpm, proving I haven’t been making it up!
The big question is which med is causing the problem?
I was on a calcium channel blocker for years before my heart attack so it’s unlikely to be Amlodipine, that leaves Ramipril or Lipitor, has anyone had any similar experiences, I’m at my wits end, my consultant doesn’t believe it’s the statin?

I’ve had exactly the same, I got it off one statin, now my heart beats fast all the time! I had a stress test and echo, my heart rate got up to 200 on the stress test, which is way to fast for me, when I stepped on the treadmill, before I even started exercising my heart rate was 110, for no reason I’m 24 healthy they put this down to anxiety absolutely not, they couldn’t tell me why, but like you say it makes exercise incredibly hard I’m also getting abnormal rhythms! They can’t tell me whats wrong! so frustrating, I know it is from the statin never had this problem in my life

I am so sorry to hear of your travails with statins. Your mention of peripheral neuropathy makes me wonder if you have ever had your blood glucose checked, or your A1c. Statins raise blood sugars, another side effect suppressed for years and one, as a diabetic, I learned, when I self quit, that I had problems from. About a week after stopping lipitor, I found myself with “mysterious” low readings. In the end I decreased my insulin by about a third. Yet never connected it with the statin until I read, several years later, of this side effect.
Big pharma is at fault for always putting profits before people. However doctors share blame too; they allow themselves to be educated (hah) by the drug companies – or influenced by pharma’s bribes.
If government were not so corrupt it would have the power to protect the public from these excesses of greed. Certainly the appropriate agencies are in place.

Like many statin victims, I am a senior citizen who was in excellent health until the medical profession decided to “save” me from something or other (heart attack? stroke? good health?) by prescribing statins. So I took statins in 1994 and quit after about a year, again in 1997 and quit, and then in 2009 when a doctor at the renowned Mayo Clinic persuaded me to take Simvastatin. I took it for one year. I am now on oxygen 24/7.
I told one doctor after another that Pravachol in the mid-1990’s caused my peripheral neuropathy (self diagnosis confirmed by a neurological clinic in 2004), but neither I nor the two doctors who (possibly) were willing to believe that I knew what I was talking about had the least idea that my lungs were also harmed by statins (or Zetia, believe it or not). Until the few years, I knew even less about statins and cholesterol than any of the physicians I went to (not easy, but I managed), else with my suspecting Pravachol to be the cause for my neuropathy plus my knowing what I know now about statins, cholesterol, the electron chain and much, much else of relevance, I would never have agreed to Zetia in 2005 or simvastatin in 2009, and I certainly would not have quit the latter so abruptly.
Now I know better, but it’s too late. Upon getting my old medical records from the 1990’s, I found that 10 months on Pravachol were “bookmarked” by x-ray “lungs clear, heart normal” at the beginning and “minimal pulmonary fibrosis all four lobes… area of opaqueness possibly cancer or old fibrosis…” and on and on, a long report of the damage I had incurred. And there were no confounding variables: no other drugs taken, no exposure to external toxins of any sort.
Correlation/causation error? Not in my case, obviously – but would it have mattered? Statin authority Dr. Beatrice Golomb of the University of California at San Diego finds no credible evidence that statins confer a mortality benefit on seniors or women of any age, even as secondary prevention. From the mountain of data at her disposal, she concludes that the possibility of risk exceeds any possibility of benefit from statins for seniors like me. I wish I had known that a long time ago!
Statins mess with the mevalonate pathway. Every cell in the body is affected. Since statins are not all that effective, ought not a person be given the benefit of the doubt with regard to AE’s when his health, perhaps even his very life, may be at stake?
I am only one victim of an industry that has put an obscene amount of time and money into determined attempts to fortify its hugely money-making but problematic cholesterol hypothesis while the identification and study of far less lucrative but much safer preventions and treatments for CAD generally have lacked funding and the worst statin AE’s have been for the most part hushed up. For example, a neurobiologist e-mailed me that statins have long been known to be “absolutely horrible for the brain” (Alzheimer-like effects on neurons) although that AE went missing from the lists of what the industry euphemistically calls “side effects” until fairly recently. At least with most statins now off patent, the hype has simmered down, but the damage marches on. “Above all, do no harm”? How ineffably quaint!

On the mark! There is a world of difference between absolute and relative risk reduction – and how the pharmaceutical companies love to emphasize the latter! They have a right to make money, but not by shutting out adverse research, dumping money on those happy to toe the party line, and pretending that statin damage is not much more common than they recognize.
As for doctors, does iatrogenic damage carry implications so inimical to the medical profession that it’s more comfortable to look the other way? Were it not for the internet and my ability to use it intelligently, I would most likely be dead, because that is how I learned of the statin/peripheral neuropathy connection in 2000 and what got me away from simvastatin in 2010 before it killed me.
Statins are important drugs, but they are also extremely dangerous.

S,W., please check your blood sugar two hours after eating; particularly after a big meal. First you check before and note the result. In two hours your readings should be in the same area of that first test. I suspect it will not be.
However, that does not mean diabetes. It does mean researching diabetes, the best methods of control usually involve your food, and making lifestyle changes. It does mean you may be pre-diabetic. Next step is to get an A1c test; this will measure your average blood glucose over the previous three months, tho it is weighted towards the latter six weeks. If your A1c is over 6 – you have outright diabetes. If between 5.6 and 6, it is more likely pre-diabetes.
Whichever: Changes in diet and exercise can push you back into normal levels. You may need to lose some weight. Even if you are still wheel chair bound, there are arm and bed exercises you can do. Exercise does several things: It builds up your muscles and muscles, even at rest, use more glucose than other tissues. During the exercise and for a while afterward more glucose is burned, lowering your readings. As to diet: A controlled carb diet is the best because people with diabetes cannot burn carbs as they did before and therefore their blood sugars are raised by the carbs. Going near starch free, with your carbs coming from veggies and small amounts of fruits should yield results that are worth the effort.
Surely do hope you read this and save yourself from suffering with outright diabetes.

Hmmmm…. Without going into my complicated story, I was discharged from a nursing home after the better part of a yearlong stay. Aftercare was not provided, so I considered myself fortunate when I stumbled upon a nurse practitioner that would actually make house calls (newly wheel chair confined, I had no way to get around). Unfortunately, she followed the popular fashion of prescribing medications for conditions they aren’t meant for (i.e., antidepressants for severe chronic pain, other antidepressants as sleep aids).
She decided I was diabetic and along with the poke-y kit prescribed metformin and a statin. For some weird reason I did not like to take the statin. I would not take it. I think I took it maybe twice this past year. Thank God. If I had taken it as prescribed I may now be a full blown diabetic. As it stands, my blood sugar hovers between 100 and 130 on average (hence my belief that I am not after all diabetic in the least). I found this article after hearing something on television about statin side effects. Very interesting! thank you for the info!

I wondered about that too. WHO benefits from these drugs, who says so, and how do they know?

Please watch how much tuna you are eating. You can get too much mercury.
I read an article by a physician who was regularly eating tuna at lunch time. His list of symptoms increased over time and he did not immediately tie it to the tuna.
He eventually had his mercury levels checked and they were off the charts. So no more tuna for lunch for him.
Statin drugs do have their bad side. At least mercury is not one of them.

Bloodwork came back completely normal. Not even close to being diabetic. No blood illnesses. I’m still experiencing an occasional slight numbness in hands still, occasionally my feet are hot in the evenings but not unbearable like before, no tingling or numbness in feet anymore.
I’m glad that my symptoms occurred early. From what I read sometimes it takes a few years for these side effects to kick in and I’m sorry for those whose bodies have been permanently damaged from prolonged use. I’m not a hippie or herbal maniac but just be aware of the potential damage that this drug can do to you. I was miserable for 7 months….

I’m 63, 20+ pounds overweight….play tennis once a week. never had any real problems other than a stent 13 years ago. My doctor doubled my statin about 6 weeks ago….total havoc resulted. I fell playing tennis…didn’t know why…then the leg pains started. I COULD NOT stand for more than a minute… the pain was that bad. went to my doc, thought it was because I fell at tennis, although the pain started a week after I fell… he said it was because he doubled my statin dose. said I should stop it for 2 weeks, then go back on 1/2 dose. I am NEVER going back.
It’s been a about a month since I stopped…I am doing MUCH better…I really feel that statins are poison….for 4 nights I could only sleep if in my recliner…I walked like a guy that was 80….I was thinking about buying a cane to get around…not anymore. I now walk normal and I’m playing tennis again….I still feel weird pains in my legs…ass and shin area…but they are getting better. I’d like to hear from others about this…and feel free to ask me anything.

I started taking Simvastin the week of my 40th birthday. 2 months later I was in my Dr’s office complaining about my paresthesia in my right foot and minor burning. He insisted that it was environmental. His advice – put baby powder in shoes, alternate pairs each day, etc. etc.
One month after that the burning was in both feet and in my left calf. General fatigue in lower body when doing manual labor. A month after that my right calf was spazzing and fingers going numb in the middle of the night. I was also having bouts with depression. I went back to my Dr and insisted some testing be completed as Dr’s don’t seem to be as proactive as they used to be. He sent me to a Nuerologist who ordered 5 or 6 blood tests and more meds for the burning. He also said my condition sounded like Peripheral Neuropathy.
I didn’t want to wait around a month for the results for action or get more toxic with pain meds so I researched my symptoms, peripheral neuropathy, and the side effects of Simvastin. After I saw a perfect match with my symptoms and simvastatin side effects I called the Dr’s office and they acted like I was speaking Japanese.
So I quit the med on my own. After 8 days the burning has subsided IMMENSELY and is almost gone completely; the burning was so bad before I had to remove my shoes 4x a day just to let my feet cool off. The spasms in my legs have all but gone away. The numbness in my hands has all but gone away and the depression is completely gone.
My calves, knees, and ankles still have a “cool” feeling and some occasional paresthesia in them but I’m hoping all the symptoms eventually go away the same way they came – in phases. And I’ll see what the Neurologist says in few days. These symptoms did not all happen at once. They snuck up on me one by one and they weren’t constant but would rather come and go.
I stupidly attributed some of these to getting older but I should have immediately recognized taking Simvastatin was the only thing that had changed right along with turning 40. I will never take a Statin drug again and I would caution anyone who does to pay very close attention to changes that may come when taking this drug.

So sorry to hear your husband had such a terrible experience. I also took Lipitor for several years and was slowly getting muscle breakdown. I had to fight for and insist that test be made to determine my cpk. I was immediately taken off the statin lipitor, tried another with the same results. That was a few years back.
I went off all statins and cholesterol reducers after that experience. However, I still have weakness and muscle problems in my legs but at least I am still able to walk and function semi normally. I can’t imagine what would have happened if I hadn’t researched my muscle pain/weakness and insisted that I have the kidney tested. I wish you and your husband well.

My husband was prescribed Lovastatin a little over 6 years ago. He went for his liver check when he was told to. Kept to his diet like he was suppose to. He is a diabetic and has been for over 20 years now. Controlled by diet and one pill. He had already been DX with cataracts just not bad enough to be removed yet when he started this med he had to have them removed within the year. He took Lovastatin for 5 months. His liver was checked and was fine.
The problem was not the liver. The problem was his CPK should have been checked. By the end of January he had lost the muscles in his legs. Had sepsis and could not even open his eyelids. His CPK was 14,000. He has not walked or stood since. He is wheelchair bound and requires a lift and hospital bed. Our life has been turned upside down because of Lovastatin.
The side effects page you get from the pharmacy was… blank. We had no idea what to watch for. Who would have known hoarseness was a side effect of this drug. When we brought up to the MD that he was only losing weight on one side of his body he said strange. The company the makes this drug is protected by the FDA and not one lawyer would take our case. He had no insurance and we literately had to fight for a year to finally get MediCaid to kick in and help. He was only 45 when this happened. He still tries to work. It’s getting harder and harder.
He has been taking Metformin for about 5.5 years now and started with one 500 mg dose. His sugar increased and another pill was added. He did well with it. About a year ago his sugar went up over 200. Another pill was added and I noticed he had gotten weaker and it did not go down. Has been passing kidney stones. Has more frequent UTI’s. I do have to cathe him that is an issue with the uti’s. Not as bad as it has been for the past 6 months. My main concern is his weakening condition. He should be getting stronger not weaker.
I am researching to see if his meds are causing this. He also takes 1200 MG Gabapintin Fosinapril 20mg and Glipaside 5mg was added 3 months ago. Now sugar is more controlled. I did remove the additional dose of Metfomin and his sugar is almost normal instead of elevated when I did that. Its around 110 – 120 .

I agree. From what I have learned in my research you can get the same benefit to the heart taking a low-dose aspirin.
And this is the reason why everyone stays so confused. Hell, we all die anyway. I would rather die from a massive heart attack then deal with what these folks are dealing with – all because they think high cholesterol is a high disease. I know for middle-aged women the lowest all-cause mortality cholesterol range is 250-300 – yet my mom thinks that 193 is Excellent because her doctor says so.
…and who knows what kind of reaction the statins might have with other drugs (most people take more than one on a daily basis). There have been NO studies done on that.

I find it interesting that you would use Hypertension as an example and not any of the Statins. Yes, It is very interesting.

I wish that I had been run over by a truck or shot in a drive by. My life is ruined. The FDA keeps minimizing side-effects. I had cramps so bad, my doctor labeled them as seizures.

I quit Lipitor because all the muscles in my body hurt. The cardiologist prescribed a lower dosage of Simvastatin. My hair loss was unbelievable. I found on the internet that hair loss is a side effect of statins. I am now taking Red Yeast Rice. However, I am still losing hair, but not as rapidly. Does Red Yeast Rice cause hair loss?
PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Red yeast rice can cause most of the side effects that the statins can cause. The dose of natural statins in RYR is lower, so the effects are often less severe, but people who don’t tolerate statins may not tolerate RYR either.

I have been on Zocor for a number of years. Recently I changed pharmacies for drug cost issues. After several months on their brand of generic Zocor, I started having occasional fuzzy memory and “black spots” in my memory – couldn’t remember the name of simple items. I found there were two different brands of generic they purchased and I seemed to have problems with the most common one.
I stopped taking the meds and all memory problems have cleared up. I also had problems with energy levels and lack of muscle strength – thought this was caused by being a couch potato but I realize now that I’m no longer a couch potato and energy levels are way up. Just wondering if others are seeing problems with brand name product or are all our problems “generically” driven?

Nobody knows for sure whether or not elevated LDL cholesterol levels cause atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) or if those levels are symptoms of something else (maybe inflammation, for instance). Treating the symptom instead of the cause is a neat trick: side effects show up, pills are prescribed for those side effects which in turn have their own side effects so that pretty soon you have a whole cabinet full of drug vials and you have helped the share values of the drug companies to continue to rise.
It is true that cholesterol pieces can break off and travel to other places where they cause trouble (heart attack, maybe), but this can happen whether the amount of plaque in the arteries is thick or thin or anything in between.
Meanwhile, don’t bother with the cholesterol level if the statins caused you the trouble you describe (and what else were they doing that you and your doctor don’t know about yet?). I don’t know where a low-fat diet figures into your situation because most of your cholesterol is produced by your own body and in the meantime you could be causing harm to yourself by restricting fats. A well-rounded diet is best: lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, not much beef or other red meat but get the best quality and tastiest when you do indulge, whole grains, no junk food, plenty of fish. Exercise is also important, and so is stress reduction since stress may be one of mankind’s worst enemies.
Actually, some studies have shown that their subjects with the lowest cholesterol levels had the highest mortality rate and subjects with high cholesterol levels (upper 200’s, for instance) had the lowest mortality rate. It is also well known that around 70% of heart attack victims have normal cholesterol levels.

I was recently put on Lipitor (Atorvastatin 10mg) by my GP due to a high (ish) cholesterol level. I hadn’t read anything about statins prior to taking them but did read the leaflet beforehand and noted some of the side effects.
Surprisingly, after having taken only 2 (two!) tablets, I woke up in the night with severe pain in my knees and couldn’t lift my leg more than 6 inches off the ground without it hurting.
I ignored this for 24 hours thinking that it was coincidence and that there must be some other reason for my symptoms. I argued with myself that surely only 2 tablets wouldn’t have such an effect.
24 hours later and the pain remained together with a general feeling of being unwell. Hot flushes, muscle aches, etc. I phoned my GP and was told to stop taking the tablets and to go in for an appointment to discuss an alternative statin.
I haven’t been back as yet as I still feel that the effects haven’t fully worn off. My knees still hurt.
Having now read all these comments on side effects, I’ll probably stick to dietary measures only and not bother with the tablets.
If I feel like this after just a few, what will I be like after a few months?

Statin authority Dr. Beatrice Golomb of the University of California at San Diego finds no credible evidence that statins confer a mortality benefit on seniors or women of any age, even for those with diagnosed heart or vascular disease. She has available not only the FDA AERS database and the mountain of research and clinical data she and her team have collected over the years from other sources but most likely also the U of Cal’s extensive EMR database.
She has absolutely no connection with any drug company; she has an incredible curriculum vitae – better than that of the vast majority of MD’s, I am quite sure; and she is not against statins per se but against their being dangerously misunderstood and misused.
Statins mess with the mevalonate pathway. Every cell in the body is affected. Since statins are not all that effective, ought not a person be given the benefit of the doubt with regard to adverse effects when his health, perhaps even his very life, may be at stake? Or does the prevalence of drug-induced damage carry implications so inimical to the medical profession that it’s more comfortable to look the other way?
Were it not for the internet and my ability to use it intelligently, I would most likely be dead, because that is how I learned of the statin/peripheral neuropathy connection in 2000 and what got me away from simvastatin in 2010 before it killed me. Statins are important drugs, but they are also extremely dangerous. Close and informed monitoring is an imperative.
I am only one victim of an industry that has put an obscene amount of time and money into determined attempts to fortify its hugely money-making but problematic cholesterol hypothesis while the identification and study of far less lucrative but much safer preventions and treatments for CAD generally have lacked funding (current Akt3 work at Cleveland Clinic hopeful?) and the worst statin adverse effects have been for the most part hushed up.
For example, a neurobiologist emailed me that statins have long been known to be “absolutely horrible for the brain” (Alzheimer-like effects on neurons) although that adverse effect of statins went missing from the lists of what the industry euphemistically calls “side effects” until fairly recently. At least with most statins now off patent, the hype has simmered down, but the damage marches on.
So if you’re over 70, forget the statins if you think they are going to do you any good. Atherosclerosis is slow moving; is it not likely that you will die of something else first? Doctors don’t generally treat cancers in the elderly (except for certain very aggressive cancers) because those are slow moving, but they have no problem prescribing statins for the elderly – who are in general much more strongly affected by any drug than are younger people and therefore can be hurt much more easily by statins than young folks, and for no reason except for the medical community’s love affair with statins. Go figure!
Oh, and by the way: don’t quit statins cold turkey because that could kill you. Ease off them gradually. And if your doctor objects to your coming off them, remember that your body and your health are yours, not his, and presumably you have just one life to live.

I quit all statins months ago because of achy muscles and feeling ‘fluey’. I started on a high quality Omega 3 supplement and increased my fiber. Since that time, I have had two lab results re/cholesterol. The first count showed a reduced cholesterol level of 21 points, the second and most recent count showed a further reduction of 31 points! I will continue doing what seems to be working! Good luck to everyone out there who is dealing w/this challenge.

This is T.S. again with an added happy surprise. I turned 65 last year and started medicare. Talking with my new doctor one day I said I sometimes feel a little faint in the mornings after a brisk 25 minute walk and then 30 minutes of working out with dumbbells. Well, my doctor said I needed more protein and I should be eating 2 eggs and ham every morning. That really surprised me. So I change my diet and started eating two hard boiled eggs with humus with sardines or tuna every morning. I like to see cause and defect. So after 4 months and the new lab work I was a little nervous to read my stats. Well, my LDL (for lousy) was fine but my HDL (for happy) went from the usual 40 up to 43! Never had it been so high. My doctor said the higher HDL give more protection for the heart. So eggs sure have been getting a bad rap. The nutritionist at the VA clinic said only two or three eggs per week. Your MMV. I thought I would pass this new to me info along.
By the way I have no connections to the egg industry.

I get so tired of doctors who laugh at people and do not LISTEN.

Have been on Lipitor for at least 15 years. I guess it kept my cholesterol at an acceptable level. Now I am considering hip & knee replacements as the pain is pretty awful. This came on with a rush in the last few months and after reading the comments here I am going to stop the Lipitor and go on Red rice yeast extract with supervision. Who knows maybe I wont have to go through surgery after all. I will keep you posted on my progress.

After watching my aging mother suffer cataracts and stiffness associated with statins, I refused to take them when my doctor discovered my cholesterol was elevated. Instead, I bought a book called Cholesterol Down in Ten Steps and followed the ten steps exactly. Within a few months, I lowered my total cholesterol by 70 points… back to a healthy range.

I am well aware that it may be axiomatic in the medical community that correlation not only does not imply causation, it absolutely, positively and without question precludes causation if the hapless patient himself has the temerity to point out what he thinks is a statin>symptom connection, unless (maybe) the complaint is leg cramps (statins: a protected class of drug?). However, for whatever it may be worth, this is what happened:
All at once, starting on or about June 12, 2010, roughly three weeks after I quit simvastatin (I had come upon a very recent European Medicines Agency alert linking statins to interstitial lung disease and realized that this very likely applied to me) I experienced:
1. oxygen desaturation to +/- 79% and a racing pulse after I walked barely ten feet. Before simvastatin and the rebound exacerbation, the oxygen saturation only went below 88 if I walked uphill or up a flight of stairs. Now 82 is the usual low (Pravachol in the 1990’s caused pulmonary fibrosis: normal lung x-rays then 10 months after the statin, all four lobes infiltrated, etc).
2. three terrifying runs of tachycardia, which I had never experienced before in all of my 77 years. The first hit June 12 two more came in rapid succession a fe days later. Subsequent “attacks” were few and far between. The last was Oct 1, 2010.
3. spells of wildly erratic heartbeats multiple times every day for about ten days. These too then spaced themselves out, the last occurring Dec. 25, 2010.
4. excruciatingly painful leg and foot cramps, once in both legs simultaneously, every night for about a week (none since). I had experienced these before while actually on statins, but they were never this frequent. To get rid of them, I had to get out of bed and walk, which risked setting my heart on another scary wild ride.My legs now wear out quickly.
5. RBBB, which first appeared on record June 12 (1st trip to ED for tachycardia).
6. sudden worsening of the previously actually rather trivial peripheral neuropathy which I insist began with Pravachol in the 1990’s. Now my neurological “knee socks” are quite noticeable, my parchment-soled feet feel as though I am walking on lumps inside a sock, and I am unsteady on my feet (I have to be very careful).
7. shiny red areas ankle to knee on both legs (eczema?) until January of 2011, when Iceland’s Blue Lagoon mineral spa lotion vanquished them in 3 days.
When the rebound hit, I was taking levothyroxin, omega-3, 81 mg aspirin, calcium, Plavix, HCTZ and potassium; all except omega-3 were by prescription or suggested by doctors.

I tried statins a few years ago, but had some muscle pains and my VA doctor switched me to the low tech cholestyrmine resin in powder form. I take it 2x a day mixed with juice. No muscle pain and my cholesterol is normal again. The only possible side affect I know of is constipation. However, if you eat plenty of fruits, vegetables and other fiberous foods, it’s not a problem.
I’d like to hear more feed back from people using it, as it seems some doctors don’t think it’s any good. Is that because the drug companies would rather push the highly profitable statins instead?

This is very interesting to me. I am 45 years old and have been taking 20 mg of Simvastatin for just over a year. I recently saw my eye doctor for a routine exam. He diagnosed me with fast growing cataracts. There was no sign of cataracts at all the previous year and he believed I now would need surgery in 3 – 4 months. My cholesterol was borderline high and my HDLs were quite high. After reading this article, being diagnosed with cataracts at such a young age doesn’t seem coincidental.

I’m 62 years old and have been on various statins for 15 years for elevated cholesterol levels. About ten years ago, I had to use crutches for a month after suffering a sudden pain in the my right calf, diagnosed as a tendon tear. However, there was no history of trauma. Since then, I have repeat episodes of calf pain, as well as severe, generalized muscle pains, especially in the chest, thighs, upper back, and shoulders. These pains disappeared when the statins were stopped, and reappeared when I went back on the statins.
At age 61, I had cataract surgery for both eyes when – during a routine eye visit – I was told I had such thick cataracts, I was at risk of sudden blindness from acute, closed-angle glaucoma.
I’ve recently stopped taking statins and have begun Dr. Dean Ornish’s Spectrum Program of a low-fat diet, regular exercise, stress reduction, and increased social support. I plan to see if I still have an elevated cholesterol in 3 months, or can continue without any statin.

I hate this drug! My husband went to the hospital for a cluster headache and they put a stent in one of his small veins in his leg! It was an unnecessary operation, but he went to the hospital alone.
He was told that for the rest of his life he must be on statins. He took them for a few weeks and had such muscle weakness that he could not walk without a walker (he was 62), had erectile disfunction, he was always irritated and full of rage. He told the Dr. he wanted to stop taking the drug and his Dr. wanted to double the dosage (!) and said he would die of a heart attack if he stopped taking it.
Well, he stopped taking the damn drug. Within a few days he started walking without a walker, and gradually became healthy again. He is English and they typically have a higher cholestrol than Americans, so his new doctor said not to worry about a higher level than usual.
He has been healthy ever since, and currently does not take any pills whatsoever. He is currently 68 yrs. old.

I’m taking only 20mg. of Prevastatin and am told by doctors that such a low dose is safe. I, too, have been found to be pre-diabetic, have developed tingling in feet (scared to death I’m headed for peripheral neuropathy) and will be taking myself off of it. My diet is good and I exercise regularly, so I feel that I’m doing the right thing. Thanks for this excellent (as usual) information. Julia

Both my husband and I were prescribed statins (several different types over a number of years) for high cholesterol and we both suffered muscle aches and pains. My husband’s muscular pain was extremely severe.
We stopped taking statins a number of years ago – but I am now suffering from peripheral neuropathy (feet are numb and tingling) and we both have vocabulary and memory problems and have had cataracts removed.

I too had a bad experience with statins. About 8 years ago my doctor put me on Lipitor. I filled the prescription and left town on vacation. Almost immediately I began to feel very different. I was itching all over, almost driving me crazy. I took it for eight days. Came back home and called my doctor. My liver enzymes had gone crazy. Was sent to a gastro doctor.
He did some test and found I had Primary Billiary Cirrhrosis. This was caused by eight days of the statin drug. I now take ten pills per day (for the rest of my life) to take care of the damage that was caused by the use of Lipitor. I also have been diagnosed with the beginning of a cataract.
Thank you, Peoples Pharmacy, for the good work that you do.

given all of this ….what are the alternatives to statins?
PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: There are prescription drugs as well as non-drug approaches to lower cholesterol. They all require more work, but do not have the same scary side effects. Check out our Guide to Cholesterol Control and Heart Health.

Thank you. After becoming familiar with your original reporting, I quit taking the statins I was prescribed even though I had minimal plaque build up and normal hdl and ldl and I began eating more greens and other vegetables ala Hyman. I was Rx the statins because of a diagnosis of hypertropic myocardia which is a congenital thickening of the heart muscle and resultant ‘heart murmur’ — Not clogged arteries. My cholesterol has come down further with the diet. Yea!

Are there naturally occurring statins in the foods we eat and in popular vitamins and supplements that we should be aware of?
PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Aside from red yeast rice, we don’t know of other naturally occurring statins.

I do the same and would love to know the answer to this too.
PEOPLE’S PHARMACY RESPONSE: Red yeast rice can have similar side effects to statins. The dose is lower, however, so the side effects seem to be less common. There has not been enough large-scale controlled research on red yeast rice to know if it too contributes to the risk of cataracts.

Statins nearly killed me, I am 81 now, and stopped taking(Zocor?)about 10-12 yrs ago,because of severe muscle weakness.
I was put on niacin & aspirin (to stop the niacin hot flushes) prior to the statin.. i had intestinal bleed for 3 yrs, with a few units of packed cells & lots of iron. Then my back became weak, so back surgery 6 yrs ago. (successful, so far).
My chol. isn’t even very high, and my HDL is 62. I don’t even want them to do chol. tests on me. Waste of time, I eat quite well, exercise about 4 hours a week, take Yoga , take 5000 mg Omega 3 daily, and drink a glass or two of wine before dinner.
If i drop dead, at least, maybe, I can live until I do. I have a good genetic history for a longlife. I am very active, plan to begin 9 holes of golf again when it cools down a bit. I have been practicing. When I was about 70,
I got Polymyalgia Rheum. That is genetic. Been in remission for years. I ,also had 2 retinal surgeries and have scleral buckles in both eyes. So far so good, I see my ophtholmologist every 6 mo and my retinologist every 6 mo’s .. I think, the cataract surgery trauma 30 yrs ago, may have contributed to my retinal tears, but I had to have it. They were not as adept at surgery then./

My mama began cholesterol meds as soon as they first hit drug stores. She had cataracts and liver enzymes/problems by the time she was in her mid fifties. She was also on a low fat diet, really low. She showed dementia problems in her 70’s and I think it was largely caused from all the junk she was prescribed. She dropped dead while on a handful of meds, including Avandia.
My father was so affected by cholesterol meds that he would cry from muscle pain; after a few years, his Dr. took him off them. I suspect his dementia symptoms were partly from those meds.
My Dr. put me on crestor, then lipitor; my muscles, my bones and everything in between ached; my short term memory was shot. I could not finish a sentence; my husband told me, and I could not remember the first few items of a short list.
Finally, I told my doctor, “ENOUGH!”, and worked off them. My family doctor can not tolerate statins, either.
I hate the “-tors”……

I appreciate all you do to help us stay current with events that may impact our health, especially concerning statins as I am on one.
B. L.

I started taking Crestor about 6 months ago after my doctor changed me from Vytorin. The 1st lab workup I did showed a drop in Ldl of about 50 points and a slight rise in my Hdl. This is the best report i have ever had. Did you start off with good results and when did the pain begin after starting Crestor?

I was put on lipitor in 1998 after I had a stent put in because of a large blood clot in my largest artery. Was enough to give me angina. In 2010 I just stopped, tired of the constant pain, I felt my fibro was being worsened by the statin. The pain is still there; however I have decreased my insulin by a third and lost 30 pounds. I am also able to exercise and am, very slowly, increasing my strength.
Additionally, I had cataract surgery and asked if it wasn’t early; the doctor explained my diabetes was a factor. I did find that my diabetes was no longer controllable by pills and went to insulin two or so years after beginning lipitor.
As soon as mevacor came out, my now deceased husband, was put on it. I lost him a few years later to ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease, and since all the negative information has come out, wonder if the statin was a factor. He was 54, high cholesterol ran in his family.
Now I refuse to take anything for my high cholesterol. My hdl is good because of the exercise and so far my refusal has not become an issue with my health care providers.

I like Sandy am taking Red Yeast Rice for quite some time now. My cardiologist said not to worry as the dosage is so much lower. He didn’t address any particular problem to be concerned about. I also would like another opinion as to whether Red Yeast Rice truly has the same side effects as pharmaceuticals and whether there has been any research with Red Yeast Rice to back up the opinions.

It disturbs me greatly that you generally show this paragraph at the end of your negative coverage of statins and their very serious problems including partial loss of health, complete loss of health, death for some users:
We recognize that many people benefit from statins, especially those who have had a heart attack or a stent placed in a coronary artery. But the benefits of statins for what is called primary prevention are now highly controversial. When a medicine that is supposed to prevent chronic health problems down the road actually contributes to them, we get concerned.
You have zero basis for misleading your readers with that 1st sentence. When you show this sentence you are no different than the drug companies telling doctors and the public that statins, after all the negatives we print to disprove this, are after all great drugs. Especially if you have had a heart attack or stents in a coronary artery. You cannot produce true research to back this up and need to stop using this sentence. You are helping the drug companies continue to lie about the greatness of statins. You should be aware that many of the “studies” that the drug companies use to prove how necessary statins are for “their ever growing list of health problems and for prevention of health problems”,are conducted in Mexico and India and paid for by the drug companies.
Other than this, your newsletters are outstanding and very helpful to me and many others. I forward many of them to the 1,600 dancers, friends and relatives on my email list. Thank you.
Murray E

I had been taking Simvastatin for a number of years, until about a year ago. The doctor doubled my dosage in 2009. I, too, have been diagnosed with type II diabetes, peripheral neuropapthy and soreness in large muscles.
Worse than that, I bagaun to suffer from lower body weakness, loss of balance and a condition which could be vascular parkinsonism.
None of these symptoms has gone away, even after a year of no statins. I wonder, could the Parkinsonism be related to statins? No doctor will tell me that and I stopped going to one neurologist because he could not give a diagnosis.

After being put on various statins years ago with all causing side effects, I now take Crestor. I have been taking Crestor at least for 5 yrs. now but within the last 2 years have noticed a problem walking. I thought it was being casued by stress as my husband was ill, but has been getting worse to the point I can’t walk more than 2 blocks without resting.
In addition, when lying down my feet get a tingling feeling which has worsened to a feeling of contractions in my feet. I would like to get off Crestor but my cardiologist does not want me to as I have about a 50% blockage in two of my heart arteries.
I am researching other alternatives, like red yeast rice and would like other suggestions.

I refused to take Lipitor when my doctor wanted to prescribe it. Instead, I eat a highly vegetation style diet and exercised more. This, along with one red yeast rice, and one over the counter niacin brought my cholesterol reading to 70 LDL and 40/42 HDL.
I do have the start of cataracts which I was informed of prior to taking any over the counter meds. My wife first started me on a non meat diet after quadruple by pass surgery it worked so I went back on it. I do eat fish and some chicken and every once in the while pork loin. No red meat and very little dairy. Now I’m concerned with the red yeast rice and niacin.

Thank you for this info. I have been on statins since the ’80’s..this past year it has gotten where, from hips down, I have constant trouble. There are days when it is next to impossible to walk; pain in both hips and down both legs into feet. Burning sensations in knees and calves of legs, feet go numb whether I’m sitting with them propped up or if they are down, a feeling like electrical shock in legs.
When walking, my knees will give out on me, and it is an effort to just walk at all. I have been going to the dr since prior to Thanksgiving ’11; they seem to like to pass you from one type of dr to another…neuro, ortho and pain management. Have had nerve tests, stress tests, MRI’s, Cat scans and no one comes down with a set diagnosis. Now, Wed of this week, a new dr had by blood work done, my thyroid was up and the cholesterol levels had gone way up, so they insisted I go back on Zocor (I had quit those a few months ago due to what I’d been reading).
I have the beginnings of cataracts. Not only have they put me back on the Zocor but they put me on 300MG of Gabapentin at 3x day…thank heaven my pharmacist told me to start it out at about an hour before I planned to go to bed and not 3x per instructions. He also said do that for 3 days to check my tolerance. I followed his instructions…within 20 mins of taking pill, I headed to bed! Slept all night and finally my dog woke me up after 0800. Fell asleep that afternoon for 3 hours and I’m not a nap taker.
Last night I took the 2nd dose, was asleep within mins again and finally this morn, at 0935 my poor dog woke me cause he had to go out! I’m NOT taking it again, nor am I going to take the statin again.
Why won’t drs really listen to a person instead of quickly forming their own opinion and passing you on to another. Now I’m back with family doc and they want to start the “round of other docs” all over again!!

Thank you for all the great information you provide for us.

I am 63 and have been on statins since 1993. I am currently on 80 mg of generic Zocor.
I have had regular blood tests (initially every 3 months, now every 6 months) to check liver function and CPK, blood sugar, etc.
I recently asked my cardiologist about the pros/cons of statins. She acknowledges the negatives for some people, as with any medicine, and the need to monitor for any side effects involving CPK, blood sugar, etc. However, for those who have a strong family history of heart disease (as I do) and some CAD diagnosed by flunking a stress test in 1993 (no stents, bypass needed as of yet), that statins have been a wonderful contribution and have kept large number of people from needing more invasive tests, stents, by pass.

I was given a statin after a minor heart problem, within thirty days both feet and my hands were numb and tingling with shooting pains in my feet. The Dr. laughed at me when I suggested the drug was causing my problem. He insisted that I continue the drug.
I refused and sought another Dr. who insisted that statins were safe; again I refused to resume the drug. After 16 years both feet are still numb, the pain has diminished but still there.

P.S. I was diagnosed with a starting of cataracts about 2 years ago and will be checking on that soon to see if it’s any worse. This article has now informed me of yet another reason I’m glad I stopped that nasty drug.

I took statins for years for very high cholesterol. Starting with a low dose and ending in a very high dose after years of trying to lower my count.
I started getting calf and leg pain after a couple of years which increased until I could barely walk and climb stairs. I complained to my physician who insisted that I must take the drug because if I didn’t I would have a heart attack
Finally, I had blood work done (after insisting) and found my kidneys were being damaged by the statin drug so they finally took me off of it. That was several years ago and I’m still suffering the effects of muscle weakness and pain in my legs.
I absolutely hate that drug. It’s not just a small thing when you can’t walk and your kidneys are being ruined. My cholesterol is still high but I haven’t had a heart attack and I don’t plan on it. God willing (and He is).

I too started taking Zocor lst 20 then 40. Saw body deteriortating, pains in knees, cataracts, hand shoulders. After reading first article published downsized the dosage until I didn’t take any more. Big changes in body pains.
To all people who are experiencing these types of pains, talk to your doctor about stopping these Statins. Slowly but surley you’ll see the differnce in the pains going away. Go with changes in food and you’ll see the difference. Been there.
Thanks People Pharmacy for alerting us about these dangerous drugs. Your books are my Bible to read for better health.

Yet another mistake made by “scientific” wishful thinking!

I too have minor cataracts, but I grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, FL and never wore sun glasses until I was about 30 yrs old. I thought that was a normal consequence of my “ill spent youth”.
I started on Zocor, first 20 mg then, soon, 40 mg in 1994. I went from Total cholesterol of 245 to about 200 (good in those days). I have continued since then with Zocor40,or Vitorin40 since then. Back to Zocor40 (went to generic as soon as I could). I reduced to Zocor20 + 1000mg of OTC Niacin in Mar 2012. I don’t know if my aches and pains are due to Zocor but a small dose of Mobic (7.5mg) every second or third day keeps them under control.
I am very interested in reading what other experiences (and solutions) people have had with statins.
Thank you People’s Pharmacy for reporting on these important facts. I don’t know if my Dr. appreciates them but I give her a copy anyhow.

I was first prescribed statins 18 years ago at 10 mg. Over the years it was increased to 20, then 40. I had a knee that occasionally gave out under me but I did not connect the dots. Stroke at age 60. Neurologist upped the dosage to 80 and, after a couple of months of that, I could hardly get up out of a chair, could barely climb steps. New doctors, new tests, lipitor to blame, extreme damage done, pain remains, knees collapse. I can’t even tolerate red yeast rice.

What I do not understand, is how we (health Care Professionals) are always overlooking the fact that these so called “scientific studies” which are often paid for by the drugmaker, AND which use Relative Risk Reduction which are massaged data, using made up numbers, and not the “Absolute Risk Reduction” which is a Rock Solid, non manipulated number…for the difference in Absolute versus Relative risk, ex: Absolute vs Relative Risk Reduction
Imagine a subject having 10% risk to die during the next 5 years as a result of complications of high blood pressure.
If his or her risk will decrease from 10% to 7% after after taking a hypertensive pill during several years, then
The absolute risk reduction will be 3% (10% – 7% = 3%),
The relative risk reduction will be 30% ((10% – 7%)/10% = 30%)
See how the actual 3% magically becomes 30%….Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics…

I do not and never have taken pharmaceutical statins, but I do take Red Yeast Rice. Are the risks of side effects for Red Yeast Rice the same or different from pharmaceutical statins?

thanks for all of your very pertinent VITAL info…

I was on Lipitor for a few years and because my urine became very dark, he put me on Crestor, but then the same thing happened with that drug. My understanding is that the darker urine is a result of elevated liver enzymes. I have now been off statins for two years and have no more symptoms.

Thank you for this interesting article.

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