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Statins: what they don't tell you

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posted on Mar, 14 2008 @ 01:37 AM
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I am wondering how many of you out there have been affected by the use of statins in a negative way? I had no idea the side effects were going to turn out to be so bad, my doctor's response was that 'the positive benefits of using Lipitor outweighs the risk of not using the drug'. What?
! I should have been told staight up that it would cause me to have RLS. I should have been told that the backaches I suffer were because of the drug, the tingling in my hands and arms would not go away, the pin pricks to my legs all the time will now be a permanant sensation for me. Headaches, blurred vision, tooth problems, nervous ticks in my eyelids, skin conditions that no one has ever even heard of. I could have drank orange juice to help with the cholesterol, why didn't they tell me that? All the other meds I take now are to counteract the side effects, permanant and temporary, of the Lipitor. Anybody else?




posted on Mar, 14 2008 @ 01:50 AM
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reply to post by space cadet
 


RLS?

Sorry, I don't recognize the condition.




I've been on statins for about five years now; first Lipotor, now Vytorin (HMO wouldn't cover the cost of Lipotor anymore).

I've suffered no side effects whatsoever. I do have regular blood-work to check for liver function; so far all is normal.



posted on Mar, 14 2008 @ 02:05 AM
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reply to post by Bhadhidar
 


RLS is restless leg syndrome. I cannot go to sleep or sit for even a few minutes without having to get up and stretch my legs, they feel the need to move or be stretched if I try to relax. It was one of the first side effects I had, back when I was on Pravachol. I now take the same drugs as a person with Parkinson's might take, dopamine. Then I developed a weird and rare skin problem called 'dermatographism', better known as skin writing. Quite the uncomfortable problem. I cannot even take a shower without breaking out in lines/wheals. My hands tingle and feel like they are asleep all the time. From what I have been reading lately all of these are possible side effects from the statins, but my doctor has been treating each symptom as a separate issue. The doctor's themselves are just learning about some of the other side effects like mine. Thousands of others are on the net seeking answers. I am about to be tested next week to see if there is nerve and muscle damage, my doctor already did a round of reflex tests and apparently my nerves could be messed up. I just know I am having involuntary reflexes and my hands go so numb I can't feel my fingers.



posted on Mar, 17 2008 @ 11:58 PM
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reply to post by space cadet
 


It is so wrong that you were not told of the possible side effects. Your doctor was wrong. If your inner voice says don't trust your dr it's time to get a new one. It is often the medical perception of helping the masses and ignoring the person, and my heart goes out to you.
For your side effects, if possible, I would strongly suggest acupuncture, some of the possible nerve damage that you have suggested may be able to be reversed. On the possitive side, some insurance companys are reconizing this type of treatment like they do chiropractors now.
I suffered a broken neck in 1993 with almost no cord damage (thank the powers to be) after my halo came off I had pinprick and weekness in my left limbs, acupuncture helped me way back then, and I believe as it is more mainstreamed now, it may be better. I use acupuncture like people use tylenol for everything from aches and pains to flue to headaches and insomnea.



posted on Mar, 18 2008 @ 05:51 AM
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OMG, you have my deepest empathy.

Mine tried to get me to go on it b/c my cholesterol was a bit elevated.

I said 'OK', but never took it.

Instead I did this:

1. Lost 60lbs over the last 15mo (I hit goal last Oct and have kept it off for 6mos);
2. Started eating a bowl (1/2 cup dry) of Scottish oatmeal with a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil mixed in each morning without fail (since Jan 08);
3. Started taking Cayenne (one capsule 40K HU, 1/day) (thanks for the tip, Retikx)
4. Cut back to almost no red meat (all fish, eggs, milk, cheese);
5. Added broccoli and more fruit to my diet (after discussions here; thx DeadFlagBlues);
6. Continued exercising (30-60min 1-2x per day 5-6 days a week for the past 2 years (2006-2008), prior to that 40min 1-2x/day 7 days a week for the previous 3 years (2003-2006); Only missed a workout about 21 days/year on average due to weather/illness in that time period. Did 2 workouts/day 2-3x/week. Consistency is more important than volume and intensity, mostly.

7. Continued to research and be alert for non-drug solutions to similar problems.


Is it helping? I don't know. I haven't had a follow up lipid panel, but even if it doesn't help, too bad, now I -know- I'm not taking that cr*p.

I'll keep my eye out for anything that might help reverse your situation.

Good luck; you'll be in our thoughts.




[edit on 18-3-2008 by Badge01]



posted on Mar, 18 2008 @ 05:55 AM
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I am sorry you are going through that. I am always skeptical of any prescription... I am honestly surprised though that your doctor hasn't given you a laundry list of other prescriptions to counteract the new side effects from your lipitor... each with their own side effects.

I hate the pharmaceutical industry.



posted on Mar, 22 2008 @ 01:21 AM
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Thanks to all of you for your concern. I am certified for a local program since my job does not provide insurance and purchasing a plan for myself is not within my means at this time. I am at their mercy when it comes to my health care. I am assigned to a doctor who is doing their residency, and when one finishes another picks up your case. I don't think any of them have any idea what they are doing, I have had to do my own research and diagnosis, which my doctor agrees are correct. Next step, find out what the extent of damage is, and I am on my own with this, they have pulled a record showing an upaid bill from 1998 and refuse to see me at this time. I don't know if it is because of the bill, or because I have accused the previous doctor of mishandling my case. My 'new' doctor agreed that the lipitor is possibly the exact cause of all my ills.



posted on Aug, 8 2008 @ 03:14 PM
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reply to post by Badge01
 


Well just thought I'd update with my new lab values.

Total Cholesterol - totally within normal limits (+/- 4 points) (even the slightly higher limits given now)
High Density Lipids (good kind) - high (this is good/protective it is thought)
LDL (bad kind) - normal (+/- 2 points).

Testosterone - high normal
PSA - (test for prostate) - normal.

Reasons?
First I think the first test was a mistake or a glitch - always get more than one test on things like this.
Second, I was in a high protein phase of my diet and even though that is not a cause of higher cholesterol it might have temp. skewed results
Third - going on the Oatmeal, olive oil and othe diet changes helped - however most people think you can't get a 50% drop on just diet, leading me to feel the preponderance was lab error/glitch.

WooHoo!



posted on Aug, 8 2008 @ 03:48 PM
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My father has been on Lipitor since his last angioplasty/stent. He's survived two heart attacks, and that treatment is the third he had (he didn't wait for an infarction this time! hooray!).

As a pre-med and wannabe doctor (maybe I'll fix that in time
), I warned him that statins are of questionable usefulness and that he should be wary of any symptoms. When he was complaining of recurring weakness and whatnot, I immediately pointed to the statins. He went back to his cardiologist, and bingo, it was. The cardiologist halved the dosage and he's been fine since.

Moral of the story: I don't know enough to say not to take a statin, but I'd definitely talk with a cardiologist about reducing the dose.

Additionally, since you sound like a heart patient (and even if you're not) I'd take 500mg of Vitamin C every 12 hours. It's great, you can't overdose on it (you could probably eat the whole bottle and be fine since it's water soluble and the kidneys remove it easily), and Vitamin C deficiencies are thought to be a possible cause of arteriosclerosis. 500mg every 12 hours is the blood saturation level achievable through oral supplements, so I recommend that, even though some more "radical" doctors suggest doses in the tens of thousands (just to give you perspective on the safety!).



But...if you're taking a statin, have you had any heart procedures to warrant it? Or is it just some kind of preventative thing your doctor did?


Edit: I'm getting people confused.


[edit on 8-8-2008 by Johnmike]



posted on Aug, 8 2008 @ 05:45 PM
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Originally posted by Johnmike
Additionally, since you sound like a heart patient (and even if you're not) I'd take 500mg of Vitamin C every 12 hours.


Heart patient? I'd say either your diagnostic skills need work, or you're reading things into my post that aren't there or replying to someone else. I simply had a cholesterol test. Please forgive any misinterpretation or confusion on my part.



It's great, you can't overdose on it (you could probably eat the whole bottle and be fine since it's water soluble and the kidneys remove it easily), and Vitamin C deficiencies are thought to be a possible cause of arteriosclerosis.


Care to give a cite on that? In the US I'd think Vit. C -deficiencies- are extremely uncommon. In fact I think some people are calling for limits on Vit C consumption.


But...if you're taking a statin, have you had any heart procedures to warrant it? Or is it just some kind of preventative thing your doctor did?


I don't know what message you're reading. If mine, I have not taken a statin, even once and have no intention of doing so. I simply replied to the message above mine.


Edit: I'm getting people confused.


It's OK, I appreciate your good intent. Thanks for your post and have a great day!



posted on Aug, 8 2008 @ 06:23 PM
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reply to post by Badge01
 


I was talking to space cadet.



For Vitamin C toxicity... msds.chem.ox.ac.uk... for rats. We never go anywhere near that level in humans, and we don't test it at such ridiculously high levels. I can't be arsed to dig up all the articles about some great stuff it's thought to do, but you can look at the Wikipedia page for an idea of where to start. There's a study I'm interested in right now, in Canada I think, where they're testing the effects of intravenous Vitamin C on cancer - supposedly it's toxic to cancerous cells.

I have no idea why you'd want to limit Vitamin C intake, you're probably thinking of something else.



posted on Aug, 8 2008 @ 08:48 PM
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reply to post by Johnmike
 


Haha, ok, no wonder I was confused.

Here's one link:
Does supplemental vitamin C increase cardiovascular disease risk in women with diabetes?
www.ajcn.org...

Mostly high dose Vit C is not harmful/is helpful.



posted on Aug, 8 2008 @ 09:45 PM
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Stumbled on this site:



Much attention has been focused on reducing serum cholesterol levels because of the report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP). When making decisions about treatment, clinicians must consider the effects of the individual variability of cholesterol levels. Irwig and colleagues discuss the individual variances of cholesterol measurements to help clinicians estimate the true cholesterol level of each patient and to determine each patient's true response to interventions, such as diet and/or drug therapy.

Observed cholesterol measurements may differ from the true cholesterol level because of short-term biologic and technical measurement variability. Technical variability can be controlled by paying attention to collection techniques and by using a laboratory that adheres to reference standards. The second source of individual error is biologic, reflecting the normal short-term variability of each individual's cholesterol level. The biologic variability is less amenable to control than the technical variability.


At least lends credence to getting several levels after overnight fast.

2 cents...



posted on Aug, 8 2008 @ 10:07 PM
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reply to post by Badge01
 


They only used intake, not blood levels, which bothers me a lot. I suspect lurking variables, but I don't know. If you're a post-menopausal diabetic woman, be skeptical of high dosage vitamin C!



posted on Aug, 8 2008 @ 10:33 PM
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Well I would bet from now on you will look up drugs online. : )

I learned the hardway with Paxil years ago, now I tend to look up everything but the most basic whether its for me or my animals. 20 years ago we would not have the global mind at our fingertips, now we do.

Oh and why didn't your doctor suggest orange juice? Well I doubt if the orange juice manufacturers are visiting his office and offering perks.



posted on Aug, 8 2008 @ 10:48 PM
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OP, here is an article that may be of help to you. It's a long article but it has what I think is a lot of good information. It may make you angry though because they've known what statins can do for at least four years.

On the up side, it says that taking CoQ10 may help the symptoms. Best wishes.

Dangers of Statin Drugs

My doctor tried to put me on Crestor. I refused and demanded a fasting cholesterol test. Guess what, my "bad" cholesterol is only 150. I'm so glad I didn't give in and take the Crestor.

The whole cholesterol thing is hyped up way out of proportion anyway. But the article will tell you about that too.



posted on Aug, 8 2008 @ 10:54 PM
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The rate of congestive heart failure has tripled since statins were first put on the market. Merck holds a patent to supplement mevacor with coenzyme-Q, which the heart requires to pump properly, however no such product was ever brought to market.



posted on Aug, 8 2008 @ 11:48 PM
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Originally posted by Sonya610
Well I would bet from now on you will look up drugs online. : )

I learned the hardway with Paxil years ago, now I tend to look up everything but the most basic whether its for me or my animals. 20 years ago we would not have the global mind at our fingertips, now we do.

Oh and why didn't your doctor suggest orange juice? Well I doubt if the orange juice manufacturers are visiting his office and offering perks.


To whom is this comment directed? If to the OP it's particularly smarmy and uncalled for, considering she/he will be suffering because of a misplaced trust.

I'd have hoped that such an approach would be beneath ATS members.



posted on Aug, 8 2008 @ 11:50 PM
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reply to post by Johnmike
 


Point well-taken. Blood levels are key, as are other variables, I suppose. Can you break it down even further for us?

Good to have you in on the discussion.



posted on Aug, 9 2008 @ 12:18 AM
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I have started a vitamin C regimen, stopped taking Lipitor, and am slowly but surely feeling better every day. Thanks for all your responses, and just a reminder, never just take what the doctor gives you, check it out for yourself, see if the benefits truly do outweigh the risk, don't let the doctor decide that for you!

Lipitor was making me sick and made living each day miserable. When I first stopped using it, I thought I would just revert back to the high choles. counts and risk heart attack, but the Vitamin C is such a simple and safe answer, and makes you feel better, literally, every day.



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