Research by Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Director of UC San Diego’s Statin Study group cites nearly 900 studies on the adverse effects of statins drugs, a class of drugs widely used to treat high cholesterol (Golomb BA, et al, 2008). The paper provides a more updated and complete review than has previously been available of the reported side effects of statins, showing the state of evidence for each. “Muscle problems are the best known of statin drugs’ adverse side effects,” said Golomb. “But cognitive problems and peripheral neuropathy, or pain or numbness in the extremities like fingers and toes, are also widely reported.” A spectrum of other problems, ranging from blood glucose elevations to tendon problems, can also occur as side effects from statins.
Physician awareness of side effects is low. Unfortunately, Dr. Golomb’s findings also concluded that “Physician awareness of such side effects is reportedly low,” Golomb said. “Being vigilant for adverse effects in their patients is necessary in order for doctors to provide informed treatment decisions and improved patient care.” Doctors are slowly becoming more aware of these potential problems, but in the past it was not uncommon for patients who report to their physician muscle pain and memory problems to be told that it just can’t be the statin drug their doctor is prescribing. Sometimes the doctors seem to need to defend their drug recommendations more than they need to listen to their patients. And the tragedy of grandest proportion is when a new additional drug is prescribed to give relief to the prevailing symptoms caused by the side effects of the original statin drug. Where does all of that end?
Statin Drug Side Effects
According to the warning in Lipitor’s own material, there are common side effects and serious side effects to taking Lipitor. Here they are:
Common Side Effects
- Upset stomach and stomach pain
- Muscle and joint pain
Serious Side Effects
- Serious Muscle problems which can lead to kidney problems including kidney failure
- Liver problems
Lipitor’s warning says that the serious side effects have only happened to a small number of people.
Additional Potential Side Effects of Statins (per Web MD)
- Decreased sexual desire
- Memory problems
Additional potential side effects (per research studies and clinical observation)
- Pain or numbness in the fingers or toes or other extremities
- Frequent fevers
- May increase cancer risk
- Pancreatic dysfunction
- Immune system suppression
- Urinary tract infections
- Confusion and aggressive behavior
So if you want to avoid the possibility of muscle pain, memory loss and a host of other unpleasant side effects, find ways to control your cholesterol levels naturally and without the pharmaceuticals. We’ll tell you how to do so in these articles:
- How to Lower LDL Naturally? One of Multiple Turmeric Benefits!
- Lowering Cholesterol Naturally with B Vitamins
- Golomb BA, Evans MA., American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs 2008;8(6):373-418