The Side Effects of Statins

One of the biggest questions facing clinical cardiology today is the decision on when to treat healthy people with statin drugs. Data from randomized clinical trials show that such treatment may be beneficial for individuals with high risk of developing cardiovascular disease. However, statins are not without side effects, therefore we have to be sure that the risk of harm does not outweigh the presumed benefits.

Statins lower blood cholesterol. They also appear to have a few other effects which may be beneficial for people with established cardiovascular disease. Randomized clinical trials have shown that statins reduce the risk of death and new cardiovascular events among individuals with coronary heart disease. Not prescribing statins to people who may benefit from such therapy is considered bad medical practice, unless the patient is intolerant to statin treatment.

If implemented, the 2013 ACC/AHA guidelines on primary prevention will lead to a much higher number of healthy individuals receiving statin therapy. In fact, more than 70 percent of people older than 60 years may become eligible for such treatment. The major criticisms of the guidelines as they pertain to statins are concerns about adverse effects and lack of benefit on total mortality

Today, everybody should know that statins have side effects. Although most are relatively benign, serious life threatening adverse events have been reported. Such side effects are rare, but they are a cause for concern if millions of healthy people are to be treated with these drugs.

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How Common Are Side Effects of Statins?

The 2013 ACC/AHA recommendations on statins for healthy individuals mainly rely on evidence from meta-analyses of randomized clinical trials.  Part of the recommendations are based on risk calculation, assuming that when a certain amount of risk is present, the benefit of therapy outweighs the potential harm. However, there are some important questions remaining unanswered such as: How common are side effects from statins in real life, and does the current scientific literature provide reliable data to answer this question?

Recently a study was published in The European Journal of Preventive Cardiology addressing the side effects of statins compared with placebo among more than 80 thousand patients participating in randomized clinical trials of statins. Interestingly, apart from a slightly increased risk of diabetes and mild elevation of liver enzymes, side effects were not more common among patients receiving statins compared with those on placebo. The results have received a lot of media attention with headlines like: ‘Statins have virtually no side effects, study finds’. The Telegraph reports:

Researchers at Imperial College looked back at 29 trials involving more than 80,000 patients taking the cholesterol lowering drugs.

They concluded that the chance of experiencing debilitating symptoms like nausea and fatigue was slightly less among people taking statins than for control groups given a placebo. Now the scientists are calling for drug companies to make it clear on packets that side effects are uncommon so that people are not wrongly dissuaded from treatment.

Around seven million people take statins in Britain, a figure that could rise to 12 million under draft NHS guidelines, currently out for consultation, which will advise the majority of men over 50 and women over 60 to take the drug as a precaution.

Health experts have voiced concerns that the side effects could outweigh the benefits for healthy people.

One of the authors of the paper, Dr. Ben Goldacre has commented on the media reports on his website, Bad Science:

I was surprised to see a study I’m co-author on getting some front page media play today, under the headline “Statins have no side effects”. That’s not what our paper found…

Remarkably, people report typical statin side effects even when they are only receiving placebo: the phenomenon of people getting unpleasant symptoms simply because they expect to is fairly well documented, and it’s called the nocebo effect…

Assessing side effects of statins by using data from randomized clinical trials testing the efficacy of these drugs is problematic in many ways. First, these studies are not designed to study side effects. Second, methods used to detect and assess side effects are not defined. Third, sponsors of clinical trials may have limited interest in searching for potential side effects. Fourth, there is selection bias. Patients selected for participation in clinical trials have to fulfill certain criteria and therefore very often don’t reflect a “real life” patient population. Patients not eligible for clinical trials are often sicker, have more kidney failure, diabetes and high blood pressure. These individuals may have higher risk of side effects from statins. Fifth, many trials have placebo run-in periods to test compliance. This may further select highly motivated patents who are less likely to report side effects.

Dr. Ben Goldacre underlines the importance of having access to the Clinical Study Report (CSR) of a trial. Let me quote him:

These are very long and detailed documents that give a huge amount of detail about the methods and results of a trial, and they’re important, because methodological flaws can often be glossed over in the brief report on a clinical trial that appears as an academic journal paper.

I’d like to repeat the study, using the CSRs on the trials as the source data on the side effects, rather than the academic journal papers. That is a big piece of work because companies generally refuse to share CSRs…

What Are the Most Common Side Effects of Statins?

Liver and muscle problems are the most common side effects of statin therapy. Liver tests are usually monitored and the drug is stopped if there are significant abnormalities. Muscle ache is common. Muscle damage can occur and in rare cases it may become serious.There appears to be increased risk of diabetes on statin therapy. Some studies have reported changes in memory, attention, or concentration on statins.

There are some reports on changes in mood on statins.  These include loss of interest in activities and loss of interest in social involvement. Studies have confirmed that peripheral neuropathy (tingling and numbness or burning pain) may occur with statins. Sleep problems, sexual function problems, fatigue, dizziness and a sense of detachment are also reported with these drugs.

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Have YOU Experienced Side Effects from a Statin Drug?

Have YOU Experienced Side Effects from a Statin Drug?

It is of huge importance for clinicians and patients to have access to reliable information on the risk of side effects of statins. As doctors, we don’t want to inflict harm to our patients. On the other hand, the risk of side effects from statin therapy appears small. Therefore doctors can also inflict harm to their patients by exaggerating potential side effects which might lead to a patients unwillingness to accept treatment that is of potential benefit.

Recently, Rory Collins, a Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of Oxford was quoted in the Guardian saying that:

Doctors worrying about the safety of cholesterol-reducing statins are creating a misleading level of uncertainty that could lead to at the loss of lives…

On the other hand, rare side effects may become important when treatment is given to a large proportion of the population. We’ve recently had patients at our hospital with severe breakdown of skeletal muscle (rhabdomyolysis) resulting in serious kidney failure that appears to be directly associate with treatment with statin drugs.

There’s no doubt that a large majority of individuals taking statins don’t experience any problems with the drugs. However, a substantial number of people experience side effects. I fear these side effects are more common and sometimes more serious than the results from randomized clinical trials have suggested.

People who have experienced side effects often feel that they are not listened to. Many of these side effects are never reported. If you have any experience from statins, good or bad, no matter whether you are a patient, a medical professional or just a medical geek, here might be a good place to tell your story.

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103 thoughts on “The Side Effects of Statins”

  1. Two months ago i had an arterial occlusion at age 62.. Other than that, I’m in great shape: no history, exercise daily, never smoked, not overweight, et al. It was easy to notice the side effects of the statin @ 80 mg. atorvastatin: a dark cloud, constant case of the runs, body aches. Cutting the dose to 20 mg. the side effects lessened proportionally. Switching to Crestor @ 10 mgs., the body aches increased. My choice is now, which of the alternative side effects are more bearable. Or, at what point do I simply stop taking this stuff?

    • Peter
      Muscle ache is the most commonly experienced side effect of statins. Lowering the dose is sometimes helpful but not always. Changing to another statin drug may sometimes help as well. In my experience, muscle pain is the most common reason why people have to stop taking statins.
      Thanks for sharing your experience.

  2. 1. Severe leg cramps.
    2. Weakness.
    3. Unsteadiness,fear of falling.
    4. Memory problems,brain fog.
    5. Problems concentrating.
    6. Irritability.
    7. Dizziness when leaning over and standing back up.
    8. Disorientation. The scariest episode of this occurred in a grocery store. I could see where I was but could no longer tell which direction I was facing. This only lasted a few seconds,but it happened several other times out in the yard.
    9 Wounds healing slowly.
    Needless to say I’ve stopped hateastatin against Dr’s orders and refuse to take them again.
    Dr. Wanted me to take Crestor next,which I find outrageous. It was as if she did not even read my complaint list! Anyone who thinks these things have no side effects and are harmless is out of their blooming mind.
    I’m on a hflc regiment now. And have not seen the Dr. in a year.

    • Please share your story at StatinVictims.com. We want to gather as many stories as possible in order to gain credence. I’m in your situation. David

    • @ thehomeschoolingdoctor

      That’s a good question. In theory CoQ10 might reverse some of the side effects of statins. Some researchers have proposed that taking a coenzyme Q10 supplement might reduce the risk of these side effects. However, no large studies have confirmed this theory.

      There are mixed reports on the benefits of CoQ10 in helping statin-associated muscle pain. Most reviews highlight the lack of evidence to support routine CoQ10 supplementation even though there are few safety concerns with such supplementation. I have very limited experience myself with CoQ10 in the context of statin side effects but it seems that more research data is needed to clarify the issue.

      • It was the only way I could continue to take mine. The aches were so bad I just couldnt cope (I need to work).. coq10 resolved it.. and I know if I have forgotten to take that because I start hurting again.

  3. I take 10mgs Atorvastatin/day. NO side effects at all. BUT – I also take, among other things, 200mgs CoQ10/day.

    @Peter – why would your doctor put you on such a high dose of Atorvastatin? What were your lipids like? TC, LDL-C, HDH-C, Triglycerides, etc.

    Are you and Daci aware that some of the statins are derived from mold. If you have an allergy to mold/yeast you may be experiencing side effects from the allergy.

    • Charles.

      Some studies have indicated that higher dose statin therapy is more effective than lower dose therapy in patients with coronary disease. That’s why 80 mg daily of Atorvastatin is often prescribed for example following an acute myocardial infarction (acute coronary occlusion).

      However, higher dose statins are associated with statistically significantly increased risks of muscle pain and abnormal liver function tests compared to lower dose statins

  4. I was put on Krestor about 10 years ago, and suffered serious muscle pain. I couldn’t hang out a load of washing or make the bed without suffering serious muscle pain similar to over-use pain. We stopped that, and my doctor put me on Lipidil, which sent me to the brink of total kidney failure. So she said she’d find me something else to take, but I told her not to bother, because I wouldn’t take it. I’ve since moved to a very low carb/ultra high fat diet and my triglycerides and HDL are brilliant, while my LDL is high but because the particle sizes are large. My doctor is happy with my biannual cholesterol panels.

    And I’ve also read, in several places, that statins provide no benefits to women whatsoever.

      • I was only on a statin for a short time and now I have after two months sever shoulder muscle pain. I have RA but it was in remission and now I have no Idea what is going on so am going to a Rheumatologist soon. I would rather die than take that drug again! Life just isn’t worth putting yourself through that much pain and ending up in a wheelchair. All because of cholesterol numbers. There are some reports of people getting ALS and other debilitation muscle diseases after taking statins. Why are they not tell the public about this?

  5. “while my LDL is high but because the particle sizes are large”

    Do you have test results – NMR/VAP – that show your LDL particles are large?

  6. @Axel

    re the study you referenced

    “In closing, the current literature does prove conclusively that higher dose statin therapy (for example, 80 mg of simvastatin or atorvastatin) in patients with established CAD provides incremental benefits over and above those expected with lower dose statin therapy; however, this literature is insufficient to define optimal LDL targets in these patients. Secondary analyses of the existing randomized trial data using individual patient data and multivariate adjustment will be needed to appropriately examine the incremental benefits of different LDL targets (Hayward 2006), and future trials will have to determine whether lower dose statin therapy plus other lipid lowering agents may achieve better LDL levels and clinical outcomes than maximal dose statin therapy. Indeed, further research is needed to conclusively establish whether the benefits associated with statin treatment are determined by the LDL level achieved, the percent reduction in LDL, the absolute reduction in LDL, or the dose of the statin. Based on the current evidence base, the use of higher dose statin therapy should be restricted to patients with established CAD at this time.”

    Doesn’t prove that high dose statins are necessary.

  7. What they’ve done to me:

    Range of Motion: He shows decreased range of motion of supination
    bilaterally. He has adduction of the thumbs bilaterally. His hip
    abduction is 20 degrees on the right, 18 on the left. Straight leg raise
    is 45 degrees bilaterally. On the mat, he is unable to achieve neutral and
    remains in external rotation. His internal rotation is 0 degrees on the
    left that was on the right the previous. His dorsiflexion lacks 12 degrees
    on the right and 11 degrees on the left.

    Strengths: Hip abduction is 4- bilaterally. Hip extension is 4 on the
    right, 4- on the left. Knee flexion is 3+ bilaterally. Knee extension is
    5. He has increased pain with core activation and has difficulty
    maintaining pelvic tilt to bend and straighten his lower extremities.
    Sensation: Light touch and proprioception are intact. Vibration is absent
    at the lower extremities.

    Posture: He has kyphotic posture with forward head and a flattened lumbar
    spine. He is wearing a back brace.

    Skin: His feet are cold to touch. He has minimal ankle edema. His feet
    are purple in color. His toes are curled. His nails are thickened. His
    lower extremities are hairless. He sees a podiatrist regularly.

    Postural Control: Sitting balance is intact. Forward reach is 2 inch with
    immediate rapid stepping strategies for recovery and discomfort. “I feel
    like I’ll fall on my face.” He active weight shift show very minimal
    posterior excursion. He shows no anterior excursion. He is unable to
    shift his weight forward and bends his knees “I forgot how”I cannot”. In
    induced weight shifts he has increased hip strategies, but no stepping
    strategies. He was unable to balance on his heels or his toes.

    Modified Clinical Tests Of Sensory Integration And Balance: He stood for
    30 seconds with fair quality in a forward bent position with eyes open on
    firm, with eyes closed, he stood for 30 seconds with fair quality and
    increased sway. He required maximum assistance to step onto a foam surface
    and had knee buckling on attempting to step onto the foam.

    Sharpened Romberg: He required moderate assistance with handheld to assume
    sharpened Romberg bilaterally. He was unable to maintain.
    He required moderate assistance with handheld to assume single leg stance
    bilaterally and is unable to maintain.

    Dynamic balance: He ambulates with or without the straight cane and he has
    toe out and shuffling with bilateral Trendelenburg, no trunk rotation. He
    has decreased control on stand to sit transitions. His timed stands for 5
    repetitions was 15.29 and required the use of bilateral upper extremities.
    The timed up and go for 3 meters was 15.19 which is well outside of the
    range of normal and indicates increased fall risk. He showed loss of
    balance on turns. Up and go cognitive was 16.87. He was accurate, but
    showed total loss of balance with turns requiring assistance to recover.

    The activities specific balance scale was completed, his score was 35.63
    which indicates significant decreased confidence and fear of falling. He
    waso, least confident in bending to pick up an object from the floor standing
    on a chair, standing on his tip toes, sweeping the floor, walking on a ramp
    in a crowded area or on an often escalator without upper extremity
    assistance as well as on icy sidewalk. He also reported difficulty with
    stepping on and off and escalator.

  8. Simvastatin 40mg/day three months later anxiety , memory loss , mood swings , anger , psychosis , aches , stiffness and general feeling of being unwell. Fortunately most of these side effects have now stopped or improved vastly since i stopped taking Statins . For me Statins have been a very scary dark experience.

  9. My husband had when he was placed on a statin and after only seven weeks he developed rhabdomyolysis, acute renal failure, then stroke. The ONLY reason his doctor put his on a statin was because of a family history. This was in 2002. While on a statin he had terrible nightmares, impotence, confusion, muscle pain…. Since then he has made great progress but has some residual problems with widespread pain, cognitive changes to name a few. I have read so much information in the last 11 years which contradicts everything I thought I knew about cardiovascular risk. In addition we have had an enormous struggle for 3 years with ACC our compulsory insurance company in New Zealand. Further information about our struggle is in the following link to a website about adverse reactions to medications. I am happy to answer any questions you may have. [email protected]

    Heres the link:
    https://wp.rxisk.org/the-legacy-effects-of-statins-a-role-for-rxisk/

  10. I took 10mg of simvastatin for 1 year and 8 months while I tried to clean up my lifestyle by eating a low-fat, low-calorie diet and strenuously exercising 5-6 hours per week. I had always had muscle cramps in my legs and feet at night especially after a lot of physical activity, so I wasn’t too worried about the additional cramping that the statin and exercise caused. Months later, I started having serious muscle and joint pain in places that I never had pain before: Gout-like pain in my big toe and pain that shot up the side of my neck and into my head. A year after starting the statin, I started having shortness of breath. This was really odd because by then I was in the best physical shape of my life despite the pain. After various tests on my heart and lungs two times, a lung doctor thought I had asthma though there were no triggers and the medication didn’t help. Now I’m pre-diabetic and have diastolic dysfunction and peripheral neuropathy. I cannot exercise because of the pain, weakness, fatigue, and shortness of breath. At age 61, I can barely get through my daily, routine activities, and I use a cane if I have to walk more than 50 meters. I was told last year that my back is that of a 85- to 90-year old and I will need surgery for that soon as well as knee replacements and surgery on my hand and foot. The back doctor said that I may have an autoimmune disorder, but a rheumatologist had previously ruled that out. While I didn’t experience any great mental dysfunction from statin use, I can’t focus, concentrate, and recall as well as I used to. This could very well be because the physical effects have been so distracting. I think of my pain, limitations, and “old feeling” almost all the time and wonder how many years are being taken off my life because of that poison. I should find an new primary care doctor, but I’m afraid that he or she will want me to have more tests and take more drugs. I’ve become very discouraged and distrustful of the entire medical establishment especially when they talk about giving statins to people who are much healthier than I and downplay the side effects.

    As a side note, I started taking CoQ10 soon after I stopped taking the statin, up to 1200mg per day, but that hasn’t seemed to help although I continue to take it. A calcium citrate/magnesium supplement taken every day helps me with the night-time cramping though.

    Thank you for asking this important question, Doctor! I’ve been suffering for over 2 and a half years since quitting the drug with hardly any relief.

    • Dolores G. In reading your reply I just took my Atorvastatin and threw it out. I’ve been on it for 3 months. Whatever good immediate effect it may have had, that period is over. I’m 62 and am an athlete. I’m noticing the very beginning symptoms of many of the issues you discuss. It’s easy to blame other things until I read your response. Thank you for sharing this valuable, life saving information.
      Peter

  11. Axel…. in the year 2001 after cardiac stenting I was placed on a multiplicity of ‘heart healthy’ drugs and went down in a physical heap almost immediately. Tests were run and nothing was found and NO BLAME was ever ascribed to cholesterol lowering medication. I was placed on statins and triglyceride lowering drugs, and they were changed several times by my cardiologist to try and get my ‘numbers’ lower etc. The drugs did not work and I went from being a normal healthy 47 year old to almost a complete invalid – including memory and speech issues almost overnight.

    I am fortunate that I have a brain which likes to read and research and I took myself off these drugs with some – NOT ALL – issues resolving. It took over six years and a diabetes diagnosis before I learned that many things tied in together. The vascular damage I had suffered via lifestyle choices (food etc) could be controlled via LCHF living. NO DOCTOR ever discussed this with me – all that was ever offered were more and more and yet even more drugs. Can you blame patients for wanting to take control of their own health Axel? The drugs which are prescribed do not cure, they do not fix….. they are ‘band-aid’ treatments at best, and at worst can and do inflict worse damage on some patients.

    There are many thousands of us who are victims of these drugs and the care-not attitudes of medical practitioners who prescribe STATINS to all and sundry ‘just in case’……. I am a victim of ‘just in case’ or ‘perhaps it may help’ or ‘the government says you must take these’ medicines and am permanently damaged!

    I get very angry when I read headlines stating it is all in my mind!

    • For over 75 years I rarely caught a cold. When I did it would be 2 or 3 years before another one. I am also a two time cancer survivor. In 2013 I developed CAD, had cardiac catheterization and 4 stents placed and was given a hand full of prescriptions for drugs that would ‘take care of the problem’. Unfortunately one Rx was for a statin drug. Physical/cardio therapy was also prescribed. After just 2 weeks on a treadmill my knees were so painful I had trouble just walking on a flat surface. Discussions about the pain with both the primary physician and the cardiologist were brushed aside and ignored. Soon I caught one of the worst colds I’d had in decades. It was followed in rapid succession of 4 more colds, a case of pneumonia and yet another cold. I came to the brilliant conclusion that my immune system wasn’t working and went to the internet to try to find out why. I quickly discovered that one of the seldom admitted side effects of statins is that it compromises the immune system to the point that in Europe, statins are given to organ transplant patients to suppress the immune system’s rejection of the new organ. That day I threw the statins away. While the joint pain has lessened, I am paying a horrible price for the immune compromise in that I have just been given the word that I now have stage 4 cancer. None of the physicians will accept that there is a possible connection here.

  12. david venables March 31, 2014
    I took simvastatin for seven short months, 20 mg. I stopped when my lower legs utterly locked up in bed one night. I now have what appears to be a lifetime neuromuscular disease. STATINS CAN HAVE HORRID ADVERSE EFFECTS. Here are some good predictors of who will get their lives destroyed, as I have:

    High HDLs, high LDLs, BUT great ratio (mine was under 3)
    Low triglycerides, high HDL’s, great ratio (mine was under .7)
    Physically very active.
    Older (I was 68 and had just returned from trekking in the Himalayan foothills.)

    One aspect of the massive statin drugging of our population is who might benefit. But that’s only half the story.
    The other, and massively ignored aspect, is who will have their health destroyed: constant burning pain, muscle fasciculations, shocking atrophy, inability to walk or stand for more than 15-20 minutes. In spite of the fact that one of our nation’s astronauts and flight surgeons was trashed by statins, prescribing doctors deny these adverse effects and refuse to report occurrences.
    In my case, when I asked, before taking statins, about LDL-P and Apo B, I was told “the science isn’t there yet”. Two separate doctors said the following exact words, “Some people think statins should be in the water supply. Statins are the reason Americans live longer now.” I got an incredibly hard sell on statins. It doesn’t matter to me at this point that the doctors who were selling were also on the drug themselves. The possible adverse effects are horrendous, and although they didn’t get them, I and thousands of others did. I haven’t read of anyone who’s recovered after a year or two, which is where I now am.

    • I didn’t have side effects that I noticed for the first 15 years. Then I noticed sore muscles and later started having bad muscle spasms in my hands, feet and legs. I also started having vivid dreams. These have all stopped after not taking statins. I do still take 200 magnesium a day to prevent muscle spasms. I watched my sister die with total muscle loss in her legs and she took a very high statin dosage.

  13. Started taking 20mg Lipitor at the age of 46. Total cholesterol was about 275. Script was mainly due to a family history of heart disease. After several years, I started to develop quite a few aches and pains in my legs and ankles. This was very noticeable especially rising in the morning. A bit further in time, I started to notice that I was losing grip strength in my hands. After countless EMGs, MRIs, lumbar punctures, blood tests and a muscle biopsy, it was determined that I have sporadic Inclusion Body Myositis (sIBM). I stopped taking my statin at the recommendation of a Dr from the US National Institutes of Health. I now get IVIG infusions 3 times/month in effort to slow the progression of the IBM. The prognosis is that I will eventually end up in a wheel-chair. While the sIBM will not kill me, it will deteriorate the quality of my life as I grow older.

    While I have no proof that the statins triggered my chronic disease, I have zero doubt in my mind that they are at the root of the problem. My heart goes out to all the yet to be realized victims of the side effects of these drugs. The drug companies say that the collateral damage to people is “acceptable”. I beg to differ.

  14. I am taking this info to my Dr. to help determine why I continue to have sharp debilitating pain in my right thigh. I take the usual 20 mg. of Lipitor. After a fall last Sept. I started seeing a Chiropractor for sciatica on both sides…when I described the pain in my thigh it was diagnosed as “in conjunction” with my low back problem. Now, I’m not so sure. It is April 9th and the sciatica is better but the pain in my thigh continues. I liked reading the experience & tests given by those who had side effects of Lipitor and this info. may help my health care provider help me figure out what is going on with me…it may not be the Lipitor but I’d like to be able to rule that out and get to the reason for my pain.

  15. Rosuvastatin (Crestor 5mg) late 2006-late2011.
    ca. 2008 noticeable ‘sensations’ in my feet, memory lapses, gynecomastia,…
    Of course, it couldn’t have been the rosuvastation because it has no side effects.
    2009 diagnosis of prostate cancer, steadily losing all feeling in soles of feet, memory problems worse,…
    Of course, it couldn’t have been the rosuvastation because it has no side effects.
    2010 diagnosis of peripheral neuropathy
    Of course, it couldn’t have been the rosuvastation because it has no side effects. Consultant neurologist fingered the cordarone (Amiodarone) I had been taking.
    2011 loss of balance, difficulty in walking, worse memory problems, worse gynecomastia, Vitamin D measured – 9ng/ml!! – not, of course, due to CoQ10 depletion from blocking mevalonate pathway, which also, of course, could not have been behind the peripheral neuropathy, nor could it have been down to insufficient cholesterol substrate for D3 manufacture…
    Started to do my own research – immediately added D3 supplement, changed to LCHF mode of eating and rapidly ditched rosuvastatin (+ the other meds I was taking: allopurinol, olmesartan, hydrochlorothiazide – all with initially reluctant acceptance of my doctor). Anticoagulant (last med) finally ditched this year.
    Health generally excellent (vastly superior to 2006-2011), memory lapses resolved, albeit peripheral neuropathy almost certainly irreversible (slight improvement in two years since ditching statin) because of destruction of myelin sheath (Of course, it couldn’t have been the rosuvastation because it has no side effects.)
    I will never, ever knowingly touch another statin (possible exception – if I ever suffer an MI, then maybe, but only maybe, I would consider taking a statin, but only for a very short period).
    I can’t imagine anyone who examines the basic biochemistry of the mevalonate pathway (and the effect of statins on that) doing anything different to what I have done (‘unstatinating’ myself).

  16. @Andres – I was taking CoQ10 BEFORE I started taking a statin drug – I just upped the dosage from 100 to 200mgs/day

    @Kevin – I currently take 5000 Vit D3/day – last blood test had level at 46 – I’m trying to get this to between 60-80 so I may increase the dosage to 10,000/day

    My last CT scan – 2/14 – CAC score was 48 – increase from 30 in 1/08 – so progression is slowing

    My goal is regression – per Dr William Davis Track Your Plaque program

    LDL MUST BE <60 for regression to occur – since I will NEVER go on an Ornish type diet statin plus other supplements are the only way IMHO

    your thoughts

  17. Kevin:

    If the fact that statins have side effects came as a surprise to you, perhaps you ought to try reading the package labels. Or if you seriously believe that you can connect your statin use to everything deleterious under the sun that happened to you after starting statin therapy (e.g. cancer), perhaps you should google “post hoc ergo propter hoc”.

    And since statins also have beneficial effects (which, in the population who should be taking statins, clearly outweigh the negative ones), the idea on “unstatinating” should be considered cautiously.

  18. Mie:

    My Latin is not too bad, thanks very much.

    I did read the AZN Crestor leaflet (probably more than my doctor did). In the small print on p15 (of 43!) there is a mention of some ‘very rare’ post-market adverse reactions, including memory loss and gynecomastia. The guff on p5 about CoQ10 is distinctly ‘weasel-worded’. However, like most (almost all?) patients, I was (at that time) relying on my doctors to look after me and warn me of potential problems.

    There is absolutely no mention of either peripheral neuropathy or cancer in the leaflet. That, despite the fact that peripheral neuropathy has been known to be a problem since 2005 (regrettably not by me or my doctors,
    apparently). I informed them of what I found in the ‘Bulletin d’information de Pharmacovigilance de Toulouse’ (that’s the register of adverse reactions maintained by the main CHU – Centre Hospitalier Universitaire – in my
    Midi-Pyrenees region of France. It’s one of the 31 around France that maintain these records).

    There are plenty of references to statins and cancer. Did rosuvastatin cause my PCa? Almost certainly not. Did rosuvastatin make matters worse? Very likely (cf 9ng/ml D3, if nothing else). Even the pre-Vioxx RCTs generally
    showed NO benefit in terms of mortality (fewer CHD & CVD being balanced by more cancers & others).

    Statins HAD beneficial results in quite a few RCTs – those that predated the Vioxx affair when the pharma companies were able to do pretty much as they liked – see for instance de Lorgeril’s book ‘Cholesterol: Mensonges et propagande’ (a new edition is available in English).

    They have consistently failed to show any beneficial effect whatsoever since the partial clean up of RCTs that followed that dismal affair. Further developments (e.g. AbbVie giving up its pathetic legal action against the EMA, to keep its data secret, although I am concerned that their ‘very limited redacrions’ may unnecessarily limit the ‘significant portion of data’ that they will now disclose; GSK’s bribes in China and Poland – revealed just today) must also surely lead to stricter control).

  19. Kevin:

    “In the small print on p15 (of 43!) there is a mention of some ‘very rare’ post-market adverse reactions, including memory loss and gynecomastia. The guff on p5 about CoQ10 is distinctly ‘weasel-worded’. However, like most (almost all?) patients, I was (at that time) relying on my doctors to look after me and warn me of potential problems.”

    If you’ve had a look at these leaflets, they’re always very long – due to the fact that all the possible side effects must be mentioned. As for “weasel-worded”: care to be more specific? You do realize that data on the role of CoQ10 supplementation for people on statins is just slowly building up and is anything but robust?

    “There is absolutely no mention of either peripheral neuropathy or cancer in the leaflet.”

    Back in 2006? Could be. Nowaways, neuropathy is indeed mentioned mentioned as a side effect:

    https://www.drugs.com/sfx/crestor-side-effects.html

    As for cancer, if you have any clinical or epidemiological data indicating that rosuvastatin increases the risk of cancer, please do reference it. I’m not aware of any.

    “Statins HAD beneficial results in quite a few RCTs – those that predated the Vioxx affair when the pharma companies were able to do pretty much as they liked – see for instance de Lorgeril’s book ‘Cholesterol: Mensonges et propagande’ (a new edition is available in English).

    They have consistently failed to show any beneficial effect whatsoever since the partial clean up of RCTs that followed that dismal affair.”

    I’ve heard this often. And I’m still not convinced.

    First of all, yes: most of the major statin trials where statins were compared to placebo were conducted before the mid-2000s. However, if you claim that they where flawed, do show that explicitly – this is the necessary requirement for any kind of meaningful criticism. De Lorgeril sure hasn’t done that up to this date.

    Secondly, more recent trials have compared statins against other statins or then examined their efficacy in more specific patient populations, which of course translates to not-so-signigicant benefits. Yet, studies such as JUPITER (and yes, I’m aware of de Lorgeril’s rather impotent criticism of it) have shown the efficacy in statin vs placebo setting.

  20. CoQ10 – yes, word has been slow getting out, even though we’ve just passed the 25th anniversary of US Patent Application by Brown for Merck to combine CoQ10 with their statin. Patent 4,933,165 was granted in 1990.

    Cancer: a few refs for you:
    Polsky, Brown, Siperstein; Feedback control of cholesterol synthesis…; J.Clin.Invest (1973).
    Ravnskov, McCully, Rosch; The statin low cholesterol cancer conundrum; Q.J.Med (2011).
    Brown, Goldstein,Siperstein; Regulation of cholesterol synthesis in normal and malignant tissue; Fed.Proc. (1973)
    Siperstein; The relationship of cholesterol biosynthesis to cancer; Trans.Am.Clin.Climatol.Assoc (1972).
    Endo; The discovery and development of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors; Journal of Lipid Research (1992).
    Heber; Nutritional Oncology (chapter 38); Academic Press, Elsevier (2006).

    For the flaws in the trials, see the books: de Lorgeril; Cholesterol and Statins; Thierry Souccar (2014) and, if you can read French, Even; La vérité sur le cholestérol; le cherche midi (2013) – notably chapter 8 and especially the sections on JUPITER.

  21. None of your references is relevant here.

    1) The older references: did you read them? Presuming you did, did you know that

    a) the levels of LDL reduction produced by statins in no way goes beyond

    b) the physiological levels of circulating LDL shown to be optimal in the function of e.g. cholesterol receptors?

    Therefore, would you care to explain in your own words WHAT in these papers suggests that this level of cholesterol reduction could be carcinogenic? Go ahead.

    2) Ravnskov et al is precisely the kind of BS you’d expect of him and his lackeys: epidemiological data indicating associations with cholesterol and cancer (nevermind that his cherry-picked prospective cohorts weren’t powered to inspect the association properly), statistically non-significant finding from a clofibrate trial, cherry-picking incidence data (e.g. calculating 4S and HPS together without ANY regard for adjusting for counfounders) etc. etc.

    3) None of your references is a meta-analysis of statin trials, inspecting the incidence of cancer. These are:

    https://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=202141

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19228482

    And I’m sure you can read the results yourself. If anything, statins have been associated (although not very robustly) with LOWER cancer incidence in many cases. Why? Here’s why:

    “Specifically, statins reduce (or block) the activity of the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase and thereby reduce the levels of mevalonate and its associated products. The mevalonate pathway plays a role in cell membrane integrity, cell signaling, protein synthesis, and cell cycle progression, all of which are potential areas of intervention to arrest the cancer process.”

    https://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/statins

    4) Concerning de Lorgeril: if he has anything else to say about JUPITER than what he already published all the way back in 2006, please summarize it briefly. His criticism was duly answered & shot down by Ridker et al.

  22. Mie: “Concerning de Lorgeril: if he has anything else to say about JUPITER than what he already published all the way back in 2006, please summarize it briefly. His criticism was duly answered & shot down by Ridker et al.”

    All Dr. de Lorgeril asks for is for properly conducted trials. BTW, de Lorgeril has more on his website including replies to Dr. Ridker. I more side with de Lorgeril because I can’t get over the premature discontinuation, inconsistent reporting, lack of CVD mortality benefit and uncertain mortality benefits, and obvious conflicts of interest. I don’t buy the explanations given by Ridker.

  23. Mie

    As someone who has suffered (a lot) from statin ‘therapy’, I thought I could make a useful contribution to this debate, especially since I have studied the biochemistry involved.

    However, I don’t have the time or inclination to discuss these matters with a committed statin supporter who has apparently unlimited time for this, and writes under an anonymous moniker of ‘Mie’…

    That made me suspicious and a quick Google revealed your comments (supporting statins and their wondrous wonders) on various sites. Just the first 2 pages of a not very ‘tight’ Google search produced your comments at:
    http://www.abc.net.au (concerning one of their TV programmes that had questioned the cholesterol theory of heart disease and the value of statins)
    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org
    http://www.thecholesteroltruth.com
    & two that I occasionally read (I think that’s why I recognized your moniker, thus prompting the Google search):
    http://www.drbriffa.com
    http://www.zoeharcombe.com

    I can only speculate why it is that you pop up all over the internet as soon as someone says anything against statins and/or the cholesterol theory of heart disease, almost as if you received an alert whenever those things are mentioned. How ever do you find the time? I have to earn a living and I also spend what free time I have researching things that might help mitigate or even reverse the ill effects I have suffered. Perhaps you are retired.

  24. Z.M.,

    we’d all want to see more rigorously conducted trials, yes. However, this doesn’t change what I stated above. If you want, please do raise one point which de Lorgeril has added to his initial criticism of JUPITER. The premature discontinuation certainly isn’t valid, unless he has been able to explicitly prove dishonesty/fraud in the decision. As far as the lack of reduction of CVD mortality goes, you do realize that a) this was a trial in primary prevention setting with people who had more or less normal LDL levels and that b) two years is too short a time to show anything solid in this kind of population? Conflict of interest is – at best – of secondary interest, coming into picture only if the study itself justifies considering its role. And I’d be kinda silent about this, considering that de Lorgeril is a member of THINCS 🙂

    Having read your statin “criticism” from both Briffa’s blog (where, btw, my posts don’t get published, for some reason … ) and from Carb Sane’s comment section, your refusal to buy the explanation doesn’t strike me as surprising. 🙂

  25. Mie: “As far as the lack of reduction of CVD mortality goes, you do realize that a) this was a trial in primary prevention setting with people who had more or less normal LDL levels and that b) two years is too short a time to show anything solid in this kind of population?”

    Yes, I do realize those factors as possibilities, but this does not change the fact that a CVD mortality (and CHD mortality) benefit was not shown, and so cannot be claimed. If the trial wasn’t prematurely discontinued, we would have gotten a clearer picture of what cause-specific and overall mortality benefits there were (and toxic effects), if any.

    Mie: “Having read your statin “criticism” from both Briffa’s blog (where, btw, my posts don’t get published, for some reason … ) and from Carb Sane’s comment section, your refusal to buy the explanation doesn’t strike me as surprising.”

    Glad you know how I feel. My views are represented in more detail here – https://diettrialclaims.blogspot.com/

    How many comments have you posted on Dr. Briffa’s blog that were not published? I posted a comment a few days ago and it was never published. First time it happened to me though.

  26. Mie: “As far as the lack of reduction of CVD mortality goes, you do realize that a) this was a trial in primary prevention setting with people who had more or less normal LDL levels and that b) two years is too short a time to show anything solid in this kind of population?”

    Yes, I do realize those factors as possibilities, but this does not change the fact that a CVD mortality (and CHD mortality) benefit was not shown, and so cannot be claimed. If the trial wasn’t prematurely discontinued, we would have gotten a clearer picture of what cause-specific and overall mortality benefits there were (and toxic effects), if any.

    Mie: “Having read your statin “criticism” from both Briffa’s blog (where, btw, my posts don’t get published, for some reason … ) and from Carb Sane’s comment section, your refusal to buy the explanation doesn’t strike me as surprising.”

    Glad you know how I feel. My views are represented in more detail here – https://diettrialclaims.blogspot.com/

    How many comments have you posted on Dr. Briffa’s blog that were not published? I posted a comment a few days ago and it was never published. First time it happened to me though.

  27. charles grashow: “I too have been banned by Dr. Briffa – seems the good doctor cannot take criticism”

    If you did your cut and paste thing, it’s understandable. Did he ever explain your banning?

  28. @ZM

    It wasn’t cut and paste it was due to criticism of some of the studies and no he NEVER explains why you’re banned you just are.

  29. Mie….. Kevin O’Connell seems rather generous in his summation when he writes:

    I can only speculate why it is that you pop up all over the internet as soon as someone says anything against statins and/or the cholesterol theory of heart disease, almost as if you received an alert whenever those things are mentioned. How ever do you find the time? I have to earn a living and I also spend what free time I have researching things that might help mitigate or even reverse the ill effects I have suffered. Perhaps you are retired.

    PERSONALLY I am thinking you are a TROLL, perhaps you are a paid industry shill? Someone working for the pharmaceutical company (any particular one???) who’s role it is to pull down any other writer who has an opinion that defames your precious statins… of course as you choose to remain anonymous we will never know. I am familiar with your writing at Dr. Briffa’s Blog and he also has little time for you or your stance. You are out of date and painful to read! Look in the mirror MIE and see your yourself for what you really are…..

  30. I often see one of the possible side effects of statins as “muscle aches”. Doesn’t sound that bad, does it?

    I took 20mg of statins for about 2 years. My joints and muscles became more and more stiff and painful. Eventually I could only sleep almost sitting up (four pillows) wearing two wrist splints, my hands on my chest and after taking two Panadol. I would then wake after a few hours and have to take more Panadol. If I rolled onto my side or allowed a hand to drop to my side during the night I would wake up in great pain. Simply touching any joint was very painful. Especially my swollen hands and feet. In the morning I could just about stand and it took about an hour of gentle exercise before I could do up my shirt buttons or hold a knife and fork without it slipping through my fingers. My hands were painful, swollen claws, and had little movement and very weak grip. I could hardly turn my head as my spine was so stiff. I could only walk 100yds without having rest. I had to give up work.

    I saw a physiotherapist, an osteopath and three different doctors. The consensus was the pains and stiffness were due to age (60), nothing could be done and I should take painkillers. I continued to get worse. No-one suggested or would consider that it could be the statins – “they are wonderful” was the consensus.

    It continued to get worse. If it had carried on I would have soon needed a wheelchair and a carer. I was beginning to despair and had to do something. Although no-one mentioned them, I could only think that the statins might be the problem – or I had aged 30+ years in 2 years.

    I decided to stop taking statins and started on vitamin D3 and Omega 3 oil. No doctor gave me this advice. Slowly I improved. After a couple of months I no longer needed the painkillers to sleep. Then I no longer needed the wrist splints, then I reduced the number of pillows and for the first time in well over a year I slept on my side – a wonderful feeling! Then I could close my fist – for the first time in about 18 months.

    By the beginning of 2013 I felt so well that I was able to return to work. I have now been feeling well for over a year. I feel as fit and well as I did before I started the statins. My cholesterol is still slightly very elevated – according to the ever changing goalposts – but I don’t care. I do not trust the closed minds of the medical profession and certainly not the drug companies.

    • Trevor, Praise God that you figured this one out by yourself. As you mentioned, I’m not sure the drug companies or your Dr. were going to give you a call or even send you a get well card. I appreciate also that you gave the time line and dosage for your ills. I felt I was on the front end of that path to pain. The question always remains though, can the pain be reversed? The D3 and Omega 3 oil are restoratives for me to visit, although most all of the early symptoms I noticed have dissipated since throwing away the statins (after 2.5 months. I wish you the best. Peter

  31. If you had used D3, Omega3, CoQ10 at the same time you started the statins would you still have had the problems?

    I take 5,000 D3, 3,000 fish oil and 200 CoQ10 + other targeted supplements and I’ve had NO side effects whatsoever.

    BTW – have you considered nutritional alternatives to statins such as bergamot, berberine, alma, etc.

    • I tried anything that was recommended for the awful muscle damage that occurred after taking Liptor/Zetia or 12 weeks. I had to quit my practice and thus began the collapse of what plans I had for my life. Some have received benefit from CoQ10 and D et. but the muscle pain remained the same or got worse. The depression also was significant and the usual Wellbutrin did not work, nor any other medication for the depression. Yes, I would say that I had a rather bad effect from statins.

      • Who is this character named Charles Grashow? Why is he mentioning 9/11?

        Yes, statins have destroyed many peoples lives…for the purpose of making other people money.

        It doesn’t seem as though friend Charles is susceptible to statin damage, and I would never wish it upon him. But I’d love for him to experience a few months of what happens to thousands of other people.

        I think that would be sufficiently unpleasant, if he has any imagination or empathy, to consider a lifetime ahead in the same condition, and to imagine the devastating sense of loss.

        charles grashow April 19, 2014
        @Howfussiner

        lives changed as though they were victims of terrorism.

        so statin side effects = 9/11!! How pathetic you must be

  32. “If you had used D3, Omega3, CoQ10 at the same time you started the statins would you still have had the problems?”

    A good point.I wondered that. And now that I feel well I guess I could try statins again, plus the D3, fish oil and CoQ10. But basically it is self diagnosis and self medication because of the inadequacies of the medical profession and drug companies. After what I went through I have little faith in them, statins or even the dangers of cholesterol. The more I research it the less evidence I see that cholesterol is bad for you. If you look at WHO data there is no relationship between countries with high cholesterol levels and cardiac deaths.

    But now it is not cholesterol that is the problem, it is LDL, or is it just the small LDL, or is it oxidised LDL? Or maybe it is something else entirely. Given the amount of statins that are currently being prescribed heart disease should have been eliminated by now.

    • Yes, LDL-C is a lousy predictor. And it’s not difficult to test for LDL-P or ApoB, or even to look at triglyeride/HDL ratio (lower is better, under 2 recommended.) Using simple LDL is a great moneymaker for Big Pharma–and the resultant massive over-prescribing is dangerous!!

  33. IMHO – LDL-P is most important – the more particles you have the greater the chance they will get thru the endothelium and become oxidized.

  34. @Howfussiner

    lives changed as though they were victims of terrorism.

    so statin side effects = 9/11!! How pathetic you must be

  35. @Sulette

    Were you on wellbutrin BEFORE starting statins? If yes how can you blame statins for the depression?

  36. charles grashow April 8, 2014
    “I am the ONLY person who has had NO SIDE EFFECTS??”
    – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    I don’t think you are. I don’t remember having any but I may have forgotten.
    Someone asked about my age . . . My wife said I was close . . .
    I forgot why I opened the refrigerator door . . . then I saw the cup of ice in my hand.
    After statins, It is an embarrassing life.

  37. @Howfussiner

    You said ” How lucky for you that you recovered! Many statin victims never do, lives changed as though they were victims of terrorism.”

    SO – if you say stain victims had their lives changed as though they were victims of terrorism one can infer that you are comparing them to the victims of 9/11 of to the victims of the Boston Marathon bomber.

    As to statin damage I’m convinced it’s way, way overstated

  38. “Yes, I do realize those factors as possibilities, but this does not change the fact that a CVD mortality (and CHD mortality) benefit was not shown, and so cannot be claimed. If the trial wasn’t prematurely discontinued, we would have gotten a clearer picture of what cause-specific and overall mortality benefits there were (and toxic effects), if any.”

    … and this validates de Lorgeril’s points and/or points to JUPITER’s invalidity/flaws … how? The benefits in this context (healthy individuals with normal LDL levels) were quite substantial as they were.

    “Glad you know how I feel. My views are represented in more detail here – https://diettrialclaims.blogspot.com/

    Since the first part already was rather an exercise in the good ol’ “I’ve got no real points but I’ll try anyway”, I stopped reading. A few comments:

    1) You do realize that we’re talking about plasma cholesterol, which is why the point about dietary cholesterol isn’t really relevant?

    2) Or that animal trials showing that oxidative modification of lipoproteins and protective effects of antioxidants are of benefit are by no means contradictory to the role of plasma cholesterol levels in the development of atherosclerosis (rather, on the contrary), no do they tell us anything new concerning the inflammation/hyperlipidemia issue?

    3) Or that the false dichotomy of LDL/modified LDL is … well, kinda desperate. Yes, LDL modification is important. But in what logic does that NOT mean that lowering LDL isn’t beneficial, as the time that LDL spends in circulation increases the likelihood of particles penetrating the arterial wall and thus becoming susceptible to e.g. oxidation? See e.g. Libby et al (2011), “Progress and challenges in translating the biology of atherosclerosis” since you clearly have problems understanding the current understanding of atherosclerosis.

    4) Or that since LDL level are a major RISK factor but not the ONLY risk factor – which of course means that you can have beneficial effects independently of lipid levels – you cannot really use this as an argument to belittle its role? Sure, given the fact that there are THOUSANDS of animal studies on atherosclerosis, it’s no wonder that you can easily find a bunch of studies showing regression independent of lipid levels on a multifactorial disease. But you do know that there’s a name for trying to use this as an argument for cholesterol denialism? I’ll give you a hint: it starts with the word “cherry”.

    All in all, the whole bit kinda smells … You’ve probably read Colpo, haven’t you?

    “How many comments have you posted on Dr. Briffa’s blog that were not published?”

    Haven’t counted but a few. It appears that the good doctor doesn’t handle criticism well.

  39. JustMEinT

    “I can only speculate why it is that you pop up all over the internet as soon as someone says anything against statins and/or the cholesterol theory of heart disease, almost as if you received an alert whenever those things are mentioned. How ever do you find the time? I have to earn a living and I also spend what free time I have researching things that might help mitigate or even reverse the ill effects I have suffered. Perhaps you are retired.”

    Please, I’m ROFL over here. First of all, I’ve been commenting on Axel’s posts for several months, probably over a year, on a MULTITUDE of topics, not just statins.

    Secondly, care to define “all over the Internet”? Besides this blog, I’ve commented on a couple of other blogs written in English and a couple of other blogs in Finnish more or less regularly. And by “regularly”, check out e.g. the comments here to see what’s “regularly” for me: after April 16, my next post here took place SIX days later. If that’s frequently to you, perhaps you have very … unique stardards for “popping up”.

    “PERSONALLY I am thinking you are a TROLL, perhaps you are a paid industry shill? Someone working for the pharmaceutical company (any particular one???) who’s role it is to pull down any other writer who has an opinion that defames your precious statins…”

    But yes of course. Nevermind the fact that I give reasons for my positions.

    “of course as you choose to remain anonymous we will never know. I am familiar with your writing at Dr. Briffa’s Blog and he also has little time for you or your stance. You are out of date and painful to read! Look in the mirror MIE and see your yourself for what you really are…..”

    ROFL again. My comments on Briffa’s blog posts can be counted with fingers on one hand as the good doctor chose not to post them after I questioned his interpretations of fat modification trials.

    But yes, I’m sure that you stalker types are “familiar” with my writings.

    I take that as a compliment.

    P.S. Since you “spend you free time researching things”, I’m sure you’ll be able to contribute to the discussion in a MEANINGFUL way instead of going off-topic and focusing on my persona with your makeshift accusations.

  40. Kevin,

    Firstly, my apologies for confusing the part you wrote for JustMeinT’s text. Doesn’t change the “take home message” though.

    Secondly, a bit more on you Google efforts etc.

    “As someone who has suffered (a lot) from statin ‘therapy’, I thought I could make a useful contribution to this debate, especially since I have studied the biochemistry involved.

    However, I don’t have the time or inclination to discuss these matters with a committed statin supporter who has apparently unlimited time for this, and writes under an anonymous moniker of ‘Mie’…”

    So … You’ve studied biochemistry involved but … cannot be bothered to BACK UP your claims in fact-based discussion? Oh yes. How cute.

    “That made me suspicious and a quick Google revealed your comments (supporting statins and their wondrous wonders) on various sites.”

    I already mentioned dr B’s blog. As for Harcombe’s blog, I found that one recently (mentioned by another blogger) and have commented MOSTLY on her dietary fallacies, not statins nor other medication.

    As for the rest, I’ve written perhaps one comment on the first site, a few on the second and a couple on the third. E.g. in the case of the last one: I checked and the one comment I found was nearly TWO YEARS OLD.
    So yes, I occasionally comment on invalid claims on statins when I come across them. Mostly after finding a link to the blog text via Twitter or blog post. Same with many, many other invalid claims concerning diet, medication etc. etc.

    Now, please do tell me: how is that relevant to what I wrote in criticism of your cancer etc. etc. claims? I was – and am – under the impression that THIS is what matters, not the amount of blogs where one comments.

  41. Howfussner,

    “Yes, LDL-C is a lousy predictor. And it’s not difficult to test for LDL-P or ApoB, or even to look at triglyeride/HDL ratio (lower is better, under 2 recommended.) Using simple LDL is a great moneymaker for Big Pharma–and the resultant massive over-prescribing is dangerous!!”

    When there’s evidence indicating clear improvement in a) predictive value and b) treatment focusing on either/both LDL-P and ApoB, let me know. Currently it seems that these are relevant to those with e.g. metabolic syndrome, not general population.

  42. Mie: “Since the first part already was rather an exercise in the good ol’ “I’ve got no real points but I’ll try anyway”, I stopped reading.”

    Nice, then why bother to reply and misrepresent what I’m saying? How do you know that I haven’t commented on those points you made if you haven’t read the whole thing? You do realize that I’m fully aware of all the arguments made by of those supporting cholesterol lowering, right? I would not have written a whole blog post on it if I wasn’t aware of all the issues and arguments from both sides. Yes, I’ve read Colpo, but also Libby, Steinberg, Gotto, Truswell, you name it.

    I encourage anyone who comes across this to read what Mie said, then go to my blog, and come to their own conclusions.

  43. Mie said “The benefits in this context (healthy individuals with normal LDL levels) were quite substantial as they were.” Are you serious? We must have a very different threshold for healthy. From To JUPITER and beyond: Statins, inflammation, and primary prevention: “Patients were overweight (median body-mass index 28) and over 40% had features of the metabolic syndrome.” Moreover, there was a healthy threshold of 2mg/l of high-sensitive C-reactive protein in the studied population. Finally, it been designed with a convoluted early termination criterion turns it completely useless in my eyes.

  44. I have been prescribed 5 different statins over 4 years. Each one seems okay for a couple of months or even up to a year, and then – I’ll be walking down the street and the muscles in my thighs, or my rear end, or the muscles connecting the legs in the middle to the torso, and most recently (actually as of today) the calf muscles “melt” without warning. Not all of them at one time, but one set or the other stops functioning and that makes walking impossible. It’s as if your brain saying “Legs! Walk!” but there is a key set of muscles to react. I’ve been very lucky so far to be close to a wall or a building for support till it passes, otherwise I would undoubtedly fall to the ground. Generally this happens in the morning, but not when I get out of bed. It’s positively scary. In addition to the sudden – but fleeting – episodes of muscle loss (on a daily basis at this point) I have also become more fuzzy brained, less able to concentrate and focus. There are other “symptoms” but I cannot state they have any connection to statins specifically. I am about to stop taking them altogether now as the side effects are just too dangerous and too scary and after a 5th attempt I’m done with them.

  45. Z.M.

    “How do you know that I haven’t commented on those points you made if you haven’t read the whole thing?”

    All the points I referred to were from the part about animal studies. Don’t you remember what you wrote?

    “You do realize that I’m fully aware of all the arguments made by of those supporting cholesterol lowering, right?”

    Awareness and understanding don’t apparently go hand in hand. If they did, you’d probably have made valid arguments instead of fallacious ones.

    “I encourage anyone who comes across this to read what Mie said, then go to my blog, and come to their own conclusions.”

    I recommend it too. There’s never too late to start being critical of all the same ol’ denialism that gets passed around as criticism towards current scientific opinion.

    Andres,

    Firstly, “healthy” is this context means people without pre-existing CVD. Primary prevention, you know?

    Secondly, about this:

    “Finally, it been designed with a convoluted early termination criterion turns it completely useless in my eyes.”

    You do know that it’s NORMAL for studies to be terminated early if and when the monitoring board (independent one, of course) deems it appropriate?

  46. Mie: “I recommend it too. There’s never too late to start being critical of all the same ol’ denialism that gets passed around as criticism towards current scientific opinion.”

    You should read the whole thing since you don’t seem to understand my argument, yet have the need to criticize. The comment section is open, so if you disagree with something, show specifically where I’m wrong. Given that my arguments are “fallacious”, it should not be too hard.

  47. Z.M.,

    when the first part is already full of mistakes, why bother? Comment and/or correct the abovementioned and I might reconsider.

  48. Mie: “when the first part is already full of mistakes, why bother? Comment and/or correct the abovementioned and I might reconsider.”

    There is nothing to correct. However, since you did not seem to understand my argument or deliberately misrepresented it, I may clarify some points in that section.

  49. Mie said: ‘Firstly, “healthy” is this context means people without pre-existing CVD. Primary prevention, you know?’.

    No, they don’t have that much data (if any) on the effectiveness on a “healthy” population but they don’t feel any guilt applying data on patients with hypertension, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and even smoking (what’s the logic behind taking statins and keep smoking?) to statinize actual healthy people. Perhaps we should consider those patients in the Papazian et alter intervention as healthy too and include that study on meta-analysis. Sorry to disturb you but it is wrong.

    Mie said: ‘You do know that it’s NORMAL for studies to be terminated early if and when the monitoring board (independent one, of course) deems it appropriate?’.

    NORMAL doesn’t equal RIGHT. Do you know that a moving ending point is statistically an aberration distorting any further conclusion you may do using it? Certainly it shouldn’t be included in any meta-analysis. Certainly it should be corrected for when studying adverse effects.

  50. Andres,

    “No, they don’t have that much data (if any) on the effectiveness on a “healthy” population but they don’t feel any guilt applying data on patients with hypertension, metabolic syndrome, diabetes and even smoking (what’s the logic behind taking statins and keep smoking?) to statinize actual healthy people.”

    Have you got problems understanding the distinction between secondary and primary prevention? Between people with existing CVD and people at high risk of getting one?

    “Perhaps we should consider those patients in the Papazian et alter intervention as healthy too and include that study on meta-analysis.”

    Why should we, considering that it’s still CVD that we’re interested in?

    “NORMAL doesn’t equal RIGHT.”

    Do you then disagree with the ethical side of these kind of trials?

    “Do you know that a moving ending point is statistically an aberration distorting any further conclusion you may do using it? Certainly it shouldn’t be included in any meta-analysis. Certainly it should be corrected for when studying adverse effects.”

    So this meta-analysis that you/NNT.com are referring to is the latest Cochrane review, which is flawed because of JUPITER?

    Let’s have a look at the “findings” of this site:

    1) The author claims that clinical trials understate the risks of e.g. statin-induded myopathy vs real life. Most likely. However, the review he cites as a source mentions PRIMO and Buettner et al of which only the latter compared statin users to non-users. The results: 22% of statin users reported myopathy vs 16,7% of non-users – this is hardly that dramatic a difference as Newman makes it sound.

    2) In the case of diabetes, Newman claims that JUPITER and WHI cohort represent primary prevention the best? Err, WTF? The former dealt with people at a low risk of CVD and the latter with older women. E.g. Finnish guidelines clearly mention that statins shouldn’t be used on a routine basis in low risk populations. Furthermore, the estimates of diabetes risk are based on extrapolation, always a tricky business when the basis for this is narrow (JUPITER, AFCAPS).

    Finally, 3) and the case of Taylor et al (2013). Newman’s criticism of the Cochrane review is based on JUPITER and JUPITER alone, stating that the reviewers didn’t adjust for JUPITER’s shorter exposure time. Nope, as this kind of adjustment is more or less speculative on the author’s part. In addition, JUPITER wasn’t the only study with a duration less than AFCAPS in the meta-analysis.

    So, you’ve got a website the position of which is in contrast with a current Cochrane review, a review which are known for their careful & meticulous approach.

  51. Andres: “NORMAL doesn’t equal RIGHT.”

    Exactly! Many researchers and statisticians have been warning about stopping trials early (for efficacy) for a long time now. The ethical argument that is used for its justification is a really poor one. At the very least, it introduces uncertainty, which is the opposite of what a good trial is all about.

  52. Z.M.

    “The ethical argument that is used for its justification is a really poor one”

    Yet another cold-hearted one. 🙂

    Care to explain in detail WHY trials shouldn’t be stopped early because of ethical reasons, no matter what? There are, of course, many ways to ensure that the trial can indeed be carried out as planned, but sometimes there simply are no alternatives for an early stop – unless you simply don’t care about the participants, that is.

    Anyway, it is of course already recommended that these kind of trials be regarded with extra skepticism or – in case of inadequate reports for stopping early etc. – be left out of consideration when e.g. doing a systematic review or meta-analysis. Nothing really new under the sun.

    (And by that I’m referring to both criticism of JUPITER and the attempt to justify the criticism in a way that is pretty much analogous to “correlation-not-causation” when discussing epidemiological evidence … :-))

  53. Z.M. “Care to explain in detail WHY trials shouldn’t be stopped early because of ethical reasons, no matter what?”

    Mie, I don’t care to explain my views on this topic especially considering that I’ve already done so on my blog which you refuse to read. Yes, I do think it’s almost always unethical to stop a trial early for efficacy, and those who do so are the “cold-hearted” ones not caring for the millions the drug is going to be recommended to. Nevertheless, I do not dismiss a trial simply based on whether it is truncated, and the critics of JUPITER do not do so either, as many other factors have to also be taken into consideration including evidence from properly conducted non-truncated trials.

  54. No previous health issues, started on statin due to family history. 7 weeks later rhabdomyolysis, acute renal failure, impotence, fatigue, cognitive changes, muscle pain and weakness, loss of bladder control, anxiety, depression, nightmares, Many permanent health issues now 12 years later.all from being on a statin for 7 weeks. In New Zealand statins are handed out like confectionery.

    • To Charles Grashow: You said ” How lucky for you that you recovered! Many statin victims never do, lives changed as though they were victims of terrorism.”
      SO – if you say stain victims had their lives changed as though they were victims of terrorism one can infer that you are comparing them to the victims of 9/11 of to the victims of the Boston Marathon bomber.
      As to statin damage I’m convinced it’s way, way overstated

      CHARLES: Yes, I am comparing what happened to some victims (living victims) in terrorist events to what happens to some statin victims. I have no idea what your particular agenda is, but I could send you photographs of what statins do to some people’s leg muscles. This muscle and nerve damage results in symptoms similar to ALS. Can’t walk, can’t stand at museums, constant significant pain. WHAT IS IS THAT YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND?
      No, of course it doesn’t happen to everyone. But as soon as I presented at Johns Hopkins and at Yale, they knew exactly what I had and why. This is because they see it with a certain degree of frequency.
      In case it still hasn’t sunk in for you, one of the cardiologists in the group that prescribed the drug to me wound up getting devastated as well with a permanent neuromuscular disease.

      One last little thing, simply having “high” LDLs is the main reason for such massive overprescription of statins. In the past six months or so, the definition of “high” so as to be prescribed statins has gone from ideally getting LDLs under 100 to not prescribing until at 190. This isn’t science. Oddly enough, the new study would have 1/2 (rather than the present 1/4) of Americans over 40 on statins. My neuromuscular specialist commented: I suppose your hope is that when the critical mass of victims becomes high enough, research will be more intensely done into treatment.

      Ignorance is bliss, certainly in this case. Knowledge is gained as a horrific cost. But still, you don’t have to be a victim yourself to dispel your ignorance. Want some specific information?

    • So sorry to hear that Heather…in the US and Apparently the UK, Statins are doled out like confectionary as well. I myself, am disabled going on 13 years, come Oct 10…Neuronal Apoptosis, Mitochondrial DNA mutation akin to Mitochondrial Encephalomyopathy with Lactic Acidosis and Stroke Like Episodes (MELAS)…according to the UCSD statin effects study, I participated in, the holes in my brain (Apoptosis) evidenced by brain biopsy, as well as the Mitochondrial DNA mutations (MELAS) evidenced by Electron Microscopy were the results of my Statin (Lipitor) use…I was a Critical Care RN. of 12 years. when I fell ill…These drugs are modern day snake oil of yesteryear…Cholesterol is an absolutely essential molecule in our bodies, present in every one of the billions of cells in our bodies…Statins lower cholesterol by blocking the Acetyl Co A Reductase enzyme in the mevalonate pathway, which blocks every other step in that pathway (around 200). Including Ubiquinone (CoQ10), Dolichols, Sex Hormones (ensures future sales of Viagra and the like), Vitamin D, Cholesterol, etc etc etc….

  55. https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/health/kurt-warners-struggle-with-cholesterol-20140430

    Super Bowl–winning quarterback Kurt Warner was busy throwing bombs for the Arizona Cardinals when his annual physical stopped him in his tracks: He’d been diagnosed with high cholesterol. Warner was shocked. “I was in my mid-30s and in the best shape of my life,” he remembers. “I looked at it like, ‘What’s wrong with me? I’m doing everything I can to be healthy, so how can my cholesterol be high?'” Warner could shrug off a sack, but there was nothing he could do about his genetics. He had to confront the problem.

    “My dad had high cholesterol,” he says. “But he didn’t exercise much and ate a poor diet, so I always thought that was why. I hadn’t realized that for a large contingent of people with high cholesterol, a big piece of it is hereditary.”

    At first, Warner reacted by tweaking his diet, incorporating more fruits and vegetables and “catering to all the myths and theories about how to lower cholesterol.” His test results didn’t change. Frustrated, he started taking a statin, the most commonly prescribed class of cholesterol-lowering drugs. The pills worked and his cholesterol came down, but the swelling in his knees went up, a professional liability his doctor identified as a side effect.

    “I had thought statins were all the same and didn’t know you could switch,” he says. “But I learned that they all work differently and have different side effects and interactions with foods and other drugs, so you shouldn’t give up on them until you find the one that works for you.” Research shows that roughly 75 percent of statin users quit them within a year, oftentimes because of unwanted side effects.

    After some more trial and error, Warner found success with Livalo, a statin that worked so well for him that he didn’t notice any side effects. The quarterback felt better, but he knew that he’d gotten lucky. Unlike many men, he’d known beyond a shadow of a doubt that his high cholesterol was hereditary. He had no reason to second guess the diagnosis given his incredibly rigorous workout schedule.

    “If I had high cholesterol with the way I was eating and working out, I knew it must be widespread problem,” says Warner, who has just launched FirstandGoalHeartHealth.com, a site that creates personalized treatment plans and tracks medication reactions. “We want to encourage people, regardless of how they feel, to just start the process of taking control of heart health. Start the conversation with your doctor, get your cholesterol tested, and if it’s high, make a game plan to knock it back down.”

    According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention, about 71 million Americans have high cholesterol, yet only one in three has the condition under control. Warner wants to see those numbers change, which means encouraging men to start exercising or engaging in a more open dialogue with their physicians. When it comes to heart health, doctors may be coaches but patients need to know how to execute the next play.

  56. My mother

    I have not had any side effects of statins – because I have never taken any – nor would I.

    Several people close to me did and that made me look for information.
    Thanks to the Internet, I realised that my mother was suffering from adverse effects of Zocor (=simvastatin).

    She had a small heart attack when she was around 80.
    She was put on Zocor as well as a medication for blood pressure.
    After som time (maybe a year) she complained about muscle weakness in one of her legs. She, also, had aches and cramps and problems to fall a sleep (was prescribed sleeping pills month after month)

    She phoned her doctor and asked if it could have anything to do with her medications, but he said – no – and the conversation ended. By chance, I discovered that there were doctors/scientists with differing views on the cholesterol issue and one of them – Uffe Ravnskov – lived/lives in my country – Sweden.

    I spent a lot of time reading patient stories at askapatient.com, spacedoc.net (Forum) and peoplespharmacy.com. I ordered books from England, USA and Canada.

    I translated some patient stories for my mother and she also read Uffe Ravnskov`s first book.
    His last book has been translated into English and is called – Ignore the akward.

    It was difficult for my mother to make a decision.
    Her doctor was on the same kind of medication and she saw that as a guarantee that it was beneficial and safe. He didn´t think that she should stop.

    Eventually, she did..
    She will soon be 94, lives on her own and still finds life interesting.
    I am so glad she is still here, but feel sad about all the many who have been “statinated” without getting complete information about benefits/risks and suffer from “undetected” adverse effects.
    I hear stories every day because I am curious.

    Unfortunately, many in the medical field don´t want to see adverse effects and the patient can be told that it`s old age or get another diagnosis which, usually, means more medications.
    It`s absurd.

    The best thing you can do is to look for information in many different places/books and try to make up your own mind.

    P.S.
    I would like to recommend Peter C. Götzsches book – Deadly medicine and organised crime. He is a very outspoken and brave man and if you google his name you will see that he is the head of the Nordic Cochrane Center in Copenhagen. You will also find several u-tube-clips with him in English.

    Please visit drmalcolmkendrick.org.
    I like his articles and the comments are, usually, very good.
    I think he is writing on a new book. I look forward to that.

  57. I developed necrotizing myopathy after taking Lipitor 80 mg. for 4 months. My doctor never mentioned that I should be aware that certain side affects could occur, and that if they did, I should stop the statin and let him know. He prescribed the Lipitor and then did not see me again for 4 months. Yes, I did notice that I was slowly getting weaker and weaker, but I attributed it to getting older (I was 56) and my husband passed away after I had been on the Lipitor for 2 months, so I was busy settling his affairs. When I finally did go in for my apt. my CPK which was perfectly normal when I started had gone all the way up to 11,000. My doctor was very worried and told me to stop taking the Lipitor and wanted me to go have a liver biopsy. He thought I had fatty liver disease or something. Well, I finally consented and went and had a liver biopsy. The results were normal and those doctors suggested that it was muscle enzymes in my bloodstream, not liver enzymes that were giving me the high CPK. My doctor had no suggestions for me as to how I could get better, so I just went along the best that I could. Slowly my CPK went down a little every month and in a couple of years it had come all the way down to 1400. I felt pretty normal at that stage. Then out of nowhere the CPK started to climb again and every month I was a little weaker. The summer of 2013 I flew out to Mercy Scripps hospital and went to see Dr. Paul Phillips. I had heard that he was involved in doing research on statin damage. He performed a number of tests on me and also did a muscle biopsy and he diagnosed me with necrotizing myopathy due to taking statins. His course of action was take a very high dose of CO-Q-!0 and Fish Oil, so I went home and did that for 4 or 5 months. I also went to Cleveland Clinic and saw a neurologist there, who also performed some tests and said he really didn’t know how he could help me other than put me on steroids, but since I was a Type II Diabetic he didn’t think that was a very good option. So I went back home and felt pretty depressed because I had spent thousands of dollars and still no one could help me. At this point I could barely climb steps, and if I sat down, I had to sit on a high cushion and take my shoes off and then push myself up with my arms because I was so weak. Getting up off of a regular toilet was impossible! I had been following the comments in the “Stopped Our Statins” group and someone on there suggested that I try to get an appointment with Dr. Andrew Mammon at the Johns Hopkins Myositis Center in Baltimore, Md. I gathered all my paperwork and test results and sent them to him and asked him if he thought he could help me. A week or so later I got a phone call saying they would like to make an apt. for me for the following month. I was very excited and hopeful that maybe someone could finally help me! Well, my experience with him was very positive. He and another doctor at the myositis center had discovered not too long ago that treating people with necrotizing myopathy with IVIG infusions of gammegard brought down their CPK levels and stopped their muscles from destroying themselves. He said that if this did not work, then he would try the prednisone and methotrexate. So, the following month, with my Insurance company’s approval, since it is a very expensive treatment, I started receiving IVIG infusions. Sure enough, bloodwork is done every month, and every month my CPK went down and my muscles got stronger again. It is now a year that I have been getting these infusions, and my CPK is back down to 1400. I can’t wait to see what the next few months bring. My hope and prayer is to get back down in the normal range and go into remission. But even if I never get any better than I am now, I can easily live with this, because I feel pretty well back to normal. My advice is never give up on trying to find a cure. If I would have depended on my doctor to help me, I would be in a wheelchair right now. Be aggressive and be informed! Adele Weingartner

  58. I was a 34 years old critical care RN of 12 years and had been on Lipitor 10mg for the previous 3 years, when I fell suddenly ill with severe headaches, intermittent confusion, and profound fatigue. I was eventually evaluated and had an MRI of the brain, revealing multiple scattered lesions, throughout the grey and white matter, and a presumptive diagnosis was Multiple Sclerosis. We arranged for a follow up appointment at an MS specialist, where I was evaluated and told, I dont think what you have is MS, although I am uncertain what it is, and I was to come back for a re-evaluation in 3 weeks. Over the course of the next 10 days or so, my condition worsened, my wife woke one evening to find me looking through the Kitchen garbage for Milk…We dont keep milk in our garbage. Then a few nights later she woke to find me walking down the middle of the street in my underwear (What I slept in). When she approached me, she tells me I did not know who she was, where or who I was, nor where I was going. She was eventually able to convince me to come back home, and in the morning she called my MS specialist at the University Hospital, and told him what was happening. He instructed my wife to bring me to the Hospital and he would meet us in the Emergency Room. We made the nearly 3 hour drive, and upon evaluation, I was given a mini mental exam, which I failed miserably, and was admitted. I spent the next 4 weeks here, I had serial Lactic acid levels which were very elevated, a Brain biopsy was done and found the lesions to be Neuronal Apoptosis, Electron Microscopy was performed and found Mitochondrial Mutations most closely resembling Mitochondrial Encephalomypathy with Lactic Acidosis and Stroke -Like Episodes (MELAS). I then had a muscle biopsy which corroborated these findings. I could not walk, I could not speak coherently, I was incontinent of bowel and bladder, I was completely disoriented, and did not know my wife, my parents, my siblings, nor my 3 year old son. I was evaluated by nearly every neurologist at the University of Wisconsin Madison, many residents and a visiting professor from Harvard who suggested a Mitochondrial Cocktail, including B Complex, Vit C, Vit E, L Carnitine, CoQ10…and within 30 hours, I was no longer incontinent, and could verbalize the need to relieve myself, I could answer simple questions, and I was no longer to be transferred to a nursing home, and went home with aggressive rehab therapies. I was given a discharge diagnosis of Viral Encephalitis. At home I was COLD, my legs hurt, my balance was very poor and I fell at times. I used a cane to help me walk and balance. I was unbelievably tired. My cognition was very slow and contributed heavily as to why I could not work. I had extensive neuropsych testing, which determined cognitive slowing, short term memory recall and other findings of sufficient severity to significantly impact any substantial gainful employment. When the UCSD Statin Effects Study had begun, my wife pleaded with me to enroll, and I assured her, that I knew everything there was to know about Statins, and my lipitor use had nothing to do with my illness and disability. But for the sanctity of our marriage, I enrolled in the study, and when it had concluded, Dr Golomb called me to inform me that I was one of a handful of patients in the study with strikingly similar Biopsy findings, and she referred our cases to Dr Doug Wallace of UC Irvine, who opined that it was my Lipitor use that was the causal contributor to the Mitochondrial Mutations as well as the Apoptosis seen on my brain biopsy. It is not going on 13 years, my muscles still hurt all the time, my fatigue is relentless, my cognition remains severely impaired. I have peripheral neuropathy, Sleep Apnea. NONE OF THIS WAS IN ANY MEDICAL LITERATURE AVAILABLE IN 1999 when I agreed to take these POISONS! All based on relative risk reductions a large NNT

    • It made me really sad to read your story but I do want to thank you for sharing it with us. I don’t think many medical professionals realise how serious side effects of statins can be.

      Although adverse effects of such a serious nature occur rarely I fear we will see them more often in the future considering the huge number of people that are being prescribed statin drugs today.

      • You are correct Axel S…of all of the Neurologists at UW Madison, and Med Students and Residents I was evaluated by, not one of them even considered the notion that possibly a chemical (RX) cause for my abrupt onset alzheimer’s like state, muscle and brain biopsy results, and when I finally was able to discharge home, I was given a diagnosis of “Viral Encephalitis”…I am an admin on a Facebook, Statin Side Effects group, in which there are 2 cardiologists, 3 chemists and 3 other practicing physicians, and over 800 patients with varying degrees of neurological, muscular problems attributed to Statins. ALL BUT ONE of them, a gentleman from Norway, have doctors who completely refute the notion that the wonder drug Statin, they took, could have in any way precipitated their medical nightmares. I was fortunate enough to have been discharged home, in time to Hear Dr Golomb discuss her Statin Effects Study…otherwise, I am certain, I would still be in the dark as to how a virus ruined my life…Dr Sigurdsson, with all due respect, please listen to your patients concerns when they discuss potential drug problems with you. We as patients, entrust our lives to our physicians.

  59. At 62″I started atorvastatin in August 2014. I began to experience joint pain in my left hand and pain in right leg.. Mentioned to my Doc in December and had blood test for arthritis. That test was negative. The joint pain became more severe, because of suspicions of listed side effects of atorvastatin I told my Doc just a week ago I was stopping the medication. So far I’ve had only one twinge of pain AND my sleeping issues are resolving. I didn’t know that sleep could be affected until I started to look more deeply at statin side affects. I was game to try the remedy for post menopause rise in cholesterol but no more. Good natural foods and exercise are going to be my best effort,now.

  60. Comment to Sandy with right thigh pain. I took Crestor10 for1 week. I had pain which wasn’t severe onmy right thigh. I also had arthritic like pain on All of my fingers from knuckle down. I had a knot that popped up one night like a balloon under the skin on my left foot just above the leaders to my toes. I weaned myself off by decreasing medicine over a two week period. I am 66 and know my body well. Those were weird things that I had never experienced. The thing is that we must make the changes to our lifestyle if we choose not to take statens! My Cardio recommended as precaution because I had a blocked carotid. Historically low LDL HDL and no other health issues at all…not even minor ones! I will always believe that my carotid episode was caused by high blood calcium for years due to undiagnosed hyperparathyroidism. Once adenoma was removed levels have stayed normal. I think my Dr sincerely believes that my heart is clogged too even though indicating tests say no. Since I am female I have decided not to take staten drugs. We do all have an opinion and concerns and if your Drs won’t listen and educate you it’s time to find another one! Many Drs, like mine, do! And I am thankful for them!

  61. I was taking simvastatin for a few years because my doctor said my good cholesterol was to low. I decided to stop taking it in Nov. 2014. I was fine up until Dec 2014 then it seemed like everything hit me at once. I was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer that spread to my liver; my mammogram was negative in Oct 2014. Is it just a coincidence?

    • Carol

      Sorry to hear about your cancer. I guess nobody can tell if or how simvastatin may have played a role in your case. The clinical trials haven’t shown an increased risk of cancer associated with statin therapy.

      Wish you all the best.

  62. You had myopathy from an
    LDL-lowering drug and you’re STILL
    buying into the LDL-lowering story? All I can say is DANGER! Google
    “statin myopathy” and see my blog: the photos are the relevant part.
    Seven brief months on a statin, have been like this for 3 years: quite painful,
    and I can’t walk any distance at all. All the men in my family got heart
    disease around aged 60. In fact, all my family either died before that age of
    cancer or else got heart disease. BUT lowering my LDLs from 190 to 100 lowers
    my CVD risk from 10% to 8% over a full TEN year period. In other words, I’d
    have 8% risk until aged 82. But age alone puts me at 7.5% risk.

    Previously I was apparently
    in great health: trekking for weeks at age 68 in the Himalayan mountains, as
    just an example. Now I can’t walk and am in 24 hours a day pain. But on an arm
    bicycle I can “ride” for 45 minutes, running my pulse at 85-90%. I
    can comfortably run my pulse at 140 for the last ten minutes if I want, and
    when I stop, my pulse drops to 100 in just one minute.

    Why do so many doctors
    simply ignore all this and still talk about statins to me?

  63. Hello, I am currently on statins, and want to stop taking it because of the side effects, but my doctor is being no help at all as he wants me to remain on them. I buy generic crestor online, and would like to know your opinion, if I should stop cold turkey, or step the dose down?? This is what i take https://canadapharmacyrx.com/generic-crestor.html. Thank you for your help!!!

  64. My partner 46 took atorvastatin for 4 weeks as a precautionary measure prior to a myocardis diagnosis and experienced severe cognitive difficulties and memory loss. It was as if he had early onset of dementia. Difficulty remembering peoples names who he has known for years, remembering what he was doing from one moment to the next, behaviour and personality changes. Losing his keys and Wallet. Unable to direct himself to a familiar place. 11 months later and he is still recovering from the effects and has some emotional liability. All of the symptoms he has experienced and is trying to recover from points to mild brain damage. I don’t think Statins simply cause brain fog and memory loss at the time of taking them. I believe that they cause some sort of brain damage. Some people take them for years without effect then it suddenly all hits them and the effect can be devastating. Doctors wont recognise the side effects as caused by the statins. They should take them themselves of give them to their partners and then discuss their findings. Its very frustrating knowing what has happened and not having anyone recognise it or believe that it was the statins that caused it and therefore no support. Meanwhile they are continuing to prescribe them to thousands more unsuspecting patients and as in my partners case didn’t even need them in the first place. The elderly population will be even more in trouble as they and their doctors will think they have developed dementia and put it down to old age. They probably wont put the 2 together. In my opinion they are ruining peoples lives and Statins need to be taken off the market.

  65. How can we find out how many people are on statins for primary prevention? Vs those who’ve already had a cardiovascular event? Thanks!

  66. I have found this site because I am trying to research what is going on with my health.
    I take medication for high bp. I was given a stent about four years ago. After that I was prescribed Simvastatin as I was told my cholesterol was raised. As I have annual blood tests when I had my test after starting the Simvastatin I was told my cholesterol level was raised slightly and was then prescribed Atorvastatin. The medical professional told me if I had any adverse muscle pain to come back to discuss as it can cause problems with the lungs. This was not discussed at the time however, looking back I think it was just mentioned as an afterthought.
    It doesn’t happen every day or night but sometimes I would get very, very, very severe cramping in my lower legs. I dont want to say it was just the calf muscles because the whole lower leg and foot would spasm – it would totally incapacitate me. Then as suddenly as it started it would stop. Then the other leg and foot would do the same thing. Each spasm would last about 10 minutes.
    About 15 months ago I started to develop breathlessness. I couldn’t place where it started or why. I have never experienced this before. It feels like I can’t get the air into my lower lungs – very shallow breathing. As I meditate and do yogic breathing I found this whole experience very difficult. I decided it had to be an allergy. I cut out different food products, milk, fabric detergents, perfumes, etc but to no avail.
    I have attended the gp a few times to explain and I am not sure they are hearing what I am saying. I had a chest xray, blood tests and a spirometry test. The spirometry has to be done in a more controlled situation because I wasn’t breathing correctly.
    I saw another gp last week and she suggested that I stop taking Ramipril as that medication can cause breathlessness, rapid heart beat and irregular heart beat (which is what I have been complaining about for a number of years now).
    I have ceased the Rampril and feel there is some improvement.
    The last time I had the severe leg spasms I did some online research and learned that statins can cause cramping. I have now stopped taking Atorvastatin. I haven’t, as far as I am aware, had any adverse effect from stopping the medication. What greatly concerns me is this – if the statins can cause problems with the lungs (and I imagine could then cause breathlessness)…why isn’t it the first thing the doctor looked at? I have an appointment with my gp tomorrow mainly because I want it on record that I have stopped taking statins.
    I don’t know if any damage has been done to my lungs, I hope not and I would like to know if any damage that might have been done can be undone?

  67. I have been prescribed Atorvastatin 20mg for high cholesterol. I am a 63 year old lady, last time I had a period was 42 years of age now I have started menstruating with severe period cramps. Could this be a side effect of Atorvastatin. Thankyou

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