Lipitor is a well-known drug used for treating high cholesterol levels; however, new studies are coming to light that highlight the effects of Lipitor on women, particularly those near or at menopause age. According to research, Lipitor may cause a higher risk of a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. If you have been prescribed Lipitor and you have been taking it regularly to lower your cholesterol, consider discussing your situation and any side effects you may be experiencing with Arkansas Lipitor lawsuit attorneys.
What are Statin Medications?
Lipitor falls into a category of hypolipidemics; its generic name is atorvastatin. The drug was originally manufactured and marketed by Pfizer, and in December 2006, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Lipitor for the public market. There is no set dosage for Lipitor; physicians may prescribe it in various doses, depending on the needs and health condition of the patient. Typically, however, a patient may take a daily dose of between 10 mg and 80 mg. With sales in excess of $125 billion, Lipitor is one of the top-grossing drugs across the globe.
While there is an entire group of statin medications, Lipitor, among others, helps to prevent the liver from producing low density lipids (LDLs) that will eventually block the individual’s arteries. In other words, these medications ensure that LDLs are not produced, and the patient has a decreased chance of further developing severe heart complications.
Can Lipitor Cause Type 2 Diabetes?
The University of Massachusetts Medical School conducted the most recent study; the results showed that postmenopausal women who were actively taking daily doses of statin medications had developed an increased risk of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes over females who did not take the medicine at all. Conducted in January 2012, the study examined almost 154,000 women who had a mean age of 63. These women were evaluated between 1993 and 2005 and when the study was completed, scientists concluded that more than 10,200 women who had not previously been diagnosed with the condition had developed it over the course of time.
Additionally, the study showed that women whose body mass index (BMI) was less than 25 had yet an even greater chance of developing the condition. Researchers also looked at other factors include the women’s’ weight, ages and lifestyles, among others, that may have been a key contributor to the development of the condition. Scientists were able to conclude that those between 50 and 79 years of age who consumed Lipitor every day had a 50 percent greater chance of developing diabetes than those who avoided the medication.
In 2011, another study reviewed studies already conducted and concluded that participants taking statins were nine percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who did not take the medicine.
The JACC study in 2010 concluded that patients who consumed Lipitor in daily doses of 80 mg per dose could expect a 37 percent higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes than the control group. Moreover, the Atherosclerosis study, published the same year, reviewed the exact effects that these medicines have on one’s metabolic system, focusing specifically on what causes diabetes in patients. Researchers found that people who took Lipitor or another statin medication had a higher risk of developing diabetes, even if they had no pre-existing risk or health condition to suggest so.
FDA Warns Consumers about Lipitor
In early 2012, the FDA evaluated the results from studies investigating the safety effects of Lipitor and asked Pfizer to update the label on Lipitor to include the findings; the FDA requested that consumers be warned regarding the likelihood of developing diabetes. However, although the FDA did act appropriately, many physicians agree that the label change and the health advisory were long overdue. In fact, the company should have warned the public of potential complications in years prior, long before the drug skyrocketed as one of the best-selling medicines of all time. Additionally, researchers agree that additional research is needed to ensure that the consumer is receiving accurate information; many critics feel that, since it took nearly 15 years for the truth about Lipitor to come out in terms of its diabetes-causing properties, then there must be other underlying risks that researchers have not yet figured out.
Other Health Risks
Lipitor has been proven to cause myopathy, rhabdomyolysis, liver dysfunction, cognitive damage, and heart attacks. However, it is only recently that the relationship between type 2 diabetes and Lipitor has come to light. If you have experienced one or more of these side effects, contact one of our Arkansas Lipitor lawsuit attorneys. While scientists do warn consumers not to stop taking the medicine until first talking to a healthcare provider, the true benefits of Lipitor must now be weighed against the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Contact Arkansas Lipitor Lawsuit Attorneys Today
Have you been taking Lipitor to combat high cholsterol? If you or someone you know has been prescribed this medication and you have been diagnosed with diabetes, contact our experienced Arkansas Lipitor Lawsuit Attorneys at Attorney Group for Arkansas. We will do everything in our power to establish a foundation for a case, ensuring that you receive every penny of financial compensation you deserve. You may be eligible to file for pain and suffering, loss of income, and any medical bills you may have incurred while taking the drug.