For years statin drugs such as Lipitor have been a routine part of medical care for anyone with high cholesterol or at risk of a heart attack or stroke. While many companies and other sources continue to tout their benefits, not all patients are good candidates for the drug. Statin drugs, such as Lipitor, work by keeping the liver enzymes from synthesizing cholesterol in the body.
Side Effects of Statins
Like any drug, there can be serious side effects when taking statins. In January 2014 the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) issued expanded advice to consumers regarding the safety of statin drugs, such as Lipitor, Zocor and Crestor. While long known to create a risk for liver damage in some patients, the FDA is now alerting consumers to the possibility of memory loss, muscle damage and Type 2 diabetes as side effects of statins. Be sure to weigh the side effects of statins against any benefits prior to taking a statin drug.
- Muscle pain and injury can occur, particularly when combined with statin drugs. Unexplained muscle weakness and pain, known as myopathy, occurs because the statin drugs follow the same pathways that statins do when metabolized by the body. Even when used alone, approximately 10% of users experience muscle pain, generally in the large muscle groups that doesn’t improve with rest
- Memory and cognitive related incidents are not just a side effect of aging; they are one of the side effects of statins. The FDA has received report of cognitive impairment among all age groups. Memory issues can occur even after years of taking statins with no ill effects.
- Statins appear to raise blood sugar levels. For patients who are diabetic, this means taking more medication to stabilize blood sugar levels. For patients who have a family history of diabetes, this can cause increased blood sugar levels despite following a healthy diet, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight. In either case this is one of the more dangerous side effects of statins.
- While rare, liver damage has occurred in patients using statins. Initially, the FDA called for regular testing of liver enzymes to test for damage. However, since damage reports are rare, the FDA now only calls for testing before and immediately after beginning a statin drug. Additional testing is now called for only when patients exhibit signs of liver damage, such as fatigue, yellowing of the whites of the eyes, or dark urine. By the time patients exhibit these symptoms, the damage has been done.
- There are currently thousands of lawsuits against Lipitor, which is the most popular statin. Make sure to keep in mind the injuries that thousands may have suffered from Lipitor before you make the decision to start taking a statin.
Unfortunately, many of the known side effects of statin drugs, such as Type 2 diabetes, are irreversible. If you, or someone you love developed Type 2 diabetes or is suffering from one of the other side effects of statin drugs, please contact Attorney Group for Kansas for a free consultation. We can help answer questions and connect you with an affiliated lawyer who can help you though the legal process. Contact us today to learn more.