Side Effects of Statins
Lipitor, Crestor and other drugs are in a class known as statins, providing patients in Kentucky and other states who have been diagnosed with high cholesterol a medical way to lower levels in the bloodstream when diet and exercise are thought to not be enough. High cholesterol has been linked to heart attacks and strokes, which is why doctors use statins to lower levels in patients. However, for some patients, the benefits of the drugs are not worth the side effects of statins, some of which can be deadly.
1. Potential Issues for Pregnant and Nursing Women
The FDA warns women who are pregnant, hope to become pregnant or who are nursing that they should not take statins. Cholesterol is critical to the proper development of an unborn child, and birth defects have been reported in women who took statins during pregnancy. Contact a doctor immediately if you are taking Lipitor or other statins and become pregnant.
2. Worsening Asthma
According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 312,561 adults in Kentucky suffered from asthma as of 2008. The prevalence of asthma in Kentucky was 14.7 percent compared to a national rate of 13.3 percent. At one time, it was believed that asthma symptoms could be reduced as one of the side effects of statins due to their anti-inflammatory properties. However, recent studies found that asthma sufferers scored 35 percent worse on lung capacity tests than those who did not take statins. In addition, statin users reported using their inhalers 72 percent more than those who did not take Lipitor or similar drugs.
One of the most common side effects of statins is muscle aches and pains, the majority of which are minor. However, in some cases, patients have developed a condition known as Rhabdomyolysis, which can be deadly. The condition occurs when muscle fibers deteriorate and enter the bloodstream where they are filtered through the kidneys. The muscle fibers can then cause damage to the kidneys, causing patients to enter renal failure. The condition can become chronic and the kidneys could eventually stop working completely.
4. Diabetes Risk
One of the most recently announced side effects of statins is the risk of developing Type-2 diabetes. Many patients have filed lawsuits in federal court after developing diabetes while taking Lipitor and other statins. The lawsuits claim that the manufacturers of the drugs were aware of the risk, yet failed to notify doctors and patients of the potential problem. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body does not produce enough insulin or the body does not recognize it in the bloodstream. Because Type-2 diabetes has a stronger genetic component, patients with a family history of the disease may be at even higher risk of developing it than others when taking statins.
Another of the potentially life-threatening side effects of statins is the risk of liver damage in patients taking the drugs. Doctors have reported increased liver enzymes in patients taking statins, which can lead to liver damage. Lawsuits have been filed in Kentucky and other states claiming that the manufacturer failed to warn patients of the possibility of liver damage in patients taking Lipitor and other statins.
Injured? Contact Attorney Group for Kentucky Today
Some of the side effects of statins can not only be dangerous, they can be deadly in some patients. If you or a loved one has suffered from the side effects of statins, contact Attorney Group for Kentucky today to learn whether you are able to pursue a claim.