Although many patients throughout the U.S. have taken statin medications such as Lipitor to lower their cholesterol levels and have reported little to no complications, several studies have recently found that some side effects of statins may be severe and life-threatening. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that while patients should not be scared of the side effects of statins, there is a potential for cognitive impairment, type 2 diabetes, and other complications. Here are five other reasons to consider if taking or considering a statin:
1. Worsening Asthma
According to a study conducted in 2011 that compared 20 Lipitor patients with asthma against 20 asthma patients who did not take Lipitor, those in the Lipitor group reportedly experienced more symptoms and worsening lung function than those who did not take the drug. While asthma patients are not necessarily barred from taking the drug, they may need to request an adjustment to their asthma medications.
2. Increased Liver Enzymes
Taking statins with other cholesterol-lowering drugs could increase a patient’s level of liver enzymes, so it is often a good idea to undergo blood testing within the first four to six weeks of beginning a medication. There is no method to predict whether a patient will experience this increase, nor are there any symptoms to watch for.
3. Potential Pregnancy Risks
It is recommended that those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or trying to conceive avoid statins, as there may be an increased risk of birth defects in babies whose mothers take these drugs while pregnant.
4. Muscle Weakness and Pain
One out of every 10 patients who take statins reports aches and pains as one of the side effects of statins. Patients may also be at risk of rhabdomyolysis, or the breakdown of muscle cells and the release of myoglobin that can result in kidney damage. The most commonly reported areas of pain include the thighs, lower back, shoulders, and upper arms.
5. Lawsuits Underway in the U.S.
Pfizer, Inc. is currently facing more than 1,152 Lipitor lawsuits as of August 2014 – an increase from the 959 lawsuits that had been filed as of July 2014. All federal lawsuits are pending in a federal multidistrict litigation in South Carolina, and plaintiffs similarly allege that they developed type 2 diabetes while taking the medication. Pfizer, Inc. is also accused of neglecting to warn patients and their healthcare provider of these risks in order to increase their profits from the product.
Contact Attorney Group for Texas Today
The Attorney Group for Texas provides free case evaluations to individuals who are concerned about the side effects of statins and who feel that they may have a case for compensation in Texas. If you or someone you love took Lipitor to lower your cholesterol and you were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, please contact us to receive a free case evaluation. If we determine that you have a case in Texas, we can connect you with one of our affiliated Lipitor attorneys who can help you file your lawsuit.