I am going to do a post from a article by Dr. Mercola on the dangerous side effects and detailed information on statin drugs in general.
By Dr. Mercola
Tens of millions of Americans are taking cholesterol-lowering drugs—mostly statins—and some "experts" claim that many millions more should be taking them. I couldn't disagree more.
Statins are HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, that is, they act by blocking the enzyme in your liver that is responsible for making cholesterol (HMG-CoA reductase).
The fact that statin drugs cause side effects is well established—there are now 900 studies proving their adverse effects, which run the gamut from muscle problems to increased cancer risk. For starters, reported side effects include:
Muscle problems, polyneuropathy (nerve damage in the hands and feet), and rhabdomyolysis (a serious degenerative muscle tissue condition) Anemia
Acidosis Sexual dysfunction
Pancreas or liver dysfunction, including a potential increase in liver enzymes Memory loss
Muscle problems are the best known of statin drugs' adverse side effects, but cognitive problems and memory loss are also widely reported. A spectrum of other problems, ranging from blood glucose elevations to tendon problems, can also occur. There is evidence that taking statins may even increase your risk for Lou Gehrig's disease, diabetes, and even cancer. Statins currently available on the U.S. market include1 :
Advicor(lovastatin with niacin) – Abbott Crestor(rosuvastatin) -AstraZeneca Mevacor (lovastatin) –Merck Simcor(niacin / imvastatin) –Abbott
Altoprev(lovastatin) – Shionogi Pharma Lescol(fluvastatin) – Novartis Pravachol (pravastatin) -- Bristol-Myers Squibb Zocor (simvastatin) – Merck
Caduet[atorvastatin with amlodipine (Norvasc)] –Pfizer Lipitor(atorvastatin) - Pfizer Vytorin(ezetimibe/simvastatin) – Merck/Schering-Plough
Statins have been shown to increase your risk of diabetes through a few different mechanisms. The most important one is that they increase insulin resistance, which can be extremely harmful to your health. Increased insulin resistance contributes to chronic inflammation in your body, and inflammation is the hallmark of most diseases. In fact, increased insulin resistance can lead to heart disease, which, ironically, is the primary reason for taking a cholesterol-reducing drug in the first place! It can also promote belly fat, high blood pressure, heart attacks, chronic fatigue, thyroid disruption, and diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and cancer.
Secondly, statins increase your diabetes risk by actually raising your blood sugar. When you eat a meal that contains starches and sugar, some of the excess sugar goes to your liver, which then stores it away as cholesterol and triglycerides. Statins work by preventing your liver from making cholesterol. As a result, your liver returns the sugar to your bloodstream, which raises your blood sugar levels.
Major Statin Drug Study Found to Be Flawed
A study known as the JUPITER trial initially suggested cholesterol-lowering statin drugs might prevent heart-related death in many more people than just those with high cholesterol. But two years after its publication in 2008, researchers came out saying the JUPITER results are flawed -- and that they do not support the benefits initially reported. Not only is there no "striking decrease in coronary heart disease complications," but a more recent report has also called into question drug companies' involvement in such trials.According to a report by ABC News2 :"... major discrepancies exists between the significant reductions in nonfatal stroke and heart attacks reported in the JUPITER trial and what has been found in other research ... 'The JUPITER data set appears biased,' [the researchers] wrote in conclusion."
Statins deplete your body of CoQ10, which can have devastating results. If you take statin drugs without taking CoQ10, your health is at serious risk. Unfortunately, this describes the majority of people who take them in the United States. CoQ10 is a cofactor (co-enzyme) that is essential for the creation of ATP molecules, which you need for cellular energy production. Organs such as your heart have higher energy requirements, and therefore require more CoQ10 to function properly. Produced mainly in your liver, it also plays a role in maintaining blood glucose.Physicians rarely inform people of this risk and only occasionally advise them to take a CoQ10 supplement. As your body gets more and more depleted of CoQ10, you may suffer from fatigue, muscle weakness and soreness, and eventually heart failure.
Statins Impair Numerous Biological Functions
Statin drugs also interfere with other biological functions, including an early step in the mevalonate pathway, which is the central pathway for the steroid management in your body. Products of this pathway that are negatively affected by statins include:
- All your sex hormones
- The dolichols, which are involved in keeping the membranes inside your cells healthy
- All sterols, including cholesterol and vitamin D (which is similar to cholesterol and is produced from cholesterol in your skin)It's still uncertain whether statins actually deplete your body of vitamin D, but they do reduce your body's natural ability to createactive vitamin D (1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol). This is the natural outcome of the drug's cholesterol-reducing ability, because you need cholesterol to make vitamin D!
Ninety-Nine Out of 100 People Do Not Need Statin Drugs
I have seen a number of people with total cholesterol levels over 250 who were actually at low risk for heart disease due to their elevated HDL levels. Conversely, I have seen many people with cholesterol levels under 200 who had a very high risk of heart disease, based on their low HDL. Your body NEEDS cholesterol—it is important in the production of cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids that help you to digest fat. Cholesterol also helps your brain form memories and is vital to your neurological function. There is also strong evidence that having too little cholesterol INCREASES your risk for cancer, memory loss, Parkinson's disease, hormonal imbalances, stroke, depression, suicide, and violent behaviorThat these drugs have proliferated the market the way they have is a testimony to the power of marketing, corruption and corporate greed, because the odds are very high— greater than 100 to 1—that if you're taking a statin, you don't really need it. The ONLY subgroup that might benefit are those born with a genetic defect called familial hypercholesterolemia, as this makes them resistant to traditional measures of normalizing cholesterol.And, even more importantly, cholesterol is NOT the cause of heart disease.If your physician is urging you to check your total cholesterol, then you should know that this test will tell you virtually nothing about your risk of heart disease, unless it is 330 or higher. HDL percentage is a far more potent indicator for heart disease risk. Here are the two ratios you should pay attention to:
- HDL/Total Cholesterol Ratio: Should ideally be above 24 percent. If below 10 percent, you have a significantly elevated risk for heart disease.
- Triglyceride/HDL Ratio: Should be below 2.
The Baycol Statin Recall and Safety Issue:
In August 2001, Bayer AG, the maker of Baycol (cerivastatin), a popular cholesterol-lowering drug used by about 700,000 Americans, pulled the medicine off the market after 31 people died from severe muscle breakdown, a well-recognized side effect of cholesterol-lowering drugs. Related articles follow:Here is the hard data on Baycol-associated adverse reactions. If you or someone you know is taking one of the statin cholesterol-lowering drugs, this is a "must-read" article by Jay Cohen, MD to help you understand the potential dangers that this exposes you to.Baycol, a cholestrol-lowering drug (statin), has been voluntarily pulled off the market because of numerous deaths associated with its use.With the recall of Baycol, patients are now searching out a new drug to take its place, but are other statins really safe? Here are some precautions necessary for anyone taking Baycol or any statin.Baycol is just one of many fluoride drugs to be pulled from the market due to health hazards posed. Read about this and some of the others in this informative article written by Andreas Schuld and Wendy Small.Bayer might have to pay a fine to the German government of about $23,400 for withholding from the German authorities information on the drug's potentially fatal interaction with another drug.Lipitor Tied to Liver, Kidney Injury, as Well as Muscle DamageIt seems that Baycol is not alone among cholesterol lowering drugs in posing serious dangers to the public. A number of legal actions are also being pursued against Pfizer Inc., the manufacturer of the Lipitor.Excerpts from Public Citizen's Health Research Group's Petition to Require a Box Warning on All HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors ("Statins"):" ... Public Citizen, representing 135,000 consumers nationwide, hereby petitions the FDA pursuant to the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act 21, U.S.C. Section 355(e)(3), and C.F.R. 10.30, to add a black box warning and additional consistent bolded warnings about this serious problem to the label of all statins marketed in the United States.""Doctors and the public must be warned to immediately discontinue use of statin drugs at the onset of muscle pain, muscle tenderness, muscle weakness or tiredness.""Prompt cessation of the use of statins at the first sign of muscle pain, muscle tenderness, muscle weakness or tiredness and prompt evaluation by a physician including a blood test for creatine phosphokinase (a measure of muscle destruction) may avoid the progression to more extensive muscle damage, rhabdomyolysis and death.""Rhabdomyolysis has been reported with all statins currently marketed in the United States."