Bad News for Big Pharma

The Cholesterol-Lowering Statin Drug Gravy Train Is Derailed

Expect to see numerous television ads by class action lawyers soon.  A clear link between Statin drugs and Type 2 Diabetes, memory loss and other tragic side effects has been identified.  The FDA has close ties to the pharmaceutical industry and their newly-mandated warning labels that seem to minimize the danger.

The FDA has worded its warning cautiously:

“A small increased risk of raised blood sugar levels and the development of Type 2 diabetes have been reported with the use of statins.”  

FDA Warns on Statin Drugs: Labels on Popular Cholesterol Medicines Must Cite Risk of Diabetes, Memory Loss

The Diabetes Dilemma for Statin Users  ( NY Times article by a cardiologist)

Per the 3/5/2012  The People’s Pharmacy Alert provides further information and quote from the NY Times article:

“More than 20 million Americans take statins. That would equate to 100,000 new statin-induced diabetics. Not a good thing for the public health and certainly not good for the individual affected with a new serious chronic illness.”

Amidst the statistics we tend to forget that individuals are affected. We have heard from many people who have had significant problems with blood sugar control while taking a statin-type drug. The first case came to our attention almost ten years ago. A husband and wife taking Lipitor had increasing trouble controlling their glucose levels. Why did it take the FDA so long to figure this out?

What other side effects should we be paying more attention to when it comes to statin-type drugs:

• Altoprev (lovastatin extended-release)
• Crestor (rosuvastatin)
• Lescol (fluvastatin)
• Lipitor (atorvastatin)
• Livalo (pitavastatin)
• Mevacor (lovastatin)
• Pravachol (pravastatin)
• Zocor (simvastatin).

Products containing statins in combination with other drugs include:

• Advicor (lovastatin/niacin extended-release)
• Simcor (simvastatin/niacin extended-release)
• Vytorin (simvastatin/ezetimibe).

Potential adverse reactions patients and their families should be aware of include:

• Muscle pain or spasms (any where in the body, including legs, shoulders, back, arms or neck)
• Arthritis
• Blood sugar elevation
• Memory problems, cognitive dysfunction, confusion, amnesia
• Nerve pain, peripheral neuropathy, leg cramps
• Digestive upset, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence
• Headache
• Insomnia
• Urinary tract infections
• Skin reactions, hives
• Pancreatitis
• Sexual problems, erectile dysfunction

Joe and Terry Graedon’s weekly radio broadcast, “The Health News Update ” leads with the story about statin drug and sleeping pills and explores the use of coconut oil for Alzheimer’s disease.   Several listeners called in to share their stories of  side effects while taking statins.

The People’s Pharmacy has extensive information on prescription drugs, alternative remedies and a great forum  for people to share their experiences dealing with various health issues.    You can listen to the radio shows online or download them as MP3s.

~LTG

15 responses to “Bad News for Big Pharma

  1. One after another, prescription drugs that are supposed to be curative turn out to do more harm. Ugh.

  2. I do not believe in taking very much medicine if at all possible. Good quality Fish Oil can work wonders in getting cholesterol down, as well as diet.

    • lowtechgrannie

      One thing I learned listening to the radio broadcast, one of the doctors they interviewed said that some drugs interferred with Omega 3 absorption. I can’t remember if he mentioned a specific drug.

  3. lowtechgrannie

    I worked with a guy in his early 40s. He had a very physically active job, was not over weight, didn’t smoke and was a very light drinker. He was always the first person in the office in the morning and often the last one there when we locked up. He hardly ever missed work due to sickness. His wife was a nurse and he never missed his annual physical. After one physical his doctor prescribed Lipitor because of the cholesterol test.

    Sometime later he developed severe arthritis symptoms so they added an injection of Enbrel once a week. Within a year or so he had a dramatic weight loss and was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, with deteriorating vision and neuropathy in his feet. He started wearing flipflops to work year round ! As far as I know he’s going to the same doctor who’s prescribing the same drugs.

    • My mom’s doctor is like that. She had elevated blood pressure one time. Got put on a pill, the pill broke her out. Medicine for the rash, no change in the BP med when there are many on the market that do not cause this. Low Vitamin D level–massive amts. of Vitamin D. Hubby told her never to take that much. In my opinion, she needs no pills! In truth, doctors are paid more if they find more, and the exam lists more problems. A cold usually merely gives a #2 rating. The more problems, the higher the number, and the higher the reimbursement. Only going to get worse. I could write a book on the problems coming our way.

  4. I stopped trusting the drug companies about 20 years ago, when I learned they were pretty much funding their own “research.”

    -Dave

  5. I’m on lovastatin. (I guess I should say “was” on it until about, oh, five minutes ago!!) I have about six of those symptoms – all which came about after I started taking it. I’ll be calling the doc for a consult when I finish typing this. Thanks, Dave, for the info I somehow “missed” elsewhere.

  6. BTW, anybody know any good ambulance chasers in SoCal?

  7. Sorry, that was LTG I meant to thank……must be lovastatin-induced cognitive dysfunction!

  8. I was put on a statin drug by my Doctor a few years back, my cholesterol was only slightly elevated. I did not feel good on them either, so I did a little research and discovered (if I remember correctly) that only about 2 out of 5 people that have had heart attacks had elevated cholesterol. So why take a drug that statistically is unnecessary? When I told my Doc why I quit the pills, he said, you are right and he’s never brought it up again…

  9. Wow, if people stopped shoving food in their mouth, stopped guzzling soda and didn’t come up diabetic in the first place, these life-saving drugs wouldn’t be the bad guys, would they?

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