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The Dangers Of Cholesterol Drugs

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The Dangers Of Cholesterol Drugs

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
  • Immune depression
  • Pancreas or liver dysfunction, including a potential increase in liver enzymes
  • Cataracts

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.

Statins currently available on the U.S. market are:

  • Advicor  (lovastatin with niacin) – Abbott
  • Altoprev (lovastatin) – Shionogi Pharma
  • Caduet [atorvastatin with amlodipine (Norvasc)] – Pfizer
  • Crestor (rosuvastatin) – AstraZeneca
  • Lescol (fluvastatin) – Novartis
  • Lipitor (atorvastatin) – Pfizer
  • Mevacor (lovastatin) – Merck
  • Pravachol (pravastatin) — Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Simcor (niacin/imvastatin) – Abbott
  • Vytorin (ezetimibe/simvastatin) – Merck/Schering-Plough
  • Zocor (simvastatin) – Merck
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Dr. Mercola

Dr. Mercola has been passionate about health and technology for most of his life. As a doctor of osteopathic medicine, he treated many thousands of patients for over 20 years. In the mid 90’s he integrated his passion for natural health with modern technology via the internet and developed a website, Mercola.com to spread the word about natural ways to achieve optimal health.

59 comments

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10:47AM PST on Feb 15, 2013

Thank you.

2:59AM PDT on Sep 9, 2012

I still have muscle problems with the front of my thighs from taking Lipitor...thanks a lot to them who made it. I stopped it a few years ago b/c of terrible side effects and as far as I know, this is the problem that is left I have to deal with on a daily basis..why make/create drugs that have horrendous side effects when those side effects can be even worse than what the original drug was to cure...it beats me and drives me insane! WE are supposed to have cholesterol for our body to work and to have a reading after a C test of 2.1 is quite ridiculous. Terrible side effects and one wonders if this isnt a total myth and lining the drug companies oodles of money...yeah....or is it a conspiracy? What would I know except I have terribly sore front of thighs.

9:39PM PDT on Jun 11, 2012

Thanks for the info...

6:11AM PDT on Jun 11, 2012

Thanks.

10:53AM PST on Nov 29, 2011

Thankyou....

3:08AM PST on Nov 19, 2011

I'm on simvastatin (generic Zocor) and Tricor. I don't take anything else with it. I'm also diabetic, so I take metformin also. I was on the zocor for much longer than I've been diabetic. I'm wondering if there is a connection.

I try to be as active as possible, but because I have literally decades of back pain (not related to cholesterol, it was 15 years before I started taking ANY prescriptions) so I'm over weight. But no one wants to believe me when I say that giving me IV liquids & antibiotics not only alleviate the pain, but, I lose a lot of weight - just in a couple days.

I don't know what it is about that. but, I wish I knew what was going on.

8:56AM PST on Nov 10, 2011

Informaative. I take a statin. Now I wonder if I should stop. I also take CoQ10 but only one a day. They are expensive.

7:49AM PDT on Nov 4, 2011

heather, the fact that Mercola is heavily criticized by other doctors merely makes me feel that Mercola is a good doctor. When you stop worshiping at the altar of modern medicine, then you will have a real chance of getting well.

9:48PM PDT on Nov 3, 2011

Mercola's views differ to that of most doctors and he is heavily critisized in the medical fraternity. However, I think it is always a good thing to read alternative advice. It leads to questioning your regular doctor again and makes them aware that we are taking an interest in our own health.

12:53PM PDT on Nov 3, 2011

I have always said that I would not take cholesterol medication even though high cholesterol runs on my mother's side. I'm a firm believer that side affects from Rx's are worse then the problem they're given to you to fix. However, my "functional medicine" doctor gave me Red Yeast Rice to help lower the "numbers". It did. I have not had side affects - yet - but after reading a number of articles on this "natural" product, I decided to stop taking it. It's STILL a satin with the potential of the same side affects as the synthetic forms of statins. So, I guess I will continue to take my chances on keeping my levels in the best number I can through exercise and my continuing efforts to choose healthier foods.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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