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Are Statins safe ?
Old 02-03-2013, 07:57 AM   #1
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Are Statins safe ?

Went to a cardiologist for a consult due to family history of early CAD. I'm 59.
He said my stress test was negative for ischemia.
I have jogged regularly for the last 15 years. I am slim and watch my diet (except for sugar).
The Doctor recommended I start taking a low dose statin.

He said in the past he would not have recommended a statin, but over the last few years he has changed his position on prescribing statins for patients with no prior history of CAD. He said there is evidence that statins provide anti-inflamatory properties that also protect against stroke.

Should I be concerned about the safety of taking low dose statins.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:20 AM   #2
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Good evidence is hard to come by regarding statins -- you can find studies that prove or disprove almost anything. Be aware of the side effects of statins -- it's not a decision to be made lightly.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:20 AM   #3
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I am not sure I'd be too concerned about it, unless I was getting side effects. That said, if I could get my numbers to be where the recommended guidelines indicate they should be for a diabetic without taking a statin, I would prefer not taking it or any Rx for that matter.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:33 AM   #4
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You might want to read some of the Articles here

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Old 02-03-2013, 08:52 AM   #5
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They may be safe, my body disagrees.

About ten years ago I went through all the statins the doc would try. All caused serious muscle pain, joint pain where I could barely walk, and gave me a serius case of the stupids. Scrambled brain. Lipitor was the worst offender.

As an aside a doctor joke: Always prescribe the latest, newst medicine, it is the most expensive, and has the fewest side effects.


I will never ever put statins in my body.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:35 AM   #6
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I tried to have a discussion with family doctor maybe 5 years ago about the statin side effects. I had a review of studies with me. He became so angry with me, I changed doctors.

Now, I take one-half the dose as prescribed. If I eliminate it entirely, then my numbers will be too high, and current doctor will prescribe twice as many meds.

I have the stupids, and also joint/muscular pain from time to time. I am half as stupid as before, though. Or am I?
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:40 AM   #7
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If you do proceed, perhaps you could get the doc to agree to have a lab test followup. Some yrs ago, my doc prescribed the lowest dose of a common blood pressure medication. Previously he had expressed some reservations which I remembered and got him to agree to the followup monitoring. After about 2 wks on the medication, he called and said to stop immediately because my liver function tests had gone sky high. Now I won't start or change medications w/o the monitoring. btw.........there were no symptoms or side effects except the silent things the lab test picked up. The whole thing surprised my doc so even the experts don't always know what your body response will be.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:41 AM   #8
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My POV is, I rather have the doc angry than me screwed up. If necessary, I switch docs.

Some thing about first do no harm?
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:48 AM   #9
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Tough call...
As with almost every medication, upsides and downsides. Don't want to take the medicine? Consider the downside. If it's constipation, or sleepiness, ya have to balance that with the alternative... maybe a heart attack? Fortunately, most medications give warning signals, and a chance to go for alternate treatment.
I too had serious problems with Lipitor, many years ago, when the side effects were not as well studied as today. When the aches began, the diagnosis was arthritis, and the cure was Celebrex, and then an increased dosage... Finally decided to stop both and was cured, but it took 6 years.
I hate to go against the doctor's solution, but when a problem arises, I do enough reading to know as much or more than the doctor... We then talk together for the best solution. We tried all statins, with fewer side effects, but finally came on to a compromise... Fenofibrate, which deals mostly with triglycerides, but also, in my case helped with the cholesterol.
I would not pretend to outguess or diagnose what may be right for others, as everyone is different.
The best I can say is that I believe in taking medicines that may help... As I'm closer to 80 than to 75, it has worked so far, and I'm not about to change now.
At one time, I was a "baby aspirin a day" guy. Now I listen a little more than I did 25 years ago. So the new mantra is: "trust, but verify".

BTW... on the subject of side effects, when you have a minute and a half, watch and listen to this commercial for a sleeping pill.

intermezzo commercial - YouTube
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:53 AM   #10
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A while back, at the docs question of what meds I am allergic to, I added to the known to me list a new one: anything NEW, or latest. He chuckled, and wrote it down.
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Old 02-03-2013, 01:41 PM   #11
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I have taken Mevacor for about 8 years now. No side effects that I know of. No side effects that I know of. No side effects that I know of. No side effects that I know of............
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:04 PM   #12
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This thread is a reminder for me to make an appointment with my doctor again. For the last couple of years I have been getting weaker and weaker. It's hard for me to walk and I have associated it with my arthritis. Two knee replacements complicated matters. I have taken statins of some kind since my cardiac bypass 9 years ago. I'm taking simvastatin, 40mg/day; however, I was taking 80mg/day for years. Might have already done too much damage.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:17 PM   #13
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Johnnie36, one of the things that many people have found useful in recovering from statin damage is to start taking Co-Q10 which is a supplement found in any store's vitamin section. Statins tend to interfere with the body's synthesis of Co-Q10, so it gets depleted. Typical dosage for statin recovery seems to be 300 mg per day, and the softgel form seems to be most effective (fat soluble).

I'm no expert, but I've read this recommendation from several who are.
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Old 02-03-2013, 02:32 PM   #14
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I had a heart attack at 51, 9 years ago. The problem I've encountered since then is that the cardio industrial complex keeps lowering the target numbers. They now have lowered them to a point where only a drug solution can enable anyone to meet the cholesterol and inflammation targets. That said, I've been on various Statins for 9 years, with the liver tests and all. I've found that by taking aspirin and fish oil, I can lower my numbers enough limit the amount of Statins the docs want to prescribe.

The primary danger in the cardio world is inflammation. your doctor probably wants to use a low dose statin for that as a preventative measure. Take a generic one. What I have learned since my heart attack is that inflammation is the major danger for me. Aspirin and fish oil help reduce the inflammation. I have a cautionary tale about ignoring inflammation: My father was on plavix for years and years. he always watched his diet, etc. He was in some of the original cholesterol studies in the 1970s. Both of his parents died of heart issues before 60. He lived to 88. When he was about 85, he decided to heck with it, he was old enough, and quit the plavix. Two years later he had a stroke that caused a turn of events that he eventually died from. Not that anyone can live forever, but I think the stroke was caused by an increase in inflammation in his circulatory system, and the plavix is what had been keeping that restrained.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:09 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timo2 View Post
The primary danger in the cardio world is inflammation. your doctor probably wants to use a low dose statin for that as a preventative measure. Take a generic one.
Thanks for all the input. And timo2, you are correct. The Doc said the inflammation issue is why he recommended the 10mg simvastatin. What I thought was strange though is that he did not test me for inflammation.
I thought there were blood tests that would reveal inflammation. Seems like that should have been the first step.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timo2 View Post
the cardio industrial complex keeps lowering the target numbers.
Alas, all too true. But since I dropped the statin and went on a strictly low carb, high fat diet, my lipid numbers are better than they ever were when I was on a normal diet and taking the drugs. As I've said many times, do your own research and come to your own conclusions.

My mom lived to 96 without any regular prescription drugs, but had her daily quota of eggs, butter, meat, cheese, and chocolate.

Great phrase, by the way.
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Old 02-03-2013, 03:55 PM   #17
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The test for inflamation is C-reactive protein (CRP). It is more of an risk indicator than a diagnoses tool. Apparently it's used for all sorts of issues, but the Cardio CRP is what I'm familiar with. Also, the Framingham risk scoring is used a lot to determine cardio risk. A web search for CRP or Framingham risk scoring will bring back a plethora of material.

One would think that the doctor would do a test first, but I have noticed that the doctors often seem slow or reluctant to offer to do it. It must be something with the insurance companies. I've had to request it before.
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Old 02-03-2013, 08:49 PM   #18
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20+ years on statins. No problems.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:16 PM   #19
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Is99 and tim02 and nailed it for me. I am amazed by the same things that others have been through. I had no idea so many of us have been experiencing the same things with statins. Mine lead to arthritis symptoms where I Could not walk and liver issues as well. Yes lipitor. I now for 5 years do fish oil flax and eat pretty well and no arthritic issues and no statins. Praise God. I am back.
This forum is a traffic resource thanks.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:32 PM   #20
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My doc has been taking 10mg statins daily for ten years and really encouraged me to stay on them.
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