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Old 04-01-2011, 11:37 AM   #61
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... I like Steve Novella's discussion of the review here: Science-Based Medicine » Statins – The Cochrane Review I could have just read his article instead.
...
So, I'm staying on the statins.
But Novella recommends statins only for patients with high cholesterol who won't improve their diet and exercise. (Well, this is close to what he says.) I have marginally high total cholesterol, good blood pressure, never a sign of any heart disease, and I do the diet and exercise thing. So, I'm staying off statins.
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Old 04-01-2011, 12:07 PM   #62
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I had a pleasant surprise this week when I refilled one of my meds. It seems the med had gone generic since my last refill and this week's refill cost $150 less for a 90 day refill than the previous refill.
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:16 PM   #63
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I had a pleasant surprise this week when I refilled one of my meds. It seems the med had gone generic since my last refill and this week's refill cost $150 less for a 90 day refill than the previous refill.
Woo-hoo!! That really IS a pleasant surprise!
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Old 04-01-2011, 02:30 PM   #64
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Also, for those taking Statins, taking a CoQ10 supplement is highly recommended, as presumably the Statins deplete your hearts CoQ10 stores.
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Old 04-01-2011, 03:29 PM   #65
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Also, for those taking Statins, taking a CoQ10 supplement is highly recommended, as presumably the Statins deplete your hearts CoQ10 stores.
Who recommends it?

Coenzyme Q10: Can it prevent statin side effects? - MayoClinic.com

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At this time, coenzyme Q10 is not universally recommended for preventing statin side effects.

...

Some researchers think that taking a coenzyme Q10 supplement may reduce the risk of serious muscle damage (rhabdomyolysis). And some small reports suggest that troubling side effects — muscle and joint aches — from statins might be reduced if you take coenzyme Q10 along with a statin. However, no large studies have confirmed this theory, so current guidelines don't recommend routine use of coenzyme Q10 in people taking statins.

Coenzyme Q10 doesn't cause side effects for most people. However, as with other herbal and dietary supplements, it's not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

-ERD50
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Old 04-01-2011, 05:34 PM   #66
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Who recommends it?
I have no real opinion on this, as I do not take the stats, but "not universally recommended" no big deal. I doubt that even bathing regularly is universally recommended.

Ha
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Old 04-01-2011, 06:56 PM   #67
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Dr Oz for one, but I first heard of this from a friend who had bypass surgery and his surgeon recommended it.
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:34 PM   #68
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To my knowledge there is no definitive or even decent suggestive evidence that COQ10 improves outcomes in or prevents statin-induced myopathy. At least not so far.
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Old 04-02-2011, 12:48 AM   #69
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Well, I decided to nerd out and read the Cochrane review on use of statins for primary prevention of heart disease. I like Steve Novella's discussion of the review here: Science-Based Medicine » Statins – The Cochrane Review I could have just read his article instead.
Thanks for the article. I've taken Lipitor for several years. When I first started it I was a little overweight (but not obese) and had tried improving my cholesterol numbers through diet and exercise.

When I first took Lipitor I had an extremely dramatic positive effect on those numbers at a very low dose. No side effects and I've never had to increase the small dose. I've gone off it periodically but the bad numbers always come back. My doctor believes that I am just genetically predisposed to not very good cholesterol numbers.

Currently I'm working on getting back to a normal weight (I did gain some weight over the years) and am exercising more and eating even better. Once I do get to a normal weight, I plan to stop Lipitor and see what happens. If the numbers change, however, I'll go back on it.
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:11 AM   #70
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I figure that I am a lifer on statins. I was not overweight at all and ate close to a vegetarian diet when I started them 25 years ago.
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Old 04-02-2011, 07:50 AM   #71
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Me too, but with my insurance I only have to pay about $35/month to do so. One reason I'm staying on the statins is that the cost is not much for me, and my mother lived to age 98 on statins so that demonstrates to me that they are probably had a good or neutral effect on her longevity. Granted, that is just one data point.

Continuing with statins could be a tough decision for those who have to pay the full amount for them.

F. had side effects on statins and is taking a non-statin medication to reduce his cholesterol, but the cost is high for that medication too.
I just checked my Target price for Simvastatin and it was $10.69 for three months. My insurance deductible hasn't been met, so that is the entire cost. I checked because a friend quit taking statins a while back because of the cost and I wanted to convince her that the cost had gone down considerably with this generic option. (The other generic statin, lovastatin, disagreed with her.)

I also checked the price for the Parkinson's drug I take for RLS, Pramipexole. IIRC, someone mentioned the high cost of some of those drugs. For a ninety day supply (and that is more than one pill a day), I paid a bit over $25.00.

Both of these drugs seem like best buys to me.
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Old 04-02-2011, 09:32 AM   #72
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Originally Posted by Martha View Post
)

I also checked the price for the Parkinson's drug I take for RLS, Pramipexole. IIRC, someone mentioned the high cost of some of those drugs. For a ninety day supply (and that is more than one pill a day), I paid a bit over $25.00.

Both of these drugs seem like best buys to me.

I have developed RLS . It doesn't bother me every night but often enough to bother me . My SO bought me a Pure Energy bracelet for flexibility but amazingly it has relieved my RLS . I usually think these products are crazy but crazy or not this has worked .They usually sell for $35.00 but he got it on ebay for $9.99 with free shipping .
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:39 PM   #73
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To my knowledge there is no definitive or even decent suggestive evidence that COQ10 improves outcomes in or prevents statin-induced myopathy. At least not so far.
Rich, I don't doubt your opinion, but I believe there are enough medical experts recommending CoQ10 use, especially for older individuals, and although there may be no "major" clinic trial studies to date to confirm its efficacy, I don't plan to stop taking it.

Dr Oz
Statins and CoQ10 Deficiency

Coenzyme Q10

Statin Drugs May Lower CoQ10 Levels
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Old 04-02-2011, 08:55 PM   #74
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Rich, I don't doubt your opinion, but I believe there are enough medical experts recommending CoQ10 use, especially for older individuals, and although there may be no "major" clinic trial studies to date to confirm its efficacy, I don't plan to stop taking it.

Dr Oz
Statins and CoQ10 Deficiency

Coenzyme Q10

Statin Drugs May Lower CoQ10 Levels

That's all well and good, but I have to ask myself why are medical experts recc it if there are no major studies to back it up? From your own links:

Quote:
However, research on whether Co q10 supplements are beneficial in people taking statins is still inconclusive.
It may still be a good risk/reward decision if the side effects are so minimal, but I get nervous about supplements that are not monitored by the FDA or have some other kind of quality assurance. Didn't some of the fish oil supplements have some nasty concentrations of bad stuff (mercury, lead?)? How do you know what you are getting?

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Old 04-02-2011, 11:04 PM   #75
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Rich, I don't doubt your opinion, but I believe there are enough medical experts recommending CoQ10 use, especially for older individuals, and although there may be no "major" clinic trial studies to date to confirm its efficacy, I don't plan to stop taking it.
Well, for one thing, if you accept possible efficacy in the absence of evidence, it is logical and consistent to assume a level of long-term undocumented risk as well. MIlions of people on such inadequately tested drugs could spell disaster. Remember Tryptophan? It was a "'supplement" for insomnia manufactured by an Asian pharmaceutical company and a contaminant killed patients before it was discovered. Risk for benefit is rational, but risk in the absence of demonstrated benefit makes no sense to me.

In addition, COq10 is rather expensive, esp over decades.

It may turn out that it is safe and effective with further research. Or not.

I have advised it in special circumstances with the patient at high risk and with full understanding of the issues -- rarely.
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Old 04-03-2011, 07:48 AM   #76
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I pay $10 for a 90 supply of Mevacor. One of the older versions, but my numbers are great.

When I applied for an individual health policy a few years ago, I was afraid this might go against me on my application. But when I had my phone interview with BCBS, they told me my numbers were good and to continue doing whatever I was doing. I told them I love my meds.
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Old 04-03-2011, 09:42 AM   #77
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Well, for one thing, if you accept possible efficacy in the absence of evidence, it is logical and consistent to assume a level of long-term undocumented risk as well. MIlions of people on such inadequately tested drugs could spell disaster. Remember Tryptophan? It was a "'supplement" for insomnia manufactured by an Asian pharmaceutical company and a contaminant killed patients before it was discovered. Risk for benefit is rational, but risk in the absence of demonstrated benefit makes no sense to me.

In addition, COq10 is rather expensive, esp over decades.

It may turn out that it is safe and effective with further research. Or not.

I have advised it in special circumstances with the patient at high risk and with full understanding of the issues -- rarely.
I found a link that does a good job in presenting both viewpoints of CoQ10 and makes some comments on safety: Coenzyme Q10: A therapy for hypertension and statin-induced myalgia?

Regarding your comments on safety, to be totally fair, I believe there have been FDA approved drugs over the years that were extensively tested but later pulled due to problems. So just because something has been clincially trialed/approved doesn't mean it won't turn out to be a safety problem/risk (ugh, look at all the disclaimers). Therefore, you could draw that conclusion for almost anything (drug, supplement, food, air, etc), so should that prevent one from using a supplement?

Personally, I trust in Dr Oz and Dr Weils advice and tend to follow many of their recommendations, and in my opinion they know a lot more about these things than my own physician. I also take fish oil and D3 (USP cert), aspirin and simvastatin. Boy am I in trouble
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Old 04-03-2011, 09:51 AM   #78
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If Oz and Weil recommend it, that's more than enough reason for me to be extremely skeptical of it.
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:16 AM   #79
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Does anyone else remember VIOXX? I was in NY visiting friends when it was withdrawn. One of them was on it and really POd...
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:29 AM   #80
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The real drug problem isn't illegal drugs it's the over prescription of legal lifestyle drugs. There are situations where statins are warranted, but changes in diet and excersise would be more beneficial in most cases. If drug companies were purely philanthropic organizations I might be more prone to believing the hype and advertising, but as they are in it for money I take the studies and marketing with a big pinch of salt
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