Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by Aeronsmom, Apr 19, 2007.
anyone on this or has been, any bad side effects or reactions?
Love to all, Ann
How are you doing?
My husband has been on lipitor for several years. Absolutely no side effects and it keeps his blood levels completely normal.
Hope the same happens for you.
Some people do fine on what are called the "statins" for high cholestrol. I had terrible side effects from taking them including Lipitor. I found this article after doing much research recently. Sorry it is so long but I think it is well worth the read.
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Lipitor, Neuromuscular Degeneration, and Recovery
Numerous adverse side effect reports have implicated Lipitor and other statin drugs as a probable cause for severe neuromuscular degeneration. Some people who have been using Lipitor for as little as two months report serious muscle weakness and pain. Some who have taken it longer report much more serious symptoms, similar to Muscular Dystrophy, Parkinson's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis or ALS - Lou Gehrig's Disease - in which they are losing neuromuscular control of their bodies or losing significant muscle mass. Others have reported serious liver and kidney damage. Still others have been told that they have nvCJD, the human equivalent of mad cow disease.
For instance, in an article entitled "Life After Lipitor" that appeared in the newspaper Tahoe World on January 27, 2004, Tahoe City (California) resident Doug Peterson began having serious neuromuscular problems after taking Lipitor for two years. He began losing muscular coordination and slurring words when he spoke. Then he lost balance, followed by loss of fine motor skills - he had difficulty writing. He went from doctor to doctor, trying to figure out what could be happening. Finally one doctor suggested that he stop taking Lipitor, and the downward health spiral slowed, but the damage had been done. The drug had apparently triggered cerebellar ataxia, a degenerative disease that causes deterioration of the cerebellum.
These adverse effects have begun appearing in peer-reviewed medical journals, and numerous people have reported similar symptoms at public adverse effect reporting websites such as medications.com. People have reported "trouble swallowing, trouble talking and enunciating words, feeling fatigued all the time, neck aches," "motor neuropathy which mimics ALS," "Blinding headaches, nausea, vertigo, disorientation, memory loss, extremely dry eyes, pain and stiffness in my neck and calf muscles, abominal pain," and "Muscle pain, weakness, spasms, buzzing in right leg. Can't hold arms or head up in vertical position for 2 minutes without extreme pain and weakness."
How could Lipitor potentially cause this kind of harm to so many different parts of the body? Lipitor is a "statin" drug which inhibits the production of cholesterol in order to lower LDL cholesterol counts. By limiting the production of cholesterol, Lipitor may be causing membrane degeneration in neural and muscle tissue.
The problem is this: cholesterol is essential in your body for many functions. It forms part of what is called the cell membrane - the semi-permeable outer layer of every cell in your body. It also helps transport the major components of the cell membrane, called "phospholipids," that are made from essential fatty acids (EFAs). Without enough cholesterol we would die, because our tissues are constantly being repaired and replaced with new cells.
Our body produces several thousand milligrams of cholesterol per day to carry out these essential functions, and each day the excess of cholesterol is supposed to be naturally recycled. If your body doesn't have enough new cholesterol each day, you cannot repair and replace your cell membranes and they will eventually degenerate.
The continual recycling of cholesterol happens naturally when you have sufficient ascorbate, another name for vitamin C. Excess cholesterol is naturally converted to bile acid and then excreted. But if you don't consume enough vitamin C (about 2000-3000 milligrams per day for an adult), cholesterol builds up in your bloodstream. It is here that doctors make a critical error: instead of telling you to take more vitamin C to recycle cholesterol naturally, they prescribe Lipitor, which may create a deficiency of new cholesterol.
Lipitor also blocks the production of an essential micronutrient called Co-Q10, necessary to maintain heart muscle health, and has no effect on lipoprotein(a), the actual sticky protein that constitutes heart disease "plaques." So instead of preventing heart disease, Lipitor may be increasing heart disease risk.
If Lipitor and other similar statin drugs are in fact causing neural and muscular cell degeneration by over-restricting the production of cholesterol, this is a very serious matter indeed. There are almost twenty million people in the U.S. on Lipitor alone, and probably millions more on other statin drugs (Zocor, Pravachol, Mevacor, Altocor, Lescol, Crestor, etc.). Many millions more are now having statin drugs recommended to them by their doctors. Are they all going to become victims of cell membrane degeneration and nervous system problems?
There are few long-term studies that bear out the safety of these drugs. Pfizer, the manufacturer of Lipitor, has acknowledged on their public website that side effects such as "muscle pain or weakness" could be a "sign of serious side effects," and has even put a name on the condition - rhabdomyolysis - previously a rare disease usually only caused by traumatic injury - but these are classified as a reason for people to stop the medication rather than an indication that the drug should be withdrawn or banned.
Dr. Duane Graveline, scientist, family doctor, and former astronaut for NASA, wrote a book called "Lipitor, Thief of Memory" (now out of print) and is updating it along with its title to "Statins - Side Effects and the Misguided War on Cholesterol." His book will soon be available. His website is http://www.spacedoc.net/statin_side_effects.html.
A safe, natural regimen instead of Lipitor and other statins
What is most horrifying about this problem is that cholesterol balance can be achieved without drugs, simply and safely by taking 3000-6000 milligrams of vitamin C per day, 1000-2000 mg per meal, for an adult, or about 500 mg per meal for a 50-lb. child, with sufficient water intake, 2 quarts per day for an adult, 1 quart per day for a 50-lb. child. Unfortunately, vitamin C was misclassified as a micronutrient in the 1930s and 1940s, rather than an essential nutrient involved in dozens of body processes, including continual repair of our arteries. Our health authorities recommend that we take only 60 milligrams per day, barely enough to prevent scurvy. The pharmaceutical industry has used scare tactics to frighten people not to take vitamin C in the quantities necessary for health or to give it to their children.
By the time we reach age 20 we have accumulated enough plaques to be seen on an MRI or Ultrafast CT scan: we have the beginnings of cardiovascular disease. When most people reach middle age they have enough coronary artery blockage to be classified as cardiovascular disease. The doctor prescribes Lipitor, thinking it will help, but instead it may cause muscle degeneration in the heart and elsewhere and actually increase coronary artery plaques.
If you do not suffer from statin-induced damage but you would like to stop taking these potentially dangerous drugs, or you have elevated cholesterol levels or have heart disease, you can click here to read the article on the root causes of heart disease, or click here to order the Natural Therapy for Cardiovascular Disease.
Recovery from Lipitor-induced damage
Considering the wide range of cellular degeneration that could result from use of Lipitor and other statins, it is impossible to know which organ system should be the initial focus of recovery. The very first thing that people can do is to begin taking large doses of vitamin C to maintain cholesterol balance, and to stop taking Lipitor or other statin drugs. The so-called "side effects" are simply too dangerous and numerous to contemplate continuing taking them.
Jonathan Campbell, the author of this article, has developed multi-faceted regimen to address the cellular damage that could be caused by statin drugs and has written a manual called Natural Strategies for Recovery from Lipitor and Other Statin drugs. You can click here to order this manual.
Ginter E. Ascorbic acid in cholesterol and bile metabolism. Annals of the New York Academy of Science. 258 (1975): 410-421
Lipitor.com. The official Lipitor website of Pfizer Corporation. http://www.lipitor.com. rev. February 2004.
Marieb E. Human Anatomy and Physiology, Sixth Edition. Pearson Benjamin Cummings, San Francisco, CA 94111 2004.
Medications.com. Lipitor Drug Information - Atorvastatin Calcium - Lipitor Side Effects. Medications.com - Your online medication discussion resource. http://www.medications.com. March 16, 2004.
Rath M, Pauling L. Solution to the Puzzle of Human Cardiovascular Disease: Its Primary Cause is Ascorbate Deficiency Leading to the Deposition of Lipoprotein(a) and Fibrinogen/Fibrin in the Vascular Wall. Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine 6 (1991): 125-134
Siig M. Life After Lipitor: Is Pfizer product a quick fix or dangerous drug? Residents experience adverse reactions. Tahoe World, http://www.tahoe-world.com January 29, 2004
Silverberg C. Atorvastatin-induced polyneuropathy. Ann Intern Med. 2003 Nov 4;139(9):792-3
Ziajka PE, Wehmeier T. Peripheral neuropathy and lipid-lowering therapy. South Med J. 1998 Jul; 91(7):667-8.
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People often have pain from statins of which Lipitor is one.
I was one of them so I'm now on a natural regimen of Red Rice Yeast taken as directed on the bottle, Co-Q 10 (as you can tolerate; I take 10 mgs daily) and a daily Omega 3 fatty acid capsule. Of course this should be done under a knowledgeable health professional's supervision but my cholesterol is now much lower, without side effects and the cost is less than I would pay for the drug.
I have the very bad adverse reaction. So bad that I have to live with extremely high cholesterol levels. Statins and Tricor have caused permanent peripheral neuropathy in my legs.
I actually saw a post here where a doctor warned a patient that Lipitor would cause muscle pain at first, but would get better.
Statins can kill if you have the "unexplained muscle pain" and do not stop. The muscles of the body start breaking down and clog the kidneys with enzymes. This is called rhabdomyolysis and can be lethal.
that I am also on Red Yeast Rice for cholestrol and have perfect numbers now. Good stuff and it is over the counter.
I am taking lipitor now for 3 years...lately my legs...especially my calfs have been killing me. ..all day as opposed to my normal morning and evening type FMS pain. I remembered this about Lipitor and just stopped taking it tonight! I will call my doctor on Monday and tell her that I want to try to alter my diet more and use the Vitamin C.
Thank you for posting!!!
I am on Lipior and have been for at least 3 years. Can you just stop taking it, or do you have to wean yourself off gradually?
After reading this, I want to get off. I also have elevated liver enzymes that cause me some concern. I am wondering if the lipitor has anything to do with that.
I was on Lipitor for quite awhile and also had the elevated liver enzymes. What made me get off it was my 2 brothers experiences. Both of them had been on it for a long time when one had a heart attack and the other had to have a quadruple bypass. My doctor asked if I thought it was causing more muscle pain since my pain had recently increased, so I took the opportunity to get off it. Stuff scared the heck out of me! My brothers however, was stupid enough to keep taking it. What's it take? A brick to fall on their head to knock some sense into em? I'm going to go natural as I don't trust any of the cholesterol meds anymore--too many side effects and I need my heart and liver to continue cooperating with me!
Will surely increase some people's liver enzymes. You are supposed to have your liver tested periodically while taking Lipitor or statins.
Body as a Whole: Chest pain, face edema, fever, neck rigidity, malaise, photosensitivity reaction, generalized edema.
Digestive System: Nausea, gastroenteritis, liver function tests abnormal, colitis, vomiting, gastritis, dry mouth, rectal hemorrhage, esophagitis, eructation, glossitis, mouth ulceration, anorexia, increased appetite, stomatitis, biliary pain, cheilitis, duodenal ulcer, dysphagia, enteritis, melena, gum hemorrhage, stomach ulcer, tenesmus, ulcerative stomatitis, hepatitis, pancreatitis, cholestatic jaundice.
Respiratory System: Bronchitis, rhinitis, pneumonia, dyspnea, asthma, epistaxis.
Insomnia, dizziness, paresthesia, somnolence, amnesia, abnormal dreams, libido decreased, emotional lability, incoordination, peripheral neuropathy, torticollis, facial paralysis, hyperkinesia, depression, hypesthesia, hypertonia.
Arthritis, leg cramps, bursitis, tenosynovitis, myasthenia, tendinous contracture, myositis.
Skin and Appendages: Pruritus, contact dermatitis, alopecia, dry skin, sweating, acne, urticaria, eczema, seborrhea, skin ulcer.
Urinary tract infection, hematuria, albuminuria, urinary frequency, cystitis, impotence, dysuria, kidney calculus, nocturia, epididymitis, fibrocystic breast, vaginal hemorrhage, breast enlargement, metrorrhagia, nephritis, urinary incontinence, urinary retention, urinary urgency, abnormal ejaculation, uterine hemorrhage.
Special Senses: Amblyopia, tinnitus, dry eyes, refraction disorder, eye hemorrhage, deafness, glaucoma, parosmia, taste loss, taste perversion.
Palpitation, vasodilatation, syncope, migraine, postural hypotension, phlebitis, arrhythmia, angina pectoris, hypertension.
Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders:
Peripheral edema, hyperglycemia, creatine phosphokinase increased, gout, weight gain, hypoglycemia.
Hemic and Lymphatic System: Ecchymosis, anemia, lymphadenopathy, thrombocytopenia, petechia.
Adverse events associated with LIPITOR therapy reported since market introduction, that are not listed above, regardless of causality assessment, include the following:
anaphylaxis, angioneurotic edema, bullous rashes (including erythema multiforme, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, and toxic epidermal necrolysis), rhabdomyolysis, fatigue, and tendon rupture.
HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, like some other lipid-lowering therapies, have been associated with biochemical abnormalities of liver function. Persistent elevations (>3 times the upper limit of normal [ULN] occurring on 2 or more occasions) in serum transaminases occurred in 0.7% of patients who received atorvastatin in clinical trials. The incidence of these abnormalities was 0.2%, 0.2%, 0.6%, and 2.3% for 10, 20, 40, and 80 mg, respectively.
One patient in clinical trials developed jaundice. Increases in liver function tests (LFT) in other patients were not associated with jaundice or other clinical signs or symptoms. Upon dose reduction, drug interruption, or discontinuation, transaminase levels returned to or near pretreatment levels without sequelae. Eighteen of 30 patients with persistent LFT elevations continued treatment with a reduced dose of atorvastatin.
It is recommended that liver function tests be performed prior to and at 12 weeks following both the initiation of therapy and any elevation of dose, and periodically (e.g., semiannually) thereafter. Liver enzyme changes generally occur in the first 3 months of treatment with atorvastatin. Patients who develop increased transaminase levels should be monitored until the abnormalities resolve. Should an increase in ALT or AST of >3 times ULN persist, reduction of dose or withdrawal of atorvastatin is recommended.
Atorvastatin should be used with caution in patients who consume substantial quantities of alcohol and/or have a history of liver disease. Active liver disease or unexplained persistent transaminase elevations are contraindications to the use of atorvastatin (see CONTRAINDICATIONS).
Rare cases of rhabdomyolysis with acute renal failure secondary to myoglobinuria have been reported with atorvastatin and with other drugs in this class.
Uncomplicated myalgia has been reported in atorvastatin-treated patients (see ADVERSE REACTIONS). Myopathy, defined as muscle aches or muscle weakness in conjunction with increases in creatine phosphokinase (CPK) values >10 times ULN, should be considered in any patient with diffuse myalgias, muscle tenderness or weakness, and/or marked elevation of CPK. Patients should be advised to report promptly unexplained muscle pain, tenderness or weakness, particularly if accompanied by malaise or fever. Atorvastatin therapy should be discontinued if markedly elevated CPK levels occur or myopathy is diagnosed or suspected.
The risk of myopathy during treatment with drugs in this class is increased with concurrent administration of cyclosporine, fibric acid derivatives, erythromycin, niacin, or azole antifungals. Physicians considering combined therapy with atorvastatin and fibric acid derivatives, erythromycin, immunosuppressive drugs, azole antifungals, or lipid-lowering doses of niacin should carefully weigh the potential benefits and risks and should carefully monitor patients for any signs or symptoms of muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, particularly during the initial months of therapy and during any periods of upward dosage titration of either drug. Periodic creatine phosphokinase (CPK) determinations may be considered in such situations, but there is no assurance that such monitoring will prevent the occurrence of severe myopathy.
Atorvastatin therapy should be temporarily withheld or discontinued in any patient with an acute, serious condition suggestive of a myopathy or having a risk factor predisposing to the development of renal failure secondary to rhabdomyolysis (e.g., severe acute infection, hypotension, major surgery, trauma, severe metabolic, endocrine and electrolyte disorders, and uncontrolled seizures).
I can not take any of the statin drugs ie...zocor, lipitor,
vytorin...I get irregular heart rythums and my mucles cramp up something awful. A neighbor of mine is the same way. I do take Questran which you mix with water or juice.
My neighbor who also has fybromyalgia is trying the new drug Zetia (sp?) Laurie
I am amazed but it seems I can tolerate Zetia. I tried it a couple or 3 years ago and had bad adverse reactions. Zetia carries basically the same warnings as statins.
Then I tried a 2nd time about a year ago and have been taking it ever since. I do not know how it has affected my cholesterol though.
The last blood draw I had was not enough to complete all of the requested lab testing and my doc's office resisted giving me the test results because it stated "not enough blood drawn for cholesterol test" plainly on the lab report results. Peeved me pretty bad...
I have extremely high cholesterol due to an inherited condition known as hypercholesterolemia. My total C was 387 the last time I had it tested. My triglycerides were >900. Bummer.
I can't wait to see what the Zetia has done.
just go off of a statin. I also tried Zetia but it made my liver enzymes just climb too much and had to go off of it also. P
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