Possible Nexus: Statins & FM, CFS/ME??

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by pearls, May 21, 2009.

  1. pearls

    pearls New Member

    I wonder how many of us were on statin drugs when we got sick with FM or CFS/ME? Could side-effects of statin drugs, such as Lanoxin, have played a part in many of us becomming ill?

    I took them before I got sick. My doctor right now is insisting that I use them and I'm sure I feel worse with them. My muscles ache all over and I just don't feel as good.

    -Pearl S.

    [This Message was Edited on 05/21/2009]
  2. ChuckNBerkeley

    ChuckNBerkeley New Member

    "Lovastatin was isolated from a strain of Aspergillus terreus and it was the first statin approved by the FDA (August 1987)."

    CFS was around long before the first statin. Furthermore, most people taking statins are PROBABLY in their fifties-to-seventies. I BELIEVE most people with CFS are in their thirties-forties.
  3. xchocoholic

    xchocoholic New Member

    A freind of mine complains about this too. She refuses to take them because of how much pain they cause her. Can't you just watch your cholestral intake ? That's what she decided to do.

    My cholestral is fine so I didn't start my CFS/FM this way. Mine started with a virus back in 1990 and it's possible all this virus did was jump start my celiac disease.

    FWIW ... Anyone can react to any medication regardless of what the drug manufacturers tell us.

    My doc didn't believe me when I told her that Protonix made me feel jittery and if my sister hadn't had the same reaction, I wouldn't have known ... Docs really can be clueless on drug reactions ... marcia

  4. AuntTammie

    AuntTammie New Member

    while that's not what caused my problems and I have never been on statins, I do know that they can cause all sorts of problems, including severe muscle breakdown- even something very serious called rhobadoliosis (sp?)(and the muscle breakdown includes the heart- the very muscle that they are supposed to be helping!)

    to whoever said "not likely", the OP didn't ask if statins are the reason all of us got sick; the question was if they could possibly be a cause for some people, and that definitely makes sense....also it IS fairly common to prescribe these drugs to people younger than their 50's....and though there are a lot of people in their 30's and 40's with CFS, I would not say that most people with it are in that age range
    [This Message was Edited on 05/21/2009]
  5. pearls

    pearls New Member

    Thanks for the replies. The onset of my fibromyalgia happened when I was under a tremendous amount of stress at work and after a sinus infection. Also, just prior to that, I was on a program for the few years leading up to it of allergy treatments that didn't seem to solve any of my problems.

    I don't think there is any one cause of FM and CFS/ME, but rather a combination of things. Further, each sick person may have gotten to that condition by different routes.

    I was diagnosed with FM in 2001 when I was 56 years old. I'm now 64.

    Also, I've been fighting my doctor for some time about statins. I was off of them for awhile and felt a lot better. To tell the truth, I suspect the medical establishment has been sold a pack of lies when it comes to the whole cholesterol and heart disease issue. Certainly none of us was born with a Lipitor deficiency, yet they seem to want the entire population to take these drugs.

    In any case, I already have to take a handful of other meds because of my fibromyalgia - and now, because of rosacea. The idea of taking Lipitor in addion to all this for something that may or may not be important - and which makes me feel horrible while I'm taking it - is increasingly repugnant.

    It would not surprise me one bit if drugs played a role in the development of chronic fatigue diseases. We keep finding that yet another popular drug causes - - death! What other, horrible health costs have people been paying along the way?

    By the way, another website concerned with the ill-effects of statins is the People's Pharmacy.

    -Pearl (about to give up statins for good)
    [This Message was Edited on 05/22/2009]
  6. daylight

    daylight New Member

    But not always. This article may help explain.

    Medical Author: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    I am a rheumatologist—an internal medicine specialist who is trained to evaluate, diagnose, and treat diseases that involve the muscles and joints. Because rheumatologists have a keen interest in undiagnosed conditions, I see a number of patients every week who are seeking a first diagnosis.

    It is commonplace for doctors to refer patients to a rheumatologist for the evaluation of painful muscles. There are many diseases that are associated with inflammation of muscles. Furthermore, many conditions may appear to involve muscles but may actually be a result of disease of the tendons, joints, or bones.

    By way of illustration, I want to call viewers' attention to a patient that I just saw in the office this week. I feel that this patient is very representative of a muscle condition that is under appreciated nowadays. I also know that patients and doctors should have a heightened awareness of this condition since it is easily managed when discovered early. When discovered late, it can lead to serious injury—not only to the muscles but also potentially to the kidneys and heart.

    Mr. Jones is a 75-year-old man who was referred by a cardiologist because of pains and stiffness in the muscles of his arms, shoulders, thighs, and buttocks. He has been taking Lipitor (atorvastatin) for six months to control elevated cholesterol levels in his blood. Mr. Jones reported muscle aching for the past eight weeks. He was also weak in the locations of pain. Blood testing for the muscle enzyme, CPK, was mildly elevated.

    Now, here's the point:

    Lipitor is a member of a class of cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins. The statins include lovastatin (brand name: Mevacor), simvastatin (Zocor), pravastatin (Pravachol), fluvastatin (Lescol), atorvastatin (Lipitor), and cerivastatin (Baycol) (Baycol was withdrawn from the market in August 2001). Statin drugs are known to cause muscle pains and inflammation around the muscle cells (myositis). It should also be noted that the risk of muscle injury is greater when a statin is combined with other drugs that also cause muscle damage by themselves. For example, when lovastatin (Mevacor) is used alone to lower cholesterol, muscle damage occurs on the average in one person out of about every 500. However, if lovastatin (Mevacor) is used in combination with other drugs such as niacin, gemfibrozil (Lopid), or fenofibrate (Tricor) to further reduce cholesterol levels, the risk of muscle injury skyrockets to one person out of every 20 to 100 who receive the combination. The risk of muscle damage is thus multiplied five- to 25-fold by using a combination of a statin and another cholesterol-lowering drug rather than by just using statin alone.

    In fact, the manufacturers of statins recommend that any patient taking a statin "should be advised to report promptly any unexplained muscle pain, tenderness or weakness...When a muscle disease is suggested, the doctor stops the statin drug."

    You see, statin drugs cause three types of muscle conditions. First, they can cause muscle aching. This condition generally reverses itself within weeks of discontinuing the drugs. Second, they can cause muscle pains and mild muscle inflammation that may also be accompanied by minor weakness. Blood testing for the muscle enzyme, CPK, is mildly elevated. This condition also generally reverses, but it may take several months to resolve. Third, statins can cause severe muscle inflammation and damage so that not only are the muscles painful all over the body, they also become severely weakened. Heart muscle can even (rarely) become affected. Blood testing for the muscle enzyme, CPK, is markedly elevated. When the muscles are severely damaged, the muscle cells release proteins into the blood that collect in and can damage the kidneys. This can lead to kidney failure and require dialysis.

    In each of the above three forms of muscle conditions that result from statin drugs, the outcome is always much better when the condition is detected early.

    My patient is expected to do well. I have discontinued his Lipitor and his muscle pain and stiffness will resolve in the upcoming weeks. He will follow-up with me in a month for a progress report.

    There are many other medications (aside from statins) and diseases that can cause muscle aching. Of all causes, however, statin drugs are what I see as the most common culprits. If you or someone you know has muscle pains, check the medications being taken first!
    Finally, please understand that the statin drugs have been shown to be the most effective (and widely prescribed) medications to optimally lower cholesterol and prevent heart attacks and stroke. This perspective article is intended to highlight the fact that even the best drugs require monitoring and can have side effects.
    Last Editorial Review: 11/15/2007

  7. pearls

    pearls New Member

    Thank you to those who have participated in this conversation. I'm really frustrated because, even though I stopped my Lipitor several days ago, my muscles up and down my body are aching and weak, and I am very tired all the time. Perhaps all of this has also set up a fibromyalgia flare.

    My doctor is going to have a cow. I live in a rural area and it is impossible to find a doctor who doesn't buy the cholesterol thing hook line and sinker, yet my pain specialist says I have to also have a primary care physician.

    Thanks, too, Jaminhealth for dietary suggestions for my rosacea. I'm just beginning that journey. My skin looks pretty good, but I have two sebsets of rosacea that effect the eyes, and I'm most worried about that.

  8. pearls

    pearls New Member

    You know, I woke up feeling quite feverish today. With the muscle aches, weakness, very sensitive skin and some gastro-intestional woes I'd rather not discuss, I think I have the flu! Hadn't thought of that...

    Anyway, I still am probably not going to continue with statins.