Statin Side Effects

Statin Side Effects

Statin Side Effects Video

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death and number one cause of hospitalization in developed countries. Statin drugs are a common drug of choice in the prevention (lower cholesterol) and treatment of heart disease. The research is quite compelling showing the benefits of statin therapy. However does everyone need a statin? Let me start off by saying I am a big fan of statin therapy early on in the diagnosed heart disease process if patients can handle it. There should be a goal to eventually wane off this medication with a heart healthy lifestyle due to statin side effects.


The latest research on statin drug side effects shows that high potency statins are linked to acute kidney injury.

What is high potency?

1. 10 mg or more of rosuvastatin (Crestor)
2. 20 mg or more of atorvastatin (Lipitor)
3. 40 mg or more of simvastatin (Zocor)


Other side effects of statin drug therapy include:

1. Muscle pain and damage (Check out our great post on coenzyme q10 statins)
2. Liver damage.
3. Digestive problems.
4. Increased blood sugar or type 2 diabetes.
5. Neurological side effects such as memory loss, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease)

statin side effects

Talks are they should be in the water that we drink but really you can do a lot with nutrition. I just read that there was a grocery store chain that was providing free statins (atorvastatin) to its customers.  This was obviously a marketing promotion to get new customers. Pfizer branded Lipitor (atorvastatin) but their patent expired in 2011. So now the blockbuster drug is on the generic market. Pfizer has now just announced it will not market the drug anymore (all about making the shareholders happy).


At the end of the day statins are a drug and they can come with side effects. The risks of taking a statin with statin side effects should be outweighed of the benefits. Because statins have side effect caution should be used when prescribing these drugs. Patients should understand the side effects of statin drugs.


If you are diagnosed with high cholesterol and have been prescribed a statin then a good discussion has to be had with your prescribing doctor as to the reasons why? Doctors are given a handful of minutes at times with patients and try to mask the problem with a drug. Having high cholesterol does not mean you have to take statin therapy. As mentioned there are side effects and patients should be given a chance to reduce their numbers through lifestyle intervention. Good exercise program, stress management practices and nutrition program with possibly some supplements. Try this lifestyle therapy for 3 to 6 months and most people will see a big difference without having to go on statin therapy. In the event no change has been made then your healthcare team can decide the next step.


It is important to understand that cholesterol is not the reason people end up with heart disease. It is inflammation. So the goal is to lower the inflammatory response. The reason statins do a great job is that it lowers LDL cholesterol and it also lower inflammatory response.


You can always read my post on the truth about how to lower cholesterol.



To your heart health success,


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