At Stillman & Friedland we are watching a new trend in lawsuits against drug companies. While the drug industry earns billions of dollars yearly on its statin products, are they safe? The answer for many patients seems to be “no!”
Have you or a member of your family been prescribed statin medications to lower your cholesterol? What do you know about the risks of Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor or other cholesterol-lowering meds? Do they really help you, or do the side effects outweigh the benefits they supposedly provide? Is cholesterol really dangerous?
Statins are big news because a growing number of patients are experiencing serious side effects and realizing that they are probably linked to the statins they were prescribed. Every drug carries warnings on the label, but as major news sources have reported, many women are now suing Lipitor’s manufacturer, Pfizer, for failing to warn of an increased risk of diabetes. Women have a higher risk of developing diabetes when taking statin meds. As many of you know, diabetes patients have a higher risk of heart disease, so the effect of the drug may actually increase heart attack risk.
Women are not the only group negatively affected. Another serious side effect of statins is memory loss and confusion. The FDA “has been investigating reports of cognitive impairment from statin use for several years…The reports about memory loss, forgetfulness and confusion span all statin products and all age groups”. Your brain is about two-thirds fat, and your nervous system—in fact, all of your body—needs cholesterol to function. It’s no surprise then, that neuropathy—loss of feeling and function, as well as tingling—is found primarily in patients who take statins.
While most of what we have learned from TV and magazines told us that cholesterol is a dietary villain, that is not true, and more and more scientists and doctors are changing their advice to patients. Actual statistics show that higher cholesterol rates are beneficial to women and the elderly. In fact, for patients over eighty, high cholesterol is linked to longevity.
Should you change your meds? As Stillman & Friedland have often noted, you must work in partnership with your doctor to determine what is best for you. Men who have experienced heart attack before the age of 60 do benefit from the anti-inflammatory effect of statin meds. If you fit into this category, and are taking statins, ask your doctor if another anti-inflammatory drug can help you. If you continue with statins, ask your doctor about supplementing Co-Enzyme Q-10, and having your Vitamin D levels monitored.
If you think you may have been harmed by prescribed medications, call Stillman & Friedland…