Statin Drugs, Cholesterol and Side Effects

Statin Drugs have been among the most prescribed drugs in the U.S. with about 17 million users.

The most common statin drug side effects include:

  • Flushing of the skin
  • Muscle aches, tenderness, or weakness (myalgia)
  • Drowsiness
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Abdominal cramping or pain
  • Bloating or gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Rash
  • Headache
  • Difficult Sleeping

Statin drugs also carry warnings that memory loss, mental confusion, high blood sugar, and type 2 diabetes are possible side effects. Some experts consider statins to be the main culprit to contributing to Alzheimer.

Which medications are approved for use in the U.S. include:

  • Lipitor
  • Livalo
  • Mevacor or Altocor
  • Zocor
  • Pravachol
  • Lescol
  • Crestor

All statin drugs have side effects, but lets look at the most common drug that is prescribed by doctors.

Here is what Pfizer’s own website says about lipitor side effects:

These side effects have happened only to a small number of people. Your doctor can monitor you for them. These side effects usually go away if your dose is lowered or if LIPITOR is stopped. These serious side effects include:

  • Muscle problems. LIPITOR can cause serious muscle problems that can lead to kidney problems, including kidney failure. You have a higher chance for muscle problems if you are taking certain other medicines with LIPITOR.
  • Liver problems. Your doctor should do blood tests to check your liver before you start taking LIPITOR and if you have symptoms of liver problems while you take LIPITOR. Call your doctor right away if you have the following symptoms of liver problems:
    • Feel tired or weak
    • Loss of appetite
    • Upper belly pain
  • Dark, amber-colored urine
    • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes

Call your doctor right away if:

  • You have muscle problems like weakness, tenderness, or pain that happens without a good reason, especially if you also have a fever or feel more tired than usual.
  • You have muscle problems that do not go away even after your doctor has advised you to stop taking LIPITOR. Your doctor may do further tests to diagnose the cause of your muscle problems.
  • You have allergic reactions including swelling of the face, lips, tongue, and/or throat that may cause difficulty in breathing or swallowing, which may require treatment right away.
  • You experience nausea and vomiting.
  • You pass brown or dark-colored urine.
  • You feel more tired than usual.
  • Your skin and whites of your eyes get yellow.
  • You have stomach pain.
  • You have an allergic skin reaction.

In clinical studies, patients reported the following common side effects while taking LIPITOR:

  • Diarrhea
  • Upset stomach
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Alterations in some laboratory blood tests

The following additional side effects have been reported with LIPITOR:

  • Tiredness
  • Tendon problems
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop taking pitavastatin and call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
  • unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness;
  • confusion, memory problems;
  • fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine;
  • increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss); or
  • nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Less serious side effects may include:
  • mild muscle pain;
  • back pain, pain in your arms or legs;
  • diarrhea, constipation; or
  • mild skin rash.

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