Well, Statins are undoubtedly a 'wonder drug' when it comes to lining the pockets of the big pharmaceutical companies The best known brands (all currently available for use in the US, and some in the UK)include: Atorvastatin (brand name: LIPITOR)
However, given that these drugs are of a type that once you start them you are often 'on them for life' in many cases, we feel that it should be clear that they are not quite the 'cure all' that some doctors seem to be touting them as, when it comes to solving cholesterol and hypertension problems!
In fact it is clearly emerging that there are numerous potential side effects of statins, and some of them are prospectively of great concern. Although sometimes a necessary medication in a small number of cases with particular health issues, Statin side effects can be very serious, they include (but are NOT LIMITED TO) the following: Rhabdomyolysis
This latter symptom may be most worrying. It is described as:
Rhabdomyolysis: "...The rapid breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue due to injury to muscle tissue. The muscle damage may be caused by mechanical (e.g. crush injury), physical, chemical or biological factors. The destruction of the muscle leads to the release of the content of damaged muscle cells into the bloodstream and a risk of acute renal failure due to accumulation of these breakdown products, several of which (such as myoglobin) are injurious to the kidney.
"But My Doctor Says Their Safe..."
Many doctors consider Statins to be 'very safe' in terms of general medicinal safety. But seeing just some of the many KNOWN side effects of Statins already being noted amongst this drug's users, may open your eyes to just what is meant by pharmaceutical safety. Safe medicine is a relative term, and if doctors currently believe that Statins are safe it is because --
(1) The 'Big Pharma' producers have led them to believe so (often based on less than completely convincing research!) and
(2) Because the side effects are only serious for a proportion of those who have been taking the drug. (Although in the longer term the implications are more worrying).
In the UK (or rather in Scotland, to be precise, where Cardio Vascular Disease (CHD) related problems are legion) according to recent TV reports, there is already a 'plan' afoot to get up to 40% of males onto Statins as a 'preventative' measure where their possible risk of high cholesterol problems and related blood pressure issues are deemed to be greater than average. This is pretty 'scary stuff'! Given the Statin side effects briefly summarized above, isn't it? A whole new generation of health problems may be being spawned as the 'acceptable' price to be paid, just to help some folks avoid problems that could be potentially solved simply by making some lifestyle changes (for the majority of those folks).
Both hypertension and high-cholesterol levels, whilst certainly major risk factors for CHD, can often be 'defused' by simply changing eating habits, increasing exercise and undertaking a few other lifestyle based changes. Naturally, this doesn't earn 'Big Pharma' a penny! So it isn't going to be shouted from the rooftops when a supposed 'magic bullet' like Satins are available for between around £2 to almost £20 a prescription, depending on the 'brand' you are taking!
Whilst responsible doctors SHOULD be advising and encouraging LONG-TERM lifestyle change for anyone who is at increased risk of CHD, high cholesterol and/or high blood pressure, it is all too easy to prescribe a supposed 'wonder drug' willy-nilly. The Big Pharmaceutical will see their profits grow, the doctors will tell themselves they are 'doing their best' and a generation of folks will possibly be starting down the road to a whole new raft of ill-health issues!
So do yourself a favor. Take heed of the Statin side effects listed here. Take a look at more detailed help with lowering cholesterol like this resource: Normalize Cholesterol within 60 Days
...Or with high blood pressure like the advice given on these pages: Natural treatment for High Blood Pressure
...And commit to some real, lasting lifestyle changes that will help quite naturally to bring things back into balance and reduce the need to rely on possibly risky drug based solutions that could bring with them as many (or more) problems than they solve - like the Statin side effects outlined above!
Return to the top of the Statin Side Effects Page