Last modified: August 2, 2019
Richard Honaker M.D.View Full Profile
What are statins? It is a drug category that comprises atorvastatin or Lipitor, Simvastatin (Zocor), and others. These are the most powerful and effectual drugs for lowering cholesterol, which made them among the most universally prescribed drugs of all time.
As how most drugs are, statins also have possibly severe side effects. There are actually occasions in which it would be best not to take them.
Here are some of the things that you should consider if you’re taking medications for lowering cholesterol like Lipitor or other forms of statins along with the times when you should stay away from them.
Painful Muscles and Weakness
Around 10 percent of people who use medications for lowering cholesterol like Lipitor or other statins have aches and pains. According to experts, the higher your dose, you are more likely to feel aches and pains.
It could even lead to a more serious and less common condition called rhabdomyolysis. What happens here is your muscle cells break down and release proteins like myoglobin that are very damaging to kidneys.
Most of the time, the pain can be felt in the thigh, shoulder, upper arm, and/or lower back areas. What’s worse is the pain doesn’t go away even when you are resting. If you experience these, consult your doctor immediately. It might be necessary for you to switch drugs or totally stop taking statins.
Multiplied Liver Enzymes
There are some users of medications for lowering cholesterol like Lipitor or other statins who will see a surge in liver enzymes. Your risk may become higher if you take other medications that are for lowering cholesterol aside from statins.
And because there are no symptoms that might signal an escalation in liver enzymes and there’s no way to predict it in advance, it would be best for you to have a blood test within six weeks of when you started taking statins. If your enzymes increased, you have the options of switching to other statins or completely stop taking it.
Experts say that even if you have problems with one particular statin like Lipitor it doesn’t mean that you will have problems with the others like simvastatin as well.
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Some studies have suggested that medications for lowering cholesterol like Lipitor or other statins help with asthma symptoms, but a 2011 research have discovered that 20 asthmatic people who took statins had more symptoms and critical lung function than 20 asthmatic patients who didn’t take statins.
As stated by the lead researcher of the study, the results don’t mean that people who have asthma need to stop taking medications for lowering cholesterol like Lipitor or other statins. They just might have to modify their asthma medication. Your doctor might increase your treatment for asthma, so your symptoms can be controlled better.
If you are planning to have a baby or are already pregnant, it’s crucial that you don’t take any kind of medications for lowering cholesterol like Lipitor or other statins. Even if the effects of statins during pregnancy are still unclear, studies have alluded to some concerns of birth defects.
This is mainly because cholesterol is a component for developing brains, hearts, and limbs.
If you’re taking medications for lowering cholesterol like Lipitor or other statins, inform your doctor as soon as possible if you are pregnant or are planning to have a baby. Moms who are breastfeeding should also stay away from statins.
Usage of Antibiotics or Antifungal Drugs
If you got an infection and your doctor prescribed antibiotics or antifungal drugs, ensure that you tell your doctor that you are taking medications for lowering cholesterol like Lipitor or other statins.
There will be a greater possibility for you to obtain muscle damage if you take statins with these medications. The best course to take would be to stop taking statins while the infection hasn’t healed yet.
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Submitted by Dr. Richard Honaker: http://www.independentmedicalexaminer.com/IME-Directory/Virginia/Dr-Richard-A-Honaker-MD.asp
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