Skip to comments.New Questions on Treating Cholesterol
Posted on 01/19/2008 8:20:27 PM PST by neverdem
For decades, the theory that lowering cholesterol is always beneficial has been a core principle of cardiology. It has been accepted by doctors and used by drug makers to win quick approval for new medicines to reduce cholesterol.
But now some prominent cardiologists say the results of two recent clinical trials have raised serious questions about that theory and the value of two widely used cholesterol-lowering medicines, Zetia and its sister drug, Vytorin. Other new cholesterol-fighting drugs, including one that Merck hopes to begin selling this year, may also require closer scrutiny, they say.
The idea that youre just going to lower LDL and people are going to get better, thats too simplistic, much too simplistic, said Dr. Eric J. Topol, a cardiologist and director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute in La Jolla, Calif. LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, is the so-called bad cholesterol, in contrast to high-density lipoprotein, or HDL.
For patients and drug companies, the stakes are enormous. Led by best sellers like Lipitor from Pfizer, cholesterol-lowering medicines, taken by tens of millions of patients daily, are the largest drug category worldwide, with annual sales of $40 billion.
Despite widespread use of the drugs, though, heart disease remains the biggest killer in the United States and other industrialized nations, and many people still have cholesterol levels far higher than doctors recommend.
As a result, drug companies are investing billions of dollars in experimental new cholesterol-lowering medicines that may eventually be used alongside the existing drugs. If the new questions result in slower approvals, it would be yet another handicap for the drug industry.
Because the link between excessive LDL cholesterol and cardiovascular disease has been so widely accepted, the Food and Drug Administration generally has not required drug companies to prove that cholesterol medicines actually...
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No statins for me!
My doctor says I’m not getting enough deep-fried cheese sticks.
They make my legs and lower back cramp up something fierce.
It is not statins, per se, that's being called into question. Statins also have an anti-inflammatory effect. It's the "lower LDL can only be a good thing," and using LDL as a biomarker that is being called into question.
I had a major heart attack at the age of 51. I had had my annual physical exam three weeks before the attack. My cholesterol was normal and so was my blood pressure. I had never had a problem with either and was never on medication. I was not a smoker or much of a drinker. There was no history of heart disease in my family. I was maybe 10 pounds overweight at the most. Five years later, I am still on maintenance drugs but my cholesterol is normal. My doctor has me take 10mg Lipitor tablet and split in half each day. They say a small dose could be preventitive of another attack but I am not taking the statin for a cholesterol problem.
Everyone would benefit from researching their medications thoroughly before taking them. Side effects can be worse than what the drug is treating. For example, some blood pressure medications can cause diabetes or elevated blood glucose levels. Buyer or patient beware!
We all are individuals, and we all will have individual (different) results from a given drug.
My husbands doctor put him on statins years ago. It seemed every time a new one would come out his doctor would change to the new one and up his dosage. My husband got to where his legs are so weak that he can hardly get up. I told him a long time ago I thought the statins were the problem but he believed in his doctor. Now he is finally beginning to believe that may be the case. I don’t know if taking him off would reverse the effect some or not. I think it is to late.
My doctor told me that the best thing for lowering LDL was exercise, the aerobic kind like swimming.
I was also warned that many of the cholesterol lowering drugs that are meant for lowering LDL also lower HDL. They don’t work on just the bad.
I once saw that high school dropout, Peter Jennings ask why drug companies were allowed to patent and sell drugs that are used to treat conditions similar to other drugs already on the market.
Sart giving him high doses of CoEnzyme Q-10, immediately.
Hubby takes the 200-300mg capsules every day and most of the leg [and memory] problems induced by this virtual rat poison have subsided.
I hope it helps your husband as well but it might take a while to see the difference.
Our doctor yanked hubby’s statins as soon as we became his patients and put him on high doeses of Niacin, instead.
Hubby hasn’t taken a statin in -years- and his cholesterol levels are very good.
Hang in there!
It’s worth a try. If it’s just a side-effect, there’s a good chance it could go away when he’s off the medicine. At least by getting off, it won’t get any worse and he could build his strength back up with an exercise regime, which will help his cholesterol anyway. If he stays on, it likely will since it’s gotten progressively worse already.
Is it worth taking the risk that this will progress to the point where he can’t walk?
If he goes off, it’s probably good to do it slowly, wean off it. With a number of medicines, it’s not good to stop cold turkey.
Google *statins side effects* for something to show your husband for a real eye opener. I just did and now will NOT let my doctor put me on them.
CoEnzyme Q-10 is good for many heart, lung and cancer issues. (Just ask Dr. Oz) It thins your blood too, so be careful. CoQ10 is fat soluble, so take it with food. Don’t take it within 4 hours of bedtime, or you won’t be able to sleep!
The statin drugs tend to increase liver damage. Always have your liver enzymes checked.
Swimming is anaerobic!!! It depends on strength more than aerobic capacity.
Running & biking are aerobic. Swimming isn't.
-Yossarian, the former (& and future?) triathlete
Three years ago, my doctor prescribed statins for me.
I went home, read up on them (google is my friend), threw out the first bottle unopened, changed my diet radically, fired my doctor, and now feel ten years younger. I've lost thirty pounds, greatly increased my energy and mental alertness, and rid myself of numerous minor ailments.
The side affect that worried me most was the reduced mental alertness associated with statins.
<sarcasm> Thanks heavens for that statin wakeup call. </sarcasm>