Statin use is at an all-time high in the United States, as doctors continue to prescribe these medications in an effort to prevent heart disease. But, are you fully aware of the side effects of Lipitor and other statin drugs?
According to guidelines released by The American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association (AHA) in 2014, nearly half of the American population ages 40 to 75 and virtually all males over age 60 should be prescribed cholesterol lowering drugs. Unfortunately, many patients blindly accept the recommendations of the AHA and their doctors, filling prescriptions for statin medications without examining their side effects.
One of the most commonly prescribed cholesterol lowering drugs – Lipitor – has come under fire for its potential risks. The drug is supposed to work by blocking an enzyme in the liver to help reduce cholesterol production. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this medication has a history of inducing higher blood sugar in some individuals. Bottom line, over time, statin drugs can greatly increase the risk of type-2 diabetes.
Read carefully: The side effects of Lipitor can be life-threatening
The side effects of Lipitor and other cholesterol lowering drugs are too many to name, especially considering some complications of these drugs may go unreported, undiagnosed or even purposefully left off of warning labels. After all, it was not until 2012 that taking Lipitor became one of the risk factors for diabetes, despite countless patients and many studies suggesting the drug could raise blood sugar and cause type-2 diabetes. But, be warned, some of the other side effects of Lipitor include abdominal pain, digestive health issues, joint pain, memory loss and liver problems.
In addition to these side effects, Lipitor is known to deplete the body of CoQ10, a naturally occurring enzyme in the body. CoQ10 is essential for cellular health and has been shown to play an important role in heart health. People with diabetes, heart disease, cancer and other serious illness tend to have lower levels of CoQ10 than other people. Cholesterol-lowering drugs drain the body of CoQ10, enhancing the side effects of the drugs and actually making the heart less resistant to disease.