Statins Cause Serious Structural Muscle Damage

(NaturalNews) If there is a super star in Big Pharma’s list of money making drugs, it may well be the group of medications known as statins. The New York Times reported last year that statins are, in fact, the biggest selling drugs in the world. Their names, like Lipitor and Crestor, are familiar from countless television and magazine ads and almost everyone knows someone taking a statin. Promoted widely as safe, they are actually known to cause a litany of potential side effects. For example, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) web site notes that about one in 1,000 of those taking statins suffer from muscle pain. Usually, these aches go away. But not always. And now new research shows that in some people statins cause serious structural damage to muscles.

The study, just published in CMAJ (the Canadian Medical Association Journal) suggests that patients who are taking statins and who complain to their doctors about muscle tenderness or pain could well be describing severe muscle problems due to the drugs. Although muscle damage is usually associated with elevated levels of an enzyme called creatine phosphokinase, the CMAJ research shows that’s not always the case. And it may take muscle biopsies to show that underlying structural injury has occurred.

For the rest of the article go here.


The Truth About Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs (Statins), Cholesterol and Health

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15 Responses to Statins Cause Serious Structural Muscle Damage

  1. John Brooks says:

    I turned 67 this July 28. Seven years ago I had, and used weekly, a fitness club membership. I went Kayaking, camping, fishing, walking, played volleyball, and hosted/attended a variety of writing/poetry venues. When I was 60, my PCP got a borderline high cholesterol result from my blood work and put me on a 20Mg maintenance dose of Lipitor. I trusted; I took it. In six months I had such severe acid reflux the Rx was switched to Zocor 20 Mg. Within six to eight months following the switch to Zocor I felt a heaviness in my legs, was getting tired frequently and had lost my vigor for and interest in any social activities or writing venues. My cholesterol rose slightly again in a few months and my Rx was bumped to 40 Mg of Zocor; now the fun began in earnest.

    I began to perspire at the slightest exertion and could not stop perspiring even when I stopped exerting myself; I literally dripped with sweat. I perspired so much at night I would wrap my pillow with towels. At the same time I developed a night thirst that was disturbing in its intensity. I began keeping water by my bed and gradually drank at least a twenty two oz. bottle during the night, every night, and began to pass copious amounts urine each night as well. I could only sleep in two hour stretches, awakened by cough; thirst; a need to urinate; a strange feeling of mild, total body vibration; or a deep sense of foreboding accompanied by rapid heart beat and palpitations. My eyes crusted over during the night so badly I often needed to soak them with a damp cloth before I could open them. I was also experiencing dyspnea, a shortness of breath, especially when I lay down to sleep, and my legs twitched uncontrollably. I had eye-popping fits of coughing that often climaxed with vomiting. I seemed unusually susceptible to viral infections and caught colds easily. These colds always became something more serious and twice resulted in my being treated for Viral Pneumonia. I also experienced a painful bout of severe stomach flu that lasted for a week; something I have never had before and hope never to have again.

    During the day and night I was treated to breath-taking episodes of cramping, in my feet, hands, calves, stomach, neck, and back . My arms and legs next began to burn and ache and occasionally would pain me sharply. My hips and feet hurt so much that walking became a chore; stairs an obstacle to be overcome; I walked like a ninety-year-old. The exhaustion was growing debilitating, and though I kept complaining, my PCP could not determine what was wrong with me.

    I was now sleeping much of the day and couldn’t keep up with simple chores around the house. I began losing my train of thought or the thread of a conversation and would avoid engaging in conversation If I could. My memory was getting spotty and words I knew were in my vocabulary simply were not to be found in my mind. An avid crossworder, I was accustomed to speeding through at least the Thursday, New York Times crossword puzzle. At my worst during this ordeal, I could get through Monday, maybe, and Tuesday, if I worked on it all day. It was so frustrating to feel so damned diminished when I knew myself capable of so much more. I became irascible and withdrawn.

    Next, my skin began to grow dry and scaly; the underbelly of my forearms looked like crepe paper. My hair turned dry and brittle and began to thin at an alarming rate, I grew bumps on my forehead and scalp; skin tags began to appear around my neck and on my abdomen. I developed eczema on my face and cold sores in my mouth, and, much to my horror, I ballooned from 212 lbs to 252 lbs.

    My PCP diagnosed ‘tennis elbow’ for my painful arms, and I underwent five or six agonizing sessions of ointments and therapeutic massage. I was then sent to a sleep center and diagnosed with Apnea. I declined the contraption that went with the diagnosis; I knew I was suffering from something other than Apnea, but what?

    Finally my PCP recommended a full body MRI. Now, totally frustrated, I went “out-of-network” to a D.O. Physician my family have known and trusted for years. I described my problems to her, and one of her first questions was: “Are you taking any cholesterol medication?” I outlined my Rx regimen, and she, using a physician’s desk reference, explained the side effects of Statin drugs. Now, I had never heard of Statin drugs, didn’t know I was taking a Statin drug, and was astounded, based on my symptoms and what I was reading, that I had been mis-diagnosed for so long. She ran a magnesium absorption test on me and I failed miserably. I took magnesium shots for two months and began to improve slowly, and I repeat, slowly.

    I engaged a Cardiologist, Dr. Peter Langsjoen, who, following heart echo and EKG exams, determined I had statin-induced diastolic dysfunction. This particular condition is much improved following a heavy CoQ10 regimen for one year.

    I am now sixteen months off all Statins and have, for the past year, been taking CoQ10, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Acetyl L-Carnitine, B6, B12, Folic Acid, Omega 3 Fish Oil, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, etc., etc., to (hopefully) reverse the damaging effects of the Statin drugs. I have experienced some improvements in my complaints, but I am by no means 100%.

    However… today, I know exactly what Statin drugs are, how they inhibit CoA reductase in the liver by restricting the same productive enzyme mevalonate pathway (CYP3A4) used to supply CoQ10 (an absolutely essential amino acid required for proper function by the mitochondria in every cell of our bodies), HEME, and Dolichols, and how this is hurting some of us. I’m no longer a ‘trusting soul’, I am still unwell, and I am very determined to make these dangers known.

    Ultimately; on balance, I am not saying there is NO viable application for Statin drugs, only that, notwithstanding any “dirty dollar” motivations, there has been a total breakdown in the dissemination of accurate information from the manufacturer – to the pharmacist – to the doctor, and finally – to the patient concerning the safe and reasonable dispersal and application of these medicines, and as a result they are injuring, even killing people, and no one is taking responsibility or acknowledging the facts.

  2. Harold D. Southward says:

    The summary of bad effects of Zocor by Mr. Brooks, describes my 3 1/2 year of discovery of what this poison did to me. It turns out that I started using a heart gym after my wife had heart valve surgery at the same time I started taking Zocor(generic). I noticed my gradual physical slide because of my performance at the gym. By the time I caught on to the side effects of Zocor(generic), I would park in the nearest parking place for disabled and would be begging
    for the electric shopping cart in the front of a store. One of the effects, I often described was that my muscles were in rebellion or on strike, when I tried to walk. I am sure that all of the effects described by Mr. Brooks is correct as I have been there too, and have suffered similar side effects. If anything, his claims may be the understatement of this century. I wonder whether these side effects represent some permanent damage or damage which takes a long time to recover, or both. I could write a book on the multitude of apparent side effects I have experienced and others claimed to experience. The problem is that as people get older, they start falling apart and it is difficult to distinguish drug side effects from the effects of aging or other causes, but in my personal opinion when one stops taking a drug and there is almost immediate improvement (but not full recovery), one should assume it is the effects of the drug.

    In science, most conclusions from any study is based on assumptions, and assumptions become the mother of most screw-ups. Having been educated in the scientific method and believing very strongly that it is the best thing we have for scientific investigation, there are natural weaknesses in the method caused by people. That is why it is so hard to make progress. Biological systems are very, very complex!!!! We cannot easily place blame on drug companies for honest research when we later discover bad side effects. But, we can hold these companies responsible for covering up or understating side effects after they become well known, just for the sake of the dollar. Statins are not the magic bullet some physicians think they are, and cholesterol has not been absolutely proven to be the problem (there are those assumptions again!). I also refer to a book on “How to Lie with Statistics’) However, I prefer to die naturally. I am not a physician, but I can dig out information from the internet and try to judge “information” generated by “experts” who are indeed experts, quacks, hypochondriacs, people who are selling something, etc. I also have access to scholarly publications, and I dare say that I understand most of this information better than most medical mechanics who are forced to work under 15 minute patient schedules and are overworked (by order of the insurance companies), simply because of my training, skepticism, time available and my training. From a life-time dedicated physical scientist/Ph.D.

  3. These two previous replies, while being a terrible report the damage statin drugs can do – also make me want to strangle someone. There is absolutely no need for patients to suffer in this way because of drug side effects. Statins are known to cause these problems. I myself suffered severe cognitive issues, muscle issues, digestive issues etc through being presecribed a multiplicity of cholesterol lowering medications. When one was not giving the doctors the desired results they simply added to the cocktail of drugs they were prescribing to me. In the end I did my own research, found Doc Graveline and others, and decided to come off the drugs. I have never fully recovered. Doc Graveline explains that statins damage the mitochondria causing (in some cases) mutations. Mutations will never revert back to what was once a healthy cell.

    I do not subscribe to the diet heart / fat is bad hypothesis. I would suggest all people do their own homework before allowing yourself to be dosed with these drugs. GOOGLE Doc Graveline AKA Spacedoc GOOGLE Stopped Our Statins for a comprehensive infomative website. Read some of the articles at my own blog…. but don’t be fooled into taking this medication.

  4. Ellen says:

    Thank you so much to the above 3 contributors. IF ONLY this became common knowledge………but the lies continue and the ignorant (by design) people continue to believe those who have the sacred responsibility to first do no harm. I have very little respect or use for the medical mafia because of what I’ve observed for the past 38 years; it’s only gotten much worse.

  5. Marissa says:

    Landed here because I was recently prescribed statins and am doing research about them. So far all I’ve read are negative stuff. Here’s another article in detail about statin drugs:

    I’m still contemplating on whether to follow my doctor or not😦

  6. James W. Benefiel says:

    My experience is very similar. I had open heart aortic valve/ascending aorta replacement in ’07 and took 10Mg Lipitor from mid-’07 to mid-’08 when my cardiologist suggested my progressively worsening torso aches might be related to the Lipitor. I stopped Lipitor after online search convinced me this was my problem and the dull ache was immediately reduced by 80%.
    4 years later i feel OK except when I do much muscle exertion which causes torso and leg quivering, nausea, and feelings of terror, especially at night after any “heavy” lifting. I have been a weight trainer and cardio bike rider for 25 years, very active gardener, outdoorsman, handy man type so am/was very fit for a now-73 year old. I have taken CoQ10 as well as other vitamins/supplements for years as well and became (and still am) a vegan during the year of my Lipitor regimen. I am not sure, but think I may be becoming more sensitive to these symptoms and sensitivity to weight bearing activities and am looking for a way to reverse this damage.Perhaps higher Q10 dosage and perhaps some protean supplement? I am scientifically trained and retired as Technical Director of a division of a major chemical company, so I don’t easily jump to unsupported conclusions.

  7. Ellen says:

    Well James, you certainly have your work cut out for you since it isn’t up to others to take on the task of convincing you of anything. As much as I sympathize with your experience, you chose to do the drugs. I’ve been watching my 90 year-old father suffer the effects of his laundry list of drugs from his medical “professional”. In spite of my background in so-called alternative health care (Chiropractic and nutrition) he utterly dismisses anything I have to offer. It is his choice (as long as the medical mafia doesn’t get the power to completely force their lies on people) to continue his folly.

    That you have been “trained… a Technical Director of a division of a major chemical company” is not something in your favor–IMHO. Chemicals are what got you to where you are now. It might be beneficial to you to remember that good health was abundant before the medical mafia and their overlords controlled almost all aspects of so-called health care. It appears to me that you’re still trusting in that false paradigm. From my viewpoint, you need major re-education in what REALLY nourishes the human body; naturally you are not alone in this for we as a nation have been intentionally dumbed-down in all matters of real importance. There are excellent resources on the internet should you choose to avail yourself of them. I wish you well.

  8. John says:

    I was put on Lipitor 20mg in May this year in order to improve my cholesterol ratio as I had low HDL (<40) combined with family history of heart disease. At the time I was 51 , quite healthy and excercised a lot – biked 3 times a week (80-100miles) gym twice a week and swamtwice a week. Since then I have noticed my fitness level go down noticeably. I need longer to recover, I am slower in the pool and I become much slower on the bike. In a group ride I can no longer keep up with as sudden or sustained injection of pace as well as uphill. I am totally spent now after a 20mile bike ride whereas in the past it was a breeze to do a 40-miler. Interestingly my wife / family joked that I have become more forgetful and my 13yr old son says my legs look thinner.

    I was just attributing all of this to age until I started researching muscle effects of lipitor. What more can I say !!!

    I stopped taking lipitor a few days ago and have started on a supplement regime incl CoQ10, L-Carnitine, Vit C, etc. My legs are starting to feel less dead than they used to be but based on what I have read I may need 3-6 months to get back to "normal". I am also going back to my doc to discuss further and see if any further diagnosis can be made. Note that I am a PhD with 20+ yr experience in developing medical products.

    Would like to report back here in a couple of months !!!

  9. Daryl says:

    I have used crestor for approx 8 years and complained to the drs that i was having problems which i believed were statin induced. They did not believe me. The problems started with continual heel pain, heart movements that felt like my heart was wanting to turn about in my chest,left buttock pain, shoulder pain and muscle deteriation of left bicep muscles, numbness and pain on top of both hands and feet and autonomic nerve problems including constipation and peeing regularly, indigestion problems and cannot assimilate food properly. I have finaly taken myself off statins but i am damaged for life. At one stage i collapsed as i lost feeling and strength in the back of my thighs. I was previously very healthy. Oh and also forgot the mental fog and extreme fatigue. Stupid, stupid Doctors and more stupid me. Pharmacutical companies are the evil drug pushers of the world. Sorry for the rant! ps. I have just started taking alpha lopic acid and had relief from fatigue within two hours however i feel that i have left it too late for complete recovery!

  10. john Langdon says:

    Hi All,
    Was prescribed 40mg of Lipitor for 2months for cholesterol of 6.4, reduced total to 4.4 and LDL 2.4. The cardiologist at Buderim private hospital Australia, then prescribed 40mg of Crestor even though I told him I had muscle pain, could not sleep and had no energy. At nearly the 4 month period on Crestor, I awoke at midnight with the most horrific pains through my whole body. Two and a half years since stopping this drug I have debilitating muscle pain that precludes me form sleeping. I see every hour on the hour and this has ruined my quality of life. I was not a high risk patient, no heart attack/stroke, good blood pressure, never o/weight or smoked and always exercised. I believe some of these practitioners are no worse than criminals in respect to stain denial.
    John Langdon
    Qld Australia

  11. steve good says:

    Steve…I have taken statin drugs for 6 years. I have had numbness in my feet and now it has traveled to my legs. I had an operation on my back as they felt the nueropathy was a by product of my disc problems. I am now convinced that this numbness is a byproduct of statin drugs. If anyone reads this and has suggestions on alternate ways to regulate cholesterol and , perhaps, reverse this nueropathy please send me a note .

  12. Leoma says:

    Lowering or eliminating salt from your diet program can have a profound
    constructive impact on alleviating your tinnitus symptoms.

    • Ellen says:

      Lowering or eliminating salt from your diet? On what do you support this idea? The chloride alone is necessary for the body to make HCl for digestion. Real sea salt is vital to the human body. Like anything else, it can be overdone. Table salt is a very refined product and its use is quite overdone in processed foods.

  13. Chris Wunsch says:

    I am sorry to hear of these adverse Statin effects..My story is similar, but also quite different. I was 29 years old when I started Lipitor. I was also a pharma “educated” critical care RN for several years prior to this. I found out I had “high cholesterol” when I had a physical when I entered nursing school, 10 years before, but being 19 and “invincible” I never thought about it. My cholesterol numbers had always been in the upper 200s, usually 260-290’s. When I was 29, my father had an 8 vessel bypass surgery…and that got me thinking, as he was only 48 years old. So at my next doctors appointment, when my doctor told me again I had “high cholesterol” and wanted me to start a statin, I though, I “know” everything there is to know about these drugs, and I agreed. I tolerated it well, until later Summer 2002 when I began to have profound headaches, the likes I’ve not known at this point in my life. They would cause me to call in sick to work on many occasions. Shortly after the headaches began, my wife informs me that there were bouts of confusion, on one occasion she woke in the middle of the night to find me in the kitchen, digging through the garbage can, and when she asked what I was doing, I told her, I was looking for some milk.. The next morning she had taken me to the Dr, who opined my headaches and this confusion were atypical migraines, and gave me an rx for Imitrex (Migraine Injection) which I could not figure out even how to give to myself, and I had practice nursing for 12 years…I should have not even had to think how to do that. My wife asked him for an MRI scan, to which he told her, it was not medically indicated…and we went home. I continued to have my bouts of headaches, episodic confusion, and extreme sleepiness…it had gotten so bad I would spend up to 18 hours in bed, per day. When one day, my wife brought me into the ER with Headache, Confusion, Slurred speech, my wife pleaded for them to do an MRI, they agreed to do a CT scan, which was normal. We were sent home, my wife called my doc at home to ask him to get an MRI scan, to which he agreed and was arranged for the following day. This Scan showed multiple scattered lesions throughout the grey and white matter of my brain, and I was referred to a neurologist. The neurologist quickly called it MS and was to begin me in some Medication for MS. Which I never started, because somewhere in my messed up mind, I did not believe it was MS, and we sought a second opinion at UW Madison, with an MS Specialist, who did not think it was MS, though he did not have an answer and wanted me to return another day for more testing etc…so we went home, with a bit more hope than we had thought. Over the next week or two, I was progressively worsening, increased freq and severity of headaches and confusion, missing more work than not and on one occasion my wife woke in the mote to find me walking down the middle of the street in my underwear (what I slept in). The following morning she called the MS Specialist we saw, and he told her to bring me down and he would meet us in the ER, so we dropped our 2 year old son at my parents, and drove the 3 hours to UW Madison. Where we met the Neurologist in the Emergency room. He evaluated me and after failing a mini mental exam, admitted me where I would spend the next 28 days in an end stage Alzheimer’s like state. I did not know my wife, nor my parents, my siblings nor my son. I wet and soiled myself, could not walk, nor speak coherently, I was a mess. I had a whole host of blood work and other tests done, and one of this lab tests that was consistently askew was the Serum lactate levels (Lactic Acid). I was evaluated by nearly every neurologist, med student and resident at UW Madison, and each one came up with a fantastic diagnosis, yet not one of them considered the notion, the Wonder drug I had taken for 3 and 1/2 years, Lipitor. A couple weeks into my hospital stay, I had a brain biopsy and an electron microscopy, revealing autophagic Vacuoles, Mitochondrial Abnormalities which necessitated the Electron Microscopy, which showed lysosomal and autophagic vacuoles (Apoptosis), A bunch of other stuff I cannot recall, but was consistent with a known Mitochondrial Disorder, Mitochondrial Encephalomyopathy with Lactic Acidosis and Stroke Like Episodes (MELAS) And after this I was asked to be seen by a visiting professor from Johns Hopkins, I believe. who suggested I begin a mitochondrial cocktail of CoQ10, Vit E and C, B complex, Carnitor (L Carnitine), which I later changed to Acetyl L Carnitine with Alpha Lipoic Acid, CoQ10 which I doubled the dose a few times and changed to the reduced form, Ubiquinol, I dropped the vit C, as I try to get most of my Vits from foods. It was within 36 hours of starting this Mito cocktail, where I began to answer simple questions, I was able to verbalize the need to use the bathroom so wasnt wetting or pooping myself anymore, I was able to walk with assistance, I began to feed myself, and I was no longer to be transferred to a nursing home, and was able to go home with aggressive rehab therapies. My discharge diagnosis was “Viral Encephalitis”…I hung on to that, as I knew Id be back to work in a few months. Later in the coming weeks, my wife and I watched Good Morning America, where Dr Beatrice Golomb was being interviewed by Diane Sawyer, and were discussing Dr Golombs Coming Statin Effects Study…my wife grabbed my arm, and she pleaded with me to enroll in that study, I told her, honey I “know” everything there is to know about these drugs, and my Lipitor use had nothing to do with my illness…but she persisted and for the sanctity of our marriage, I enrolled and had all my medical records sent to the University of California, San Diego for the Statin Effects Study. When the study had concluded, I received a phone call from Dr Golomb, who shared with me that my case and course of illness was not alone. There were several in her study who shared similar courses of illness and similar biopsy findings, and she had referred our cases to someone she referred to as one of the top mitochondrial Disease experts in the world, Dr Doug Wallace, at UC-Irvine. It was the opinion of Dr Wallace, that my use of Lipitor was the Causal Contributor to the Holes in my brain as well as the Mitochondrial DNA mutations. I was FLOORED! To say the least…I thought of the hundreds of patients I had unknowingly given these drugs to. Several days later, Dr Wallace had called me, and wanted to share with me, “we know where your statin use took you, and I can assure you, should you ever take another statin, there is only one way for me to go.” I was so grateful for this phone call, as my prescriber had been pushing me to restart a statin, which I had done briefly, until my wife informed me that I had begun to backslide and not do as well, and was wondering why. I shared with her that Dr Clark had put me on a different cholesterol medicine, I called Dr Golomb, and she shared with me “All statins can cause these adverse events”…so I quit taking it, and she asked if she could call my doc, and when she did, whe wanted to discuss her findings from the study and how it related to my illness…My doctor shut her down…and when I went to see him next, he told me “If you want to be treated by some doctor in California, that I should go to California, but if you are my patient, you do as I say.” Then after speaking with Dr Doug Wallace, who warned me about my future if I take another statin, I looked at my doctor and told him, I lost all respect for you and can no longer see you as my physician. I picked up my coat, walked out and never talked to that ass again.
    Cindy, about 1 year after I was out of the hospital, I told my wife, I want to go back to work, and being that my job for the 13 months prior to this had been as a workers comp case manager for an insurance company, I spoke with my boss who told me she would love to have me back. So I went back part time for about 6 weeks or so, when my boss came to my office and informed me that what used to take me a few hours was now taking over a week, and that she really wants me to be part of the company, my work product is not compatible with employment, so I went home with my tail between my legs, and felt terribly sorry for myself. Over the next few months, I had an extensive neuropsych evaluation, which resulted in “Cognitive delays of sufficient severity to significantly restrict any substantial gainful employment.” and I have been on disability since, going on 13 years come October 10. While I am modestly better than I was at one point, I continue to have muscle pain, weakness, in my legs, myoclonus, Profound fatigue, severe short term memory recall among other things. I am now an admin in a statin effects Facebook group, and I encourage anyone with questions, comments, or who just want support to join
    In this group, there are going on 1500 people from around the globe who have been harmed by statins, and also a few cardiologists, internists and a few biochemists who understand full well, the very real dangers of these poisons,
    Thank you
    Chris Wunsch

  14. I have Autonomic neuropathy from statin drug😦.. no clue how or why the laywers won’t do some class action ?

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