Statin side effects

A forum to discuss personal experiences of Neuropathy associated with statin drug use.

Statin side effects

Postby Jerlyn » Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:49 pm

I am 63 years old & have been on statins since I was about 45. Lipitor first which elevated my liver profiles so I was taken off of. Next Simvistatin for years which was 3 years ago found to have really elevated my liver profiles - I was taken off & the liver settled down. This was discovered when I went in for an extreme burning skin sensation - worse at night - along with extreme muscle cramps spasms & pain to the point I was investegated for MS & other neuropathies but my blood results came back negative. My cholesterol elevated greatly & I was put on Crestor. My liver profiles again started to elevate. At the same time I was on Crestor my burning skin muscle issues also increased greatly. I was taken of Crestor while they figure out what to do & after 2 months of no statins the muscle issues have diminshed back to the pre Crestor level.

After reading the literaure given out by the Pharmacy I asked if my problems could be statin related but was told no because I was only on 5 mg of each drug. In the beginning I was told the Lipitor & Simvistatin could not be the cause of my liver profile elevation but much to my GP's surprise it has been concluded that my low dose although rare could elevate my profiles.

After reading this site does anyone think my burning/spasms/muscle issues could possibly be related to long term use of statins as opposed to dose?

I am not an individual who routinely seeks a doctors attention & have been seen by an allergist, neurologist & dermatologist. My GP has said he believes I have a problem he just can not figure out what yet. Because it has progressed over the 3 years & skyrocketed with the Crestor I wondered if it is something that is now permanent but lessened if not on a statin?

Thank you
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Postby Allen1 » Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:29 am

Hi there Lynda,

Statins have not been proven to have any benefit in women in general, also when someone stops taking them, it is common for the cholesterol levels to rise above what are called normal levels, they do however level out in a short time.

Although many of the symptoms from the harm statins are doing to a person is often seen on the higher doses, it does happen to people who are on the lower dose too. People are all different and while a small dose may not affect one person, the consequences of that same dose can cause havoc for someone else. Your symptoms are not unusual to anyone who has experienced the dark side of statin therapy, they could be caused by either the dose or the length of time you have been taking them or both.

I do hope you keep away from any cholesterol reducing drug from now on, the damage may ease in time but for many of us it sometimes gets worse, it also often gets a lot worse for a lot of people for a few weeks/months after stopping them, that will level off in time. The negative results from tests is something that 99% of us have experienced too and a good few of us have had that certain look from a doctor as in its all in their head or worse.

Take care and I hope your health improves soon, Co Q10 and Carnitine plus several Vitamins are proven to be helpful to many of us, I won't mention them as they are posted already on several threads.

All the best,
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side effects follow up questions

Postby Jerlyn » Mon Mar 08, 2010 4:31 pm

Thank you for your reply - after joining last week I have read almost all the messages - I am flabbergasted at the symptoms that so many other people have which are similar to mine - the hand weakness was the clencher. I also may be a bit niave on some of my questions so will apologize in advance.
I kept telling myself my symptoms were all due to aging. I am extremely active & I also thought it was my imagination that it was worse after excerise, but I see now it is possible.
My cholesterol issues are believed to be genetic as all my known family have problems. I have been a vegetarian for years & eat healthy, so can not really adjust my diet. How do other people on the list control their cholesterol beyond diet & exercise? My GP is deciding how to deal with my elevated livre profiles after trying 3 separate drugs elevating the liver. I am led to believe Crestor was the last resort. I do not think he questions the statins being the cause of my muscle problems.
My leg EMG showed loss of reflexes & they could not believe it when I told them I did not have severe back pain. Is it possible the statins can be related to the reflex loss as I "do not" have back pain. My MRI showed degenerative disc disease in my spines & small plaques on the head scan. I feel these are all part of the normal aging process.
One of my biggest issues is the burning sensation on my abdomen, limbs & upper back which is greatly aggravated by bathing, showering, swimming or tight clothing like a life jacket.
As mentioned in my previous post the spasms/pain has diminished back to the pre Crestor level which means intermittent not constant, but the burning has stayed at an almost intolerable level at night. From the other messages I am interpreting that symptoms may diminish but may not go away for an extended period of time - am I correct?
Is there any known medication which does not elevate the liver profiles?
Are there any good articles beyond this site which anyone can recommend so I can take them to my GP to assist?
Are there any known studies which actually show statins decrease strokes in females - this is why I was told to go on stains many years ago.

Thank you for your comments
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ask your doctor

Postby telxpert » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:13 pm

ASK YOU DOCTOR about your blood test and most important your CPK numbers. The normal number is about 120 anything above after taking statin is 100% the main reasons and also statins depleting your CoQ10 that your Muscle depends. If your doctor test you when you begin taking this poison it will show the numbers before and after about your CPK.

I have been there and poison by statin called vytorin. My friend this is almost seven to eight years ago and when I complain to several doctors they treated me like a bad criminal. Doctor intentionally alienated, discriminated and advises me to go away. To ask for help during this time is asking for trouble with doctors that they rather see you dead or shut up. Very mean statement and it’s true that doctors during this time will not help you. If you just suffered presently please tell your story if your treatment are like mine. Yes all the side effects to this day are crippling as I get older. The worst part with this experience is that I don’t trust the medical community that can help or destroy. I hope someday the FDA will do a better job to protect the public and not the big pharma that is only for profits. $$$$$$$$ Twisted Evil
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What to take to your doc...

Postby Nancy W » Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:23 pm


I realize you asked this question quite a while ago. I just wanted to say that I gained a lot from reading Dr. Graveline's books, especially his newest one on the Dark Side of Statins. He has written these books over time, as he has learned more and more. The other docs on the site have interesting books, also. Reading them, you might learn that you need cholesterol.

When I read, I took notes. I tried to become familiar with the Mevalonate Pathway, and how statins effect it. I tried to familiarize myself with some of the major studies, like Dr. Beatrice Golumb's landmark study on the adverse effects of statins. I keep a copy of some of the research links.

When it was time for an annual physical, I chose a new doc, based on her willingness to work with naturopathy, chiropractic and alternative medicine. I went in with my own version of my history, from my perspective. I went able to talk, in a very basic way, about what disrupting the mevalonate pathway does, with information on why cholsterol is vital to life, not a villain. I went in empowered by all the reading from this site and from the books and articles I mentioned.

The doc was blown away! There was no arguing. She didn't even want to look at my blood lipids. She just listened to me for a whole hour, and we scheduled the physical for the next visit.

Like most of us, I sure wish there was a way to easily diagnose this, to clearly mark the statin as the reason, and a difinitive way to treat it. But when you realize how cholesterol is critical to so many functions in the body, it is easy to see how damaging statins can be by cutting off the Mevalonate many different possiblities there can be for damage, how each of us has somewhat different problems and need somewhat different combinations of supplementation to get some relief.

Here's hoping you have already been able to explore the resources and books on this site. Knowledge is power!

Nancy W
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Postby lars999 » Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:38 pm


Excellent post!!


Congrats of finding a doctor that will listen! Hope that works out well.

I have yet to find a local doctor that is anything other than antagonistic when faced with patient that knows the very bad side of statins and why. The almost universal response is "We will not debate the pros and cons of statins!" The only such MD that I am still dealing with is rapidly learning that I know as much or more than he, WHEN I take time to educate myself.

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Docs vs patients in the know

Postby Nancy W » Sat Jan 08, 2011 1:44 pm

The more I learn, the more empowered I am to take on the docs...and I am learning that most of the time, I know way more about this specific area. In their defense, unless they take the time to to learn more about a particular thing, most docs never change from what they learned in medical school, no matter how long that was ago. My husband read an article about that, and he is the one who remembers the numbers, the precentages of docs who never waver from their original practice. I don't remember these details...but I can tell you the numbers were impressive...and discouraging.
Nancy W
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Location: Bonney Lake, Washington


Postby telxpert » Wed Feb 09, 2011 1:00 am

The CPK isoenzymes test measures the different forms of creatine phosphokinase (CPK) in the blood. CPK is an enzyme found mainly in the heart, brain, and skeletal muscle.
If you are in the hospital, this test may be repeated over 2 or 3 days. A significant rise or fall in the total CPK or CPK isoenzymes can help your health care provider diagnosis effect of statin certain conditions

Why the Test is Performed

This test is done if a CPK test reveals that your total CPK level is elevated. CPK isoenzyme testing can help pinpoint the exact soure of the damaged tissue.

CPK is made of three slightly different substances:

* CPK-1 (also called CPK-BB) is found mostly in the brain and lungs
* CPK-2 (also called CPK-MB) is found mostly in the heart
* CPK-3 (also called CPK-MM) is found mostly in skeletal muscle
isoenzyme testing for specific conditions is about 90% accurate Creatine phosphokinase - isoenzymes; Creatine kinase - isoenzymes; CK - isoenzymes in other words big problems with all your muscle over your body. That is why its very important CPK blood test is performed.[b][/b]
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Postby David Staup » Wed Feb 09, 2011 10:40 am

"That is why its very important CPK blood test is performed.[b][/b]"

this test may not be as informative as you think! there are numerous studies like the following where significant muscle damage due to statins was not shown by a raised CPK:


my own experience was as follows:

first CPK test 220 with normal considered up to 210

same test 1 day after overdoing it by cleanind windows for 2 hrs was 300 and still doctors were not that concerned as they look for rhabdo' at 2,000 or above.
David Staup
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bugles my mind

Postby telxpert » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:24 pm

If what you stated that doctors are looking for CPK in 2000 range it bugles my mind. With my experience before taking vytorin at low 10/20 my CPK are up to 1000 and that almost kill me. I am crawling with mulches pain all over my body with internal bleeding. I very much aware that this test is not perfect but with me it works every time when statin are induce in my system
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Postby David Staup » Wed Feb 09, 2011 7:02 pm

you are one of the few who register even that high while experiencing extreme muscle symptoms.
the side effect the doctors call rhabdomyolysis (rare but serious chuckle) is generally considered to be cpk readings greater than 10 times the normal upper limit. you can see in the table in the link below that levels as high as 167,000! were seen in this studyof exercised induced rhabdo'
see table 1: ... habdo.html

I never had mine measured when it was probably at it's highest but suspect several times I just suffered through it. the treatment is fluids and electrolytes and the whole time I was on statins I craved salt and drank over 120 ounces per day so in effect was self treating> it was pure hell some times with the kidney pains!

best answer: never let any doctor suggest you lower your cholesterol...period
David Staup
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Welcome Lynda

Postby Nancy W » Sun Mar 27, 2011 11:04 am

Hi Lynda. So glad you found Spacedoc. And glad to hear that you are reading the posts and articles. There are some amazing people here who have researched this subject in so many directions. If you continue to read and research, you will quickly find that you know way more than your docs. I also highly recommend the books written by the docs on the Home page. Dr. Graveline's newest book is really good, too. I have just done bagttle with a new cardiologist and they figured out very quickly that I knew what I was talking about and they stopped challenging me. See my other recent post, if you want to read about that.

I joined this group in about September of 2009 after developing severe neuropathic pain and fatigue in August of that year. I had been on a "low dose" of Red Yeast Rice for one month. I had a distant history of an elevated CK and muscle pain after only one month on Lipitor. After a complete medical work up, no cause ofr the neuropathic pain was found, and I gave up on allopathic medicine and turned to naturopathy. I was put on supplements at the same time I found Spacedoc. Nineteen months later, I am much improved, though not totally free of nauropathy and fatigue. I still take the supplements generally discussed here that help with the mitochondria. If I miss the supplements, for even 24 hours, I start to have the symptoms.

Keep researching, learn all you can. Find an empathetic medical caregiver, and quit the ones who don't believe you. Your symptoms are probably not due to age. That is what all the docs believe...oh, you are just getting older. Even though I am not back to my baseline, when I had an echo/stress test this past week after some chest pain and an ER visit, the cardiologist said I had a very healthy heart, with good circulation, and I did 50% better on the stress test than is normal for a 62 year old woman. And due to caregiving my elderly father in his last six months, I haven't exercised since last summer. So take heart, and learn, and figure out if some of what you learn here will help you. Be patient and persistent. We are here to support you! Nancy W
Nancy W
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