Voice and Swallowing Complications with Lipitor

A message board to discuss personal experiences of Lipitor and its effects.

Voice and Swallowing Complications with Lipitor

Postby BobbyH » Sat Jan 12, 2008 1:19 pm

Has anyone had problems with their speech and swallowing as a consequence of using Lipitor?

I have many of the muscular function issues associated with this drug but in addition I have had a my voice becoming weaker and weaker over time along with swallowing difficulty.

Anyone who can share their experiences along these lines would be greatly appreciated.[b][/b]
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Postby cjbrooksjc » Sat Jan 12, 2008 3:13 pm

Statins potentially affect ALL muscle tissue adversely. My initial advice is to tell your Dr. about your condition so you might rule out any other causes before following an anti-statin damage regimen expecting positive results.

That said, my personal experience is that YES, statins do effect the throat muscles. The condition caused me to be diagnosed with Apnea because my throat kept collapsing during the night making me wake gasping (not any longer).

Regards,

Brooks
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Postby BobbyH » Sat Jan 12, 2008 4:31 pm

Brooks

Thank you for the reply. :D

I have spoken with my doctor regarding the throat and voice issues and we are following other possibilities as well. I've seen two Eye, Nose and Throat specialists to date and my condition has stumped them both.

I know that from other postings I've seen in other forums, that others have had these problems as well.

I suspect because Lipitor affects the nerves and muscles in the body its not a stretch to believe it can affect the nerves controlling throat, larynx and tongue muscles as well.

It would be helpful to find some research that might have been done in this regard.

Thanks again for your thoughts.
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Re: Voice and Swallowing Complications with Lipitor

Postby webito » Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:38 am

Hi BobbyH
Yes, swallowing complications is a tipical lipitor side effect as is voice energy level . Word pronunciation can also be problem for some .
In my case I noticed that even moderate consumption of alcohol will enhance this and the neuropathy in my hands.
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Last edited by webito on Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:33 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Brian C. » Tue Jan 15, 2008 9:55 am

Lack of an energetic voice, hoarseness and difficulty in articulation are still things that trouble me after nearly 10 months off Lipitor. Compounded by permanent catarrh.

Brian.
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Postby BobbyH » Tue Jan 15, 2008 11:41 am

Brian , Webito

Thank you for your responses!

I thought I was the odd man out with these problems and had perhaps other issues at play here. I may still have them but its comforting to know that what I'm going through here is something associated with Lipitor and others have struggled with it as well.

I have all the symptoms that you both describe. It's frustrating on so many levels. :x

You want to continue to function in your job, communicate with your friends and family, the medical community, but you struggle to have a meaningful conversations! The muscular problems I can deal with knowing that taking supplements, I / we will overcome the problems. With this communication difficulty I find myself withdrawing further and further from friends and family.

It is all so maddening!

Webito, my fellow Canuck, what resources here in the homeland have you tapped into to help you in your recovery?

Thanks again folks.
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Postby webito » Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:01 am

Hello BobbyH,
I've stopped lipitor October 1/07.. it's been 3 month now of research and not much not different here in Canada (Toronto) than anywhere else I think. Most health authorities and Doctors do not know what we are going through,this is relatively new to them. The day before yesterday I went again to my family doctor (5 times since october)and what he said and did is laughing material.
1)Statins do not do that!! he said
2)I told him that there were thousands of people having exactly the same symptoms as me and he said :Impossible!!
At that point I was ready to change Doctor, but instead I showed him this website and others and we were surfing for .5 hours ; but still not 100% convinced
Now he shows to be more open minded and he is sending me to a lab for a new series of tests and also he is booking me with a Neurologist asap.
I believe at this time we the victims have more info in our hands than the doctors, maybe 1 in 100 doctors are aware of the real side effects of statins
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Last edited by webito on Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:33 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby adec » Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:53 am

Hi webito, and welcome the forum.

I give your doctor credit for at least being receptive... 1.5 hours of websurfing is quite impressive. :) Your doctor might also want to note the statin black box warning from your own Canadian New England Journal of Medicine.

*http://img259.imageshack.us/img259/4706/statinslx8.jpg

Sounds fairly major to me.

I'm also sending you an e-mail with almost incontrovertible scientific data and studies from reputable sources on statin side effects. I suggest you ask for his e-mail address and forward it to him.
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Postby webito » Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:31 pm

Hello Adec
Thank you very much for the graphic and the info that you sent me and next time I see him (next week) I'll get his e-mail.
Correcton on my previous post: it was .5 hours not 1.5 hours
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Last edited by webito on Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby BobbyH » Wed Jan 16, 2008 12:41 pm

Hello Webito

Well it sounds as if your experiences with the Canadian Medical profession is similar to my own.

After several visits to my family doctor during which time I told him about my symptoms, he finally checked my CPK levels to see if there was an increase in my readings. There was after which he immediately pulled me off Lipitor. That was in mid August of 2007 and I have been off it since then with no improvement but rather a continued slippage in overall health. It wasn't until early December that I began a regimin of supplements; not because the doctor recommended it but because I took the initiative to move forward.

He has since finally agreed that my muscular and joint pain along with fatigue issues were caused by the Lipitor. Although he struggles still with the voice and swallowing issues. It's interesting to note his medical peers disagree with him on the Lipitor as the cause of any of my issues. They like your doctor adamantly deny Lipitor causes any of these issues.

To his credit, he's standing firm, he has me scheduled to see a neurologist and having me attend a muscle clinic at the University of Western Ontario.

We'll see where this takes us but in the mean time I am continuing with the supplements, light weight exercises and stationary bike exercising.
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Postby webito » Wed Jan 16, 2008 1:37 pm

Hello BobbyH
I hope everything changes for the better for all of us.
March 07 started crestor for 4 month and after complaining about waking up at night several times with violent leg cramps the Doctor put me on lipitor and soon after I started having severe joints pains on top of the cramps. Last October I stopped and guess what ??
Whitin 2 weeks ,speech, swallowing and pronuciation problems arrived; by the 3rd week fatigue and neuropathy on my hands and biting my tonge every time I would eat arrived. After a month and a half fatigue got even worse to a point that I allways want it to be in bed sleeping. since 3 weeks ago until today no more biting my tonge and since last week looks like energy is coming back day by day(by the way I've been taking 300mg dayly of coq10 for the last month and a half)
The voice, speech, swallowing problems and neuropathy (very week hands) is still with me.
After reading for 3 months hundreds and hundreds of articles about our problems and the suffering, my conclusion is:
Probably half of the people get better soon after stopping taking this drug and unfortunately for the other half things will get worse before they get better. Never losing faith could be the answer too.
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Last edited by webito on Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:33 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ray Holder » Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:09 pm

Hi webito

I expect you need some carnitine, but I think someone posted that it is not available in Canada as a supplement, so you should try to get your doctor to do a CK test, and if it is elevated, press him for some L carnitine on prescription.

It is too bad that medicine gets us into these troubles and then abandons us without any thought of searching for a cure.

Ray
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Postby webito » Wed Jan 16, 2008 4:20 pm

Hello Ray
Thank you for this tip.
I will mention this to him next week, it is incredible that we have to sugest and give tips to doctors
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Last edited by webito on Tue Feb 01, 2011 12:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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problems swallowing

Postby roaminghermit » Thu Jan 17, 2008 4:54 pm

ok I never thought lipitor was the cause but after reading all this stuff I've been dropping 60mg Lipitor slowly down to 20 now. notice the enery level increases each time dose is lowered. only have 50% flow left in right arterey and had 3 mild heart attacks so am thinking that quality of life has to count vs just number of days....Choking is not a pleasant thing to do
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Postby adec » Thu Jan 17, 2008 5:28 pm

roaminghermit, you can have both quantity and quality of life. Do a Google search on:

vitamin K2 *specifically menaquinone-7 or MK-7* (calcification)
nattokinase (reducing blood clots, fibrin, inflammation)
astaxanthin (healthy cholesterol profile, reduce inflammation, oxidation, C-reactive protein).

I'd also be remiss in not posting this information. But difficulty swallowing could be indicative a much more serious nerve or muscle issue. I would definitely seek the assistance of a qualified neurologist to determine the cause. As we now realize, statins are starting to be implicated in the development of neurodegenerative and demyelinating diseases. Dr. Graveline himself has recently been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease.
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Postby Kathy » Thu Jan 17, 2008 9:53 pm

My husband had difficulty swallowing and drooled alot before he was diagnosed with temporal arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatica. His jaws also hurt. You might have the doctor check your inflamation rates to see if they are high.
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Postby maryp » Thu Jan 24, 2008 6:32 pm

I don't want to scare anyone but losing my voice and having trouble swallowing were among the first symptoms of a rare autoimmune disease called Dermatomyositis or DM that I was diagnosed with at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. I also had a horrible rash on my face, chest, back, hands and arms. The disease, untreated causes your muscles to break down and become weak. It can have several serious symptoms such as depositing fibrious tissue in your lungs that causes major respitory distress. Weakness of the proximal muscles, those closest to your trunk are typical. I still have trouble getting out of low or soft furniture. I traded in all of my pots and pans for much lighter weight equipment as I could no longer lift a cast iron pan.
I am sure taking Lipitor either caused or triggered my case of DM. It started in early 2000 when my GP insisted that I take the samples of Lipitor he gave me as my cholesterol was high. I am Hypothyroid and was having miserable menapause problems which were probably causing the steep rise in my cholesterol. After just a week of his 10mg samples I was having scarey symptoms. He refused to accept that the Lipitor might be the cause of my problems. I stopped taking the drug after only three weeks and went in search of some kind of treatment. In the mean time I was getting weaker, in substancial pain and was choking on water. My singing voice lost it's upper range and my speaking voice began to sound like a bad cell phone connection. One of the 8 specialists I saw admitted that one of my vocal chords was no longer working but he didn't know why. I was having a major case of acid reflux and losing weight without trying. I was treated by several different doctors with doses of predisone which helped with the muscle weakness but had it's own nasty side effects.
At Johns Hopkins they put me on more predisone and a powerful immunosuppressent drug called Cellcept. That was 8 years ago and many thousands of dollars worth of medications and tests . I have since developed atrial fibrillation which may or may not be caused by muscle damage to my heart. I have finally been able to get off of predisone entirely and just this January 1 stopped taking any Cellcept. I have 6 other prescription meds I take for my heart, thyroid and acid reflux etc. The acid reflux is caused by the weakened round muscles that control the opening to the stomach. My voice has gotten almost back to normal. When I am tired it acts up and so does my swallowing.
I belong to The Mysoitis Association. They have a website and forum where I talk with others victims of my disease. A significant number of them believe that statin drugs caused or triggered their mysoitis.

I suggest you be tested for any or the mysoitis diseases that strike adults. There are three forms, Dermatomyoistis, which has a rash, Polymyositis which feels the same without the rash and Inclusion Body Myositis which just eventually just destroys all of your muscles. DM is the most treatable and the most visible. Each of them has a different blood cell componet.

Every doctor I have told my theory about the Lipitor says it couldn't have caused the DM. They said that when I stopped taking it the symptoms would have gone away. It sounds like from the postings on this board that is not the case.

I hope you are luckier than me in regards to getting mysoitis. You will note that in the fine print of the information that comes with the drug is a possiblity of myositis.

Hang in there,

Mary P DM since 2000 :(
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Postby Ray Holder » Fri Jan 25, 2008 6:42 am

Hi maryp and welcome
Have you ever tried Q10 and carnitine to help with your problems?,particularly as they stemmed from statin use.

Heart problems are often due to Q10 deficiency due to statins, as is muscle weakness. I have had voice problems since taking statins, but having had polio 50 years ago, I put it down to that, it is probably inter related, but some of these effects are made worse by the statin depletion of Q10 and carnitine. I rely totally on Q10 to keep my old heart ticking.

Doctors often find some obscure disease which they believe to be responsible, while having no idea of the many troubles arising from insufficient Q10 available to provide the energy needs of every part of the body after statin use.

I would suggest you start on a small dose of Q10, I expect you have a med for the atrial fibrillation, which is why In suggest a small dose, and increase if it helps Trunk muscle weakness I know only too well, some carnitine may well give back some strength, I have to ensure that my carnitine level does not fall, it affects my heart as well if it does.

Doctors rarely know how statins really work and affect so many different body functions, but their action on Q10 supply is the unforgiveable side effect, ruining so many lives

Ray
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Postby webito » Fri Jan 25, 2008 8:10 am

Hello Ray
I take 300mg daily of Q10 and I know the difference this makes on me.
With the experience that you have what do you consider is the recommended amount and the maximum safe amount of Q10 one should take ?
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Postby Ray Holder » Fri Jan 25, 2008 4:28 pm

Hi webito

Q10 is not harmful, an article once said that excess Q10 only produced expensive urine!!
I now take 900mg a day, as 3 smaller doses and that is completely necessary for me, I believe my heart will fail completely, at 86, without that much.

I have had to work up to it over 5 years, to keep angina and blood pressure rise at bay. It is not as simple in other circumstances, 300 mg seems to be a reasonable dosage, but all depends on whether you have symptoms which additional Q10 might help.

I also have to take carnitine for muscle problems, my muscle wastage, CK, figure rises without it, and it also has some effect on my heart at night time.

Only a little trial and error can tell, but a small addition, say of 100 mg for 3 or 4 days to see if it gives any benefit, and reduce back to normal if it doesnt, will prove it, without having a Q10 level test, which is only available in a very few places. Taking a larger dose than necessary has no real advantage, but you need to be sure that you are not wasting your money.


Ray
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