Atrial Arrhythmia and Lipitor - How to quit?

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

Atrial Arrhythmia and Lipitor - How to quit?

Postby mschell » Tue Dec 06, 2005 1:51 pm

I started taking Lipitor to reduce my cholesterol (264 total, 184 bad) after a preventative physical. I am a 46 yr old male in very good health. I went back to my GP 4 weeks later for a blood test to see how it was going, and the next day I encountered an atrial arrhythmia attack that landed me in the emergency room and required "the paddles" to correct.

The results of my blood tests showed that my total cholesterol after 4 weeks of Lipitor is now 206 and my bad level decreased to 134.

This past weekend I had another series of cardiac issues/pains and it dawned on me that maybe these recent heart issues are related to my taking Lipitor since I have never had anything like this before. I am getting further blood tests to find this out after visiting my cardiologist (geez, I have one of these now, when I didn't even need a GP before my physical). I am taking Niacin now (2 days) and b vitamins and will add other natural supplements soon.

But I want to stop the Lipitor now. Is that OK after taking it for 6 weeks?
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Postby prof » Tue Dec 06, 2005 5:09 pm

ms--First, so sorry to hear you are going through this.

I don't think any of us are in a position to offer specific medical advice re: going off Lipitor. Even if we were cardiologists, to do this at long range without knowing your whole situation, would be irresponsible.

What I can say is that I would be wary of mixing Niacin and statin use. That, in itself, is implicated in liver damage and higher risk of serious muscle complications in a number of studies. It is key that your doc knows you are adding Niacin if he/she does not already know that.

Given what you describe, and what you write, I personally would also have a very serious discussion with my doc about going off Lipitor--probably with some tapering. The whole point is to protect your heart, not damage it. If your doc thought there is even a possibility that Lip. could be contributing to that, it would be hard for me personally not to anticipate his/her wanting to test that theory.

Good luck to you,

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Postby Tulip » Wed Dec 07, 2005 12:26 pm

Dear mschell,

Being a Dutch health writer who dared to publish some naughty articles on the lesser known adverse effects of statins, I got several letters from people who reported bouts of atrial fibrilation after starting statin therapy. Actually, one of them is my own father in law. He, like you was hospitalized and shocked into a normal rythm. Despite medication, the scary problem persisted, making the poor guy mad.

Then he lowered his dose (in close coöperation with his not too stubborn physician) and started taking Co Q10 and fish oil. The long chained n-3 fatty acids in fish oil are documented to have at least some regulating effect on the heart rythm. Be it a fluke, the 'take up thaugh bed and walk' effect or whatever, but the bouts of Afib disappeared and never came back. It might be worth a try?

Good luck from rainy Holland!

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Atrial Fibrillation

Postby maryp » Sun Mar 16, 2008 1:24 pm


I am one of those former Lipitor takers who think it either caused or triggered a case of a rare autoimmune disease, Dermatomyositis in me. Ironically one of the additional things I have developed since taking Lipitor is Atrial Fibrillation. I have been hospitalized twice for it. So far I have avoided the oblation treatment. In doing other research on my autoimmune problems I find that A fib is common among it's sufferers. It stands to reason that weakened and damaged muscles don't work properly. Since myositis is the destruction and weaking of muscles it stands to reason that my heart which is a huge muscle would also be impacted. When my symptoms were at their worst and untreated I had trouble swallowing, lost my singing voice, could hardly roll over in bed and had difficulty standing from a seated position. All were due to weak muscles. After 8 years of very expensive treatments at Johns Hopkins I am much improved but fatigue quickly brings on symptoms.
At this point I am convinced that Lipitor did more damage to me and my life than sudden death. At least it would have been fast and relatively painfree. The hell I went through, especially in the first couple of years was a horrific experience. I was sick enough to have been granted Social SEcurity disability. If you have gone that route you realize how difficult it is to obtain. My disease is one of those that is given a 5 year surival estimate. I was once an insurance agent. I called my former employeer and asked them what my status would be should I seek additional life insurance. They told me I was uninsurable because I had been diagnosed with Dermatomyositis.

I am very wary of heart doctors. I fired my first one because he insisted on me having a third catherization even though the stress test he also insisted I have for the 5th time showed nothing specific and I had never had chest pain. He told me if I didn't have the procedure not to come back. I didn't. He also didn't seem to understand the link between a diet high in green leafy vegtables and the high level of warfin I had to take. He was always encourging me to loose weight. What part of "salad" doesn't he understand.
The new doctor I consulted could not understand why he requested it in the first place. I think he was just generating revenue for his practice.
I have since had a stress test that she personally conducted. No problems found. She accepts that I will not take statin drugs. I still don't understand why a heart doctor gets upset when I ask why we don't test children for Cholesterol at birth. Who knows I may have always had high cholesterol and that is normal for me? It makes sense to me. It is like assuming because a person has gray hair the first time you meet them that they have always had gray hair. This is the same medical community that force feed woman HRT. Now it is recognized that it does more harm than good for most woman.
I thought the Physicians oath says First do no harm.

Mary P
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My cardio GAVE me the Lipitor knowing I had A FIB!!

Postby nascarmom42 » Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:47 pm

OMG!!! I cannot believe this!!! Fire that cardio, I'm gonna fire mine!!!I have MVP, right branch bundle block & some leaky valves PLUS atrial fibrillation & my cholesterol was 219, and has been for years & the cardio puts me on Lipitor!
I wouldn't worry about coming off of Lipitor, but I'm no doc, but 2 weeks ago, my liver enzymes were elevated & my GP said "STOP THE LIPITOR NOW" & I did and all is fine! I feel like I'm coming out of a huge fog.

Best of Luck to you.GGGRRRRRRRR doctors make me mad :twisted:

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Postby uncle2blade » Sun Mar 16, 2008 2:53 pm


Read my last post under mitral valve repair,

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Postby Brian C. » Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:39 am

I don't think doctors actually take an oath these days, at least not in the UK
If they did it would probably be along the lines of "First do no harm to the practice revenue" - but then I'm just a cynic.

Brian C.
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