1 week off of Vytorin and what a difference!

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

1 week off of Vytorin and what a difference!

Postby jwgncolo » Tue May 01, 2007 2:42 pm

First, Thank you Dr. Graveline for a great website and thank you to Google for bringing me here.

Second, some history.....I am a 46 year old male, 6'2, 215lbs (slightly overweight but not what I could call obese), have been on Lipitor 40mg for several years due to "hereditary high cholesterol". At the end of March my doctor wanted to "tweak my numbers in a little more" so he switched me to Vytorin 10/40. He had said Vytorin was a mix of "the same stuff as Lipitor & Zetia". How wrong that was. Years ago I was on Zocor and the resulting mood swings and unexplained agitation it caused was horrible to me and my family. Zocor mood effects disappeared as soon as I switched to Lipitor. If I had known that Vytorin was Zocor in disguise I never would have took it (shame on me for not researching)

Anyway, 3 weeks into the change my overall health was going down the tubes. I didn't have the advertised major side effects of Liver or Muscle pains, but boy did I have all the others they don't like to tell you about. First came the moodiness and unexplained aggitated outbursts like my time on Zocor before. In fact my wife noticed it first, then some of my co-workers began asking me if everything was okay. Then I would have the wildest dreams everynight where I would wake up and wonder what the heck was that about? Then came an overwhelming sense of fatigue where I felt like I couldn't keep my eyes open during the day. In fact during lunch I would sneak a nap in my car and upon returning home each night I would head right to the couch for a power nap. Finally I began having unexplained pain in my joints. Before switching meds I was jogging 2-3 miles about 3 mornings a week as my wife and I were preparing for a 10k race.....2 weeks after the switch I couldn't make it a simple half mile before the pain in my joints would cause me to stop and walk home defeated wondering how I could go down the drain so quickly.

I started googling and found several websites that mentioned these "other conditions". Then I found this very valuable website. After reading several of the links and forums entries, I really started to play connect the dots with regard to how I was feeling.....what an eye opener and life saver!

So I immediately stopped the Vytorin and called my doctor to advise that I wanted off statins completely. He said no problem with a "cold turkey" stop but told me to eat healthy and exercise (duh, I was doing that before) and that he would check my numbers in a few months and if they increased he would probably put me back on something (fat chance dude!). I did stop completely, but have been loading up on the Vitamin C at mealtimes and have been taking a low dose aspirin everynight before bed.

Eight days later, I am greatful that the major joint pain is gone (still some minor aches).....my mood is happy again even in times of great job stress....and this morning I went out and ran 2 miles without a problem.

Without this website, I really don't know what I would have done. I do want to look into the B6, B12, & CoQ10 supplements for long term control, but would like to do some more research before starting.

All I can say to the visitors of this site is to educate yourself.....don't rely on the spin from "Big Pharma" or your doctors misinformation!

Wishing good health to all,
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Postby Biologist » Tue May 01, 2007 3:26 pm

Excellent post.

Wish I had more time to comment. I'm sure others will.

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Postby cjbrooksjc » Tue May 01, 2007 11:25 pm

jwgncolo: This medicine (statins) has a speckled rep even in terms of recovery. You may; in fact, have a setback or two ahead of you. No one on this site has been able to explain the ups and downs of recovery, but recovery it is and it continues to get more definable as such. The CoQ10 is almost a necessity for most recovering sufferers, but you must use your own judgement there. Your Phys CAN test the CoQ10 levels in you body.
Welcome to the group. It has been a lifesaver for me and many others.


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Postby SusieO » Wed May 02, 2007 7:11 pm

Drinks lots of water to flush out the toxins!
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Postby DEgirl » Fri May 04, 2007 4:18 pm

Congrats on taking the first steps to a healthier YOU! This past week I watched and listened as my employer (a Doctor) listen to his patient explain their side-effects of Zocor and then again while switching to Vytorin to him. ....................... First words out of docs mouth........ "Are you sure it's the medications doing this to you, because I've NEVER heard of that before with Statin Drugs.... Their GOOD FOR YOU"!!!!! And then told the patient he would "SWITCH" them to another Statin. :roll: Patient responded with..... "YOU take it Doc, my family and I have had enough side-effects with your Statin Drugs"!!!! I smiled but ONLY to myself while watching the patient WALK OUT leaving Doc standing their scratching his head!!!! :lol:
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Vytorin joint and leg pain

Postby kimsuoil » Fri May 04, 2007 5:31 pm

jwgncolo, I just read your post and you sound just like my first post. When I was 46, (183 lbs, 6' tall) my doctor switched me from Pravachol to Vytorin. Within weeks I started with the wild dreams, joint pains and problems with jogging. The straw that broke the camel's back was that I took antibiotics while on Vytorin (this is a no-no) and caused me to have urine retention and a cascade of other problems. I think the two drugs induced some kind of neuropathy of the bladder and bladder neck.

I quit on August 1, 2005 and I am completely back to normal. I currently take B-6, B-12, Folate and Acetyl Carnitine. The latter really helped with the joint pain.

Hope you continue to do well.

Last edited by kimsuoil on Mon May 21, 2007 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jwgncolo » Fri May 04, 2007 9:27 pm

Thanks to all for the kind words and support.....

It's now Day 12 since stopping Vytorin. No real setbacks so far. I did go get some CoQ10 this week and have been taking it twice a day and still taking the 81mg aspirin at night. Going to get some B6 & B12 this weekend.

Sleep has been good and my mood swings have gone away. I played two racquetball matches this week (back to back nights) and no joint pain at all.....(I do have some sore muscles, but that seems due to the incredible workout my opponents gave me!).

I really don't know what I would have done without this website and the invaluable information and support I have found on this board. I look forward to continued improvement in the weeks to come. I'll keep reporting on my progress.

I've seen a few random posts about the increase in tinitus with statins. I've always had some degree of low level tinitus from a prior job working around aircraft, but it seems that the pitch and volume of my tinitus increased in my left ear about the same time as the Lipitor/Vytorin switch. Any comments or suggestions?

Anyway....thanks again everyone!

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Postby Biologist » Sat May 05, 2007 4:56 pm


You mentioned antibiotics. Which one(s) were you taking at the time?


That patient may be onto something. In some jurisdictions police officers get stunned with their stun guns to get an idea what they are dishing out. I propose a modest 80 mg daily dose of Lipitor with an 80 mg daily Zocor chaser for all statin prescribing doctors for a short period of time, say, 5 to 10 years. I believe they'll get the picture. :)

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Postby Brian C. » Sun May 06, 2007 1:30 am

Biologist: my endocrinologist has put himself on Zocor "for an experiment"
I told him he must be mad! :lol:

Brian C.
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Postby kimsuoil » Mon May 07, 2007 8:35 am

Biologist, I was on a 5 day course of Zithromax.

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Postby Ray Holder » Mon May 07, 2007 9:07 am

Hi kimsuoil

I see in the BNF, the prescribing book for UK doctors, that Zithromax is a macrolide anti biotic, of the Azithromycin group. The sister group of macrolide drugs, erythromycin, is specifically mentioned as one to be avoided with statins. It seems pretty obvious that Zithromax has the same effect on statin users.

Clarithromycin, another sister, is also mentioned as increasing the risk of statin damage, a family of drugs to be avoided by statin users !!!

Ray Holder
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Postby kimsuoil » Mon May 07, 2007 9:24 am

Ray, how come we can find this information and two doctors that I had could not???

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