In the U.S. alone, almost 30 million people regularly take statins. Chances are good that you or someone you know is taking a statin drug. These drugs, popularly known as cholesterol lowering medications for preventing heart disease, are among the most widely prescribed drugs in the world, with annual sales of tens of billions of dollars. This class of drugs has had a long-standing reputation for being safe with relatively few side effects.
There are opposing researchers, however, that bring out their own studies that they say prove that the side effects of the statin drugs cause the heart problems the drugs are designed to prevent. These researchers further claim that their studies uncover additional side effects beyond those patients already know about. They feel vindicated that the FDA has recently issued a new warning about the class of statin drugs, cautioning users against additional side effects, including an increase in the odds that patients will experience fatigue, develop type 2 diabetes, and suffer reversible memory loss or problems in thinking.
Physicians appear to be ignoring any warnings about the negative side effects of statin drugs and are continuing to prescribe these drugs for their patients because they feel the number of people who do have serious side effects is low.
Are we paying enough attention to this issue? Are researchers doing work to verify that the benefits of statin drugs outweigh the risks? Are patients being thoroughly informed of the risks before taking these drugs? Are natural ways to lower cholesterol with diet and exercise even being considered?
Issue: Do the potential side effects of statin drugs outweigh the benefits?
If you are taking or considering taking a statin drug, you will want to be well informed. Below are a few resources to get you started on your research
PRO Link #1: The Statin Drugs (1/14/12)
by Richard N Fogoros, MC
About.com Heart Health Center
PRO Link #2: FDA changes safety information on statin drugs (2/29/12)
by Howard LeWine, MD
Harvard Health Publications
PRO Link #3: Statins Could Benefit Everyone, Study Suggests (5/17/12)
CON Link #1: FDA mandates new safety warnings for statin drugs due to risks of memory loss, diabetes and muscle pain (3/3/12)
by Tony Isaacs
CON Link #2: Concerns Mount Over Side Effects of Statins (6/13/12)
U-T San Diego
CON Link #3: Statin Side Effects and Risks, Can You Name Them? (6/26/12)
by Deborah Mitchell
IMPORTANT TIP: If you are currently taking or considering taking any prescription drugs, you need to be well informed. Use your favorite search engine (such as Google) to do an Internet search using the name of the drug plus the words package label. Review the information available online to learn more about side effects, symptoms of adverse effects, and negative interactions with other drugs, dietary supplements, and foods.
You are invited to add your comments and share other related online resources.
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