Lipitor, Crestor, and Other Statin Medications
Dr. Jay Cohen is a nationally respected authority on a wide range of medications including statin drugs (Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor, Pravachol, Mevacor, Lescol). He has spoken at medical conferences and at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about the use of statin drugs in America today. He is the author of What You Must Know About Statin Drugs and Their Natural Alternatives. People across America consult with Dr. Cohen about whether they need statin medication and how to use statins safely. People ask:
- My cholesterol levels are high. Do I need a statin?
- Which statin is the best for me?
- What is the right amount for me?
- What are the side effects and how can I avoid them?
- Are there long-term risks with statins?
- If side effects occur, what should I do?
- I am having muscle pain with Lipitor. What can I do?
- I am having memory problems with Crestor. What can I do?
- My doctor ignores my complaints about side effects. How can I get him/her to listen?
- My doctor has prescribed 3 different statins, and I got side effects with each one. What should I do?
- Are there other heart risk factors my doctor should check?
- My C-reactive protein (CRP) level is high. What does that mean?
- Are there natural alternatives to taking a statin?
- What other things can I do to preserve heart health?
- What is the best diet for me?
- How important is exercise? How much is necessary?
- How can I reduce the cost of my statin medication?
These are important questions for the 100 million Americans with high cholesterol and the millions more with family histories of heart disease or stroke. Today, 20 million Americans take a statin, and 25 million more are slated for statin treatment. Many people require and obtain benefit with statin treatment, but others do not.
Despite the success of statin drugs, the fact is that 90% of people placed on statins discontinue treatment within a few years. Many quit treatment within a few months. Why is the discontinuance rate so high?
Dr. Cohen explains that doctors frequently prescribe the most powerful statins at the most powerful doses. Many people cannot tolerate these strong doses, side effects occur, and people stop treatment. Some people tell their doctors about their side effects, but many doctors ignore patients' complaints and instead tell patients to continue taking the statin. When the side effects persist, people discontinue treatment. Who can blame them?
Some people are prescribed statin drugs when no statin treatment is necessary. Doctors often misinterpret laboratory results for cholesterol levels and inappropriately prescribe statins. Doctors often they fail to order tests for other cardiac risk factors, factors as important as high cholesterol levels.
When doctors prescribe statins, they often prescribe excessive amounts. Doctors prescribe maximum-strength statins when a milder, safer statin would do. Doctors often prescribe statins to people who are unlikely to benefit from statin drugs.
Doctors often prescribe the most expensive statins (Lipitor, Crestor) when less expensive yet equally effective statins will do. Doctors frequently fail to suggest any natural therapies. Natural therapies can be highly effective in reducing cholesterol, and they are safer and less expensive.
Optimal Wellness Center. Statins -- Lipitor, Zocor, Mevacor -- Is the Danger in the Dose? Aug. 25, 2001.
Life Extension Magazine. The Problem with Maximum-Dose Lipitor.
Over-Medicating Patients and Its Consequences. Aug. 2007.
Life Extension Magazine. Why You Should Be Concerned about High Blood Pressure Whether You Have It (Yet) or Not. Sept. 2004;10(9):40-48.
NOTE TO READERS: The purpose of this E-Letter is solely informational and educational. The information herein should not be considered to be a substitute for the direct medical advice of your doctor, nor is it meant to encourage the diagnosis or treatment of any illness, disease, or other medical problem by laypersons. If you are under a physician's care for any condition, he or she can advise you whether the information in this E-Letter is suitable for you. Readers should not make any changes in drugs, doses, or any other aspects of their medical treatment unless specifically directed to do so by their own doctors.
If you have questions about your medications or medical care, Dr. Cohen is available for consultation at his office or by telephone.
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