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Old 02-24-2007, 11:09 AM   #1
erk erk is offline
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Cholesterol lowering drugs and HCV

Hello All,

Here is an interesting piece of information that has been floating around the Internet since last summer. It has to do with cholesterol lowering drugs, (atorvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin and simvastatin), and their effect on lowering the HC virus.

Apparently, these drugs, along with interferon, may be a more effective therapy than interferon and ribavirin. The irony of this treatment is that statins have a negative impact on the liver but the level of this impact is not readily known with people with HCV.

For the longest time it was believed that people with chronic liver problems should not take statins this, however, is now changing. Doctors are being encouraged to prescribe these drugs to people with chronic liver problems because it is thought the value they have at lowering cholesterol far out weighs the negative impact they have on the liver.

My doctor has had me on and off simavastatin (Zocor) for several years. Shortly after reading about the positive effects of statins at preventing the replication of the HC virus I had my doctor measure my viral load. Well, surprise surprise, the level had gone from 1.8 million parts down to 450,000 parts.

Now here is an interesting observation. Right after this my doctor once again took me off the statin and within 6 months the viral load was on its way back up (load = 750,000). Well, I had him put me back on the statins. It will be interesting to see if the viral load drops again. By the way, I am not taking interferon just the statin.

ERK

Do a search on statins and hepatitis C to read some interesting findings.

Last edited by erk; 02-24-2007 at 11:10 AM.

 
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Old 02-25-2007, 10:49 AM   #2
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Re: Cholesterol lowering drugs and HCV

Quote:
Originally Posted by erk View Post
Hello All,

Here is an interesting piece of information that has been floating around the Internet since last summer. It has to do with cholesterol lowering drugs, (atorvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin and simvastatin), and their effect on lowering the HC virus.

Apparently, these drugs, along with interferon, may be a more effective therapy than interferon and ribavirin. The irony of this treatment is that statins have a negative impact on the liver but the level of this impact is not readily known with people with HCV.

For the longest time it was believed that people with chronic liver problems should not take statins this, however, is now changing. Doctors are being encouraged to prescribe these drugs to people with chronic liver problems because it is thought the value they have at lowering cholesterol far out weighs the negative impact they have on the liver.

My doctor has had me on and off simavastatin (Zocor) for several years. Shortly after reading about the positive effects of statins at preventing the replication of the HC virus I had my doctor measure my viral load. Well, surprise surprise, the level had gone from 1.8 million parts down to 450,000 parts.

Now here is an interesting observation. Right after this my doctor once again took me off the statin and within 6 months the viral load was on its way back up (load = 750,000). Well, I had him put me back on the statins. It will be interesting to see if the viral load drops again. By the way, I am not taking interferon just the statin.

ERK

Do a search on statins and hepatitis C to read some interesting findings.

 
Old 02-25-2007, 10:54 AM   #3
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Re: Cholesterol lowering drugs and HCV

Erk,

I find this interesting. I have not started my txs yet and may inquire about this. By the way, are you experiencing any side affects? Also, I thought that Zocor was for depression or mood swings. At this point, I would be willing to try statins to avoid PegIntron shots and those pills. It seems they cause more problems then Hep C.

Anyone else got anything on statins helping lower the Hep C virus? I will check the internet for information on Statins and Hep C. It's worth a look.

I hope your viral load shows continued improvement.

Joyce

Last edited by unrealbutok; 02-25-2007 at 10:55 AM.

 
Old 02-26-2007, 05:22 AM   #4
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Re: Cholesterol lowering drugs and HCV

Erk,

From what I've been told....a drop from 1.8 million to 450,000 is insignificant.

I was on an alternative treatment for HCV. I used to go for these hydrogen peroxide IV treatments. My viral load would go from like 18 million down to 5 million in a couple of months and then down to like 3 million. I would stop the treatments and my counts would go back up.

I then noticed that my viral load would go from anywhere like 13 million down to 185,000 without doing anything !!

When I finally went back to a gastro they told me they were looking for more significan drops. When I started treatment again I was either 5.5 or 3.5 million (I can't remember). After a month I was below 50. And after that I was below 5. Been done with treatment since last August and I'm still below 50.

I don't know if your going to get results like that with statin drigs. But coincidentally I've just gone on Lipitor. It bothers me because of all the negative info about these kind of drugs. I had two heart attacks in November and the doctors are insisting I go on a statin.

 
Old 02-26-2007, 08:25 PM   #5
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Re: Cholesterol lowering drugs and HCV

Erk--Wow, if this is true, it would be pretty amazing. My SIL is currently in Med School and recently finished up some pretty intensive studies on cholesterol & medications. He went into this class having NO preconceived notions and came out feeling like most statins were probably more dangerous than the high cholesterool they're supposed to treat....but of course, he isn;t through MEd school and has a lot to learn, but one thing he has learned--docs really don't know what a lot of these drugs can do....and Zocor, for one, would sure be a lot easier on the whole body than doing a course of peg-interferon.....my hubby may have his HCV come back to the point where he needs to treat it--right now, post transplant, his viral count is fine. Hopefully by the time he might need care for the HCV they'll have foiund something that works better for genotpyes 1a.....I am going to run this info about the statin by my SIL & let him bring it up in clas, I'n sure his professor would love to talk about it.

Last edited by liz49; 02-26-2007 at 08:26 PM.

 
Old 02-27-2007, 04:37 AM   #6
erk erk is offline
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Re: Cholesterol lowering drugs and HCV

Well, I saw my heptologist yesterday and when I told her my little statin story she smiled and, just as Glen has already pointed out, stated a change in viral load from 450 thousand to 750 thousand is really insignificant. Plus, as Glenn also points out, the viral load is not a constant it moves up and down over time.

She went on to say the way her lab counts viral loads today is different from how it was done in the past. So my original count of 1.8 million from several years ago is in different units than the current count so I am not comparing apples to apples.

I still find it an interesting experiment and because the zocor is controlling my cholesterol, without driving my liver enzymes up the wall, I will continue to take it. Come June or July I will get my blood checked again. It will be interesting to see where my viral load is at that time.

Last edited by erk; 02-27-2007 at 12:47 PM. Reason: I wanted to make clear I was taking the zocor for cholesterol

 
Old 02-27-2007, 08:37 AM   #7
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Re: Cholesterol lowering drugs and HCV

Quote:
Originally Posted by erk View Post
Well, I saw my heptologist yesterday and when I told her my little statin story she smiled and, just as Glen has already pointed out, stated a change in viral load from 450 thousand to 750 thousand is really insignificant. Plus, as Glenn also points out, the viral load is not a constant it moves up and down over time.

She went on to say the way her lab counts viral loads today is different from how it was done in the past. So my original count of 1.8 million from several years ago is in different units than the current count so I am not comparing apples to apples.

I still find it an interesting experiment and since I am responding very well with the zocor I will continue to take it. Come June or July I will get my blood checked again. It will be interesting to see where my viral load is at that time.

It is interesting and let us all know what happens.

 
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