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Old 06-08-2005, 06:43 AM   #1
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Lipitor and tingling sensation???

Hello,

I just started Lipitor about a week ago because of an extremely high lipid
profile (TC over 500) thats cause is hereditary.
After the second day of taking it I noticed muscle soreness...a good deal but nothing too severe. This seems to be going away. What has been troubling
me is that I have bouts of a tingling sensation that I get in primarily both my arms....also my face, chest and part of my back.
I was wondering if anyone else had this type of experience when starting up Lipitor...or is this a sign that I'm going to have a heart attack soon? My doctor scared the life out of me with the cholesterol count and said I was a time bomb waiting to go off in terms of artery blockage. So whenever I get this tingly sensation (which lasts for hours) I think that I'm going to have a heart attack.

Thanks for any input.

 
Old 06-08-2005, 05:12 PM   #2
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Re: Lipitor and tingling sensation???

Usually muscle soreness doesn't set in that fast, but U could be extremely sensative to the Lipitor. What dose are U on?

Sorry, but have no answers for you about the tingling sensation, and definitely would recommend calling your dr and telling him/her about it.

 
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Old 06-08-2005, 05:28 PM   #3
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Re: Lipitor and tingling sensation???

Bushleager,

I can't say for sure, but lots of people who experienced "peripheral neuropathy" (nerve damage) from statins started with 'tingling' sensations. It can progress from tingling to outright pain.

Look up "Statin" plus "peripheral neuropathy" on the web - it is one of the known side-effects of statins. By the way, it seems to be one of the side effects that has the lowest recovery rate - muscle pains seem to resolve themselves much better when the medicine is discontinued, but PN sometimes goes on for years with no improvement.

If this is what you think you may be experiencing, ask your doctor to switch you to a different medication. Some people react badly to one statin, but not another.

Vytorin is another option - it is a combination of statin (Zocor) plus Ezetimibil. It works to decrease cholesterol absorption in the intestines, plus reduces it's synthesis by the liver. But it contains a statin - so you may not tolerate it.

There is one other option if you can't tolerate statins, a supplement called 'Policosanol' - it reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol also, and raises HDL (good) cholesterol, but you need to get a brand made from sugar-cane, not beeswax.


With your TC, I'm afraid you need to get on some medication (statin or fibrate) or Policosanol. Dietary changes and exercise alone probably won't help enough.

What were your other numbers (HDL, LDL, Triglycerides)?


HubbleRules

Last edited by HubbleRules; 06-08-2005 at 05:30 PM.

 
Old 06-08-2005, 06:08 PM   #4
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Re: Lipitor and tingling sensation???

Bushleager....Do U happen to be diabetic? Peripheral neuropathy is common with diabetics. My husband has PN, and as Hubble said, it usually starts as tingling and in his case has developed into very severe pain and now numbness. It started about 3 years into taking Statins, then he developed diabetes, and now he is on meds. for the diabetes and PN pain, but no longer takes statins. If U could give us a little more info on yourself, we might have a better idea what is going on. Obviously we are not drs., but sometimes what we or family members have been thru, might give us a clue as to what is going on.

Take care.....

 
Old 06-08-2005, 08:21 PM   #5
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Re: Lipitor and tingling sensation???

Thank you for the replies, everyone.

Just to answer - I'm not diabetic. Along with the lipid profile I was also checked for sugar levels and whatnot.

The difficulty I have is that I also suffer from anxiety disorder, so it is altogether possible that the tingling could be anxiety-related (over-stimulated nerves)...or a combo of the two (over-stimulated nerves that are being hit by the statin as well).

I've done some research on the web, and found it surprising to get hit with muscle soreness right away...only to have it abate.

Either way, I will inform my doctor and discuss with him what alternatives there are in the event that the tingling and such continue. I certainly don't want to do permanent damage in the sake of getting my cholesterol down. While I fully appreciate the gravity of such a high cholesterol count, I don't want to ruin my body in other ways in the process. I see my doctor in two weeks....so I think I'll give it a few more days and see what happens. If the tingling persists and/or the muscle soreness reappears, I will give him a call beforehand and discuss it with him. Otherwise I'll wait until my next appointment (where he is also going to draw more blood to see how the lipitor is working).

I'm hoping I can stay on this stuff....with hereditary cholesterol, I don't have much choice. Perhaps I should ask the anxiety board if tingling is an anxiety symptom. Certainly the news of such a high TC level had an effect on me as I began to think that I would drop soon due to a massive heart attack.

Oh, almost forgot to respond -

my HDL was 69 (at least this was good)
my triglycerides were 2500....very alarming, giving the risk for pancreatitis
I don't remember my LDL....but I imagine it wasn't good

Last edited by bushleaguer; 06-08-2005 at 08:24 PM.

 
Old 06-08-2005, 09:51 PM   #6
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Re: Lipitor and tingling sensation???

Bushleaguer,

What is your diet like? Your numbers are a bit scary - I think you need to be on the statin if you can possibly tolerate it...

You should cut back significantly on carbs (especially sweets, sugar), and alcohol (if you drink) - because a TG level of 2500 has to be reduced dramatically.

I believe a TG count over 750 poses a risk of pancreatitis - so do some reading on the web, and cut out saturated fats in your diet (I would eliminate butter AND margarine), eliminate any trans-fats (anything with the word 'hydrogenated' in the ingredients), severely restrict dairy, and increase the amount of vegetables and fruits in your diet. Lose weight if you are overweight, and do aerobic exercise every other day at the least.

Has your doctor said anything about Lopid or Tricor (fibrates) instead of a statin? (Instead of a statin - do not try to use them both - the risk of muscle problems increases 25x when used in combination.) The fibrates are better than the statins at lowering triglycerides.

I would also try Omega-3 Fish Oils - they help lower triglycerides - but in your case you need more than just this.

Best of luck,

HubbleRules

Last edited by HubbleRules; 06-08-2005 at 09:59 PM.

 
Old 06-09-2005, 05:37 AM   #7
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Re: Lipitor and tingling sensation???

Bushleaguer,

I had some thigh pain (similar to the flu coming on) the first week to 10 days that I took Lipitor...I started with a 20 mg. dose. The pain went away and hasn't returned in the 6 years I've been taking atorvastatin. After 60 days of superb lipid numers (previously were wretched) I started breaking the tabs to 10 mg. and was happy to get the SAME numbers.
So I'd say wait it out a bit and see if you don't get the same pattern. At 30 days have your Lipid panel done, along with Liver enzyme profile, CPK (creatine phosphokinase to measure for muscle damage.)

Don't look inwardly too hard to find symptoms. Human nature being what it is, you'll FIND them!

 
Old 06-09-2005, 07:52 AM   #8
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Re: Lipitor and tingling sensation???

Bushleaguer...with Trigs as high as yours, they won't get an LDL reading, as it is calculated. I agree with everyone else, try staying on the statin as long as the pain stays away. As far as the Trigs, U might need something like the Zetia, or the new Vytorin, as it is Zocor and a Zetia mix.

Definitely try to do something with your diet, especially carbs, sugary things or anything with refined sugar. Eat more fruits and veggies, stay as far away from bread, potatoes, white rice, and any other high carb things to get those Trigs down. Do a web search for low carb foods, especially low glycemic foods, that will definitely help. Also do your best to get some exercise in your routine, even a half hr. walk. If your not use to this, start slow and work your way up.

Wishing U tons of luck, and keep us posted.......

Last edited by JJ; 06-09-2005 at 07:52 AM.

 
Old 06-09-2005, 09:25 AM   #9
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Re: Lipitor and tingling sensation???

Bushleader,
Gosh I MISSED that triglyceride

First order of business is to retest to see if it's accurate...make sure you fast 14 hours and teetoal the day before.

Do you have many xanthomas under the skin (fat deposits?) Are you obese? Are you a sugarholic or a VERY heavy drinker?

You MUST get this under control. As others have said, you can't get much of a handle on the other components of your blood lipids; your main concern is getting the tri's down certainly below 500 as a bare minimum. If the 2500 is valid, I doubt that you have any alternative to drug therapy and I think you'll be lucky to get away with only one type of med.

If Lipitor straightens your numbers out, Pfizer will make you their poster boy (ask a LOT, they are VERY wealthy.)

Last edited by Lenin; 06-09-2005 at 09:33 AM.

 
Old 06-09-2005, 09:58 AM   #10
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Re: Lipitor and tingling sensation???

Thanks again for the replies, everyone.

Yeah, I am aware of the gravity of the situation. Doing so has led to nothing but anxiety, however - and in an ironic twist, stress can increase triglyceride levels. So I have completely changed my diet and started to exercise along with the Lipitor.
I'll ask my doctor about anything to add if the Lipitor doesn't perform well with the triglycerides. I know this is a must to get down as soon as possible...but again you can do only as much as you are able. Hopefully the Lipitor will be successful.

Thanks again.

 
Old 06-09-2005, 10:27 AM   #11
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Re: Lipitor and tingling sensation???

Try not to stress out too much, at least U are taking a med and are aware of what U need to do. Yes, stress can elevate Trigs., but not that high. U just might need a combo thing to get those trigs down, as Lipitor isn't the greatest for Trigs.

Hubby has high Trigs, and at one point his dr. shoved him on 80 mgs. of Lipitor, man did he get sick. After 3 days of throwing up, I called his cardio man, who told me to get him OFF that high a dose, as Lipitor isn't that great for Trigs., plus it was way to much for him to handle. He still runs fairly high Trigs, usually around 400, but has changed alot of his diet, especially the bread and carbs, and last time they got an LDL, as his Trigs fell in the 300 range. Not great, but hey, progress at least....

Have U asked your dr. about Niacin? Many folks have had good results with it, as it is good for Trigs and also boosting the HDL. There is a non flush kind availeable, many here have tried it and seems to work pretty good. At least ask the dr. about maybe adding some, as U have to be monitored on that like a statin.

I'm sure by working with your dr. and doing some changes, U will get them down. U can't change everything over nite, just take it one day at a time. Changing your diet and getting in exercise will most definitely help.

Wishing U all the best.....

 
Old 07-15-2005, 10:04 AM   #12
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Re: Lipitor and tingling sensation???

Thanks for the support, everyone.

Just to update:

After 5 weeks of Lipitor (20mgs/day)...

My total cholesterol went from over 500 to 170.

My triglycerides went from over 2500 to 462.

My LDL is still n/a due to the high triglyceride count.

Get this - my HDL went down to 32 (I don't get that).


Well, I guess Lipitor is the med for me. The "tingling sensation" that I originally posted about has just about gone away. I don't have any more muscle soreness, either. The only thing that persists is the constipation, but popping a stool softener every now and then helps out.

My doctor was pleased with the results...to say the least. We still have some ground to cover, however, due to the trigs and the drop in the HDL. He's started me on Omega-3 supplementation and niacin. I have yet to give the niacin a go...partly because of the horror stories I've read. I'm going to give it a try tomorrow (Saturday) when I have nothing to do so if I flush bad or get sick it won't incumber anything I need to do. I'll also take an aspirin beforehand, as he said this helps with the flushing. He also put me on Co Q-10 because I'm taking a statin. Aside from that, I'll stick to the dietary changes and exercise.

Thanks again for the support.

 
Old 07-15-2005, 10:31 AM   #13
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Re: Lipitor and tingling sensation???

Quote:
Originally Posted by bushleaguer
Thanks for the support, everyone.

Just to update:

After 5 weeks of Lipitor (20mgs/day)...

My total cholesterol went from over 500 to 170.

My triglycerides went from over 2500 to 462.

My LDL is still n/a due to the high triglyceride count.

Get this - my HDL went down to 32 (I don't get that).


Well, I guess Lipitor is the med for me. The "tingling sensation" that I originally posted about has just about gone away. I don't have any more muscle soreness, either. The only thing that persists is the constipation, but popping a stool softener every now and then helps out.

My doctor was pleased with the results...to say the least. We still have some ground to cover, however, due to the trigs and the drop in the HDL. He's started me on Omega-3 supplementation and niacin. I have yet to give the niacin a go...partly because of the horror stories I've read. I'm going to give it a try tomorrow (Saturday) when I have nothing to do so if I flush bad or get sick it won't incumber anything I need to do. I'll also take an aspirin beforehand, as he said this helps with the flushing. He also put me on Co Q-10 because I'm taking a statin. Aside from that, I'll stick to the dietary changes and exercise.

Thanks again for the support.
Great to see the Lipitor is working for you and the tingling and muscle pains are going. Don't be too upset about the HDL, I'm sure the Niacin will help that, but at least the overall numbers have improved greatly.

Glad your dr. suggested the CoQ10, alot of drs. don't tell their patients about it. Wishing U continued success, your doing mighty good so far.......

 
Old 07-15-2005, 01:00 PM   #14
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Re: Lipitor and tingling sensation???

Thanks, JJ.

 
Old 07-15-2005, 04:32 PM   #15
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Re: Lipitor and tingling sensation???

Bushleager,

THose are impressive drops in both total cholesterol and triglycerides - keep up the good work!!!

You absolutely need to be on statins.. And definitely stick with the dietary changes.

I agree with the Omega-3s - I'm not sure of combining Niacin with statins - you should do more research into this. Arizona had mentioned previously that taking vitamin-c with niacin helps reduce the flush. I take a 500mg Inositol Hexanicotinate with 1000mg vitamin-c, and I notice very little flushing.

Has your doctor said anything about Tricor or Gemfibrozil in addition to the Lipitor? These fibrate drugs are better than the statins at reducing triglycerides. THe reason I mention it is that the chances of you having muscular pain induced by the drugs rises about 25 fold when on a statin/fibrate combination therapy. I know, I took Tricor in addition to my Lipitor about 2 years ago - and within a few months had so much muscle pain and weakness I couldn't even lift my laptop PC.

If he prescribes the Tricor, just be very watchful for any chronic, unexplained muscle pains in your arms or legs. Chances are you won't have any problems - but you should be aware. My doctor said nothing to me beforehand about this risk - and I stayed on the 2 drugs for a few months after the pain started before I made the connection, and it took quite a while for the pain to subside after I stopped taking both.

Other than that, I think your doctor has you on a good treatment plan.

Good luck!

HubbleRules

Last edited by HubbleRules; 07-15-2005 at 04:44 PM.

 
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