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Old 04-20-2007, 06:15 PM   #1
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Unhappy Quit Lipitor - Cholesterol sky high

I stopped Lipitor (10mg) after taking it for 8 months on Dec. 1, 2006. I stopped because I had muscle weakness among other symptoms. It has been 4 months now and I had lipid test.

Jan 04 Feb 05 (diet) Mar 06 (Lipitor) Apr 07

TTL 282 241 209 315

HDL 54 48 48 58
LDL 166 150 139 203
Trig 192 160 122 128

Does anyone know why my cholesterol shot up so much? I asked my Doctor today and he just said my LDLs were high before taking Lipitor and it looked like I would have high cholesterol even if I only ate lettuce. He recommended I take Red Yeast Rice and if that doesn't work he recommends Zetia.

I would think my cholesterol would return to normal after being off Lipitor for 4 months. I am really worried now. I wish I would have never put a statin in my mouth. I certainly felt better before I started.

 
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Old 04-20-2007, 08:31 PM   #2
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Re: Quit Lipitor - Cholesterol sky high

What was your cholesterol before you started anything, I think by your chart it was the 209? It can take some time for you body to get back to its "normal" self. If thats the case looks like you're on of the "lucky" ones that statins have messed up your body chemistry. (by the way, there was nothing wrong with your 209. By the way, did your doctor not test your during your cholesterol medication treatment?

Last edited by NHone; 04-20-2007 at 08:32 PM. Reason: addition

 
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Old 04-20-2007, 11:15 PM   #3
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Re: Quit Lipitor - Cholesterol sky high

Thank you for your reply. I have been watching this board for the last 4 months and really admire your frankness.
My total cholesterol has always been 230-260. When I was on Lipitor 10mg it was 209 but I felt terrible. I was weak and feeling 20 years older than my 63 years. So now my system is all screwed up and my LDLs are over 200 and my total cholesterol is 315. Are these drug companies and doctors trying to kill us?

 
Old 04-21-2007, 07:08 AM   #4
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Re: Quit Lipitor - Cholesterol sky high

Quote:
Originally Posted by homeboymi View Post
Thank you for your reply. I have been watching this board for the last 4 months and really admire your frankness.
My total cholesterol has always been 230-260. When I was on Lipitor 10mg it was 209 but I felt terrible. I was weak and feeling 20 years older than my 63 years. So now my system is all screwed up and my LDLs are over 200 and my total cholesterol is 315. Are these drug companies and doctors trying to kill us?
Probably Drs. tend to throw those things at you way too quickly.

You might give either Fish Oil or Flax Seed Oil capsules a try, many Drs. are even recommending them now. They are good at lowering cholesterol. The Flax Seed oil lowered mine 24 points.

Personally I wouldn't touch a statin either.

 
Old 04-21-2007, 10:31 AM   #5
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Re: Quit Lipitor - Cholesterol sky high

I went off Lipitor for 1 week, due to muscle weakness (both calves) and neurological pain in my leg. I was convinced at the time that the drug was responsible for it. However, my specialist did not seem to think so and pointed out that:

- I was on other medications that list muscle weakness as a possible side effect

- My cholesterol levels were great after being on the statin for not even two months. The improvement was huge! He strongly recommended I keep taking the drug to reduce the chances of another cardio event.

- the dose I was on was quite small and would not do much harm (10mg)

However, I don't think that the statin deserves all the credit. What about all the oatmeal, flax seed, Omega 3's, apple cider vinegar, garlic etc. I have included in my diet? I am sure that they have all played a role in getting the numbers down.

I went back on it, by the way.

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 04-21-2007 at 10:33 AM.

 
Old 04-21-2007, 10:06 PM   #6
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Re: Quit Lipitor - Cholesterol sky high

Did you muscle pain go away when you went off of the medication? You don't say what other medications you were on, but my mother was also on a calcium channel blocker athe same time. They are know to increase the serum concentration of most statins (cyp4503A4) by 3.9 times. In effect she was getting an equivalent dose of 80 mg of lipitor. Her doctor doubled her calcium channel block but as a biochemist told me, at that point it would not just be another 3.9 times increase but could be exponential. Any biochemist can see this, but doctors are not biochemist.....and in fact they know very little chemistry. Seems to me since medications are chemicals, a good amouth of chemistry should be required. In fact Washington University Medical School in St. louis, and Mayo in Minn. did not even see that this could be a problem, even thought we pointed it out numerous times, including our documentation. The head of Pharmacy at both locations blew it off. The doubled diltiazem along with the statin WAS the cause of a severe drop in her health, which at this point will not return.

 
Old 04-21-2007, 10:45 PM   #7
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Re: Quit Lipitor - Cholesterol sky high

N-hone!

You are scaring me!

To answer your question, there was no noticable difference in the way I felt during the week I was off Lipitor. Perhaps I should have waited longer before going back on it. One week was hardly enough.

The meds I am on include alpha/beta/calcium channel blockers, diuretic and an ACE inhibitor, plus Lipitor.
I simply cannot believe that these drugs interact in such a dramatic way. Then again, why should I be so surprised? One only has to read the warnings on each drug sheet...Geez, I wonder if my doctors are even aware of the fact. Hardly.

What I do know is that beta blockers are not supposed to be taken with calcium channel blockers and have always wondered why they were prescribed together for me! Thanks for the info and what do I do now?

Thanks to its effectiveness in reducing bad cholesterol, Lipitor has become a wonder drug. It's no surprise that the powers that be were not willing to listen your complaints! I guess there have been no studies done to date about the effect of calcium channel blockers on statins, or vice versa. Very good chance no one is going to believe it, anyway, as you found out.

Last edited by flowergirl2day; 04-21-2007 at 10:46 PM.

 
Old 04-22-2007, 12:26 AM   #8
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Re: Quit Lipitor - Cholesterol sky high

Yes, there are numerous studies on calcium channel blockers and statins. THats the sad thing. These aren't just studies, they are case reports (the ones that were reported). Also these are not just predictions.... chemistry is the same as math... 2 + 2=4 everytime. Calcium channel blockers decrease the clearance of some(most) statins....every time. It is a chemical certainty. I am not a doctor, but i can read...why are you on all of those heart medications? Some of those combinations double the risk of heart failure and heart attack. DO you have chronic heart failure? As a women and especially if you are over 65 you should not be on a cholesterol lowering medication as there is an inverse relationship with cholesterol and longevity. THis means, the older poeple are higher cholesterol is observed as a factor in increased longevity. Have you ever had an intracellular magnesium test? It think it would be well worth it considering all of the heart medication you are on. I bet you're also taking a calcium supplement..... how much? Which diuretic are u on? And yes, you whould have waited longer while off of the statin. Also be aware that even severe muscle problems from statins do not always show up in liver tests.

 
Old 04-22-2007, 06:12 AM   #9
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Re: Quit Lipitor - Cholesterol sky high

Homeboy,

I'll add a few comments.
Although I don't know why your numbers are worse now (LDL 203)than before you started Lipitor (LDL `66) both are bad. At age 63, carrying around EITHER set of numbers is dangerous.
Anomalies in testing occur, numbers tend to get WORSE as we age, diets change over time...several things might explain why you are higher now.

Your blood lipid RESPONSE to the Lipitor was also not nearly so good as many others get...probaly 10 mg. was too low a dose for you.

Are you CERTAIAN there was cause and effect between the Lipitor and the weakness? Have you made dietary modifications to try to lower that awful LDL? Are you overweight?

Red yeast rice is a weak statin, lovastatin, and you can try it if you wish, but judging your relatively small response with 10 mg. Lipitor, a STRONG statin, I doubt the RYR will do much for you. Try the Zetia, unfortunately people seem to have as much if not more problems with ezetimibe than thaey do with statins.

I think you should try 20 mg. Lipitor once again if you think it's POSSIBLE that your weakness problem was coincidental.

You should NOT settle for the numbers as they are. At age 63, it's TOO DANGEROUS.

 
Old 04-22-2007, 09:01 AM   #10
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Re: Quit Lipitor - Cholesterol sky high

Nhone,

Most of the meds mentioned in previous post are also used for lowering high blood pressure. I have problems in both areas. No CHF right now. I am 48 and my cholesterol levels were quite bad; Lipitor has helped with that. (I added CoQ10 100mg to help balance things out.)

I take Spironolactone 25mg, no calcium right now(should I?). I'll have the meds/dosage reviewed tomorrow by a cardiologist. The studies/case reports mentioned previously should prove to be interesting! Ditto for intracellular magnesium test. Thanks for the information!

 
Old 04-22-2007, 10:27 AM   #11
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Re: Quit Lipitor - Cholesterol sky high

Lenin,

I am not overweight (I'm skinny) and my diet is low fat, low cholesterol. I walk 6 miles every morning and stay away from restraurants. Since I quit Lipitor on Dec 1st I started CoQ10 and Omega 3 Fish Oil. I'm on no medication at all and never was other than the Lipitor.

Maybe I shouldn't blame Lipitor for my high cholesterol now but I felt a heck of a lot better before I took it. I'm astounded how much my LDLs and total cholesterol jumped.

I've watched these posts for 4 months and you and NHOME are on opposite ends of the spectrum. I value both of your opinions and I will weigh your advise. For now I think I will stay statin free and see if my chemistry adjusts by itself.

Thank you.

 
Old 04-22-2007, 11:30 AM   #12
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Re: Quit Lipitor - Cholesterol sky high

Homeboymi,

Has your muscle weakness gone away since dropping the Lipitor?

Not everyone can tolerate statins - and it can take a while for the symptoms to go away.

Stay on the Omega-3 fish oil and CoQ10 and see how you feel in a few more months. Both of these supplements are good for you -regardless of your cholesterol level.

I had been on Lipitor for over 7 years before I had a very bad bout of muscle pain and weakness - and it took me over a year off of Lipitor to fully recover. I reluctantly went back on statins about 4 months ago after giving natural remedies and diet a good chance to lower my numbers - without very good results.

Your current LDL numbers are relatively high - but your HDL is good and your triglycerides are not bad. By the way, I'm one of those who doesn't buy into the current cholesterol guidelines - there's far too much financial conflict of interest in the system for me to have blind faith in it.

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Old 04-22-2007, 01:17 PM   #13
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Re: Quit Lipitor - Cholesterol sky high

I believe the Spiro.. is a potassium sparing diuretic. Still need to have blood test with that to see your body is not holding too much potassium. I have seen it suggested (and told by Dr. Mildred Seelig, who was the world's leading magnesium specialist) that people taking clacium channel blockers should not be taking calcium supplements. They kind of contradict each other. You don't want to block the calcium channels (somewhat) while adding more to the system. Even though you are young (same age as I am)...you might what to consult a "certified geriactric pharmacist" on your medications. You can find a list of them in your area by looking them up. They have a considerable amount more of education to obtain this certification. They are a real doctor, with their degree in pharmacy. They really helped my mother, and also did agree that the doubling of her diltiazem along with her statin was the cause of her condition worsening. I am at least skilled in observation testing, and the cause and effect came in the same time frame. The beta blockers are known to raise blood sugars (and can raise trigs)....however coreg (beta blocker) has been shown not to raise blood sugars. Spectracell in Houston can do the intracellular magnesium test, as well as a complete intracellular panel, including cholesterol with is broken down much more than the normal cholesterol panels. Insurance will cover these tests. You doctore writes the prescription for the tests and you local lab draws the blood. The samples are then sent to spectracell. The test also included homocystine, lp(a), fibrogen, CoQ10, and many other things. Still stains in women are NOT shown to increase longevity. I don't care where other people get their information, but the Statin STudy at UCSD (and NIH (government) funded study) has combed through every statin trial and study. This is their conclusion. It is from the data submitted to form all of the touted "benefits" that the drug companies claim. While it is true in women there were less cardio events, there were more cancer deaths that canceled out the the longevity factor. In this information also it showed that people over 65 had increased longevity with higher cholesterol levels....this included LDL. You might remember that a drug company was about to go for final FDA approval for a medication that raised HDL....well that blew up in their face because of the additional heart attacks it caused. Messing with cholesterol with medication is a risky business... It is a fine balance in your body and requires many factors. Just lowering (or raising) cholesterol with medication causes a disruption in that pathway. Did you ever notice what road constrution does to the flow of traffic? You body is much like that, but a highway of chemical reactions. You might want to up the Coq10 a bit. ALso make sure you are taking fish oil for the omega 3's. Good luck.... oh one more thing, if your cardio guy ever tries to give you amiodarone for your heart... just note that the FDA has issued a warning saying it is to be the medication of ABSOLUTE LAST RESORT. IT is REQUIRED by law that the doctor give you this information in writting. It also depletes Coq10. Another one of those helpful drugs that depletes a required substance in your body...and which doctors pay no attention to.

 
Old 04-22-2007, 02:20 PM   #14
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Re: Quit Lipitor - Cholesterol sky high

[QUOTE=NHone;2937812]much potassium.
Quote:
I believe the Spiro.. is a potassium sparing diuretic. Still need to have blood test with that to see your body is not holding too
I believe in potassium-sparing Spironolactone, too, sort of...when NOT combined with Altace, which builds up one's potassium levels! Most of us know how very dangerous high levels of the stuff can be and what the consequences are. Unfortunately for me, I am on both! I have worried about this for months! Somehow, regular blood tests have failed to reassure me.

Thanks for all of your valuable tips. I am very new to this; I had not thought or worried about my health at all over the years. (Big mistake!) I now find myself facing not just one, but several issues.

I'll start with learning about the statins' interaction with other drugs and go over their listed possible side effects again. Wonder what the unlisted side effects of statins are - if any?

 
Old 04-22-2007, 05:13 PM   #15
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Re: Quit Lipitor - Cholesterol sky high

Hubble Rules,

Thank you for the advice. It took 3 months for my muscle weakness to subside a little. I got down and tried to do pushups on March 1st, 3months after I quit Lipitor. I could only do ONE! I am up to 10 now. I'm feeling much better and don't even want to think about doing this to my body again.

My Doctor suggested I try Red Yeast Rice. As I was leaving the receptionist desk, he mention I should quit this too if I felt muscle aches. I ******d it and have decided to forgo that. Seems it is just a very mild statin.

I am taking 1,000 Omega 3 Fish Oil daily and 100mg of COQ10. I weigh 170 pounds. Do you think that is enough? With total cholesterol of 315 now it doesn't seem to be doing any good.

Thanks for your reply

 
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