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    Old 07-23-2004, 01:09 AM   #1
    patric46
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    Zip,arizona, Need Help With Possible Statin Side Effect

    my mother has been on pravachol 10mg. for about 2 years...in the past few months she has been having alot of pain in the thighs and alot of weakness in the legs..since she also has a myriad of progesive back problems (degenritive discs,osteoarthritis,stenosis) her and her doctor are not sure if the statin is causin the problem or if her back and legs are just gettin worse ( she did have leg pain and some weakness prior to starting pravachol but not this bad) ........................................ ........................................ .................................. doctor took her off statin 3weeks ago..no change in symptoms..my question is how long would it take for somene to know if a statin is causing a problem?..3 weeks? a month? or can negative side effects exsit for longer? btw all her bloodwork shows normal liver enzymes...her and her doctor are both keeping an open mind..any feedback guys? thanks

     
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    Old 07-23-2004, 03:57 AM   #2
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    Re: Zip,arizona, Need Help With Possible Statin Side Effect

    patric,

    Of couse all the knee and leg pain and weakness can be attributable to compression and irritation of her sciatic and other spinal nerves (oh can it EVER!) Unfortunately it only gets worse as the years roll on.

    But I think thigh pain is perhaps the MOST common of the objectionable side effects from statin use.

    I'd think if it was the statin, there should be SOME difference in her comfort by now. Certainly by the two month mark(but some people complain longer.)

    Why not buy her a bottle of CoQ10 and have her take 100 mg. a day. It's claimed to help with statin pain.

    But I'll put my money on her spine as the source of the pain.

    Last edited by zip2play; 07-23-2004 at 03:59 AM.

     
    Old 07-23-2004, 01:53 PM   #3
    patric46
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    Re: Zip,arizona, Need Help With Possible Statin Side Effect

    thanks zip,..she has been taking CoQ10 since she started pravachol...she takes 100mg Q-gel ....

     
    Old 07-24-2004, 05:36 PM   #4
    ARIZONA73
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    Re: Zip,arizona, Need Help With Possible Statin Side Effect

    Patric,

    Yes, it's certainly possible that the statin may have exacerbated your mother's existing condition. Your mother had been taking the statin for 2 years, and she's now been off it for 3 months, but still no improvement, even with the CoQ10? I'm sorry to hear that. While some people do notice an improvement after a short period of time, for others the symptoms may persist for much longer. Age may be a factor, as well as the length of time the patient had been taking the drug. In your mother's case, it may take longer than 3 months. But hopefully your mother will eventually begin to feel better again.

     
    Old 07-25-2004, 10:47 PM   #5
    patric46
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    Re: Zip,arizona, Need Help With Possible Statin Side Effect

    arizona...im sorry if i didnt correctly state the facts..my mother stopped taking pravachol 3 WEEKS ago,not months...she naturally assumes its her back condition gettin worse which is of course very possible, but im just not sure, it seems her thigh pains and leg weakness seemed to get worse rather fast.................................... ........................................ she has always takin CoQ10 from day one since she stated taking her statin 2 years ago ........................................ ...............................the doctor said 2 or 3 weeks is enough time to ascess if the pravachol is causing a problem..i disagree but im not sure how long to advise her to stay off it to see if it is causing side effects.........................any suggestions as to how long you would suggest? zip you can jump right in too if you have any thoughts on a time frame..thanks

     
    Old 07-26-2004, 03:01 AM   #6
    zip2play
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    Re: Zip,arizona, Need Help With Possible Statin Side Effect

    Personally patric I think she has waited long enough too. I agree with her doctor.
    I also think that "statin pain" is way overblown and very often suggestive and autosuggestive. "Tired achey legs" occurred long before statins and will occur long after, and the presence of demonstrable back damage, especially stenosis, would lead me to believe your mother's problem is spinal nerve related.

    IF you want to go for 2 months to a year without the statins, think hard about risk factors. Monitor her cholesterol levels. If they go to 220TC or less probably no damage done, if they soar to 300, rethink her situation.
    Also, any other ccardiac risk factors should come into the situation. Remember that nobody ever died of sore legs.

    A final factor is that side effects of drugs usually pop up pretty fast, if at all. A 21 month pattern without serious side effects is rarely followed by drug reactions...they just don't work that way.

     
    Old 07-26-2004, 10:01 PM   #7
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    Re: Zip,arizona, Need Help With Possible Statin Side Effect

    Zip, I'm glad you said drugs usually don't work that way. I was on lipitor for 4 years before my body had a reaction to it. I was almost totally disabled. I could'nt walk 10 feet without having such terrible low back pain that I was in tears. Muscle pain was awful, nobody's died of weak legs? well combined with everything else, I wish I could have. Its been over a year since I quit taking lipitor (statin) and I'm still working on regaining strength, but at least I feel I have my life back. Anyone questioning statins should do a search for statins or whatever drug they are taking, under message boards and make their own conclusions. Also all the tests the Dr.s did came back normal,so it could'nt be lipitor, they have a different opinion now.

     
    Old 07-27-2004, 03:30 AM   #8
    zip2play
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    Re: Zip,arizona, Need Help With Possible Statin Side Effect

    Everyone should ask for a CPK (serum creatine phosphokinase) if they experience any pain that they feel might be related to muscle damage from statin use.
    It is probably true also that tolerating some pain MIGHT have to done my SOME people in order to mitigate the more severe risks associated with very high cholesterol.
    People who have had one heart attack or people who are avoiding quadruple bypass might willing tolerate some leg aches (I would.) For some people the pain might be so great that ignoring the cholesterol might win the RISK/BENEFIT/PAIN ratio.

    I really. really believe however that from my limited experience of human nature that most people starting statins and reading these boards will look at every ache and pain differently. Hypervigilence is ALWAYS waiting right around the corner.

    I've just entered my 6th decade with a blown back, two shot knees and crucifying shoulders. It is ALWAYS tempting to say, "How would these poor mangled joints feel without the statin?" I stop myself and add..."but how much of a doof would I feel if I stopped and the joints felt a LITTLE better- maybe, and then I needed bypass in 2 years...and I get to live with a year of pain, a disfigured chest and a scarry leg." Or worse, "how would I feel DEAD."

    Last edited by zip2play; 07-27-2004 at 03:32 AM.

     
    Old 07-27-2004, 06:50 AM   #9
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    Re: Zip,arizona, Need Help With Possible Statin Side Effect

    Each one of us is different, and should look at the pro's and con's of any medication we take. I believe there is a quanity and quality of life. What stains did to me wasn't just a little pain. I had all the blood tests and they all came back normal thats what the Dr. couldn't understand. Anyway this is just what happened to me, and many other people. We all have to do whats right for each one of us. I am using a different cholestrol drug which is not a statin and put my faith in God that I made the right decision....

     
    Old 07-27-2004, 07:51 AM   #10
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    Re: Zip,arizona, Need Help With Possible Statin Side Effect

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by graycee
    Zip, I'm glad you said drugs usually don't work that way. I was on lipitor for 4 years before my body had a reaction to it. I was almost totally disabled. I could'nt walk 10 feet without having such terrible low back pain that I was in tears. Muscle pain was awful, nobody's died of weak legs? well combined with everything else, I wish I could have. Its been over a year since I quit taking lipitor (statin) and I'm still working on regaining strength, but at least I feel I have my life back. Anyone questioning statins should do a search for statins or whatever drug they are taking, under message boards and make their own conclusions. Also all the tests the Dr.s did came back normal,so it could'nt be lipitor, they have a different opinion now.
    I have a similar experience. I was on a statin for about 2 months when I started being awakened at night with burning sensations in upper thighs radiating into my back. I tried to ignore it, but when I started having lower back pain that was made worse by pressure on the lower back (resting against sofa pillow was enough to do it), I got scared! I had darker than normal urine and have kidney cysts to begin with. Didn't want to do ANYTHING to endanger kidney function, so took myself off the statins right away!

    I go to the Dr's for a cholesterol test after 3 months off the drugs later this week. I've modified my diet adding ground flax seed, cod fish oil supplements, lethecin, b vitamins, and cutting way back on fats/saturated fats. I have also added red wine (one glass a day), a handful of almonds, dark chocolate (less than 1 oz.) and lots of fruits and veggies to my diet. I walk 30 minutes a day and am trying to lose weight....not very successfully yet. I'm hopeful, but scared! I CAN'T take statins, but I think my Dr. feels my pain was psychosomatic. She doesn't know me well enough to think that, but....I WON'T take statins!

     
    Old 07-27-2004, 04:15 PM   #11
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    Re: Zip,arizona, Need Help With Possible Statin Side Effect

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by graycee
    Each one of us is different, and should look at the pro's and con's of any medication we take. I believe there is a quanity and quality of life. What stains did to me wasn't just a little pain. I had all the blood tests and they all came back normal thats what the Dr. couldn't understand. Anyway this is just what happened to me, and many other people. We all have to do whats right for each one of us. I am using a different cholestrol drug which is not a statin and put my faith in God that I made the right decision....

    i agree with you. I have tried statins and could not tolerate them. I am also battling hbp, diabetes, and graves disease. I can tolerate most meds (im very sensitive to drugs) even had 2 heart attacks. And i still refuse to take a statin. The pain was so temendous and Lipitor caused me to go into toxic shock. I must admit that i was taking quite a few pills at that time. I have been exercising feverishly and heating high fiber low fat. I have started the fish oil. I would like to try the the benecol and other plant supplements first. STATINS are not for everybody. Quality of life is all i want.

     
    Old 10-07-2004, 08:50 PM   #12
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    Re: Zip,arizona, Need Help With Possible Statin Side Effect

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zip
    Everyone should ask for a CPK (serum creatine phosphokinase) if they experience any pain that they feel might be related to muscle damage from statin use.....
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by graycee
    I had all the blood tests and they all came back normal thats what the Dr. couldn't understand. ....
    CPK tests coming back normal is an increasing problem. Doctors are relying on the test to tell the whole story.

    From the "Annals of Internal Medicine" American College of Physicians
    http://www.annals.org/cgi/content/full/137/7/581
    Objective: To report biopsy-confirmed myopathy and normal creatine kinase levels associated with statin use.

    Results: All four patients repeatedly distinguished blinded statin therapy from placebo. Strength testing confirmed weakness during statin therapy that reversed during placebo use. Muscle biopsies showed evidence of mitochondrial dysfunction, including abnormally increased lipid stores, fibers that did not stain for cytochrome oxidase activity, and ragged red fibers. These findings reversed in the three patients who had repeated biopsy when they were not receiving statins. Creatine kinase levels were normal in all four patients despite the presence of significant myopathy.

    Frankie

     
    Old 10-12-2004, 04:34 PM   #13
    EKGnormal
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    Re: Zip,arizona, Need Help With Possible Statin Side Effect

    Wait 6 weeks to be safe.
    10 mg Pravachol only lowers her cholesterol about 20%.
    How high was her LDL levels, before?

     
    Old 10-19-2004, 03:05 PM   #14
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    Update

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cokids
    I have a similar experience. I was on a statin for about 2 months when I started being awakened at night with burning sensations in upper thighs radiating into my back. I tried to ignore it, but when I started having lower back pain that was made worse by pressure on the lower back (resting against sofa pillow was enough to do it), I got scared! I had darker than normal urine and have kidney cysts to begin with. Didn't want to do ANYTHING to endanger kidney function, so took myself off the statins right away!

    I go to the Dr's for a cholesterol test after 3 months off the drugs later this week. I've modified my diet adding ground flax seed, cod fish oil supplements, lethecin, b vitamins, and cutting way back on fats/saturated fats. I have also added red wine (one glass a day), a handful of almonds, dark chocolate (less than 1 oz.) and lots of fruits and veggies to my diet. I walk 30 minutes a day and am trying to lose weight....not very successfully yet. I'm hopeful, but scared! I CAN'T take statins, but I think my Dr. feels my pain was psychosomatic. She doesn't know me well enough to think that, but....I WON'T take statins!
    Here's an update on my experience....I told my Dr.that I could NOT take statins and researched diet. I decided to go onto the South Beach Diet. I cut out simple carbs and added back in complex ones...no sweets, no desserts, no potato, no white bread, no white rice. I added back low carb veggies, fruits (in moderation), whole grain bread and brown rice. On this regimen, I have lost 15 lbs. and lowered my cholesterol to levels that are healthy. I think that we jump to drugs too quickly without trying other alternatives. I am continuing on the diet hoping to lose more weight and to continue to lower my cholesterol.

     
    Old 10-19-2004, 04:11 PM   #15
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    Re: Zip,arizona, Need Help With Possible Statin Side Effect

    It sounds like a sensible regimen to me. You have apparently made adjustments to your diet, and your efforts are paying off. I'm sure there are many more people who can do pretty much the same thing if they only had the will power and demonstrated some self control over what they put in their mouths. But unfortunately there are too many others who would rather just take a pill and continue on with their reckless and gluttonous eating habits.

     
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