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    Old 07-17-2005, 04:10 PM   #1
    fajitanumerouno
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    Lipitor and leg muscle pain

    My mother in law has been taking Lipitor for probably over a year now. The last month or so she has developed severe leg pain. The in-laws were looking into deep vein thrombosis but no clots were found. Then we realized she was taking lipitor and perhaps there was a link. She has switched to every other day taking it. Could this be causing her pain? THe dr. did not even mention side effects of other drugs she is taking. She is 70.
    If she goes off this med how long for the pain to subside? This is a new area we are looking into as she is really suffering.
    Any info, links appreciated.
    Thanks

     
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    Old 07-17-2005, 04:40 PM   #2
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    Re: Lipitor and leg muscle pain

    The Lipitor may very well be causing her leg pains. One of the most common side-effects from statins is muscle pain and weakness. It's difficult to say how long it will take before the pain subsides. For some people, an improvement is noticed shortly after discontinuing the drug. For others, the pain may persist much longer. I don't know if she will notice much of an improvement even though she is taking it every other day. I would think that it would be better if she stopped it altogether. As for doctors, I can't understand why so many of them are so defensive about these drugs, and remain mum when confronted with patients' complaints. Did her doctor at least advise her to take coenzyme Q10 when he initially prescribed Lipitor? I'll bet he didn't.
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    Old 07-17-2005, 06:28 PM   #3
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    Re: Lipitor and leg muscle pain

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fajitanumerouno
    My mother in law has been taking Lipitor for probably over a year now. The last month or so she has developed severe leg pain. The in-laws were looking into deep vein thrombosis but no clots were found. Then we realized she was taking lipitor and perhaps there was a link. She has switched to every other day taking it. Could this be causing her pain? THe dr. did not even mention side effects of other drugs she is taking. She is 70.
    If she goes off this med how long for the pain to subside? This is a new area we are looking into as she is really suffering.
    Any info, links appreciated.
    Thanks
    What other meds. is you MIL on? They tried having me take it only 3 days a week, mon. wed. and fri. but it did no good, I had to finally stop it all together. Mine started mostly with GI problems after 3 months, then it went into the muscle pain and weakness, so I just stopped. It took me about 9 months before I started to feel better, and that was after alot of tests, most of which were GI related.

    As Arizona said, maybe if she stops it, at least for awhile, they can get a better idea if it is the Lipitor, or another med she is taking that might be causing an interaction. She should not have to be in such pain, and if it is the Lipitor, she just might be like many of us who just can't handle it. Yes, there are many folks who do take statins with lil problems, but there are also many who just can't take them.

    Have a good long talk with the dr. and hopefully U can get to the root of her problem. If it is the Lipitor, it might take awhile before she feels better, as some folks recover at a different speed then others.

    Wishing U and your MIL all the best.....

     
    Old 07-17-2005, 06:49 PM   #4
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    Re: Lipitor and leg muscle pain

    Fajita,

    I would take Arizona's advice and quit the Lipitor for a few weeks to see if the pain subsides. If it does, you can be reasonably assured that the statins are causing the pain.

    I don't know what you MIL's cholesterol numbers are, or the doseage of Lipitor she is on - and both need to be known to make an informed decision.

    In any event, I would start her on CoQ10 (CoEnzyme Q10). This is an enzyme that helps increase the energy available to the muscles. Statins are known to deplete this subtance throughout the body, and some think that this may be part of the reason that people develope muscle pains on statins. I would start her on 100mg/day and see how she does after a month or so. Take it with a little fatty food, or with vitamin-e - it helps absorption. You can buy it at Walmarts, or thru the internet. 2 good brands are Q-Sorb and Q-Gel.

    As to how long it takes for the muscle-pain to go away, it varies significantly from one person to another. For some the pain subsides within a few weeks of stopping the meds. For me, it took over 8 months before I started to notice improvement.


    Best of luck...

    HubbleRules

    Last edited by HubbleRules; 07-17-2005 at 06:50 PM.

     
    Old 07-19-2005, 04:33 PM   #5
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    Re: Lipitor and leg muscle pain

    Your mother really deserves a good physical examination before assuming that the leg pain is caused by the lipitor. One of the most common causes of leg pain in older folks (and not so old if they are smokers or diabetic) is peripheral vascular disease....poor arterial circulation in the legs. In such situation, the statins may prove quite helpful. Could the leg pain be due to leg radiation from a back problem (osteoposis/osteopenia) or disc disease? Tough to get old.

     
    Old 07-20-2005, 05:14 AM   #6
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    Re: Lipitor and leg muscle pain

    I recommend Co-Q10 while they try to get to the root of the problem. Like bigdobe said, there are MANY causes of leg pain in the elderly. She should have tests done to ascertain the extent of any osteoporosis or sciatica from collapsed discs.

    A good orthopedic specialist should be able to discriminate between pain cause by Lipitor, which is of the intramuscular variety, and pain caused by nerve-root irritation (sciatica.) I can tell the difference in myself because I hace suffered both kinds of pain.

    Tests of her mm-cpk should be cone to show muscle tissue destruction.

    IF she quits Lipitor for a month and the pain goes away, she will have a probable involvement but if the pain is still with her, she will know nothing because statin pain can last much longer than that from what people say. I can't speak from experience because I have no side-effects from Lipitor!

     
    Old 07-20-2005, 09:39 AM   #7
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    Thumbs down Re: Lipitor and leg muscle pain

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by fajitanumerouno
    If she goes off this med how long for the pain to subside? This is a new area we are looking into as she is really suffering.
    Any info, links appreciated.
    Thanks
    Based on my experience, which was muscle pain and weakness all over my body and that was just a few, it took two full months after stopping the statins before the pain dissipated enough to stop the pain medication and another month before muscle strength began returning. It was a total of five/six months before I felt the attack was over.

    I took Pravachol for 3 years and the symptoms set in at about the mid-way point. However, since I had been feeling so great and my LDL had dropped considerably, my doctor did not suspect statins to be the culprit until I was in bad shape.

    Sorry she couldn't take the Lipitor. I had that same kind of deep throbbing pain in my arms and hands, so I know exactly what you're talking about.

    I'm beginning to think those of us who suffered side effects from statins are in the majority. 'course, they'll never tell us that.
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    Old 07-24-2005, 06:45 AM   #8
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    Re: Lipitor and leg muscle pain

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by HubbleRules

    As to how long it takes for the muscle-pain to go away, it varies significantly from one person to another. For some the pain subsides within a few weeks of stopping the meds. For me, it took over 8 months before I started to notice improvement.


    Best of luck...

    HubbleRules
    Hi Hubble!

    Question - how long were you on the Lipitor?

    I was on for 4 months - have been off for 3 months - still having major aches/pains/soreness/weakness in arms/legs, but especially wrist and feet.

    Mark

     
    Old 07-24-2005, 07:55 AM   #9
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    Smile Re: Lipitor and leg muscle pain

    Your symptoms showed themselves quickly, Pizzzzzza. That took the guesswork out of cause and effect - which is good.

    I saw dissipation of pain and strength returning to my hands, wrists, and arms after four months. Hopefully, you'll see some improvement soon.

    I know what you mean about the wrist pain....that was where mine started and it was always the worst.

    Something as simple as wringing out a washcloth would literally send me to my knees, weeping from the wrist pain.

    Locking my house requires only that I push a button, but I was forced to leave my house unlocked when I left because it requires turning a key to unlock it.

    Amazing, the things we do to cope....our own form of pain control, I suppose.

    I hope you get some relief soon.
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    Old 07-24-2005, 08:34 AM   #10
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    Re: Lipitor and leg muscle pain

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pizzzzza
    Hi Hubble!

    Question - how long were you on the Lipitor?

    I was on for 4 months - have been off for 3 months - still having major aches/pains/soreness/weakness in arms/legs, but especially wrist and feet.

    Mark

    Pizzzzza,

    I was on Lipitor for over 7 years before I encountered severe muscle pains.

    I had serious problems a few months after my doctor also prescribed Tricor. I found later that this combination is not recommended except in certain dire circumstances (like the patient's triglyceride count is in the stratosphere)...\

    It took over 8 months off both meds, and the switching to supplements (CoQ10, Vitamin-C, L-Lysine, Folic Acid, Omega-3 Fish Oil, Ester E) before I noticed any improvement. THe pain is mostly gone now (1.5 years later), and I feel much stronger and can exercise much more than I could 2 years ago...

    I think everyone on statins is doing some sort of damage to their muscular and nervous systems - it's just that some can tolerate the damage longer before it rears it's ugly head.

    HubbleRules

    Last edited by HubbleRules; 07-24-2005 at 08:36 AM.

     
    Old 07-24-2005, 08:49 AM   #11
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    Re: Lipitor and leg muscle pain

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by HubbleRules
    Pizzzzza,

    I think everyone on statins is doing some sort of damage to their muscular and nervous systems - it's just that some can tolerate the damage longer before it rears it's ugly head.

    HubbleRules
    Yes! I think so, too, Hubble! I would bet good money (if I had any) that the removal of statins from the market will someday flash across our CNN screens!!

    [B]" Breaking news! This just in ... The FDA today announced.... "[/B]

    For more comments about the drug companies, read Patricia's Porch Talk column today at chattanoogan.com .

    I 'guess' that's permissible on this site....I'm not sure. If that was a , then oops! Sorrrry.
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    Last edited by TNWalz; 07-24-2005 at 09:24 AM. Reason: restructure sentence

     
    Old 07-24-2005, 04:18 PM   #12
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    Re: Lipitor and leg muscle pain

    Thanks to both of you (HubbleRules & TNWalz) for your input!

    Currently, I'm taking CoQ10 (150 mg), Folic Acid (400 mg), Glucosamine Chondroitin and 81 mg Aspirin daily. I was taking Wobenzym, but it didn't seem to have any affect on me (A friend had suggested it to me, so I figured I had nothing to lose).

    In addition, I have chronic sinusitis and allergic rhinitis, so I get stuck taking Allegra and Nasonex on a daily basis. Plus, I irrigate my sinus cavities on an "as needed" basis.

    I take Tylenol (650 mg) when the aching is really severe - seems to help somewhat.

    My biggest problem lately is SLEEPING - I never realized how hard it is to get a good night's rest when your legs/arms/wrists/feet are throbbing all the time.

    I've had to start taking Alprazolam (Generic for Xanax) to deal with it, and Ambien at times - I hate taking all this medication, but don't feel I have much choice until the pain subsides.

    Despite all this, I still manage to play tennis and get in some weight lifting.

    I'm just looking forward to the day when all of this goes away!

    Mark

     
    Old 07-24-2005, 05:58 PM   #13
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    Re: Lipitor and leg muscle pain

    You have a positive outlook and are staying active and both will go a long way in your healing.

    It so happens that I also have lengthy bouts of insomnia (months, years) and discovered a great thread at this site re Ambien, Lunesta, and other sleep meds a few days ago. Very informative thread that discusses most of what's out there. You might want to take a peek over there.

    Keep the faith!
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    Old 07-25-2005, 12:20 PM   #14
    HubbleRules
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    Re: Lipitor and leg muscle pain

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by pizzzzza
    In addition, I have chronic sinusitis and allergic rhinitis, so I get stuck taking Allegra and Nasonex on a daily basis. Plus, I irrigate my sinus cavities on an "as needed" basis.

    My biggest problem lately is SLEEPING - I never realized how hard it is to get a good night's rest when your legs/arms/wrists/feet are throbbing all the time.


    Mark

    Mark,

    I used to take antihistamines almost everyday a year ago - I've had allergies to dust, pollen for decades. However, since I've been taking high-dose Vitamin-C for about 8 months (4-5 grams/day in 2-3 separate doses), I find I do not have nearly the problems with allergies that I used to. Don't think I've taken antihistamines more than a handful of times in the past 6 months. A year ago I'd be popping 2-3/day...

    As far as sleeping problems go, I was listening to a health talk show on the radio yesterday, and they said eating at least 3 meals a day can help with sleep. I usually skip breakfast - have as far back as I can remember. I'm going to start having something though (more than just coffee). My biggest problem has always been skipping breakfast, sometimes even lunch, then overeating at dinner and afterwards. I'm going to make an effort to eat at least 3 meals a day - with dinner being the smallest...

    Keep trying to get off those meds - I think we're all on too much...

    HubbleRules

    Last edited by HubbleRules; 07-25-2005 at 12:24 PM.

     
    Old 07-26-2005, 04:31 PM   #15
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    Re: Lipitor and leg muscle pain

    Hi Hubble!

    I tell ya - compared to about a year ago, I'm doin' MUCH better as far as the amount of medication I'm taking.

    I'm afraid to stop the Allegra - it's very expensive and all, but I would hate to go "backwards" with my allergy prevention. (Are you saying that large doses of Vitamin C could help me to cut back on Allegra and/or Nasonex?)

    About the 3 meals a day - I USED to be the same way! NO breakfast and then eat the rest of the day. Now, I eat a small breakfast, small lunch and decent supper.

    Question - have you heard of the Nature Made's Men's Pack Daily Vitamin Supplement? I saw a "buy one get one free" at the grocery store, so I picked it up. It has 5 pills in it: Vitamin E (400 I.U.) Selenium (50 mg) Vitamin C (250 mg) B-Complex Vitamins with C, and MultiVitamin/Multimineral with Lutein. I checked out the supplement facts on the side panels, and it looks like it's loaded with everything. What do you think?

    Mark

     
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