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    Old 01-21-2006, 10:24 PM   #1
    Bernadette12
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    Zocor-induced myopathy, please help

    Hello, my sister was put on 20mgs. of Zocor in early November. By Christmas, she was in a wheel chair and the nurse practitioner who prescribed Zocor didn't seem to know anything about any connection. I started to do some research immediately and found that myopathy (muscle wasting which causes pain and weakness) is THE most warned about statin side effect. Even Merk Pharmceuticals warn that if a patient has symptoms, that they should tell their doctor and discontinue use of the drug. My sister is now off Zocor and getting a bit better but it's very slow going.

    Has anyone here experience myopathy while on a cholesterol lowering statin and how long did it take for you to recover and what steps did you take. I ordered a pamphlet on the subject, but don't know when it will arrive. I've read that statins inhibit production of Coenzyme Q-10, necessary for muscle health and that, along with Vitamin C, are recommended for recovery.

    I'd appreciate any help as a new doctor is thinking of doing brain surgery on my sister since he also doesn't recognize the problem as being statin-induced myopathy. I've been on several message boards and see that many others who had the problem, ended up in the operating room, unnecessarily, for problems that the surgeon thought was causing the pain. I just don't see why this isn't a recognized side effect when it's right on the opening page of Merk's website.

    Thank you for any advice you can give me.

     
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    Old 01-22-2006, 07:51 AM   #2
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    Re: Zocor-induced myopathy, please help

    That was a pretty quick reaction to Zocar, although I have read of other cases in which people had onsets of that type. At the risk of boring other people here, my husband's case was a gradual progression of muscle weakness over several years on 10mg of Lipitor. He quit taking it eight months ago and it has only been in the past few weeks he has been able to exercise and sleep without pain. He did not progress to a wheelchair although if he had stayed on a recommended higher dose, 20mg, I have no doubt he could have ended up there. If the Zocar was the culprit in this case it could be a long road back. Some people never recover fully. Has her CPK level been tested to determine if her muscles are inflamed?

    Jane

     
    Old 01-22-2006, 08:13 AM   #3
    Imacarbuff
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    Re: Zocor-induced myopathy, please help

    Well, everyone is different as to how their system can process any drug. I was on Lipitor 20mg for over a year. Muscle aches were almost an everyday thing. Now, my insurance company (who is really in the driver's seat today) has put me on Zocor 20 mg.......so they can save a lot of money-period. I mentioned to my doctor about already having muscle pains-but I am getting older (I'm 53). I'm very concerned about the progression of this muscle problem. But, I work everyday....the discomfort is tolerable at the current level. However, I wonder what it is doing to my system. I think the reason statins don't carry a stronger warning about this is because the doctors do not reach for a MedWatch form when they are told about muscle aches. If they did, you would hear more about this.
    Every time I think about dumping out completely on statins, I read that the "small risk" of serious side effects outweigh the chance of developing heart problems down the road. Also, I keep reading that once you have taken them for years, if you stop, the risk of clogging up the arteries is very high...much higher than someone who has never taken statins with the same numbers. Best wishes........

     
    Old 01-22-2006, 08:31 AM   #4
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    Re: Zocor-induced myopathy, please help

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Imacarbuff
    Well, everyone is different as to how their system can process any drug. I was on Lipitor 20mg for over a year. Muscle aches were almost an everyday thing. Now, my insurance company (who is really in the driver's seat today) has put me on Zocor 20 mg.......so they can save a lot of money-period. I mentioned to my doctor about already having muscle pains-but I am getting older (I'm 53). I'm very concerned about the progression of this muscle problem. But, I work everyday....the discomfort is tolerable at the current level. However, I wonder what it is doing to my system.
    If I had persistent muscle pain on a daily basis, I'd be very concerned too. That's not normal. If you can attribute it to some kind of strenuous activity you were engaged in, that would be another story. But I don't think your age has anything to do with it. Your daily muscle pain is most likely from the statin, only your doctor is probably just too stubborn to admit it.
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    Old 01-22-2006, 08:59 AM   #5
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    Re: Zocor-induced myopathy, please help

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "Well, everyone is different as to how their system can process any drug. I was on Lipitor 20mg for over a year. Muscle aches were almost an everyday thing. Now, my insurance company (who is really in the driver's seat today) has put me on Zocor 20 mg.......so they can save a lot of money-period. I mentioned to my doctor about already having muscle pains-but I am getting older (I'm 53). I'm very concerned about the progression of this muscle problem. But, I work everyday....the discomfort is tolerable at the current level. However, I wonder what it is doing to my system. I think the reason statins don't carry a stronger warning about this is because the doctors do not reach for a MedWatch form when they are told about muscle aches. If they did, you would hear more about this.
    Every time I think about dumping out completely on statins, I read that the "small risk" of serious side effects outweigh the chance of developing heart problems down the road. Also, I keep reading that once you have taken them for years, if you stop, the risk of clogging up the arteries is very high...much higher than someone who has never taken statins with the same numbers. Best wishes........"

    Hello, I agree, wholeheartedly, with Arizona. The muscle wasting that's caused by statins should be of great concern to you and your doctor, but, like she/he said, he's probably being stubborn and just uneducated about this common side effect. I've talked to the support people at Merk and they told me that muscle pain and weakness is a clear indication that the drug should be discontinued. When the drug company says something like that, I take it seriously. I also recently called our local Meijer store (a big super storechain in the Midwest) and asked what the pharmacists there knew about the problem. She, like others I've talked to, warn every patient who's put on a statin, that if they experience symptoms of muscle pain and weakness, to tell their doctors and quit taking the drug since it's a very progressive disease. My sister in law is also on Zocor and is now housebound and she, like so many others, believes what that she "has" to be on the drug, even though she can't even walk because the pain in her back and legs is so bad. I'm sorry, but we've ALL been hoodwinked into thinking that we need to take drugs to control cholesterol. Do some research and you'll find that studies show that those on statins have NO lesser risk of heart attacks than control groups. Because the heart is a muscle, drug-induced myopathy can actually harm it. There's a ton of research out there about how drug companies are conning everyone into thinking that it's safe and effective to artificially reduce cholesterol and that we'll die if we don't.

    From everything I've learned about statins in this last month, I know for sure that this muscle wasting problem will only get worse for you. For those affected by this "side effect" (it's far more than anyone knows), staying on a statin is a very bad idea. Physicians should "do no harm" and that should be true of drug companies as well. They minimize this common side effect, so much, that health professionals aren't recognizing it as related to the drug and encourage patients to stay on drugs that are causing them FAR more harm than good. Do some research on cholesterol. You'll find many myths about it that are perpetuated by the drug company. It's in their own best and financial interest to overstate the dangers of high cholesterol. It's only ONE in 240 factors that have anything to do with heart health.

    I sincerely wish you the best of luck. Please, please do some research of your own by typing in "Zocor-induced myopathy" or "statin induced myopathy"
    in any search engine and do a LOT of reading. Go to message boards where users are talking about their suffering. Lowering your cholesterol, artificially, if it's destroying your health, is NOT worth it. Also, do some searches on how to keep cholesterol levels normal, naturally. There's so much we can do without turning to powerful drugs that can be so harmful in many other ways.

    Good luck to you!!!!

     
    Old 01-22-2006, 09:29 AM   #6
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    Re: Zocor-induced myopathy, please help

    Bernadette12
    Last year my ex-cardiologist insisted I try Vytorin, which is a combination of Zocor and Zetia. I have had trouble with statins in the past and he told me if I didnít take this Vytorin he wanted a written signed release from me. After the first week my pain began to spread from my feet through my calves making it very difficult to walk. The next few weeks the pain spread up through my thighs and buttocks and I could hardly get around. Also I developed peripheral neuropathy in my feet. In the fourth and fifth week the pain spread into my back. I had a lot of pain and could barely walk.
    I had called the doctorís office without getting a response and finally I just kept redialing until I got through. I told the nurse what my symptoms were and she said she would talk to the doctor. She called me back and told me to stop the Vytorin immediately. Then she asked me who had prescribed the Vytorin. I told her it was that doctor and she told me they never issue any prescription for Vytorin. It took almost three months for the pain to subside but a year later I still have the peripheral neuropathy in my feet.
    IMO, statins work very well for many people, however there are those, like myself who find statins intolerable. I suggest you find a doctor who recognizes the fact that statins can cause very severe side effects. Good luck!
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    Old 01-22-2006, 01:03 PM   #7
    Bernadette12
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    Re: Zocor-induced myopathy, please help

    Thanks for your reply. I'm confused - your doctor claims that he didn't prescribe the drug?! How could you have gotten it then? I wonder why he wanted a written, signed release if you wouldn't take it. That's very suspicous and probably accounts, in part, for why doctors are so ready to get out the prescription pad before suggesting natural remedies first. They're probably afraid that they'll be held responsible if a patient gets sick or dies and blames the doctor for not giving them drugs. A very sad situation, to be sure. Since doctors are usually more intelligent than the average person, I've always thought it strange that they don't know the first thing about the drugs they prescribe and are so reluctant to hear anything negative about them. It could very well be drug company pressure, because I surely don't believe that doctors are so easily hoodwinked.

     
    Old 01-22-2006, 01:24 PM   #8
    HubbleRules
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    Re: Zocor-induced myopathy, please help

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Imacarbuff
    Also, I keep reading that once you have taken them for years, if you stop, the risk of clogging up the arteries is very high...much higher than someone who has never taken statins with the same numbers. Best wishes........
    Iamacarbuff,

    I not so sure that is true - I think the only study that indicated a 'rebound' effect was in patients who recently had a heart-attack. During the days and weeks after their MI, if they discontinued their statin there was an increased chance of a subsequent MI.

    I've never heard of any other category of patient who had problems after stopping statins. Yes, your cholesterol will shoot up to where it was prior to the statin use (and maybe higher if you're beyond 50 - since cholesterol levels go up as we age) - but it won't increase the chance of blockage any more than had you never been on the statin in the first place.

    If you know of any studies that indicate otherwise, I'm all ears.

    HubbleRules
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    Old 01-22-2006, 02:37 PM   #9
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    Re: Zocor-induced myopathy, please help

    Bernadette12,
    This cardiologist was a new one for me. I told him of my problems with statins in the past. He insisted that I take the Vytorin even to the extend of telling me that if I did not take it I would have a heart attack or stroke and if I refused this medication he wanted a release form. During the five weeks I took the drug I tried to call his office and left messages but no one ever called me back. Once I did get through they realized the seriousness of my symptoms and they denied the fact that they had written the prescription. This cardiologist and his office staff were obviously more interest in protecting themselves from a law suit than treating their patients.
    I now see a good cardiologist who is aware that statins can cause problems in some people.
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    Old 01-22-2006, 03:42 PM   #10
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    Re: Zocor-induced myopathy, please help

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by HubbleRules
    Iamacarbuff,

    I not so sure that is true - I think the only study that indicated a 'rebound' effect was in patients who recently had a heart-attack. During the days and weeks after their MI, if they discontinued their statin there was an increased chance of a subsequent MI.

    I've never heard of any other category of patient who had problems after stopping statins. Yes, your cholesterol will shoot up to where it was prior to the statin use (and maybe higher if you're beyond 50 - since cholesterol levels go up as we age) - but it won't increase the chance of blockage any more than had you never been on the statin in the first place.

    If you know of any studies that indicate otherwise, I'm all ears.

    HubbleRules
    Have to agree with you there Hubble. As U know hubby had his arteries cleaned in 94, yet his cholesterol numbers were fine. Yes, after the cleaning they put him on Lipitor and a few other things yet his cholesterol didn't budge that much, it still stayed about the same, maybe cause it was fairly low to begin with???? Anyway, after he stopped the statins, his cholesterol still was ok, but yet it did go up to over 200, like 218, but even on statins it was only down to 202. He has been off any treatment now for 6 yrs. and so far, no sign of any new blockage.

    When I was first put on statins, my cholesterol was about 255, and yes, the statins brought it down alot, but of course I had the statin problems and stopped, and the cholesterol went right back up, even a lil more, like 260. Once I started watching what I ate better and got more active, it settled down to the 235 range, and has hovered from 224-235 for 6 yrs. Of course the last test, which I still swear was a fluke, my TC was 198 from 232 and LDL 126 from 161. God only knows what they will be next test, but to be honest, I have given up about obsessing over my numbers, as with all the reading I have done both on here and thru the web, I'm not a bit convinced high cholesterol is the "real" bad guy. JMHO

    Guess all man winter is going to make a return visit here this up coming week, definitely time to do the Beach Bum routine....

    Have a good one, and THINK SPRING.....
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    Old 01-22-2006, 03:48 PM   #11
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    Re: Zocor-induced myopathy, please help

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by donsabi
    Bernadette12,
    This cardiologist was a new one for me. I told him of my problems with statins in the past. He insisted that I take the Vytorin even to the extend of telling me that if I did not take it I would have a heart attack or stroke and if I refused this medication he wanted a release form. During the five weeks I took the drug I tried to call his office and left messages but no one ever called me back. Once I did get through they realized the seriousness of my symptoms and they denied the fact that they had written the prescription. This cardiologist and his office staff were obviously more interest in protecting themselves from a law suit than treating their patients.
    I now see a good cardiologist who is aware that statins can cause problems in some people.
    Don...I'm very happy to hear U have a new cardio person, and hopefully all will go well. As far as the other dr. denying writing U a prescription for the Vytorin, if you wanted to, U could have went right to the pharmacy that filled it and PROVED that dr. a liar. Oh well, at least now U are under a better drs. care, so give thanks U got rid of the other one.

    Take care, and best of wishes.....

    And yes, there are more and more drs. asking people to either find another dr. or sign something if they won't take a certain drug. From what I have heard, it has to do with insurance and people being sue happy!!
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