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    Old 02-12-2008, 09:17 AM   #1
    mike1756
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    side effects 'Lipitor'

    I am 61,180 pounds and lead a very active life[walk 6-9 mile per day-fast]..I had my cholesterol checked right after the new year and my number came back high[243]..My doctor put me on 'Lipitor' with a starting dose of 40mg per day..after 3 weeks,I started to develop hives over 90 % on my body and shaking of my hands..He[DR.] told me to stop taking the drug..It's been over 2 weeks and the hives continue and my nerves are on such an edge that I cannot do the hand work that my job demands..Over the counter drugs for allergies[Dr. told me to take] have almost no effect ..My main question is:..Does a start up dose of 40 mg sound extreme? and has anyone else had these side effects? and if so,how long do they last? I'm about to go out of my mind !!

     
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    Old 02-13-2008, 05:26 AM   #2
    janeslk
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    Re: side effects 'Lipitor'

    That is a high dose to start out unless you had some sort of heart surgery. A dose of 20mg sent my husband into a tailspin. He did not have the hives, although a friend of ours did have those symtoms while on Lipitor.

    Jane

     
    Old 02-13-2008, 09:08 PM   #3
    mmvic
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    Re: side effects 'Lipitor'

    Your doctor is an irresponsible moron. Look for another with some common sense and concern for your welfare.

    At 243 TC and no heart issues and at your age, your doctor is obligated to counsel you on diet, excercise to try to reduce your blood lipids. Instead he over doses you with a high activity statin.

    Try CoQ10 at 100 mg to 200 mg for several weeks and see if it helps.

    Last edited by mmvic; 02-13-2008 at 09:09 PM.

     
    Old 02-14-2008, 05:58 PM   #4
    jana65
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    Smile Re: side effects 'Lipitor'

    Mike...

    I wanted to let you know that another way to lower cholestral is the old tried and true " oatmeal " diet. Try to eat the " old fashioned " kind if possible but if you can't, even the instant kind will help.
    I have been on Lipitor for years. Last year when I had my bloodwork done I was on 20 mg of Lipitor and my TC was 230 ! He upped my dose to 40 mg. I tried it for a few weeks and I started having aches and pains in randon places. So, I decided I would take the 40 mg tablet every OTHER day - which effectively put me back at 20 mg. I started back in the early summer to eat oatmeal about 3 - 4 times a week. Then I heard about steel cut oats and switched to them. I usually sprinkle some dried cranberries, cherries and blueberries into them while they are cooking. Then I sprinkle them with brown sugar Splenda.
    This past Monday I had my bloodwork done and my new numbers are TC of 206, HDL 58 and LDL 106. Keep in mind that I kept my Lipitor at 20mg during this time.
    Also taking fish oil capsules helps lower cholerstral.
    The main thing is to find something that works for you.
    Good luck !

    Jana65

     
    Old 02-14-2008, 06:46 PM   #5
    Red60
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    Re: side effects 'Lipitor'

    I think that doctors should try to use the lowest possible dosage including intermittent dosing if it will work. The lower the dose the less risk of side effects. But what your doctor did is very common and most likely follows the guidelines for dosage based on your risk factors. IMO the benifits of statins do not offset the risks. They do work great for lowering LDL but the proof that they extend life is very slim.

    What gets my attention is that you still have the hives after quiting the med for two weeks. How long did the doc think it should take to work the lipitor out of your system? I've had a few severe hive outbreaks but they were brief lasting only for a few hours. I don't think I could have made it if they lasted for days or weeks. I feel for ya and hope you get better soon.

     
    Old 02-15-2008, 07:26 AM   #6
    mike1756
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    Re: side effects 'Lipitor'

    update....hives and itching now only 40% of my body..[back,neck,head and face...nerves still shot to hell..had a blood test on Tuesday to check liver function..got results yesterday..liver function =normal..note said to start taking meds again-<grrrrr>!!!!..It seems that Drs are walking around ,like gunslinger with 2 holsters-1 with stalin perscrips and 1 with blood pressure perscrips..How does one find a Dr. who is not on the Pharm. pay-offs ??
    Right now, I'm taking 'fish oil,vit. C,and watching my diet[been eating only foods with no Cholestrol..plenty of fruit,vegs,oats,fish..less than 15% of daily fat allowence...]
    thank to all who gave me some input...wish me luck !

    Last edited by mike1756; 02-15-2008 at 09:10 AM. Reason: watch your language on the Boards.sorry for the language-I was a bit fired up..

     
    Old 02-15-2008, 03:49 PM   #7
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    Re: side effects 'Lipitor'

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mike1756 View Post
    How does one find a Dr. who is not on the Pharm. pay-offs ??

    You jest?

    Seriously, Dr.'s give out advice and prescriptions, influenced by various pharmaceutical companies. To be on the take or accepting bribes for their efforts would jeopardize their careers and cost them an awful lot more money than some people seem to think they get. Pharma comnpanies are aggressive marketers - they have to be. They have billions invested in research and lots of investors looking for returns. Included amongst those are likely the pension funds and assets of a lot of people who post here. I hear this type of comment quite frequently on this board but everyone is ok with the burgeoning homeopathic industry which makes wild claims and charges outrageous prices. Every sensational vitamin and supplement ad I see has a disclaimer in a less than prominent position stating the claims have not been evaluated by any credible scientific body. Make no mistake, homeopathic suppliers want a slice of the medication pie and they expect lavish returns on their investments.

    When a Dr. is confronted by an overweight pation with lipid and BP issues, the choices are quite stark - suggest they modify their lifestyle. On the other hand, professional ethics means alleviating any immediate potential for sudden death. On that basis, statins and various BP medications are prescribed. They are not perfect but statistically, they are quite close to optimal. Where people err is in taking a vindictive atitude towards a pharmaceutical because they had a negative experience with it. In this wonderful world, we have treatment choices and they availability of knowledge to enhance them. It can be a minefield for some getting to a treatment regimen that offers the most benefit with the least side effect.

    Sadly, at the end of the day, the vast majority of patients a physician sees want a pill "solution". If people went to a Dr. in a perfect weight range and exemplary lifestyle, their job security would shrink and there would be little business for the pharma companies.

     
    Old 02-15-2008, 08:35 PM   #8
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    Re: side effects 'Lipitor'

    dmer, unfortunately many Drs do take indirect bribes such as educational trips, paid seminars, consulting and other forms of indirect compensation for pushing specific medications whether called for or not. I've had direct experience with this with two doctors I've dealt with. Quite sad.

    Oh, and advertising costs are extremely high versus R&D costs and versus other industries including the homepaethic supplement industry which is a drop in the bucket versus big pharma.I'm sorry but you're defending the wrong guys in my eyes. Pfizer, Merck and others have not exactly shown clean hands or spparkling ethics in their dealings with patients over the years.

    Mike's doctor started him off at an extreme dosage of a fairly powerful statin that normally has starting doseage of 5 mg to 10 mg not 40 mg. This is irresponsible but probably due to aggressive marketing and perhaps indirect gratuities. Liptor is pushed aggressively in case you haven't noticed? But if Dr Jarvik says it's good, yu know it's got to be good! And I'll bet he takes a 40 mg dose too.

    Mike, you still might want to try the CoQ10 to see if it speeds your recovery. Some people claim it helps bouncing back from statin issues.

    Last edited by mmvic; 02-15-2008 at 08:38 PM.

     
    Old 02-15-2008, 11:21 PM   #9
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    Re: side effects 'Lipitor'

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by mmvic View Post

    Mike's doctor started him off at an extreme dosage of a fairly powerful statin that normally has starting doseage of 5 mg to 10 mg not 40 mg. This is irresponsible but probably due to aggressive marketing and perhaps indirect gratuities. Liptor is pushed aggressively in case you haven't noticed? But if Dr Jarvik says it's good, yu know it's got to be good! And I'll bet he takes a 40 mg dose too.
    Did the doctor ever state why he started you on such a high dose? What was his reasoning?

    I have seen several doctors for various ailments and honestly... I find their behavior baffling half the time.

    I'm not sure if it's just aggressive marketing or gratuities even. Don't rule out general incompetence. I also have had the privilege of seeing what I call 'stopwatch' doctors on occasion. They appear to have a plan to limit each visit to 2 minutes or less, regardless of the problem. So they give medicine, don't listen to questions or offer advice, then immediately leave the room.

    I have had one doctor try to prescribe me a medication I was allergic to. This, in itself, isn't that odd, but the fact I told him I was allergic to it just 15 minutes previously was a bit troubling.

    I have had one doctor immediately wish to prescribe me Tricor and no-flush niacin (which has no benefit), without once mentioning diet or exercise to me. Cutting out fruit juices and taking fish oil was all I needed to do to take care of triglycerides.

    I had one cardiologist recommend Zetia to raise my HDL (baffling, isn't it?), without mentioning Niacin.

    The best thing people can do is become knowledgeable themselves, before seeing a doctor. Then request the tests that are necessary, and inquire about certain treatments. I don't mean to dismiss what doctors recommend, especially for serious problems, but don't always blindly take whatever the doctor suggests either.

    Last edited by namelessme; 02-18-2008 at 06:41 PM.

     
    Old 02-18-2008, 09:11 AM   #10
    dmer
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    Re: side effects 'Lipitor'

    The vast majority of people who go in to see a Dr. prefer the pill "solution" over a lifestyle change that could bring about the same results. To a great extent, the pharmaceutical industry responds to this. Given the patient load most Dr.'s must see in order to make a living, the reality or even the appearance of personalized consultation is a myth.

    Given that I insure myself and pay out of pocket for virtually every visit to a Dr.'s office, I've become keenly aware of the quality of services provided. This quality judgement would extend to my impression of the provider's competence and awareness of the protocols to treat various conditions. Since pharmaceuticals are also a direct expense for me, I'd prefer not to consume any.

    Before my recent foray into the "system", I considered going to a homeopathic Dr. and being treated in that manner. Be prepared to shell out large amounts of money for the consultations and especially, the substances prescribed.

    As has been pointed out, knowledge and information are vital. At a minimum, we can get enough data to confirm what a Dr. may tell us about our condition and understand what if anything, is prescribed. My initial visit was because of HBP but blood tests revealed lipid issues and I was prescribed 40MG of a statin. With significant lifestyle changes and dramatic reductions in my lipids and BP, I fully expect to have my medication doses reduced at my next appt. I'm partly of a mind to insist they be put at a certain level but I have to balance that with whether I have any sort of trust based relationship with the Dr. or, whether I view him as someone who just writes a script.

    I was heartened by his reaction to my lifestyle changes because I perceive his frustration level to be quite high from the number of people he treats who don't change anything.

    Lipitor, from what I have read, dramatically reduces serum cholesterol levels. As long as certain types of cholesterol and their levels are deemed potentially life shortening, we will continue to see this drug widely promoted and sold.

     
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