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    Old 01-29-2006, 07:51 PM   #1
    Imacarbuff
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    My First Week Off Statins-Big Improvement

    I took several different statins for about 8 years without any MAJOR problems. Most of my problems were related to digestion. Then, around the middle of December, weakness and muscle pain started. The back pain was the worst. It either felt like it was burning or pins and needles. I can say that the statins did bring all of my numbers to where they needed to be-at what costs? I had no choice. I was even getting chills at night-no fever, just chills.
    I has been one full week and I'm about 80% better....still not at full power and I still have some muscle pain, but I am hopeful now that a full recovery could be possible in the coming weeks-or months.
    Hopefully my doctor will agree to try suppliments for 6 months befoe even considering statins. I just don't know if I could do this to myself again.
    Statins are wonderful I guess if they are not causing you problems. Trust me, once they do, you WILL look for a way to find relief.

     
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    Old 01-30-2006, 06:08 AM   #2
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    Re: My First Week Off Statins-Big Improvement

    My husband also had the chilling at night when his Lipitor was increased. He also is free of pain after eight months. When he does have a muscle ache I always ask him if it the same as his pain from Lipitor. He always laughs and says once you have had pain from Lipitor you know the difference. The pain from Lipitor seemed to originate from the bones and never subside. Good luck to you and I hope you find something else to lower your cholesterol. We are still searching.

    Jane

     
    Old 01-30-2006, 01:36 PM   #3
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    Re: My First Week Off Statins-Big Improvement

    Jane,
    It's good to know that the pain may end down the road. I'm hoping it's less than 8 months! The "burning back" continues. One day will be good, the next not so good. My chills started on withdrawal...but they seem to have maybe stopped. I hope so anyway. It's hard to sleep when you're shaking the bed.
    Did his Dr. try to get him to go on another statin? I go back on Feb 10th, my guess is my Dr. will want to try another on. To me, it's hrd to try another one while you are still in pain from a previous one.

     
    Old 01-30-2006, 03:23 PM   #4
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    Re: My First Week Off Statins-Big Improvement

    His doctor has suggested he start on another cholesterol-lowering drug--not a statin, she says. He never wanted to try anything else while he still had any pain and he seems to have a marked sensitivity to anything that affects cholesterol at this point. He claims taking OTC beta sitosterol and Sytrinol would start the aching again. I found that hard to believe, but I respect his wishes as I was not the one in pain. He is taking his diet seriously, taking Omega 3, CO 10 enzyme, sustained release niacin and starting to seriously exercise again. He will be tested again in a few months and he will weigh the options at that time. He still feels Lipitor robbed him of the things he liked to do--play basketball and run--so I don't try to influence him one way or the other.

    Jane

     
    Old 01-30-2006, 04:22 PM   #5
    Imacarbuff
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    Re: My First Week Off Statins-Big Improvement

    Jane,
    If I may ask....what did he take for the pain? I'm doing better...but my back is the most painful. It's more of a burn/vibration type feeling-very odd indeed.
    My wife fixed a wonderful dinner tonight and I simply could not finish it because of my back "burning". This pain laughs at Tylenol. Asprin works better......but how many of those can onetake a day-safely. Do you know if there are tests to see if there is "damage" or inflamation or if this could be permenant. Since I am not on any statin right now, I am taking 100mg COQ10, 400mg folic acid, 500mg vitamin C, Omega-3 fish oil, a multi-vitamin and the 81 mg asprin.
    Thanks so much for your time. I realize of course that everyone is different, but it is nice to hear different ideas for possible pain relief.

     
    Old 01-30-2006, 04:55 PM   #6
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    Re: My First Week Off Statins-Big Improvement

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Imacarbuff
    If I may ask....what did he take for the pain? I'm doing better...but my back is the most painful. It's more of a burn/vibration type feeling-very odd indeed.
    My wife fixed a wonderful dinner tonight and I simply could not finish it because of my back "burning". This pain laughs at Tylenol. Asprin works better......but how many of those can onetake a day-safely. Do you know if there are tests to see if there is "damage" or inflamation or if this could be permenant. Since I am not on any statin right now, I am taking 100mg COQ10, 400mg folic acid, 500mg vitamin C, Omega-3 fish oil, a multi-vitamin and the 81 mg asprin.
    Thanks so much for your time. I realize of course that everyone is different, but it is nice to hear different ideas for possible pain relief.
    Iamacarbuff,

    I had serious muscle pain, weakness and exercise intolerance after 7 1/2 years on Lipitor - it came on suddenly when Tricor was added to my prescriptions...

    For me it took over 8 months to notice any improvement at all. I was taking 100mg CoQ10 daily during this time - I've since read on other sites (Arizona just posted good info about CoQ10) where it is claimed that 200mg/day or more is needed to provide therapeutic value.

    I don't think there are any tests to measure the amount of muscle damage one has. About the only thing doctors do is measure CK levels in the blood to see if there is muscle damage actively occuring. However many have muscle pain without elevated CK levels, so I don't have much regard for the test...

    I would continue the supplements you are taking - perhaps up the CoQ10 amount to 200mg/day (I know it's expensive, but if it helps, it will be worth it). You should take the CoQ10 with something a little fatty (like butter or olive oil) - it is better absorbed that way (unless you are taking Q-Gel brand which is water soluble). And be patient - everyone recovers at different rates. I would not go back on a statin until your pain diminishes.

    By the way - have you ruled out a slipped disk as part of the reason for the back-pain and vibration (numbness?) - since these symptoms can result from pinched nerves...

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    Old 01-30-2006, 05:05 PM   #7
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    Re: My First Week Off Statins-Big Improvement

    HubbleRules,

    To be honest, I never gave a slipped disc a thought. However, my back is just the worst area. I also had leg pain, and shoulders are still achey. I had a round of headaches for a few months a few months prior to all of the muscle pain. Thanks so much for the tip about the COQ10. I will up the dose starting tomorrow!

     
    Old 01-30-2006, 08:00 PM   #8
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    Re: My First Week Off Statins-Big Improvement

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Imacarbuff
    HubbleRules,

    To be honest, I never gave a slipped disc a thought. However, my back is just the worst area. I also had leg pain, and shoulders are still achey. I had a round of headaches for a few months a few months prior to all of the muscle pain. Thanks so much for the tip about the COQ10. I will up the dose starting tomorrow!
    Iamacarbuff,

    Pain radiating down the leg is a classic symptom of sciatica - pressure from a disc pressing on the sciatic nerve that runs down the leg. You can't get into a comfortable position no matter what you do and no OTC pain killer helps - it eventually (usually) subsides after a week or two - but will recur unexpectedly again. When it flares up - you can effectively be totally bed-ridden.

    If this is what you experienced, I suggest you see an orthopedic surgeon to rule out disk problems. I had a ruptured disc 20 years ago, and the pain was severe and relentless - I eventually had a fusion operation.

    HubbleRules
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    Old 01-31-2006, 08:21 AM   #9
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    Re: My First Week Off Statins-Big Improvement

    My husband had the sciatic nerve problem with Lipitor, but did not experience the "burning back". He had the burning and aching feeling in his leg and hip. He lived on Tylenol and even used Bextra given to him by his doctor, but nothing seemed to take it away. We have since eliminated Tylenol entirely since I read it damages the liver in higher doses. I had one small bout with a sciatic nerve problem for two weeks and I can't imagine living with that on a daily basis.

    Jane

     
    Old 01-31-2006, 04:07 PM   #10
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    Re: My First Week Off Statins-Big Improvement

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by HubbleRules
    Iamacarbuff,

    Pain radiating down the leg is a classic symptom of sciatica - pressure from a disc pressing on the sciatic nerve that runs down the leg. You can't get into a comfortable position no matter what you do and no OTC pain killer helps - it eventually (usually) subsides after a week or two - but will recur unexpectedly again. When it flares up - you can effectively be totally bed-ridden.

    If this is what you experienced, I suggest you see an orthopedic surgeon to rule out disk problems. I had a ruptured disc 20 years ago, and the pain was severe and relentless - I eventually had a fusion operation.

    HubbleRules
    Well, the back pain is just the worst part. I have the overall weakness, just not up to par...and the muscle aches in the shoulders also. I'm thinking that this is 99%for sure statin related. The pain does subside off and on during the day....and that is a big help.

     
    Old 01-31-2006, 04:13 PM   #11
    Imacarbuff
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    Re: My First Week Off Statins-Big Improvement

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by janeslk
    My husband had the sciatic nerve problem with Lipitor, but did not experience the "burning back". He had the burning and aching feeling in his leg and hip. He lived on Tylenol and even used Bextra given to him by his doctor, but nothing seemed to take it away. We have since eliminated Tylenol entirely since I read it damages the liver in higher doses. I had one small bout with a sciatic nerve problem for two weeks and I can't imagine living with that on a daily basis.

    Jane
    I also had a few quick bouts with the sciatic nerve. Thankfully, I took Excedrin Migraine for it and that knocked it down quickly. That is somereal pain there!

     
    Old 01-31-2006, 07:20 PM   #12
    HubbleRules
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    Re: My First Week Off Statins-Big Improvement

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Imacarbuff
    Well, the back pain is just the worst part. I have the overall weakness, just not up to par...and the muscle aches in the shoulders also. I'm thinking that this is 99%for sure statin related. The pain does subside off and on during the day....and that is a big help.
    Iamacarbuff,

    Disc problems do not usually 'subside off and on' during the day - they usually stay painful for days or weeks at a clip. Based on what you say, I'm a bit more skeptical about a disc problem to explain your back pain.

    Stay on the CoQ10, and be patient - it can take a while to recover from a statin-induced myopathy.

    If it were me, I'd discontinue any statin therapy until the pain was gone. Take the Excedrin to ease the pain if it helps (do they have a buffered version?).

    I still haven't gone back on a statin since the muscle problems I had 2 years ago - I'm taking Policosanol instead. Everytime I think about going back on a statin to help lower my cholesterol numbers, I remember what I went thru before. I have this nagging fear in the back of my mind that the muscle problems could recur worse than before if I try another statin, and not go away next time... I'm not happy with my cholesterol numbers either - sort of a Catch22 situation...

    Hope you start feeling better soon.

    HubbleRules
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    Old 02-01-2006, 06:16 AM   #13
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    Re: My First Week Off Statins-Big Improvement

    Oh, one quick note about pain. My husband got a lot of relief by using a TENS unit that directed electric charges to the area in pain. I think Michael Jordan used to use one for his knee problem.

    Jane

     
    Old 02-01-2006, 06:09 PM   #14
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    Re: My First Week Off Statins-Big Improvement

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by janeslk
    Oh, one quick note about pain. My husband got a lot of relief by using a TENS unit that directed electric charges to the area in pain. I think Michael Jordan used to use one for his knee problem.

    Jane
    I'll keep that in mind, thanks. If Excedrin continues to hold the pain at a manageble level, I hope to recover from there. If not, a TENS unit may be another good option for me also.

     
    Old 02-01-2006, 07:53 PM   #15
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    Re: My First Week Off Statins-Big Improvement

    Iamacarbuff,

    There are few side effects from Policosanol. Weight loss is one of the more common ones. However, as a precaution they recommend that you take CoQ10 along with it - because they are not sure if it depletes CoQ10 as statins do.

    I started taking Policosanol AFTER my Lipitor muscle pains went away (didn't hear of it before then). I've had no muscle problems at all - I've been taking it for about 9 months now.

    It is important to get a brand made from Sugar Cane, not rice. I buy a brand called 'Policosanol 10' by RxVitamins. [removed]

    My total cholesterol went down 15% after I started taking it.

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