Discussions that mention lovastatin

High Cholesterol board


First off, great board. It's funny how only a small percentage of people are supposed to have side effects from statins and that "small percentage" all managed to find this board. I wonder if Mandy Patinkin would still pimp Crestor if he read all this.

My old man had a clogged artery when he was 44 (he's 62 now) and had angioplasty. Smoked but had actually quit 10 years before that happened. Very active, golfed at least nine holes a day if his work schedule would allow it, but didn't really watch what he ate back then either. He's been on statins ever since and handling them well.

I never smoked though I'm sure my drinking made up for it (though since I've gotten married that's tapered off considerably), which he rarely did. My cholesterol was terrific until I hit 30 (32 now) and then suddenly it shot up to 210 overall, triglycerides at 239, not sure about HDL and LDL but my doctor at the time wasn't happy about it. Wanted me to go on Lipitor given my overall family history but I balked and tried to get it down on my own, which I did but not enough for his liking (I think it was 199), though he did admit that on that Farmingham scale or whatever my risk was very low. But it's the whole hereditary thing that had him freaked.

Finally I relented and said fine. Put me on Lipitor and I've been on it about 2 years now. And it's helped me with everything but my triglycerides until recently. The other week I got tested (because I'm switching insurance and they won't cover Lipitor without a trial of Lovastatin) and my overall is 134, my LDL is 68, not sure what my HDL was but my triglycerides even dropped to 169. Which stunned me since we just moved and with that I haven't been eating or drinking as healthy as I normally try to. Seems when I try to do that, it shoots up.

So I started searching for potential side effects of Lovastatin and I found this board and it literally scared the hell out of me because I've had some of those side effects. Fatigue and muscle pain specifically, which I had just attributed to getting older, sitting at a computer all day, etc. Except about two weeks ago I got this pain in my right arm that's been lingering and I haven't done anything to strain it. Even feels weak at times. Not saying that the Lipitor is definitively causing it, but given everything I've read on here...not really sure I want to take that chance anymore, either. Vioxx, anyone? I work around the business and I know how big companies try to push this stuff through prematurely so they can have their billion dollar piece of the medical pie.

Plus sometimes I feel like I think I can eat or drink whatever I want because hey, I'm on Lipitor. It'll counteract it. Which I know is idiotic and I want to change that mentality now as well.

So since I was never too crazy about taking Lipitor to begin with and it's at a good level now, I've decided to try going the natural route again and see if the pain and fatigue goes away. I've been off it since Friday and I seem more energetic and it's not because I'm getting any more sleep. I took immediate release Niacin the first time around and fish oil, 1500 mg and 1000 mg daily respectively, so I'll do that again but I'm looking to beef up my regimen if my blood is...stubborn.

After reading posts on here I picked up some Flaxseed Oil (700 mg), garlic tablets, and CO Q-10 (120 mg) at Walgreens (buy one get one free...be doing my supplement shopping there from now on!) so I'm going to try that too to start and see where I am in 6 months...but is there anything else anyone on here would live and die by?

If this doesn't work and everything goes to sot again I might beef everything up higher and see where I'm at in another six months, and if it's bad then I might just try the Lovastatin and see how that flies. I'm not completely anti-statin, don't get me wrong. They did wonders for my Dad (his cholesterol was 300 and his triglycerides over 500 when he had his problems) and he wouldn't be here today if it wasn't for them. That being said, I don't want to mess up the rest of my body needlessly just to shave 50 points of my cholesterol because it may or may not give me a heart attack one day.

Just seems to be a Catch-22. Statins do work, there's no question of that, but at what price? Yet if you leave all your levels too high...pine box.
JWMC,

What has your history of HDL readings been? They are VERY important. Call your doctor and dig them up.
People with high HDL's can get away with far more than those with low HDL. Unfair, but that's how the cards are dealt!

[QUOTE]my overall is 134, my LDL is 68, not sure what my HDL was but my triglycerides even dropped to 169.
Those are WONDERFUL numbers; are you SURE you want to toss them overboard because your arm got sore and you get fatigued sitting in front of a computer screen all day?
Remember, very often that first "side effect" of heart disease is heart attack and/or death...THAT's a biggie! I'll trade 200 sore arm episodes fopr one of those any day.

Mandy Patinkin strikes me as a reasonable man; I'm sure he knows the UNCOMMON side effects and I'll BET he takes a statin.:jester: He's got the look of a man who knows "the good life."

If you want to go "bareback" make sure your diet conforms. High triglycerides are best treated by a Spartan avoidance of sugar, alcohol, and animal fats. A low body weight helps immensely. Alas avoiding alcohol and animal fats also lowers HDL...oh well, that is one of the many conundrums why so very many of us take Lipitor and lovastatin.:wave:

The GREATER of two evils is A HEART ATTACK, so that makes the LESSER evil, a sore arm and fatigue by default!

Good Luck.
Oy. Thanks for the replies...

NHone--why does my risk of CAD go up if my cholesterol is under 160? You're telling me I have to split the uprights between 160 and 200?

JJ--that's a good suggestion with the Lipitor, only taking it 3 times a week. I suppose taking a little is better than taking none at all.

Lenin--I don't know what my entire history of HDL was, only that back when my old (and I mean that in the figurative and literal sense of the word) doctor was pushing Lipitor, it wasn't great. Possibly under 40 but I don't think it was under by a lot. I was borderline on many things.

As for the muscle pain and the fatigue, it's not just my arm. That's kind of been the icing on the cake. There are days I'd wake up sore all over (especially my legs) and not know why, and I don't strictly sit at a computer all day for 8 hours. Maybe 5 total inbetween everything else I end up doing.

But the fatigue...even when I get like 8 hours of sleep it's just been like a cloud over my head. Seems to impair my concentration and that.

Like I said, I don't know if it's the Lipitor or not, but since my levels are down I'd rather try the natural route again for now and see if the symptoms go away. And again, I'm not completely anti-statin. If was in my 40s and had levels like my Dad did, then definitely I would be on them. Right now being 32 though...I feel like I have more of an option.

If being natural doesn't work, back to the Lipitor. Or Lovastatin actually.

Oh and NOTHING against Mandy Patinkin. Criminal Minds is one of my favorite shows. :) But sometimes actors pimp something because a dump truck full of cash is backed up to their front door, too.

Thanks for all the replies and I'll keep you updated. I think I might actually go in around April to get it tested instead of waiting six months this time around.
I was on Lovastatin for a year, and it did absolutely nothing for me. I was considering Lipitor, but instead decided to try niacin. I have tried 3 forms of niacin, regular, time release, and now inosito hexaniacinate. They all work, but the inositol has no downside like flushing and gastric disturbances. 500 mg once a day dropped my total C 30 points, and my LDL 30 points. Triglycerides remained unchanged.