Monday, April 16, 2012

FDA Finds Statin Concerns

Statins are a common, and when I say common I mean insanely, extremely common, drug that millions of American adults take to control cholesterol levels. In fact, statins are so common that whenever they run a ‘most popular drug’ study, statins are right up there at the top. You’d think with that many people being prescribed these medications and taking them on a daily basis, they’d be safe, right? New information coming out of the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) is changing some of our ideas about statins.

America’s Obsession with Statins

Recently, we discussed all-natural alternatives to beta blockers and statins such as L-carnitine and L-arginine supplements. In a very popular article that was posted to our website, we discussed the amazing amount of money that American adults spend on beta blockers and statins every year. Here’s a bit from that article:

In April of 2011, WebMD published a report regarding the ‘most-prescribed’ drugs in the U.S. Of those, Generic Zocor, a cholesterol-lowering statin, Lisinopril, a blood pressure drug, and Generic Norvasc, another blood pressure durg were numbers two, three and five on the list.

In 2010, Americans spent $7.2 billion on Lipitor, a cholesterol-lowering statin, and $3.8 billion on Crestor, a cholesterol-lowering drug. Read more here - All-Natural Alternatives to Beta Blockers

New FDA Warnings for Statins

According to the Huffington Post, when the FDA first approves a drug, it's for a specific use. Statins initially were targeted to prevent second heart attacks. But once on the market, companies work hard to expand the number of patients taking a drug, and now statins are used widely for primary prevention of heart attacks or strokes. Often, it's only after a drug has been on the market for years and large numbers of people take it that unexpected side effects surface. That's what seems to have happened with statins. 

The FDA is now finding disturbing risks associated with statins, though not all completely quantifiable and/or proven through scientific tests, disturbing none-the-less. See below:

  • ·         Memory Loss – While there is no specific research showing a strong connection between statins and memory loss, the FDA did review many claims of memory loss for men and women, age 50 and older, who experienced memory loss or “changes in thinking skills” while taking the prescription. In most cases, as soon as they stopped taking the statins their memory returned to normal. However, it is important to note that there have been studies attempting to recognize the relationship between statins and dementia, and while no concrete evidence has been found connecting the two, the simple fact that they are researching claims should be cause for concern.
  • ·         Type 2 Diabetes – The FDA also noticed a higher risk for patients on statins for developing type 2 diabetes.

Big Money

While there is clear and unwavering evidence that statins reduce the risk of a second heart attack for patients who have already suffered one, it is important to remember that maintaining a healthy lifestyle works better than any prescription. Managing your weight, diet, exercise routines, stress levels, blood pressure and cholesterol levels are the greater options in this conversation. As are all-natural supplements such as l-carnitine and l-arginine.

It’s also important to remember that these ‘unnatural’ substances such as beta blockers and statins have become so common place in America that they are raking in billions upon billions for drug companies.

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