Cholesterol Drugs (Statins) Under Fire as Ineffective and Possibly Dangerous

Several recent articles call into question the security and effectiveness of the class of drugs made to lower cholesterol generally known as Statins. Statin medicine is a category of medication that which are designed to reduce cholesterol levels by blocking enzymes which can be essential to cholesterol production. One of many statin drugs are: Lipitor (atorvastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin), Zocor (simvastatin), Mevacor (lovastatin), Lescol (fluvastatin), Baycol (Cerivastatin) (This drug has been recalled).

From the Canadian publication First Word, the September 9, 2003 issue begins by saying, "A number of Canadian researchers from the University of British Columbia warns that statins may do just as much harm as good." Dr. Jim Wright, stated that there seems to be very little preventive benefit. The information demonstrated that there is a 1.4 percent decrease in the potential risk of heart attack and stroke over a three- to five-year period, a news source reports. This could translate, Wright said, right into a doctor needing to treat 71 patients until one benefits. Side effects of the statins were the primary concern among the Canadian researchers. These unwanted effects may include, Fever, Muscle Cramps, Stomach Pain, Fatigue, Constipation, Diarrhea, Dizziness, Gas, Skin rash, Nausea. On the heals of the Canadian study a British study reported on October 5, 2003 in the British Reuters, that states, "Half of British heart disease patients didn't manage to get their cholesterol down to recommended levels after taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs." Dr. Adrian Brady, consultant cardiologist at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, told a gathering of the Primary Care Cardiovascular Society in Dublin that only 48 percent of 14,000 patients evaluated in a UK study reached national cholesterol goals. One of these drugs, Lipitor, created by Pfizer Inc's, is now the world's top-selling medicine with annual sales of $8 billion.

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