This is a continuation of my story about Simvastatin (part 10).
Like I wrote early on, I have struggled with side effects of Simvastatin for years. I consulted 4 doctors about my leg/muscle pain. Not one of them picked up on the possibility of a bad drug interaction for me. Not one of them advised me to take COq10 with Simvastatin to protect the heart and muscles from this drug. And of course as time went on, my symptoms increased in type and intensity. I was truly suffering.
After a scary dizzy episode, it occurred to me to check with a cardiologist because after all, this could be a symptom of a heart problem, and I had not yet researched Simvastatin. So I made the appointment and I’m glad I did! He scolded me for not monitoring my blood pressure and glucose on a regular basis (anymore) and confirmed that dizzy spells COULD be either heart or glucose related. He told me to monitor both for a month, get a blood test, and return with my notes. So I did. One month later my blood test showed an AC1 of 6.5 (not bad for D2) and solid blood pressure reading in the safe zone, so he ruled these possibilities out of the equation. We started brainstorming! Not a blood clot because I’d be dead by now because it would have traveled for sure. Not a cancer because something would have shown on blood test. Then he lightly put his hand on my thigh, and I winced in pain. How about a side effect of a medication? He shared information about Simvastatin and advised I stop It and see what happens because after all …. It’s the only way to know and besides, my cholesterol numbers were very very low so much so he said it’s worth the chance for a few months. OK! I’ll do it! Of course by now I’m willing to do ANYthing to feel better and maybe get my life back.
This is when I started my research, and I just don’t know what I was or wasn’t thinking to have not done it sooner. Unfortunately the research reports that some people improve with discontinuing the drug, and others do not. As a matter of fact, I read countless reports of symptoms continuing to worsen after not taking Simvastatin which sounds like a death sentence to me based on my own experiences these past years. I could only hope and pray I would be a lucky one. We’ll see what happened to me next in my final post about his topic.
More stories …..
This is a continuation of my story about Simvastatin (part 9).
My cousin told me her physician was very upset because she stopped taking Simvastatin after a blood test showed diabetes level glucose readings for the first time in her health history. The doctor asked her, “Well wouldn’t you rather have diabetes (type 2) than high cholesterol and risk a heart attack? Hmmmm …. Tough call or is it?
My glucose readings have been well controlled with diet, exercise, and minimal meds since it became a medical concern 5 years ago … until lately. I’ve been puzzled by fasting numbers being in the mid 100s until I read the research on Simvastatin side-effects. Of course I must remember I haven’t been able to exercise because I’ve barely been able to walk for goodness sake Which comes first … the proverbial question?!? I am mentioning it though in case someone who has never had those elevated numbers (like my cousin) might notice an increase and want to have a conversation with an MD about it.
TBC and here’s something worth noting …
Increased blood sugar or type 2 diabetes
It’s possible your blood sugar (blood glucose) level may increase when you take a statin, which may lead to developing type 2 diabetes. The risk is small but important enough that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning on statin labels regarding blood glucose levels and diabetes. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns.
This is a continuation of my story about Simvastatin (part 7).
For the past few months I had been having dizzy spells that I could not account for because they were of a different type than ever previously experienced. I would either wake up and have one within 15 minutes of being up and around or have one when I climbed into bed at night. Either way, it would start with feeling like “something is not right … something is happening to me … I think I’m going to faint!” I got light-headed, had to use the toilet IMMEDIATELY, and then the waves of movement began similar to motion sickness. I would make my way to the kitchen and pour myself a glass of water, sit down and drink it, and then focus on breathing techniques to calm my body down because by now my heart would be palpitating out of fear no doubt, but who knows … ? This routine helped me to chase the dizziness away as I describe it, and the spells lasted anywhere from 5 – 30 minutes. The positive was that once departed, the spell was gone until the next one set in on another day. In time, another day became a daily event that I wrote off to possibly being dehydrated and figured that since the dizziness passed when I drank the water my theory was confirmed. But the research says …
Ask your doctor or pharmacist to answer any questions you may have. Tell your doctor if you notice any of the following and they worry you:
constipation, diarrhoea, wind
stomach upset or pain, feeling sick (nausea)
These are the more common side effects of ZOCOR. For the most part these have been mild and short-lived.
And from http://www.westonaprice.org
Dizziness is commonly associated with statin use, possibly due to blood pressure-lowering effects. One woman reported dizziness one half hour after taking Pravachol.18 When she stopped taking it, the dizziness cleared up. Blood pressure lowering has been reported with several statins in published studies. According to Dr. Golumb, who notes that dizziness is a common adverse effect, the elderly may be particularly sensitive to drops in blood pressure.
This is a continuation of my story about Simvastatin (part 5).
It was the winter of 2012 when I noticed my vision seemed to be failing me with close up tasks and distance clarity was virtually non-existent, so I went for a check-up thinking I needed a new prescription lens. For a few years, like most of us my age, my vision had been changing slowly. Much to my surprise, I was told I have huge cataracts in both eyes and a new prescription won’t help my vision at all. Those cataracts must GO! Now I’m thinking “how the heck did this happen in one year?!?” and so I went for a second opinion and then for a third because I didn’t like this new diagnosis. I’m thinking “what is happening to my body? Why am I falling apart?” My cataract surgery did not go well in that while my distance vision has improved greatly, I do not have clear close-up or even moderate vision after 2 laser adjustments. I was told those results happen often and are just a risk of the procedure regardless. Whether or not I had done the research on the side-effects of Simvastatin, I needed this surgery. UGH.
TBC and here is some info on what I wrote about in this post. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your medication program.
Statins Tied to Cataract Risk (The New York Times)
By Nicholas Bakalar
September 25, 2013 1:57 pm
In one of the largest studies ever done on the subject, researchers have found that taking statins, the widely used cholesterol-lowering drugs, is associated with an increased risk for cataracts. Previous studies had mixed results. In the latest observational study, published online in JAMA Ophthalmology, scientists retrospectively examined 13,626 statin users and 32,623 nonusers, ages 30 to 85, who were part of a military health care system. The average length of statin use was about two years. After adjusting for more than three dozen other health and behavioral variables, the scientists found that compared with nonusers, those who took statins had a 9 to 27 percent increased risk for cataracts. Cataract development may be influenced by statins’ effects on the oxidation process, the researchers say. The cholesterol-inhibiting properties of statins may also interfere with cell regeneration in the eye’s lens, which requires cholesterol to maintain transparency.
“If a patient takes this medication because he is at high risk for heart disease, or already has heart disease, the proven benefit of statins is much greater than the suspected risk of cataracts,” said the senior author, Dr. Ishak Mansi, a professor of medicine at the University of Texas. “But they have side effects, and doctors should not prescribe this medication lightly.”
This is a continuation of my story with Simvastatin (part 3).
Everybody gets Charlie-horses now and then, and most of us know they are often (and not always) caused by an insufficient amount of either potassium and/or calcium and/or good-ol’ water and like most of us, I have usually been able to rub those annoying horses out of my calves without much problem throughout my life-time. But a CRAMP … oh my goodness! These cramps I have experienced since taking Simvastatin have had me screaming out in pain in the middle of the night … as if the muscle pains themselves (in my thigh) weren’t enough to cry in agony! No rubbing eased the cramps. I tried standing to help release the muscle only to learn that my leg was also so numb from the attack that I couldn’t and tended to fall instead. These muscle cramps occurred during the night only. After the first attack (and not knowing about this side-effect), I made certain to increase my supplements to possibly avoid this malaise … again to no avail. All I could do was wait them out.
Here’s some info on muscles cramps.
Muscle cramps can have many possible causes. They include:
Muscle cramps can also occur as a side effect of some drugs. Medications that can cause muscle cramps include:
- Lasix (furosemide), Microzide (hydrochlorothiazide), and other diuretics (“water pills”) used to remove fluid from the body
- Aricept (donepezil), used to treat Alzheimer’s disease
- Prostigmine (neostigmine), used for myasthenia gravis
- Procardia (nifedipine), a treatment for angina and high blood pressure
- Evista (raloxifene), an osteoporosis treatment
- Brethine (terbutaline), Proventil and Ventolin (albuterol), asthma medications
- Tasmar (tolcapone), a medication used to treat Parkinson’s disease
- Statin medications for cholesterol such as Crestor (rosuvastatin), Lescol (fluvastatin), Lipitor (atorvastatin), Mevacor (lovastatin), Pravachol (pravastatin), or Zocor (simvastatin)
Tell your doctor if you have these symptoms in case they could be related to taking Simvastatin.
Call your doctor at once about maybe stopping Simvastatin if you have:
“unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness; confusion, memory problems; fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine; pain or burning when you urinate; swelling, weight gain, little or no urinating; increased thirst, increased urination, hunger, dry mouth, fruity breath odor, drowsiness, dry skin, blurred vision, weight loss; or nausea, upper stomach pain, itching, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Less serious side effects may include:
headache; joint pain, mild muscle pain; constipation, stomach pain or indigestion, mild nausea; mild skin rash; sleep problems (insomnia); or cold symptoms such as stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.”
You will find this information on MANY medical sites just by googling “side effects of Simvastatin”. Wish I had done it sooner.
My story will follow SOON!