I don't think GPs report upwards on people stopping statins due to adverse effects so we need to try and get the side effects noticed and recorded. Soy may have other health benefits as well. But that doesn't mean niacin is right for you. Unlike statins, fibrates, resins, and ezetimibe, niacin (nicotinic acid) is available without a prescription. It also has a very low potential to interact with other medications. Cholesterol is a crucial determinant of cardiovascular health, but it's only one. But in February, NICE – National Institute for Health and Care Excellence – published draft guidance advising GPs to prescribe statins to anyone with a 10 per cent risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke within the next decade. Seems bizarre I am being told I should take atorvastatin when, from what I have read, the chances it will do me any good are less than 50 to 1 whilst the chances it will do me harm are perhaps 5 to 1. Doctors often prescribe a fibrate for patients who can't take a statin. I find that of very great concern as for all they know I could now be dying of liver failure - makes me angry to say the least. What can we help you find? Hormone therapy and radiation may help with certain prostate cancer, Unlocking the mystery of chronic pelvic pain syndrome, Women with DCIS at increased risk for breast cancer death, A silent condition may be taking a toll on your health. And if you can't take a statin, here is a rundown of other medications that can help; Table 3 (see below) summarizes their effects on blood lipids and compares them to the statins. No way will I take them again. Most patients with the problem don't even know they have it, but some develop abdominal distress, loss of appetite, or other symptoms. For men, high cholesterol was associated with heart disease and death from other causes – but so was low cholesterol! My new GP did not mention diet and exercise as the Mail article above suggests. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. More than 1 in 4 Americans over the age of 45 are taking statins. i don't know what my ratios are, as I wasn't told. If so how much have they gone up? And although none of these foods will boost HDL cholesterol levels, one liquid food will do just that. Gradually build up to 30 minutes a day. Together, these kill one in three of us. Mass statination is a triumph of statistics over common sense. I wonder what the number needed to treat for amlodipine is. When I found that I was having to lie down for a nap half way through the day I decided that this was ridiculous and stopped taking the statin. Patient aims to help the world proactively manage its healthcare, supplying evidence-based information on a wide range of medical and health topics to patients and health professionals. The only apparent disadvantages are the limited clinical experience and its expense. And the combination of a good diet and regular exercise should help men achieve another important goal, weight control. My previous doctor, now retired, understood my reluctance to take statins and the reasons for it and didn't push them onto me. With so many people in need and so many medications available, it's understandable that both doctors and their patients are tempted to rely on medications to improve unhealthy cholesterol levels. Circulation, July 2004; 110: 227–239. That means avoiding tobacco in all its forms. Given the huge controversy around statin use, can anyone tell me where I stand if I still refuse to take the doctors advice? That was three years ago and would you believe it, not one doctor at my group practice has ever bothered to ask 'are you still taking them?' If you don't get the confirmation within 10 minutes, please check your spam folder. As I mentioned, all my blood tests for electrolytes, urea, liver function, thyroid function and fasting blood glucose have come back OK for many years including one a month ago. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/10717431/Why-Ive-ditched-statins-for-good.html. My total cholesterol is currently a little high, but I have higher than normal HDL (good cholesterol) so the ratios etc. Having read a lot about statins, the very high numbers needed to treat and the harm they can do, I told my doctor I did not wish to take them. In other areas, though, fibrates actually have the edge. The only one deemed not OK was serum lipids. as being in breach of those terms. © 2010 - 2020 Harvard University. She was also paid by the same firm to attend conferences. They include Dr Anthony Wierzbicki, chairman of the NICE panel and a heart disease specialist at Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital in London, who has ties to six firms, including Pfizer, Sanofi and Aventis, which sponsored his research into cholesterol-lowering drugs. Why do my legs swell at the end of the day? Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use Statins are the undisputed stars of the cholesterol-lowering medications. It's the reason the statin drug cerivastatin (Baycol) was withdrawn from the market on August 8, 2001, because of 31 cases of fatal rhabdomyolysis (muscle damage). It claims this could save many lives at a minimum cost to the NHS as the drugs cost as little as 10p each. On average, 3 teaspoons a day will drop cholesterol levels by 15% within 4 months. I showed her research which showed the numbers needed to treat (NNT) for statin use in those who have not been diagnosed as having heart disease is between 50 and 250; I showed her a pro-statin study which said if 1000 patients were statinised for 5 years, just 18 events of cardiac disease would be avoided. In a few cases, the drugs simply don't work, but more often the reason is a side effect. Dr Robert Dermot Neely, heart specialist at the University of Newcastle, has been paid by statin makers Roche, Genzyme and Aegerion to sit on advisory boards. I said that many people complain of it and it has also affected a neighbours joints and that her hair is falling out. For men, that means 1–2 drinks a day, counting 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer, or 1 1/2 ounces of spirits as one drink. With a change of doctor, she suggested I have another go with them and I am currently on 40mg Simvastatin, I have found that by taking them with my evening meal, instead of last thing at night as was previously the case, I have avoided any apparent side effects and my last Cholesterol was 3.5. Very helpful and informative post Derek, thank you for taking the time and trouble to research and place the info on here. As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. It also requires regular exercise, which can be as simple as walking at a moderate pace for at least 30 minutes nearly every day. Ultimately we are all going to die; most of us would prefer it was later rather than sooner but if one thing doesn't get us something else will. I mentioned that all the diuretics I had taken had given me pelvic pain and had reduced my urine output.