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    Simvastatin side effects
    gws99 posted:
    I'm a 51 year old male and have been taking cholesterol medication for over 20 years, and was switched to 40 mg Zocor (Simvastatin) many years ago. A year ago I began experiencing a stinging pain in my forearms after I started a heavy workout regimen, and about a couple of months after starting 20 mg Omeprazole for reflux. Over the past year the pain has gotten much worse, fluxuates over the course of a day, usually effects my hands, forearms, arms and shoulders on both sides of my body, but sometimes effects my entire body like a wave of burning/tingling/stinging pain. I also have had muscle aches, restless sleep (usually wake up 2 times a night), difficulty concentrating, some dizziness, a feeling of lack of circulation in my hands, muscle cramps, a tightness in my wrist and axilla, fatigue and a lack of normal strength, and a funny feeling overall in my head. I stopped the workouts and had tests done to see what it might be. I felt it was a neuropathy issue in my arms (that's the area most often effected) but a cervical MRI didn't turn up anything. I saw a neurologist and the EMG was normal, so no nerve issues seem to be causing the problems. I am now thinking it may be caused by the Simvastatin, or an interaction between Omeprazole and Simvastatin. I stopped the Omeprazole for a few days and felt a little better, until I had to take one due to the reflux, and things got worse, so I stopped it and switched to Prevacid. Unfortunately, the symptoms never went away and are back, so I'm thinking about stopping both the Simvastatin and Prevacid to see if that helps. My doctor tells me to continue to do more detective work as she doesn't see anything in my previous blood tests that would cause this. Are there reports of similar symptoms, and if so did you find a solution? Since this has been going on for a year now what are the possible long term effects or chances of any permanent muscle/nerve damage? How long does it usually take for Simvastatin to get out of your system after long term use? Any other thoughts are appreciated.
    bobby75703 responded:
    Myopathy and neuropathy are very commmon complaints associated with statin therapy.

    I am unfamiliar with the other drug you are taking.

    The simvistatin will leave your system, but can leave damage in its wake, even though the drug has long cleared your system.

    One of the tests called CK checks for muscle enzymes in the blood stream. This would be indicative of muscle damage. However it should be noted that CK can be normal and still have muscle damage from a statin. This has been documented with muscle biopsy in the presence of normal CK.

    Statin damage is a relative new condition which has come about only in the last 20 years. At this time, there is no known cure to reverse statin damage. Its a matter of time and healing. Some people recover quickly. Others takes months to years. Some will have permanant residual damage.
    astrodave responded:
    see this page for a list of the symptoms of the adverse effects of statin drugs that are described in a paper by B Golumb from UCSD published in 02/09

    sign up for the forum there for discussions on recovery from statin damage
    gws99 replied to astrodave's response:
    Thanks Dave,

    Very informative post, thanks!. I saw several other things on the list that have been effecting me as well. Hopefully I'll not be too far along and can bounce back.


    gws99 replied to bobby75703's response:
    Thanks Bobby,

    I'm already feeling some relief in the short time off the statins, and that the edge on the pain has softened measurably. The first thing I noticed was a renewed sense of being and alertness. My short term memory still really sucks, but I feel more connected to what's going on around me now and in less of a fog.


    toneman84084 replied to astrodave's response:
    Keep in mind that is an anti statin/big drug company site that ONLY looks at one side of the story. The truth is, there are side effects of statins but not at the rates qouted on spacedoc, it is a scare site. Here is the actual breakdown. Keep in mind, these two individuals are not doctors, they are not educated to the same degree as your physician. That does not necissarily mean you shouldn't be on or off statins, but you should get your facts from your doctor, not from a forum website.

    Again, these are the ACTUAL numbers concerning side effects;

    What follows is a brief description of the results, limited to statins (simvastatin, atorvastatin, pravastatin) other than cerivastatin, and omitting discussion of fibrates.

    Cohort studies indicate a rate of 3.4 (1.6 to 6.5)/100,000 person years (1 in 29,000 per year) from cohort studies, supported by RCTs and notifications. Mortality with rhabdomyolysis is about 10%, giving a statin-specific death rate of about 1 in 300,000 per year. This is about 15 times less likely than dying in a car accident in a year.

    Statin-specific myopathy from cohort studies, supported by RCTs was about 11 (4-27)/100,000 person years, a rate of 1 in 9,100 per year. It is reversible on stopping statin.

    Minor muscle pain
    This was no more common with statin than with placebo in RCTs, but was common, at about 5,000/100,000 person years with statin and placebo. This complaint affected about 1 in 20 of the population in the trials, irrespective of therapy.

    Liver failure
    The estimated risk of liver failure of someone taking statins was 0.5 per 100,000 person years, or 1 in 200,000 per year. This is about the same as people not taking statins.

    Stroke was no more common in people taking statins as not, though the rate of haemorrhagic stroke may have been higher. The advice was not to use cholesterol-lowering drugs in people who had had a haemorrhagic stroke.

    Peripheral neuropathy
    Cohort studies and RCTs indicated higher rates of reversible peripheral neuropathy with statins, with a statin-specific risk of about 12/100,000 person years, or a rate in 1 in 8,300 per year.

    Cognitive function
    No greater decline in cognitive function with statin than not.

    Read and lear, ask your doctor and make a decision but don't let under qualified members of a forum second guess yoour physician.

    bobby75703 replied to toneman84084's response:
    Its fascinating how I keep meeting number 1 in 9,300 every week. How do I do that!
    bobby75703 replied to bobby75703's response:
    Gary, I am glad to hear you are feeling better now that you are off the statin.

    Recently I noticed a guy at a party limping. I immediatly recognized his limp as possibly being the "statin schuffel"
    I enquired and sure enough he was on a statin. Today he is statin free and has his full health back. He looks completely like a new person. He walks briskly and is more alert.

    Gary I think you can look forward to a full recovery as well. I wish you the best. Thanks for posting.

    astrodave replied to toneman84084's response:
    Keep in mind that Toneman has formed his opinion without considering evidence that the drug companies hide in the following manner:

    excerpt from the following article "wonder drugs that can kill"

    Golomb says one reason many doctors overlook risks and believe statins to be safe is that most controlled studies of statins wind up excluding people who originally begin to participate in a study but stop taking the drug because they experience problems from it; these test participants are then dropped from the study as "01Cnoncompliant."01D Confusion arises, Golomb says, "01Cbecause the absence of evidence that statins cause harm"014having excluded those who would have permitted detection of harm"014is interpreted wrongly as evidence of absence of harm. And the treatment is generalized to a larger population with a very different risk-to-benefit profile."01D

    also keep in mind that many surveys indicate a much larger percentage of patients suffer adverse effects than toneman would like to admit. following is just one such survey:

    50,000 people were recently invited by e-mail to take part in an on-line survey by Radar Television in the Netherlands.
    27,692 replied. Of these, 4738 (17.1%) were on Statins. Of the 4738, 27.1% reported side effects. They had a choice of: muscle pain, joint pain, digestion problems, loss of memory or other.
    748 (39.8%) reported muscle pain
    592 (31.5%) reported joint pain
    301 (16.0%) reported digestion problems
    239 (12.7%) reported loss of memory
    420 reported other effects.
    under reporting of is also something toneman does not want to acknowlege

    bobby75703 replied to astrodave's response:
    I think the Netherlands Survey of real world data from statin users represents reality.

    Also the Statin Study by Golomb at the University of California is a respectable study with a clean money trail. Again it uses REAL WORLD data.
    astrodave replied to toneman84084's response:
    why are you afraid to have posters look and decide for themselves whether or not they are suffering the side effects of statin drugs?
    I will point to the most insideous potential side effect mitochondrial dna mutations as probably the most life altering LONG TERM disabling potential of statins. why would you want someone not to know of this possibility???? if anyone is pushing an adgenda here it is you...all I am doing is pointing out CURRANT research and the questions raised by patient surveys....why do you think soooo many people stop taking statins on their own...I think it is that they realize what these drugs are doing to them....

    I too sugest that everyone taking statins visit . on that point we agree. thank you for suggesting it!!!

    bobby75703 replied to toneman84084's response:
    I have a lot of respect for MD's. Many of my friends are MD's. But the credentials of MD doesn't mean that they are always making the right choice.

    Putting faith in credentials can lead to some very bad outcomes. We have all witnessed what can happen in botched plastic surgeries. Bernie Madoff had very high credentials. The best on Wall Street, and people trusted their money with him.
    They all lost.

    My doctor just made a horrible mistake. I seriously questioned what she was doing cutting my thyroid hormone dosage to an all time low. The result? My TSH shot up to over 100. This could reignite my thyroid cancer, could have given me a fatal heart attack, or put me in a bad car wreck. Had I had the authority to write my own prescription this event would't have happened.

    My doctor is human. I don't hold it against her as she is fixing the situation, but my point is just because a physician says so doesn't make it the right thing to do. We should all think for ourselves and make decisions, but never just blindly do whatever a doctor says just because "Oh! He's a Doctor!"

    So what! That doesn't make him or her qualified. Just means they have a license to practice medicine.

    A doctor in my area was just arrested and lost his license to practice medicine because he was high on drugs and running over mail boxes and finally hit a tree with his car. He was on call at the local emergency room when this happened.

    I think Dave is doing a great job helping people see the other side of statins. And that helps a lot of people.


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