Possible Loss of Cognitive Functions Found Among Statin Users

Drugs that help in decreasing cholesterol levels (commonly known as statins, especially Lipitor) were found to cause memory lossamong women who are using it, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. Problems with recalling recent events have been reported by those who were using Lipitor and other statins to lower their high cholesterol. To update consumers of these new hazards, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued that drug companies include memory loss, forgetfulness and confusion as part of the cognitive impairments related to the use of these drugs.

Even long after the patent of Lipitor has ended, the drug still remains to be one of the top brands that most doctors choose to use, medical reports say. Patients who have been prescribed with this drug have shared the impression that after a year or two of taking it daily they have experienced muscle problems and noticeable changes in their mental capacity. Deterioration of mental capacity of these patients were observed by the people around them. Men and women immediately stopped taking their medications after discovering that there is a link between the statins and these problems. Doctors were first unaware of this problem but started to suspect the connection after patients described their experiences.

Muscle weakness is the most common side effects reported by male and female patients but cognitive impairment comes in second. The full effects of these medications is not yet clear, especially if they would create irreversible brain damage or not. How these drugs seem to affect the human brain is still being studied by researchers. An investigation initiated by the FDA has already been started though these effects are rare because in short periods of time healthy men and women became disabled.

Patients were advised by Amy G. Egan, deputy director for safety in the FDA, to avoid stopping the medication without notifying their physicians because it might increase the risk of a heart attack. However, patients are free to choose if they would still continue with their treatment or not. Downplaying the risks while upselling the benefits is commonly found among studies funded by medical companies, shares Julian Whitaker of Whitaker Wellness Institute Medical Clinic. Several specialists have also taken an interest in the effects of Lipitor and other statins on the cognitive functions and have written books and articles about their observations.

URL References:
fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm293330.htm#2
whitakerwellness.com/health-concerns/lower-cholesterol-naturally/statin-memory-loss/
health.harvard.edu/blog/statin-use-is-up-cholesterol-levels-are-down-are-americans-hearts-benefiting-201104151518

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