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Statins and numbness

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Statins and numbness

Old 08-15-18, 01:16 PM
  #1  
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Statins and numbness

My cholesterol isn't high (usually about 160) but my cardiologist put me on 40 mg simvastatin saying that "new evidence shows that a low dose statin can be helpful in preventing plaque buildup from breaking free from artery walls and causing a stroke or heart attack". I've been taking it a few months and noticed that my hands (one or both) go numb at different times during the day and at night. The night time numbness wakes me up three or four times during the night. Not fun at all. I read online that along with muscle pain, statins can cause numbness. WOW!! So I stopped taking them for 10 days and the numbness stopped. I then started taking them again and the numbness come back so I took myself off statins. I see the cardio doc next week and I'll find out what she has t say about this.
Anyone else have the same experience?
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Old 08-15-18, 08:45 PM
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I take 10mg of Crestor and didn’t have any numbness but maybe a few body aches. Not sure if it is just regular aches from activity or the statin. The doc was concerned about body aches. There seems to be a correlation with the meds and numbness for you.
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Old 08-15-18, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by RonH View Post
"new evidence shows that a low dose statin can be helpful in preventing plaque buildup from breaking free from artery walls and causing a stroke or heart attack".
Ask to see the evidence, and how significant the effect is. My uneducated guess is that it is statistically questionable.
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Old 08-16-18, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Ask to see the evidence, and how significant the effect is. My uneducated guess is that it is statistically questionable.
I don't need to ask. I found several online articles that said the same thing.
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Old 08-16-18, 02:57 PM
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Like pretty much everything in medicine, it comes down to a cost/benefit analysis. If you don't have significant plaque, then the risk is low. If you are in borderline coronary bypass territory, then it probably it is much higher.

They might be able to find a different statin, or adjust the dose. Good luck! Let us know how it gets resolved.
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Old 08-16-18, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Like pretty much everything in medicine, it comes down to a cost/benefit analysis. If you don't have significant plaque, then the risk is low. If you are in borderline coronary bypass territory, then it probably it is much higher.
Cost is not a problem ($4 for 90 days). As I said my cholesterol is usually around 160. Was lower when I was younger. I'm now 73. I do have significant plaque. My wife and I had the cardiac CT scan in 2009. My wife got a perfect score. My scan looked like a roadmap of the US. And I got a stent in 2014 when I told the doc that I was having a hard time breathing when climbing hills.
As I said in my first post, I'm not taking it any more since my cholesterol has never been high. I'll be having a long talk with the doc next week.
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Last edited by RonH; 08-17-18 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 08-16-18, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by RonH View Post
My cholesterol isn't high (usually about 160) but my cardiologist put me on 40 mg simvastatin saying that "new evidence shows that a low dose statin can be helpful in preventing plaque buildup from breaking free from artery walls and causing a stroke or heart attack". I've been taking it a few months and noticed that my hands (one or both) go numb at different times during the day and at night. The night time numbness wakes me up three or four times during the night. Not fun at all. I read online that along with muscle pain, statins can cause numbness. WOW!! So I stopped taking them for 10 days and the numbness stopped. I then started taking them again and the numbness come back so I took myself off statins. I see the cardio doc next week and I'll find out what she has t say about this.
Anyone else have the same experience?
Ron, even though my cholesterol level is only 96, my doctor has me on statins; I take Atorvastatin, 80mg 1X a day. Even though my cholesterol level is very low, I have other risk factors, including diabetes and coronary artery calcification (CAC) caused by diabetes.

I had stent #7 installed on July 13. Fortunately, my other six stents remain clear.

I have never experienced numbness or any of the other side effects normally associated with statin use. I would suggest that you discuss this with your doctor and together look for a statin with no bad side effects. Statins are an important of your medical treatment plan. Donít give up on them.

Good luck.
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Old 08-16-18, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by RonH View Post
Cost is not a problem ($4 for 90 days).
Cost meaning "numbness", not what it does to your wallet.

As for the part you added in edit, WTF?

I'll add you to my ignore list. Please do the same for me.

Last edited by wgscott; 08-18-18 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 08-17-18, 08:07 AM
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I have borderline cholesterol numbers and would get pushed toward statins by most doctors. But I don't think the trade-off in muscle soreness that I experienced years ago when I used them was worth the marginal benefit they provide. I dropped them and never looked back. My GP agrees with my decision and doesn't push them. I did lose about 18% of my body weight about six years ago which more than makes up for the tiny risk I am adding by forgoing statins.
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Old 08-17-18, 08:20 AM
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Normal procedure when patient experiences side effects like yours is to change statins. Changing to a different statin will often do the trick.

Do you take Vitamin k2? If not, you might want to look into it. Google "k2 coronary calcium"

Last edited by Wattsup; 08-17-18 at 10:40 PM.
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Old 08-18-18, 02:39 PM
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Given your cardiac history, I'd say taking a statin of some kind would be prudent. Statins do have a variety of side effects, but fortunately there are many different statins available, even as generics, and switching to a different statin often does help people avoid unpleasant side effects experienced with the first statin they try.
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Old 08-19-18, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by donheff View Post
I have borderline cholesterol numbers and would get pushed toward statins by most doctors. But I don't think the trade-off in muscle soreness that I experienced years ago when I used them was worth the marginal benefit they provide. I dropped them and never looked back. My GP agrees with my decision and doesn't push them. I did lose about 18% of my body weight about six years ago which more than makes up for the tiny risk I am adding by forgoing statins.
I did the same thing and I'm happy to be off of that rollercoaster of try this one, try that one, and the constant blood checks to make sure the pills aren't killing me.

And I think they were. I felt generally awful while on them. Like a really old man. My muscles ached terribly while on that stuff. Well, my heart is a muscle, so what was it doing to that? Likely more damage than the "problem" those tiny pills were trying to fix.

I now do intermittent fasting, load up on vitamin C and Hawthorne berries, exercise regularly and I feel great. I am now borderline high cholesterol, but otherwise very healthy. Good enough for me.
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Old 08-21-18, 11:55 AM
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Side effects

Originally Posted by RonH View Post
My cholesterol isn't high (usually about 160) but my cardiologist put me on 40 mg simvastatin saying that "new evidence shows that a low dose statin can be helpful in preventing plaque buildup from breaking free from artery walls and causing a stroke or heart attack". I've been taking it a few months and noticed that my hands (one or both) go numb at different times during the day and at night. The night time numbness wakes me up three or four times during the night. Not fun at all. I read online that along with muscle pain, statins can cause numbness. WOW!! So I stopped taking them for 10 days and the numbness stopped. I then started taking them again and the numbness come back so I took myself off statins. I see the cardio doc next week and I'll find out what she has t say about this.
Anyone else have the same experience?
Statin side effects include muscle damage and lowering CoQ10 levels in the body. This may be something to address with your doctor when you go back next week. Here is some research as well: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3096178/
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Old 08-21-18, 12:34 PM
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Drug side effects are an interesting example of "framing."

Positive framing: on average, statins work for 70% of users without any adverse effects. Note that holds independently for each of the five or six statins on the market. If your doctor thinks there's a good reason for you to take a statin, pick one, and there's a good chance you'll never see a side effect.

Negative framing: 30% of users of each statin experience undesirable, or even dangerous, side effects. Ooh, you might be one of them!

For myself, I've not experienced adverse drug effects of my statin, and I have no desire to experience another cardiac blockage that statins help to prevent. I read the sheaf of paper the hospital printed out for me on possible side effects, and if I ever do run into adverse effects, I'll happily work with my cardiologist and PCP to try another one.

YMMV.
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Old 08-24-18, 05:42 PM
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I was on statins for a while. Numbness was the first side-effect I noticed. Then came the muscle soreness, memory loss, plummeting testosterone, skin issues... Doc said I'd die in 10 years without the statins and dummy me believed him; so I went through a long list of brands each one worse than the last. I finally told him that I'd rather die than continue with the side-effects. That was 12 years ago. I never did fully recover all the strength I lost in that year.
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Old 08-24-18, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Drug side effects are an interesting example of "framing."

Positive framing: on average, statins work for 70% of users without any adverse effects. Note that holds independently for each of the five or six statins on the market. If your doctor thinks there's a good reason for you to take a statin, pick one, and there's a good chance you'll never see a side effect.

Negative framing: 30% of users of each statin experience undesirable, or even dangerous, side effects. Ooh, you might be one of them!

For myself, I've not experienced adverse drug effects of my statin, and I have no desire to experience another cardiac blockage that statins help to prevent. I read the sheaf of paper the hospital printed out for me on possible side effects, and if I ever do run into adverse effects, I'll happily work with my cardiologist and PCP to try another one.

YMMV.
Sound and well reasoned advice.
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Old 08-25-18, 10:53 AM
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Your cardiologist is correct. Well documented. Be that as it may, it's also well documented that exercise improves life quality and longevity, so if it interferes, maybe not so good. As the doc for the stats. And yes, my fingers are stiff, weak, and a little numb, but it took months of atorvastatin before this happened so I don't know if that's to blame or not. In either case, I quit the statin a month ago, no improvement in fingers. Maybe washout time is long, or statin's not to blame. Don't know.
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