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Stopped Statin - feel ten years younger.

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Stopped Statin - feel ten years younger.

Old 10-20-21, 06:10 AM
  #1  
boozergut
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Stopped Statin - feel ten years younger.

After struggling to get out of bed and suffering from very stiff joints as well as brain fog I decided to try not taking my atorvastatin. Me aches and pains melted away quickly. I had teledoc discussion with a doctor about this decision and she indicated that considering how much cycling I was doing and that she had seen many heart attack victims with good cholesterol readings she wasn't too worried about it. She then went over a risks versus benefits discussion with me, explaining that the risks seemed to be out weighing the benefits of the drug. Anyway, I feel alert now and I can lie in bed peacefully without tossing and turning all night due to stiff joints.

Your mileage may vary though, don't do what I did without a good discussion with your doc.
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Old 10-20-21, 06:47 AM
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Similar side effects when I tried statins. Now, maybe the current statins are better than several I tried some 30 yrs ago, but I experienced a loss of power. There was a hill up to a ridge, and I was one of the riders who could ride up that hill. After starting statins, I could no longer ride up that hill, and just didn't feel like I did previously. Within a short time after discontinuing a statin, I was riding back up that hill again. Read everything I could find on statins, and seems what you and I experienced is not that uncommon. Diet (though in all honesty I still "eat like an American"), and exercise will have to do it for me. My cholesterol is still high, but statins didn't significantly affect it. My sister, who eats very little red meat, lots of fruit and veggies, and gets plenty of exercise, has high cholesterol also. But I can still ride up some challenging hills, though if I'm on a mtn.bike, I ride a little easier than in the past. But at 70, I'm glad to still be out and able to break out the mtn.bike now and then. Mostly road ride these days, but like a good hill here and there on the road also. As you said---don't discontinue without consulting your doc--maybe modern medicine has better offerings, and may be some alternatives your doc could suggest.
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Old 10-20-21, 08:08 AM
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Thanks for the reports. My doc wants me on a statin but so far I have resisted. My numbers are only "mildly bad" as far as I am concerned and I have great diet and exercise.

Other reports both good and bad on different statin meds would be appreciated!
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Old 10-20-21, 06:16 PM
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I tried several statins and had similar joint and muscle pain. I finally started Pravaststin and have been able to tolerate it without debilitating symptoms. It lowered my cholesterol 100 points. It didn't stop a heart attack I had in May of this year though. I've been taking it for about a year and a half.
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Old 10-21-21, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Gundo View Post
I tried several statins and had similar joint and muscle pain. I finally started Pravaststin and have been able to tolerate it without debilitating symptoms. It lowered my cholesterol 100 points. It didn't stop a heart attack I had in May of this year though. I've been taking it for about a year and a half.
There are a number of non-statin lipid lowering drugs. My wife takes one. Here's a link. She sees a specialized md, a lipidologist. As many of you do, she has terrible reaction to statins of any kind. We've tried them all.
https://www.merckmanuals.com/profess...able/v55565009
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Old 10-21-21, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Gundo View Post
I tried several statins and had similar joint and muscle pain. I finally started Pravaststin and have been able to tolerate it without debilitating symptoms. It lowered my cholesterol 100 points. It didn't stop a heart attack I had in May of this year though. I've been taking it for about a year and a half.
Statins don't prevent a cardiovascular event, just reduce the incidence. And cholesterol is a bad biomarker for cardiovascular events. Satins are great for a population were they are associated with about a 10% drop in mortality and a 30% drop in cardiovascular events . And yes, that is going from 7% risk of a cardiovascular event over a 10 year period to a 4.9% risk of a cardiovascular event in a 10 year period. But it is not easy to say on an individual level, who will truly benefit from a statin and who will not.

Last edited by vespasianus; 03-24-22 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 10-21-21, 09:30 PM
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Same. Docs prescribed various beta blockers, calcium channel blockers and BP meds to help prevent migraines, or at least reduce the severity. It worked, but I didn't care for the side effects. I never adapted to the point that I felt normal again taking them. So now I take them only when I actually have a migraine. I had to take 'em Tuesday-Wednesday for the worst headache I've had in a couple of years and felt like a zombie for the next day. But by Thursday I felt well enough to go for a fairly easy effort 5 mile walk with three segments jogging 400-800 yards. By Saturday I should feel normal again.

Usually my BP is within normal range, around 120/70, but it did spike to 160/90 during the migraine, which isn't unusual. And my cholesterol is within normal limits too. I'm careful about diet and exercise, but not monastic about it. I eat whatever I like within limits. And I exercise daily unless I cannot get out of bed at all. But if I can stagger to the bathroom to pee, I'm probably good for a short walk outdoors.

Ditto muscle relaxers. Occasionally I get painful muscle spasms in my neck and back from old injuries. I might need muscle relaxers once every few months, including Tuesday-Wednesday this week. Those things also make me feel like a zombie, so I avoid 'em whenever possible.
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Old 10-22-21, 07:21 AM
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My wife had similar issues with statins but she has very high cholesterol and wants it lower. She has good results with Repatha, an injectable non statin. She had to jump through a lot of hoops to get our insurance to cover it.

My cholesterol is borderline and I am not sure whether my aches and pains are statin related, caused by my Parkinson's disease, by plain old age or all three. I dumped the statins in any event. Docs like it but the benefits don't seem great and I want to keep my meds down to a reasonable degree if I can.
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Old 10-30-21, 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by boozergut View Post
After struggling to get out of bed and suffering from very stiff joints as well as brain fog I decided to try not taking my atorvastatin. Me aches and pains melted away quickly. I had teledoc discussion with a doctor about this decision and she indicated that considering how much cycling I was doing and that she had seen many heart attack victims with good cholesterol readings she wasn't too worried about it. She then went over a risks versus benefits discussion with me, explaining that the risks seemed to be out weighing the benefits of the drug. Anyway, I feel alert now and I can lie in bed peacefully without tossing and turning all night due to stiff joints.

Your mileage may vary though, don't do what I did without a good discussion with your doc.
Statins did NOT work for me! I became so damned lethargic there was no point in continuing the drug. Opt for lifestyle changes instead if you want to address cholesterol.
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Old 11-10-21, 06:47 AM
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Funny thing about a lot of drugs these days - they may work well and change various diagnostic markers - but still not prevent the disease or malady they were prescribed for. My experience is that the medical community always puts diagnostic markers and statistical outcomes over a patient's personal perceptions.

I cut my statin usage back to the minimum 40mg dosage after trying to take 80mg. The doctor didn't think it made much difference, but was willing to prescribe 80mg because he just didn't give a ****. about whether if affected my "perceptions."
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Old 11-10-21, 05:25 PM
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Having also been prescribed a statin and couldn't deal with those issues, stopped it, I have a very high calcium score, the reason for the prescription, around 700, so I'm totally a candidate and an endangered life form. I've looked into these issues quite extensively.

Turns out that statins can prevent heart attacks, a definite yes.
Also turns out that they definitely do lower blood cholesterol.
Also turns out that lowering blood cholesterol has nothing to do with the helpful effects which statins have.
Thus high blood cholesterol is not really a marker for prescribing a statin.
Turns out that what statins do is to harden the calcium which can build up in our arteries, making it less likely to come apart and cause a blockage somewhere. This is a good thing.
Also turns out that endurance athletes like me frequently have high calcium scores for unknown reasons which are not related to blood cholesterol..,
Also turns out that our calcium is hardened just like the calcium in the hearts of long-term statin-takers. So far so good in my case.

I got all the above from reading what look to be well-done studies.

OTOH, I just had a dear friend, 60 y.o, also an endurance athlete, die in bed of a massive heart attack. You pay your money, you take your chance. 76, still riding hard, doing intervals, etc.
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Old 11-15-21, 08:39 AM
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From what I have read, there seems to be no controversy as to whether statins work or not. Cholesterol levels are used as a proxy for heart disease, but there seems to be some other protective effect. That is why other cholesterol-lowering meds are not as effective-such as Niacin or Zetia.

Some are better tolerated than others; I tried 3 or 4 before settling on Pravastatin. No side effects at all, even at the highest dose. Also generic and cheap.

Do some Googling about which statins have lower side effects and talk to your doctor.
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Old 03-21-22, 06:29 PM
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What dosages are we talking about here? I take 10 mg of atorvastatin, which is low. I don't think I experience joint pain -- beyond the usual aches and pains for a 62 year old. I have a calcium score of 210. Last physical was as follows:
CHOLESTEROL, TOTAL 165 mg/dL TRIGLYCERIDES 46 mg/dL HDL CHOLESTEROL 65 mg/dL LDL CHOLESTEROL, CALCULATED 91 mg/dL CHOLESTEROL/HDL RATIO 2.5
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Old 03-23-22, 08:58 AM
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Statins are known for causing muscle issues. I stopped taking Lipitor (atorvastatin) because of them. Was on simvastatin, now on pravastatin. If one statin causes problems, tell your doctor, and ask to try a different one.
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Old 03-24-22, 06:55 AM
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Thanks. What I am trying to understand, for those of us who are older, is how do you know if it's statin-caused joint pain vs. the effects of an aging body?
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Old 03-24-22, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by rdsmith3 View Post
Thanks. What I am trying to understand, for those of us who are older, is how do you know if it's statin-caused joint pain vs. the effects of an aging body?
In my case, a new doc had me try atorvastatin before I figured out that it was Lipitor, same stuff that had given me aches and pains when tried a few years earlier. I felt that I had sprained something getting out of my truck one morning - i.e. not ordinarily a difficult operation, and decided this was more of the same BS. They put Lipitor/atorvastatin on my 'allergic' list afterward to remind themselves not to try it again on me. If your aches and pains are more than usual, that's a clue. I'm 64, fwiw.
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Old 03-24-22, 07:20 AM
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My 79 y/o body does not like statins.
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Old 03-24-22, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by rdsmith3 View Post
Thanks. What I am trying to understand, for those of us who are older, is how do you know if it's statin-caused joint pain vs. the effects of an aging body?
My joints always hurt this time of year due to the crap in the air.

Ask your Doc if you can do a test by going off the Statin for a few months and see if your joints feel better. I assume your Doc has monitored your creatine kinase levels on that drug? What you are experiencing is a very common side effect on statins and it should not be a surprise to your Doc if you explain what you are feeling.
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Old 03-24-22, 11:45 AM
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Statins are nearly junk. Here is a new study, throw this one at your doc:

https://maryannedemasi.com/publicati...nimal-benefits

The summary is there is only about a 1-2% reduction in probability of something really bad happening by being on a statin (heart attack, stroke, death). 1-2% is not worth it. Read up on the absolute vs relative risk mentioned in that link, the marketing people got the doctors hoodwinked on that one. Without going into complete detail (read the article), the simple way to think about it is out of 100 people with heart issues that are taking statins, only one person avoided dying due to the statin. Certainly that is an improvement if you are that 1/100 person, and if statins had no side-effects I would sign up, but not with all the downsides.

If you want to lower your cholesterol do it with your diet.. it will help out your general health at the same time whereas statins don't. I lowered my cholesterol by a third in the last year, I am below the bad level now and my doc no longer is suggesting I take a statin.

PS I decided to read the full study just to be certain about what it was stating.. it turns out the studies were shorter than I was thinking, they were on average around 5 years. So that means the 1-2% reduction was only in a 5-year period and would get magnified if you were on the statin for a longer period. My wild guess is on average it would be something like ~5% reduction over lifetime of death and ~10% reduction over lifetime of heart attack. The actual article concludes that for people with severe heart disease there is an appreciable upside to balance the downside, but not for less severe cases given all of the bad side effects.

Last edited by scottfsmith; 03-24-22 at 01:22 PM.
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Old 03-24-22, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by scottfsmith View Post
Statins are nearly junk. Here is a new study, throw this one at your doc:
I'm too cheap to have read the article, but I'm suspicious. The last couple of years have showed that studies that challenge the accepted facts are even more likely to be wrong (or at least not replicable) than the usual 40-60% of published papers, even with appropriate peer review, that cannot be replicated.

Then there's the fact this is a meta-analysis. No new research went into this publication, it's just statistics. Remember the progression: lies, damned lies, statistics? There are a couple kinds of meta-analyses in general. One tries to include all the relevant studies, one carefully selects studies. It's rarely obvious which kind leads to a given paper. It's an awful lot of work, requiring an awful lot of subject expertise, to tell if the papers that were accepted for meta-analysis were carefully selected to be the ones that will support the desired outcome, while having more-or-less plausible reasons for excluding the rest.

Finally, there's the personal blog page "press release" to publicize the paper. That rings all my alarm bells.

So this result may hold up over time. I'd check back in 5-10 years and see if it's changed the field of cardiology. Until then, I'll regard it as a conclusion to watch to see if it holds up, or if it's like so many other publications that try to make a big splash before they're reduced to something the complete review papers have to include and refute.
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Old 03-24-22, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Remember the progression: lies, damned lies, statistics?
But the original papers were also statistics so its lies vs lies (kinda like Spy vs Spy if you are old enough to remember that )

Meta-analyses need to play by certain rules to prove they are not biasing the sample, and this journal is a top journal so the reviewers should have verified that. Meta-analyses if done right are usually more reliable as they have a much, much larger sample size (140,000 or so people for this one).

That said I agree that the press release is a bad smell, and when I later read the paper I felt the press release was overstating the result, in particular it did not make clear how the shortness of the studies affected the absolute reduction. I think the conclusion in the paper is fair though.
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Old 03-24-22, 05:53 PM
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We've had statin discussions here in the past. I'm in the camp of having bad side-effects. My Cholesterol was 235, and my doc finally convinced me that I was going to die within 10 year if I didn't go on them. Everything was OK for the first couple of months, but then the side-effects started happening. I was getting every side effect in the book plus a few that weren't there -- yet. The worst were the sore legs and greatly increased recovery times, the brain fog, and numb limbs. I finally told the doc I refused to take them because the drugs were going to kill me before the 10 years were up. At that point he referred me to a cardiologist. The cardio put me on a treadmill to prove how bad I was, except he couldn't find anything wrong. He then tried to put me on a few different statins, finally culminating in me trying to dance at my eldest son's wedding with statin-caused blisters on both feet. I fired both my regular doc and the cardiologist. Supposedly people who have negative reactions to statins are rare; but if you ask around on this forum, you'll see that they're actually pretty common.
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Old 03-25-22, 07:40 AM
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Update:
1) I fired my doctor.
2) My new doc changed my BP meds and started me on Rosuvastatin.

Things are much better now.
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Old 03-26-22, 09:30 PM
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I reluctantly made the rounds with statins, finally settled on pravastatin. It is pretty mild and I take CoQ10.

My doctor kept trying to raise the level and we settled on 20mg, so I just cut them in half and have years of supply.

My numbers are good and what he doesn’t know won’t hurt “me”.

John
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Old 03-27-22, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
I reluctantly made the rounds with statins, finally settled on pravastatin. It is pretty mild and I take CoQ10.

My doctor kept trying to raise the level and we settled on 20mg, so I just cut them in half and have years of supply.

My numbers are good and what he doesn’t know won’t hurt “me”.

John
I let my doctor talk me into taking a statin around 12 or more years ago even though my numbers were just borderline high. Right away shoulder pain and muscle weakness so I just stopped. That doctor retired and I told the next doctor the story and that I really did not want to try that again so he recommended Ezetimibe 10 MG. No issues with that.
I found out a while later he put in my chart that I have an allergy to statins and that has followed me around to this day
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