Statin Use Could Lead to Memory Loss and Diabetes, Says FDA
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that it will change the labeling for multiple prescription drugs that reduce cholesterol. This class of drugs, called statins, has been shown in recent studies to lead to an increased risk of adverse brain effects such as confusion and memory loss, heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes. According to CNN Health, the FDA reports that most effects have not been serious and have subsided once drug use was discontinued. Popular statins affected by this FDA warning include Lipitor (atorvastatin), Crestor (rosuvastatin), Mevacor (lovastatin), Zocor (simvastatin), and Vytorin (simvastatin/ezetimibe).
The FDA announced that it will add wording to the "warnings and precautions" section of the drugs’ labels. These warnings will notify doctors that the drugs have been proven to increase the risk of memory loss and confusion, as well as hyperglycemia, an increase in blood sugar levels that increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes. It is not known why the mental effects of the drug occur, but it has been observed that these usually cease after use of the drug is stopped. In addition, the drug Mevacor allegedly could lead to myopathy, which is muscle damage. The FDA reports that some drugs should never be taken with Mevacor, including protease inhibitors, certain HIV drugs and some drugs used to treat bacterial and fungal infections. The FDA also announced that it will remove a warning linking statins to possibly serious liver injury, allowing doctors to stop monitoring patients for elevated liver enzymes. Close to 32 million Americans take cholesterol-fighting statins.
Pfizer, the manufacturer of Lipitor, said: "The announcement today by the FDA provides additional information to physicians and patients regarding statins including Lipitor (atorvastatin calcium). The class labeling is based on FDA evaluation of all statin labels, entry of new interacting drugs on the market, and a review of clinical data and post marketing reports. Lipitor has been supported by a wealth of clinical research and real-world experience.”
Though patients have experienced the benefits of the cholesterol-lowering class of drugs called statins, they may be presented with an increased risk of adverse events as well. Although these drugs have been proven to be effective in preventing cholesterol-related problems, groups like the American Medical Association have done studies showing that patients who took Crestor were also 12% more likely to be diagnosed with diabetes than those who took a smaller placebo. In addition, many statins have been linked to other dangerous side effects, such as rhabdomyolysis and myopathy (muscular tissue damage), as well as kidney failure. If you or a loved one were injured after taking a statin including Lipitor, Crestor, Mevacor, Zocor, or Vytorin, contact an experienced statin attorney to see if you could be eligible to pursue legal recourse in the form of compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.