These drugs are dangerous and have very serious side effects. Many documented reports detail the severe side effects that otherwise healthy people have experienced after taking these drugs. The side effects include:
- Severe muscle cell damage leading to a fatal kidney condition called rhabdomyolysis. The dying skeletal muscle cells release toxic muscle cell components into the general circulation, causing kidney damage. Complications of rhabdomyolysis include acute kidney failure, vascular blood clots, elevated blood potassium levels and cardiac arrest.
- Permanent and debilitating muscle pain and weakness.
- Neurological damage and cognitive side effects including global transient amnesia, memory loss, learning impairment and confusion.
- Congestive heart failure.
- Elevated liver enzymes, indicating liver damage.
- Statins block the mevalonate metabolic pathway in the body, with the drug companies desired result of blocking cholesterol, but also with the dangerous result of blocking the production of important cell chemicals such as CoQ10, dolichols, and immunomodulation proteins such as NF-kB (Nuclear Factor-kabbaB).
- CoQ10 or ubiquinone is the catalyst which drives cell energy production. It acts as a potent antioxidant, and it is critical for the health and function of cell mitochondria. A lack of CoQ10 can cause serious oxidative damage to cellular mitochondria which can result in heart and skeletal muscle damage, and severely limit energy production for the body.
Dr. Peter Langsjoen is a cardiologist and an expert on CoQ10 and the damage that statins cause to CoQ10 in the body. Here's a telling comment from him in an article on Red Flags Weekly:
"In my practice of 17 years in Tyler, Texas, I have seen a frightening increase in heart failure secondary to statin usage, "statin cardiomyopathy". Over the past five years, statins have become more potent, are being prescribed in higher doses, and are being used with reckless abandon in the elderly and in patients with "normal" cholesterol levels. We are in the midst of a Coronary Heart Failure epidemic in the US with a dramatic increase over the past decade. Are we causing this epidemic through our zealous use of statins? In large part, I think the answer is yes. We are now in a position to witness the unfolding of the greatest medical tragedy of all time - never before in history has the medical establishment knowingly (Merck & Co., Inc. has two 1990 patents combining CoQ10 with statins to prevent CoQ10 depletion and attendant side effects) created a life threatening nutrient deficiency in millions of otherwise healthy people, only to then sit back with arrogance and horrific irresponsibility and watch to see what happens. As I see two to three new statin cardiomyopathies per week in my practice, I cannot help but view my once great profession with a mixture of sorrow and contempt.”You can learn more about Dr. Langsjoen's work here.
- Statin usage is linked to a condition known as Mitochondrial Myopathy, a condition in which cell mitochondria become damaged, accelerating the aging process, and resulting in permanent disabling weakness. This is a direct result of statin interference in the production of CoQ10 and L-Carnitine.
- Mood changes, including increased hostility, aggression and depression due to the blockage of dolichol production in the mevalonate pathway.
- Statins are also linked to a much greater risk of developing diabetes as a "side effect". Simvastatin (Zocor) in particular has been shown to interfere with cellular glucose signaling and insulin secretion, and reduce beneficial adiponectin levels.
- Statin side effects can be worse if they are ingested in conjunction with other substances using the same metabolic pathway in the body. Drugs such as cyclosporine, itraconazole, diltiazem and erythromycin, bile acid sequestrants (cholestyramine, colestipol), fibric acid derivatives (bezafibrate, fenofibrate, gemfibrozil), and other substances such as niacin and grapefruit juice are all contraindicated for use with statins.
- There are a host of other side effects, including pancreatitis, an increase in respiratory infections and pneumonia, peripheral neuropathy, skin rashes, sexual dysfunction, headaches, diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain and cramping, heartburn, constipation, and dizziness.
- In 1996, Newman and Tulley published a meticulous review of the links between cancer and statins in a paper titled The Carcinogenity of Lipid-Lowering Drugs in the Journal of American Medical Association. (JAMA 27 55:60, 1996). The CARE trial in particular, resulted in a much higher rate of breast cancer for the women in the treatment group.