Health

Lipitor And The Like Blamed For Memory Loss & Diabetes

It seems that over the past few months, each day brings news regarding some popular drug that apart from doing its job in the treatment of some health condition, it raises the risks for others. Now, the latest to get under scrutiny from regulators are the cholesterol lowering drugs, such as Lipitor and the like, which are blamed for memory loss and diabetes.

A statement released by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier this week points out to a concerning aspect. Some of the most popular and used drugs for lowering cholesterol levels have been found to increase the risks of developing memory loss and diabetes. These drugs based on statins will carry new warnings on their labels and it applies to some of the most popular brands from Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Merck & Co.

Basically, we’re talking about Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor the top brands in a market where cholesterol reducing drugs bring in about $30 billion. At the same time, as data from the National Center for Health Statistics points out, about 25 percent of the Americans over 45 years are currently taking in statins based drugs.

The issue at hand is serious enough. Amy Egan, deputy director for safety with the division of metabolism and endocrinology products of the FDA, explains that “the value of statins in preventing heart disease has been clearly established. Their benefit is indisputable, but they need to be taken with care and knowledge of side effects”.

The side effects Amy Egan is talking about are not to be taken at ease. Memory loss, confusion and increased blood sugar, resulting in diabetes, are all factors that physicians should definitely take into consideration when prescribing statin drugs.

The FDA bases its new decision on a study from the University of Massachusetts Medical School that pointed out women aged over 50 that are currently taking in statins present a 48 percent increased risk of developing diabetes. Last year, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a similar study that proved there’s an increased risk of developing diabetes for patients that are often taking large doses of cholesterol reducing drugs.

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1 Comment

  1. ‘ Vivid dreaming’ with Lipitor?

    by Danny Bloom

    I call it Lippy for short, and I take 10 milligram every night just
    before I hit the sack. Like
    a lot of aging baby boomers around the world, I had a heart attack a
    while back, and I’m
    on Lipitor now and I like it. I’ll tell you why: I have never had such
    wonderful, lively, colorful
    and vivid dreams in my life and I dream now on Lippy every night.
    Doctors orders.

    I’ve got a stent, too, keeping the arteries unclogged, inserted via a
    vein in my leg by my
    skillful cardio guy here in Taiwan, Dr Ong. How he managed to stick
    that tiny little balloony
    thing in my heart is something I will never understand in a million
    years, but I watched the
    whole operation on a computer monitor above my head — eyes wide open
    the entire time,
    despite some local anaesthetics — and it’s real. Modern medicine rocks!
    I am not making my
    Bucket List yet. I’m aiming for a 2032 A.D. ”pokkuri moment”, but
    until then, it’s full speed ahead
    and I got Lippy (and Dr Ong) to thank for that.

    But back to Lipitor and how it impacts the dream corridors of the human brain.
    Ever since I started taking Lippy in 2009, I do “vivid dreaming” every
    night and it’s a hoot.

    And it’s not just me. Bill Bikaidis tells me: “I have been on Lipitor
    for about six
    months now, and I am having very vivid dreams as well. Every time I wake up, I
    am waking up out of a dream and remembering it. No bad dreams. Just
    normal dreams but very vivid and very lucid. Lipitor is the only
    medication/drug that I am taking, so this can’t be due to any other
    medication. I think it’s fantastic! It will be interesting to see if
    the effect disappears when I go off the medication. If it does, I
    might want to go back on.”

    I expect to hear more stories in the comments section below. For now,
    I want to explore
    what this is all about, so first some facts. I’ve been in touch with
    the PR people at Pfizer
    but they are bit publicity-shy on this topic. I have no idea why. All
    I want to know is what’s
    got into me?

    While the medical jury is still out on all this, my dear Lippy is in a class of
    medications known as “statins”.

    Statins work, a heart doctor in Taiwan tells me, by
    inhibiting an enzyme that results in lower levels of something called
    LDL, sometimes referred to as “bad” cholesterol, and raises levels of
    HDL, aka “good” cholesterol.

    According to the medical literature out there online, clinical trials
    have indicated that ”abnormal” – that is to say, “vivid dreams” –
    are sometimes seen in patients taking Lipitor following heart attacks
    and stent procedures..However, confirmed reports of such dreaming are
    still rare, occurring in less than two percent of patients studied so
    far.

    Only the Big Pharma companies know for sure, and they aren’t talking.
    Pfizer certainly aint talking to me, even though I asked them politely. I even
    asked one of the medical reporters at the New York Times to look into this for
    me, and when he heard my story, he said he would. Then, mysteriously, after
    he contacted Pfizer for a comment, his line went dead. He no longer
    answers my emails. Are we
    in the land of medical twilight zones?

    My dad was a doctor, a urologist and not a cardiologist, but he had
    one of the best bedside manners
    to ever come out of Avenue J in Brooklyn in the great longago, and he
    was the kind of doctor that
    made his children proud. He was the old-fashioned kind, the real
    McCoy, er, McBloom. He turned me
    into a kind of amateur medical sleuth in my later and I have nothing
    but the most utmost respect
    for doctors and the drug companies that fund them.

    When I asked a well-known writer on technology and inventions, what
    he thought about my vivid dreaming
    adventures on Lippy, he told me it
    might be interesting to see “more public discussion of the effects of
    legal and illegal
    drugs on dreams, as opposed to hallucinations”.

    “If Lipitor causes pleasant and happy vivid dreaming because it’s a
    statin, perhaps some statins could be used as recreational drugs,” the
    professor added, noting with an Isaac Asimov kind of smile: “A drug
    that could consistently induce good dreams on a nightly basis is the
    stuff that science-fiction hits are made of, If Lipitor has this
    potential, someone should find out what’s in it. It could change the
    way we……sleep!”

    Full disclosure: This writer, not so much for a news story as for
    his health, has been taking Lipitor in sweet doses for two years now,
    following my heart “incident” and follow-up stent implant. I take a 10
    milligram tab of Lipitor each night “around midnight”, and without
    fail the most pleasant and amazingly vivid dreams follow throughout
    the night, sometimes as many as three or four, with the last one
    around 6 a.m. fore waking. These Lippy dreams, as I like to call them,
    are not hallucinogenic or frightening, and always follow real events in
    his daily life in the most pleasant of ways, and the dreams feel more
    ”real” than dreams I regularly had before going on Lippy.

    So, can Lipitor cause a person to have vivid dreams? Yes. What’s in
    the drug? Only Pfizer knows for sure, and mum’s the word. Statins,
    whatever they are, and whatever the specific chemical in them that
    gives rise to vivid dreaming, are not easy to decipher. What’s in the
    white Lipitor film-coated pills that turn on the vivid dreaming
    controls for some people? Repeated emails to Pfizer’s PR department
    have gone answered.

    Imagine if someone made a legal drug with no side-effects that could
    induce vivid dreaming 24/7? It could change the world. Well, that’s
    too tall of an order, but if nothing else, it could change the
    way…..we sleep.

    Dr Asimov? Calling Dr Asimov!

    AUTHOR ID: Danny Bloom, 1949-2032, is an American writer living in Asia
    since 1991. He spent five sleepy years in Tokyo and currently sleeps in Taiwan.

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