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About LipitorIf you use Lipitor or another statin please help others by sharing your experience. What would you tell your best friend about this product? Please remember that we do not give medical advice. That is for your local health care provider, who is familiar with your medical history.
Subj: Healing seems to be slower
I have recently had a hernia operation. The healing seems to be slower than I would normally expect. Does taking lipitor slow down recovery from surgery. I am 63. I have been taking Lipitor for 9 months and recently my doctor increased the dose from 10 to 20 mg while I was still in recovery mode.
AskDocWeb: No it should not slow down recovery, more likely it's due to your age.
Subj: Heart attack?
I heard if you stop taking lipitor you will have a heart attack, is this true?
AskDocWeb: No, stopping Lipitor will not cause a heart attack. But remember you are on Lipitor to lower your cholesterol level, if your levels are high you have an increased chance of a heart attack or stroke.
Subj: Totally incapacitated
My cholesterol level was 267. Doc prescribed 2 different meds, which my doc felt did not lower my cholesterol enough, before he put me on Lipitor 80. I began having foot pain within days in my left foot and then severe cramps in my shins and hips all of which I attributed to worsening RLS, which I've had for several years. I was up every night with pain, which eventually spread to both legs, hips and arms. Throughout this, I was falling asleep at my desk, could not sit or concentrate and had severe short term memory and vision problems. I drive 40 miles to work and 'lost my way' on a road I have driven for years. I would have to pull over and sleep on the way to and from work! My entire body felt like it was stiffening up. My abdomen/stomach area became distended. I developed heavy stiffening pain in the left side of my shoulder/neck area which spread to my head resulting in severe head and eye pain. My urine turned a dark brown color.
I was so sick one morning I could not get out of bed. I called the doc's office to get an appointment. The receptionist asked me what my appointment would be for and I told her I didn't know because I thought I was dying. She put the nurse on the phone who asked about my symptoms. She said Doc wanted me to stop taking Lipitor immediately! And to 'continue resting in bed'. I was totally incapacitated for over 2 weeks with severe muscle pain/weakness and head, neck, eye and shoulder pain. My husband phoned the doc several times to question why I wasn't responding sooner. He recommended Extra Strength Tylenol and said at first I should see results within 72 hours. Next call, said wait a week, next call said wait a couple weeks. Now, 2 1/2 months later I'm still experiencing weakness, head pain and my urine is an ugly deep gold color which pools like syrup in the bottom of the stool. I went to doc 3 days ago. He recommended I see a neurologist, have an MRI and see a foot doctor. He said he just didn't 'think all my complaints could be related to Lipitor'. He wants me to have another lipid profile.
Subj: LDL cholesterol
Hello, I was just wondering if Lipitor works to remove any LDL cholesterol already "stuck" to the walls of the arteries, or does it just prevent any further build up? Thanks!
AskDocWeb: Lipitor blocks the production of new LDL cholesterol, that's the "bad one" and increases the level of the beneficial HDL cholesterol. The HDL helps get rid of the LDL.
Subj: Heart is fluttering
I am taking lipitor for the last 4 or 5 years, first I had a lot of muscle pain, but eventually it did not bother me too much. But now if I take before bedtime, I often wake up at 2 AM and feel my heart like it is fluttering a lot for about 2 or 3 hrs, and I wonder if this drug is the cause of it or maybe attacking the heart muscle or valves, I really don't know. If I stop taking it for a night then my heart seems to act normal and does not act funny.
AskDocWeb: This needs to be reported to your doctor. He may want to change your cholesterol medication or something else may be going on that needs attention.
Subj: Eye problems
I've been taking Lipitor for several years. I started out with 5mg, then went to 10mg, then 20mg. About 8 months ago, my doctor put me on 40mg. My cholesterol level is now less than 200, which is good. However, I've been having trouble with my eyes for several months. They are really red and irritated all of the time. The only change in anything I've made this past year is the increase in Lipitor. Could this be the cause of my eye problems? My eye doc started treating me for allergies, but twice daily Patenol has absolutely no effect.
AskDocWeb: A small number of eye problems have been reported. Please report this to your doctor.
Subj: How do I control my cholesterol level?
I am a 46 year-old-woman and I have been taking Synthroid for about 6 years(50 mcg). After a blood test about 6 weeks ago my cholesterol level came back at 265 so my Dr. prescribed Lipitor(10 mg). For the last two weeks I have been experiencing a constant burning on my tongue, body and joint aches. Getting out of bed is difficult. I suffer from migraines and seem to have headaches very frequently with dizziness on and off. I can't seem to shake off feeling awful most of the time. If I go off the Lipitor how do I control my cholesterol level? If I go off Lipitor, how do I manage my cholesterol at 265.
AskDocWeb: You can affect some control by diet and exercise. Please discuss this with your doctor.
Subj: Sore back every morning
I have been on lipitor for just over 3 months and I now have a sore back every morning, which goes from lower back right up to neck, can't get more than 5 hours sleep. I also have developed a bad case of heartburn, could this be from lipitor also? Seeing doctor in a couple of days.
AskDocWeb: Yes, it is possible but it could also be something else. Let's see what your doctor says.
Subj: Problems with grapefruit
I have been taking Lipitor for 2 years with no bad side effects. I have not drank any grapefruit juice or eaten any grapefruit because of the known side effect. I do like the fruit, however, and was wondering if it's OK to have some several times a year? Also, is the fruit worse or the juice?
AskDocWeb: The juice is worse but problems can also arise from whole grapefruit. Do not us grapefruit products in your diet without first talking to your doctor.
Subj: Can't swallow
I have been taking Lipitor for at least 4 years. I have not been faithful in taking the daily dose of 10 mg. until the last year. Now I am having symptoms that are becoming difficult to live with. I cannot swallow some foods, especially meat. The choking feeling results in having to throw up. I also have a lot of muscle aches and pain in my legs, especially at night and easily get a "charley horse" muscle spasm if I am not careful in my movements. I have a weird pain in my diaphragm that causes discomfort only if I move a certain way. I have more trouble sleeping than ever before. Staying asleep for more than 4 hours is a real treat seldom experienced. Could these symptoms be from Lipitor? Should I quit taking them? I am 56 years old and cholesterol levels have been moderately high for years. I am slightly underweight and exercise regularly by walking briskly at least 2 miles several times a week. I would appreciate your comments
AskDocWeb: That choking feeling and a difficulty in swallowing could be serious and needs to be reported to your doctor. Only your doctor can tell you if you should quit. Others taking Lipitor have reported muscle aches and pain in the legs.
Subj: Lipitor side effects
I have been on Lipitor for several years the most recent dosage being 40 mg I been off of it since June St 2007 but still feel the effects of sore muscles in both arms and legs. Could this be Lipitor side effects or something else? How long do the side effects usually last? Some days are worse than others.
AskDocWeb: Unfortunately, the effect on muscles can last long after the drug is out of your system. Please consult with your doctor about this.
I have been on 10 mg lipitor for 18 months and it has dramatically lowered my cholesterol and I am very grateful for that. I have had orthopedic surgeries and attribute my muscle pain, no weakness, to how my body is out of alignment. How do I tell the difference between muscle pain due to Lipitor Vs muscle pain due to other causes? I was told to take CoQ10 to counteract lipitor effects. Is there research that says this helps?
AskDocWeb: As you know, the body needs energy to function. This energy is processed into a useable form by a chemical called "Coenzyme Q10," or CoQ10 for short. The more energy an organ uses the more Q10 in its cells. The body produces it through a complicated synthesis of other chemicals, and a lack of CoQ10 has been associated with a variety of heart ailments, many of which can be quickly treated by supplementation of the nutrient. And since it is also a powerful antioxidant, it may help reduce the chances of getting cancer.
It is well established that statins, including Lipitor, have the negative side effect of reducing the production of CoQ10 (Current Drug Therapy, Volume 2, Number 1, January 2007, pp. 39-51(13)). In Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research, a 2005 study was published that suggested physicians should be more aware of the effect of statins such as Lipitor on CoQ10.
At the University of California at San Diego, the Statin Effects Study collects information on the side effects of statin use. Some of these include muscle pain and cognitive problems such as memory impairment. The study has attributed some of these symptoms to low levels of CoQ10, directly related to the use of Lipitor and other statins.
There have been several studies performed specifically to determine any possible dangers of CoQ10. In a double-blind placebo controlled study published in the Regulatory Toxicology & Pharmacology in 2006 concluded that CoQ10 is safe up to 900 mgs a day. Another study, published in the same journal, the same year, concluded no ill effects up to 1200 mgs per day. The ultimate summary was that 1200 mgs is officially the "Observed Safe Level." This is pretty good evidence for the safety of CoQ10.
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