Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

Networking For A Better Future - News and perspectives you may not find in the media

Networking For A Better Future - News and perspectives you may not find in the media

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May 25, 2004

Statins May Scramble Memory

Adding to the long list of side effects of statin drugs, a charge was made by Dr. Golomb that statins may "hamper the brain's performance and trigger other serious problems." She is leading an independent clinical trial to find out what harm statins may be doing. CBS talks of "mind boggling effects" of the statin drugs and relates the story of Jim Matthews, who found himself reeling "struck by cognitive chaos and confusion".

Amid polemics over the statin drugs' safety, both Britain and the US put some of the statins on free sale as over-the-counter drugs, apparently to relieve the immense strain these drugs are causing on public health spending. The Lancet has criticized the move to allow over the counter sales of Zocor in the UK, saying that "In the absence of evidence of the overall mortality benefits of OTC simvastatin, it is difficult to avoid concluding that the motive behind the Government's decision is saving money. Statins are currently prescribed to about 1.8 million people in the UK, costing the NHS £700 million a year."

Of course everyone seems to be overlooking the vital role nutrients play in heart disease, especially vitamin C, which animals manufacture in abundance but humans are unable to synthesize. A new book, "Ascorbate - The Science of Vitamin C" describes the mechanism by of this important nutrient in the prevention of heart disease.

While statin drugs are good business - Pfizer alone earns $ 9 billion a year - they are not what one could call "great value for money". We have not seen any serious reduction in heart disease, despite spending billions and losing our memory, our muscles and perhaps - our patience. Why not look into natural ways of prevention? Do we have to wait for Health Authorities to tell us? Good luck!

Statins' Mind-Boggling Effects

O'FALLON, Illinois, May 24, 2004


Dangers Of Statin Drugs


(CBS NEWS)


Some doctors are so high on statins, they seem to think most everyone should take them, that there's no down side. Lipitor's maker even says it may help Alzheimer's patients.


(CBS) When Jim Matthews needed to slash his cholesterol and heart attack risk, he joined the millions taking the world's top-selling drug, Lipitor.

After five weeks, he was struck by cognitive chaos and confusion.

All of a sudden, he found himself asking: "Did I go get the mail or did I just think I was going to go get the mail? Did I give my dog her thyroid pill, or did I just think I gave the dog the thyroid pill?"

He couldn't function for hours.

When he came back to his senses, he suspected Lipitor was to blame, but only found one glowing report after another on Lipitor and similar drugs - all called statins.

In fact, some doctors are so high on statins, they seem to think most everyone should take them, that there's no down side. Lipitor's maker even says it may help Alzheimer's patients.

But researcher Dr. Beatrice Golomb warns the studies generating the bulk of the positive press were funded by the companies that make the drugs, like Pfizer, which earns $9 billion a year from Lipitor.

"I made the decision that I really didn't want to take money from the drug industry," says Golomb.

Funded by the government and not the drug makers, Golomb is taking an independent look at studies already done on statins, pinpointing severe muscle problems, which Pfizer has disclosed, and cognitive dysfunction -- not mentioned in patient leaflets.

"We have people who have lost thinking ability so rapidly that within the course of a couple of months they went from being head of major divisions of companies to not being able to balance a checkbook and being fired from their company," says Golomb, an assistant professor or medicine at the University of California in San Diego.

Golomb says statins do help the heart, but may also hamper the brain's performance and trigger other serious problems. She's leading an independent clinical trial to find out what harm statins may be doing. The results should be out in a few months.

Pfizer told us Lipitor's safety is supported by peer reviewed articles and scores of studies,"including the most extensive statin clinical trial program ever conducted." Pfizer "collects all available safety information...and shares (it) with regulatory authorities worldwide."

That may be right for most patients, but Matthews isn't looking for a repeat of his mental meltdown. He's taking a new tactic: trying to tame his cholesterol with diet and exercise

"Up with the good cholesterol, down with the bad," he says.


See also related:

Transient Global Amnesia A Side Effect Of Statin Treatment

Statinalert Org

UK: Statins Over The Counter Despite Little Evidence of Health Benefit

Statins: 'Revolutionary' Study Won't Arrest Decline

Cholesterol and heart attacks - Study to save statins

Lipitor - The Human Cost

Ascorbic Acid could lower health care cost - Atomic Scientist says

Cholesterol drug warning issued

Here is a pertinent comment from Jenny Thompson of HSI Baltimore on the Statins-over-the-counter decision the UK has taken recently:


Easy as O.T.C.

Health Sciences Institute e-Alert

May 25, 2004

****************************************

When the needs of a government are in sync with the needs of one of the largest drug companies in the world, it's a win-win situation for everyone.

Well, not exactly everyone. Can you guess who gets the short end of the stick in this situation? You don't have to be a brain surgeon to figure out that consumers are going to lose. And while the average Joe may end up opening his wallet (as the drug companies and government prosper), the real problem here is all about health.

-----------------------------------------
Goodbye, middleman
-----------------------------------------

Just days ago, Dr. John Reid, the UK Health Secretary made it official: Backed by the Committee on Safety of Medicines, the cholesterol-lowering statin drug Zocor will soon be available over-the-counter (OTC) in 10 mg doses. The UK will be the only country in the world where a statin drug is available without a prescription.

Last year, the UK patent for Zocor ran out, so going OTC will provide a huge boost for Merck & Co., the manufacturer of the drug. And this idea apparently wasn't a hard sell to the UK government bean counters. If enough patients purchase the OTC statin, eventually OTC may become the norm for statins. And when doctors stop writing statin prescriptions, the National Health Service (NHS) will save hundreds of millions by not having to foot the bill.

According to Reuters Health, 1.5 million Britons are currently taking statin drugs, at a cost to the NHS of about 750 million pounds each year.

All of this is just a matter of doing business, of course. Drug companies, just like all companies, work situations to their advantage to turn a profit. But in this case, the bottom-line interests of corporations and the government will reveal the potential dangers of statin drugs by cutting out the middlemen: doctors.

---------------------------------------
Miracle mirage
---------------------------------------

Zocor may cause muscle pain or weakness, as well as liver problems, according to the Zocor web site (zocor.com). The site also notes that, "Your doctor may do blood tests before and during treatment with Zocor to check for liver problems. To avoid serious side effects, discuss with your doctor medicine or food you should avoid while on Zocor."

But when Zocor Heart-Pro (the OTC brand name) becomes available this summer, there will be no doctor standing between the drug and the patient. According to the UK newspaper The Independent, pharmacists will ask questions of prospective customers, but no blood tests or cholesterol tests will be performed.

Of course, all responsible patients will tell their doctors if they're using Zocor Heart-Pro, and all responsible doctors will carefully monitor their patients accordingly. But it's pretty obvious that this best-case scenario won't be followed in 1.5 million cases.

And, if the ephedra "crisis" was any indication, people won't stop at the recommended dosage. "If 10 mg will lower my cholesterol 10%, just imagine how quickly my heart will be healthier if I take 50 mg!"

Meanwhile, the mainstream press in the UK has mostly embraced the idea of statins as a safe wonder-drug. An April headline in The Independent read: "A New Pill for All Ills." And the accompanying article described statins as a "cure-all to rival aspirin." When an influential paper like The Independent compares statins to aspirin, there's a good chance that consumers will assume that this miracle drug is as safe as aspirin too.

So a great number of Zocor Heart-Pro users will actually be signing on to participate in a long-term study to find out what happens when statin use is not monitored by a physician.

---------------------------------------
Man overboard
---------------------------------------

When the official word was announced about the OTC decision for Zocor, The Independent Health Editor Jeremy Laurance stated that statins have saved "tens of thousands of lives," and, "are thought to save between 6,000 and 7,000 lives a year."

This is the familiar myth offered by statin supporters. In fact, a 2003 study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed a quite different outcome.

Over a period of four years, researchers compared the use of the statin Pravachol to "usual care" (maintaining proper body weight, no smoking, regular exercise, etc.) in 10,000 subjects who participated in the Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial - better known as ALLHAT.

Of those in the group that received 40 mg of Pravachol daily, 28% lowered their LDL cholesterol significantly. In the usual care group, about 11% had a similar drop in LDL. More importantly, however, both groups showed the same rates of death, heart attack and heart disease.

So the statin group lowered its LDL more than twice as effectively as the usual care group, but didn't experience any fewer heart attacks or deaths than the usual care subjects. Given the length of this study and the number of participants, the results don't support the idea that statins save "tens of thousands of lives." And this is certainly less than a ringing endorsement when you consider that the drugs carry unpleasant side effects, but are only "significantly" effective in about one in four people.

---------------------------------------
Back stateside
---------------------------------------

The FDA has so far rejected several attempts by drug companies to introduce OTC statins in the U.S. So no doubt, drug executives and FDA officials will be paying close attention to how things go in the UK. And you can be sure that Merck and other statin makers will be putting a feel-good spin on the outcome, tempting the U.S. to climb on board the statin express.

Meanwhile, the UK has taken a huge step toward turning Britain into a drug company's dream come true: a statin nation.

**************************************

See also:

Permananet Side Effects from Statin Drugs
Not only have statin drug companies failed to adequately warn prescribing physicians of permanent cognitive loss associated with statin use, they have failed to warn about permanent neuromuscular and neurodegenerative consequences. Thousands of unsuspecting patients have become victims and in most of these cases their doctors, having had no advance warning from the pharmaceutical industry, have tended to disregard patient complaints, offering almost any explanation other than the correct one.

Patients Can Report Statins' Adverse Effects On New Web Site
A new web site at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine - http://www.statineffects.com - will enable people from around the world to self-report adverse effects of statin drug use, or use of other cholesterol drugs. The site will provide access to a broad group of people, facilitating the opportunity for patients to confidentially share information about their experience.

Do Statins Raise the Risk of Parkinson's?
A study in the United States has found that patients with low levels of LDL cholesterol are three times more likely to have Parkinson's disease. The researchers are planning largescale trials to determine whether the drugs are the cause ... experts sought to reassure patients that statins were safe and should not be stopped.

Do Statins Make You Stupid?
The Wall Street Journal highlights one interesting example:

A San Diego woman, Jane Brunzie, was so forgetful that her daughter was investigating Alzheimer's care for her and refused to let her babysit for her 9-year-old granddaughter. Then the mother stopped taking a statin. "Literally, within eight days, I was back to normal it was that dramatic," says Mrs. Brunzie, 69 years old.

Doctors put her on different statins three more times. "They'd say, 'Here, try these samples.' Doctors don't want to give up on it," she says. "Within a few days of starting another one, I'd start losing my words again," says Mrs. Brunzie.

First comprehensive paper on statins' adverse effects released
"Muscle problems are the best known of statin drugs' adverse side effects," said Golomb. "But cognitive problems and peripheral neuropathy, or pain or numbness in the extremities like fingers and toes, are also widely reported." A spectrum of other problems, ranging from blood glucose elevations to tendon problems, can also occur as side effects from statins.

 


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Tuesday May 25 2004
updated on Wednesday December 15 2010

URL of this article:
http://www.newmediaexplorer.org/sepp/2004/05/25/statins_may_scramble_memory.htm

 


Related Articles

Lipitor: Side Effects And Natural Remedy
Serious side effects have been reported for Lipitor and other cholesterol-lowering drugs - the so-called statins - prescribed to millions for preventive purposes. The prescription of these drugs is based on the discredited hypothesis that high cholesterol levels cause heart attacks. The cholesterol myth has been one of the most long lived falsehoods around - probably because it has been excellent business, both for large pharma producers as well as... [read more]
March 18, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger

STATIN DRUGS Side Effects
and the Misguided War On Cholesterol is an incredible book (an update of an the earlier book LIPITOR, THIEF OF MEMORY, no longer available, now includes all statin side effects not just cognitive, hence a new a title and cover). A must read for anyone who is even remotely interested in how our sickness care, billed as health care, system works. Dr. Graveline, like many, obviously a very conscientious doctor,... [read more]
June 28, 2005 - Chris Gupta

Frequently Asked Questions About Statins
Here is an early draft FAQ that will be much expanded in the forth coming book "Statin Drugs - Side Effects" by Dr. Duane Graveline M.D which should help with so many questions that have been posed on the comments sections at: Comments to: Bad News About Statin Drugs Comments to: STATIN DRUGS Side Effects Comments to: Lipitor - The Human Cost Comments to: Lipitor: Side Effects And Natural Remedy... [read more]
March 28, 2005 - Chris Gupta

Statins May Scramble Memory
Adding to the long list of side effects of statin drugs, a charge was made by Dr. Golomb that statins may "hamper the brain's performance and trigger other serious problems." She is leading an independent clinical trial to find out what harm statins may be doing. CBS talks of "mind boggling effects" of the statin drugs and relates the story of Jim Matthews, who found himself reeling "struck by cognitive... [read more]
May 25, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger

Lipitor - Vioxx: Discovering The Statin - Painkiller Chain Reaction
The recent withdrawal of Merck's blockbuster painkiller Vioxx may actually afford us a glimpse of a chain of events that is normally well hidden in research papers, at best selectively disclosed to the medical community. Vioxx and other new-generation painkillers such as Bextra and Celebrex have all come under fire for their tendency to cause an increase of heart attacks. Statin Drugs, such as Lipitor, Zocor, Pravachol, Lesocol and Mevacor... [read more]
December 06, 2004 - Sepp Hasslberger

More Statin Business Even Though Never Proven To Reduce Mortality
I stumbled on this place after I read a UCLA article that came out Novemver 7th, 2005. The article is about Statins being a possible treatment for learning disorders and memory problems. I have memory problems, so when I read the article, I became excited. Of course having seen this, it makes me think twice. Here is the article I am referring to: UCLA Scientists Recreate 'Flowers for Algernon' With... [read more]
November 20, 2005 - Chris Gupta

 

 

 


Readers' Comments


Is there a safe way to get off Zocor without additional side effects? Or do I have to wean myself off of this Statin. I have been experimenting memory loss and retaing simple things. PLEASE HELP ME! I remember my Dr. telling me that I could not come off this medicine, even if I had normal numbers one day.

Posted by: Rose Diaz on November 20, 2009 12:19 AM

 


Rose, the best thing would be to contact Doc Duane Graveline, whose site is http://www.spacedoc.net/profile.html

Posted by: Sepp on November 22, 2009 08:17 AM

 















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The Individual Is Supreme And Finds Its Way Through Intuition

 

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These articles are brought to you strictly for educational and informational purposes. Be sure to consult your health practitioner of choice before utilizing any of the information to cure or mitigate disease. Any copyrighted material cited is used strictly in a non commercial way and in accordance with the "fair use" doctrine.

 

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