I have just been diagnosed with high cholesterol and been referred to a specialist to sort out the right statin, balance of dosage etc.
I didn't realise how many different statins there are and the potential side effects and what can go with them to help them work better. In fact I'm feeling very 'blinded by science'.
Does anybody else have experience of taking statins?
I'm on a 20mg dose of Simvastatin, which seems to be the default dose and the default drug. I've been taking it for several years, and I can't say that I've had any side effects, but I can't say that my cholesterol levels have improved either. I eat a healthy diet, and have very few saturated fats. I also try to incorporate cholesterol-lowering foods into my diet.
However, when I ask my GP about coming off the drug, or increasing the dose, he says I'm doing fine. I do have other health issues though, as well as a family tendency towards hypertension, so I'm probably not a textbook case.
What I will say though is that I think there's been a lot of media hype about statins, and perhaps we're not getting a balanced picture. If you trust your GP and specialist, go with their suggestions. If you're not happy, ask for a second opinion.
I have not taken statins, but my cholestrol was very high at one time from eating too many pizzas. My doctor wanted to put me on medication to lower my levels, I did not want tio take any more medicine. Instead I asked him to give me two months to lower it. He did. By taking a combination of vitamins, including Vitamn E and some others, I reduced it by 100 points. He was shocked. Someone told me that Omega-3 is very good to reduce high-cholestrol, I am taking that now.
I was diagnosed with high cholesterol. I tried lowering it on my own by diet and that did not work. It is an inherited condition in my family. They put me on a statin drug and I had the worst stomach ache with it. I did not feel good at all. It was a generic. Insurance companies make doctors start out with a generic before they can give a name brand. I found out that a lot of people do better on some of the name brands. There are fewer side effects for some reason. I got scared and went off of the drug and did not go back to my doctor. When I go back, I am insisting on a name brand like Crestor.
Whether you need to be on a statin depends on your cholesterol level along with your other risk factors for cardiovascular disease. The risk factor with that is high cholesterol, you may not need medication because your risk of heart attack and stroke could otherwise be low. High cholesterol is only one of a number of risk factors for heart attack and stroke.
[[span style="font-family: monospace; font-size: medium; white-space: pre-wrap;"]]I'm on a small dose of simvastatin without any issues. My cardiologist told me that we would start on this (cheapest). If I did not tolerate it, then we look at other options because different people tolerate different meds ... and what works for one does not work for another.
I took Lipitor for a few years and I hated it. After a few months of taking Lipitor, I started getting leg cramps and an uncomfortable feeling in my legs. There seemed to be nothing that I could do to feel comfortable other than to keep moving them, tapping my feet, or moving my legs back and forth.
It's called restless leg syndrome but, despite the fact that I had made that complaint to my doctor more than once, he never associated it with Lipitor, yet it turned out to be one of the side effects. I didn't find out about it until I moved to North Carolina for a couple of years and saw a doctor there when my Lipitor prescription ran out. She had me stop the Lipitor, then did a lab test and told me that my cholesterol levels were a little bit on the high side of normal, but not to a point where it required medication.
After a few months without the Lipitor, my legs didn't cramp anymore and they felt much more comfortable. My new doctor explained that restless leg syndrome was a common side effect of Lipitor.
Since then, I have been controlling my cholesterol with diet. I am back home now but, although I am seeing a different doctor than the one who first prescribed the Lipitor, my new doctor wants me to take statin drugs. My cholesterol levels are barely in the high range however, so it seems that doctors here are just more inclined to medicate.