The Dangers of Using Lipitor
Atorvastatin, marketed under the trade name Lipitor, is used for lowering
cholesterol. Atorvastatin inhibits the enzyme located in hepatic tissue that
produces mevalonate, a small molecule used in the synthesis of cholesterol. This
lowers the amount of cholesterol produced which in turn lowers the total amount
of LDL (low density) cholesterol. In 2005, Lipitor sales totaled $12.2 billion,
making it the largest selling drug in the world at the time.
Atorvastatin is indicated as an adjunct to diet for the treatment of
hypercholesterolaemia. In a clinical trial, after two years, a relative risk
reduction of 16 percent in the primary end point rate (death, heart attack,
unstable angina, coronary revascularization, or stroke) was seen in patients
receiving intensive treatment with the drug. The benefit of intensive treatment
was apparent, in some instances, within 30 days.
If you have high cholesterol, chances are your physician has already talked
to you about Lipitor. Doctors like to prescribe it because it works quickly and
easily. However, you need to understand the risk consequences associated with
taking these sorts of drugs, because there is a potential for dangerous and
sometimes permanent side effects. Some patients have suffered severe health
consequences and were not adequately forewarned by their doctors.
Some of the more well known side effects associated with drugs known as statins
(statins is the scientific classification for drugs such as Lipitor) include
liver damage, sexual dysfunction, and peripheral neuropathy. But there have been
other studies that have revealed other subtle problems that develop within the
patient, which can have huge ramifications for the health of that patient later in life.
In a study performed by Finnish doctors, doctors assessed the effects of the
statin drug Zocor on 120 men ages 35 to 64. All of the men had high cholesterol
levels, ranging from 232 to 309. One group of men was told to maintain their
current diet, while the other group was required to reduce their daily intake of
saturated fat to less than 10 percent of total daily calories, and to keep their
daily cholesterol consumption below 250 mg.
Then, each of the tw groups was divided into two subgroups. One subgroup would
take 20 mg of Zocor per day, while the other group received a placebo. This was
continued for 12 weeks, at which point each subgroup switched so that the
subgroup that had been receiving the placebo would receive the Zocor for the
next 12 weeks, and vice versa. At the beginning of the clinical trial, and after
the first 12 weeks, as well as at the end of the second 12 weeks, the
cholesterol, blood pressure, insulin, and weight of each patient were measured.
The Zocor clearly worked, because it decreased cholesterol levels by 20.8
percent, while diet alone only decreased cholesterol by 7.6 percent. However,
there was an astonishing finding. It was discovered that the drug increased
fasting serum insulin levels by 13 percent, and decreased serum concentrations
of important antioxidant vitamins by as much as 22 percent. This was a huge revelation.