TOO MANY STATINS
The question, “Should statins be in your medicine cabinet?'” has stirred up controversy and initiated debates among doctors and drug companies.
More Red Flags Raised Over Statins
· Bayer’s statin, Baycol, was pulled from the market in 2001 after 31 deaths were reported from a harmful side effect of the drug known as rhabdomyolysis, a condition in which muscle tissue breaks down and could result in kidney failure.
· Doctors recommended taking AstraZenica’s Crestor off the market after cases of rhabdomyolysis surfaced in trials of people taking 80-milligram doses
· The FDA turned down the requests for over the counter prescriptions for Mevachor and Pravachol stating there wasn’t enough documentation that the drugs were safe to take without a doctor’s supervision.
· Other experts stated that non-prescription statins were not a good idea because of all of the variables that needed to be taken into account such as possible health risks and benefits before a person decided to take them
One doctor explained that the statins worked by preventing the formation of cholesterol and that it helped reduce LDL cholesterol, which is considered the “bad” cholesterol. Past studies on statins have shown that they had the ability to lower the levels of C-reactive protein, a substance found in the blood that acts as an indicator of inflammation and heart disease.
What Statin Supporters Had to Say
· A spokesperson for AstraZenica discounted those who wanted Crestor removed from shelves and claimed that it was just as safe as other statins They also claimed that it was the hardest working statin in terms of decreasing LDL cholesterol levels
· The first over-the-counter statin, simvastatin (Zocor), will be available in the
· Merck spokesman is once again pushing for the sales of an over-the-counter statin called Mevachor, a 20-milligram statin
USA Today June 28, 2004