Monday, January 31, 2011

More problems with muscles and cholesterol meds such as Lipitor. Are they really necessary

  Recently, I have had a number of patients who, because of their cholesterol medication (Lipitor, etc.) have had the side effect of muscular spasms and mechanical problems in their bodies that have been exacerbated.  This disturbing trend continues to get worse because people are being scared into taking these medications when their cholesterol numbers are not very high (under 300 for triglycerides).  The drug companies have become great at selling doctors on the preventative nature of these drugs which are quite dangerous (this is why, you must have your blood taken every three months - to discover if it is causing damage to the liver or muscles).
    What's worse, is current epidimiological studies show that at best, these medications may give you an additional year, while treating a questionable disease calling it prevention. 
    Years ago, we did not have these drugs and some people had heart attacks. The question is Do these drugs prevent them and at what cost?
    The other question is - when do the benefits outweigh the risks?
    In my opinion, this is not preventative but interventional and the general public needs to understand the difference.  The other question is, with all the potential health problems out there, with this being one small piece of the puzzle, does health care by the triglyceride numbers really make people healthy?  Based on my findings, dealing with real people, and seeing the creation of problems they never needed to have because of the medication, primary care and cardiologists as well need to re look at this question and reevaluate who really needs these meds to stay healthy.
    In my humble opinion, if your triglycerides are under 300, stay away. What is your opinion?  As always, I value your thoughts.