Statins are a type of drug that are used to lower cholesterol. They work by preventing the creation of a certain enzyme in the liver that is responsible for the production of cholesterol in the body. By preventing the production of this enzyme, cholesterol levels can be reduced in those taking the drug. High levels of cholesterol have been associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease as well as a greater chance for experiencing heart attack and stroke.
Before taking stations, it is often recommended that patients first undergo a change in lifestyle. This can include eating less food that is high in cholesterol as well as engaging in more exercise. If these changes do not lower the cholesterol, a statin can be used to help.
Some people may take statins as a means of reducing their risk of developing heart disease. By lowering the amount of cholesterol present in the blood stream, it is possible to prevent heart disease from occurring.
There are a growing number of people that are taking statins as a way to reduce cholesterol. Statins are one of the best selling types of drugs on the market. In 2008, Lipitor, a statin manufactured by Pfizer, became the best selling drug of all time.
COMMON SIDE EFFECTS
There are a number of side effects associated with the use of statins. An increased risk of diabetes is one of the most commonly reported side effects. This risk is even more pronounced in women that begin taking the drug. Recent studies show that taking Lipitor can increase a person’s risk of type II diabetes by 20 percent.
For many women that begin taking statins, the prevention of heart disease is worth the increased risk of type II diabetes. However for some women who do not have a significant chance of developing heart disease, the risks associated with Lipitor are not worth succumbing to type II diabetes.
Pfizer, the manufacturer of Lipitor, has come under fire for the way in which Lipitor was marketed. No warnings were given that Lipitor posed a risk of inducing the development of type II diabetes. Because of this, thousands of people taking Lipitor developed type II diabetes without any sort of warning of the increased risk.
In 2012, the FDA issued a consumer alert that Lipitor could potentially increase these risks of diabetes. It forced Pfizer to place warning labels on all bottles of Lipitor. Unfortunately, many women did not receive the benefit of these warning labels and still developed type II diabetes.
There are a number of other side effects associated with statins. A small percentage of people that take this class of drug develop muscle problems after taking the drug. These muscle problems can include a greater risk of injury and muscle pain.
It is also possible for those that have liver problems prior to taking the drug to experience damages to the liver and an increased number of liver enzymes forming. On rare occasions, it is possible for statins to induce both fatal and non-fatal liver failures.