An estimated 32 million Americans take statin medications daily. Statin medications can help to lower the amount of LDL cholesterol – the bad kind – by 30 percent. This, in turn, helps to prevent millions of heart attacks and strokes.
As popular as the medication is – it is not without its detractors and controversy. Some studies indicated that as many as one-third of patients taking statins developed some kind of side effect. Side effects include muscle pain, flushing and confusion. Of these people, nearly half discontinued taking their medication.
Rare cases include patients developing liver damage, memory loss, and a breakdown of muscle tissue. Female patients can be at increased risk of developing diabetes while taking statins.
Two different studies, each promoting a different side of the statin debate, put two high-profile medical journals at odds with one another.
The Lancet reported that 1 in 3 British adults should be on statins. The study looked at 30 years of data. The conclusion was that if 10,000 patients diagnosed with heart disease took a statin, 1,000 of those patients will have prevented a heart attack or a stroke. Five of those patients will have developed muscle aches. One would develop a serious breakdown of muscle tissue. 50-100 would develop diabetes. Five to ten patients would suffer bleeding into the brain.
Conversely, in 2013, the BMJ published two papers indicating that statins do not decrease deaths. The papers also indicated that for some patients, the side-effects greatly outweighed the benefits.
United States guidelines have moved away from recommending statins based solely on LDL cholesterol levels. Recommendation depends on several factors, including whether or not a patient already has heart disease, people aged 40 to 75 who already have diabetes, and people have an LDL level of 190 mg/dl or higher. Patients who fall into one or more of these three categories are eligible to be prescribed statins.
If you have been prescribed a statin medication and have suffered an adverse health effect, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the law offices of John Foy & Associates. Let the “Strong Arm” attorneys work for you. We may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.