Lawsuits Debate Lasting Lipitor Damage

Two lawsuits have been filed against drug manufacturer Pfizer, Inc. claiming its cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor caused lasting muscle damage -- and the company didn't adequately inform the public about the potential side effects.

The men behind the separate lawsuits both said they experienced debilitating pain, weakness and memory problems after taking Lipitor, a statin drug. The symptoms subsided after the drug was stopped, but pain, fatigue and a tingling sensation in the hands and feet still remains, one of the men said.

Pfizer maintains that the number of Lipitor users who experience such symptoms is well under 1 percent, and that the potential side effects are included on the drug's labeling and in advertisements.

Lipitor is the best-selling medication in the world and generates over $12 billion a year for Pfizer.


Dr. Mercola's Comments:


Statin drugs are being prescribed like candy for millions of people. If you believed the experts when they issued their recommendations five years ago, 50 million Americans should be on them.

Worldwide sales of Lipitor already exceed $10 billion a year. If these recommendations were implemented Lipitor could be one of the first $100-billion drugs.

What most of these experts fail to realize is that statins kill people -- lots of people -- and they wound many, many more.

All patients taking statins become depleted in Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) eventually -- those patients who start with relatively low CoQ10 levels (the elderly and patients with heart failure) begin to manifest signs/symptoms of CoQ10 deficiency relatively rapidly -- in six to 12 months.

Younger patients can tolerate the statins for several years before they begin developing symptoms.

The bottom line here is that when you treat the symptoms of high cholesterol with a drug you are in no way, shape or form treating the cause. It should come as no surprise that the artificial drugs cause serious side effects.

Why risk your health by taking drugs when there are very simple things you can do to normalize your cholesterol levels?

The first is to lower your insulin levels by eliminating sugar and grains. Yes this includes even healthy organic whole grains. What most people fail to appreciate is that even these relatively healthier grains rapidly break down to sugars that increase your insulin levels. And, for most people with high cholesterol level, the primary reason their cholesterol is elevated is due to their high insulin levels.

So until you normalize your insulin level you will want to steer clear of even healthy grains. On a side note, eliminating sugar and grains will inevitably cause beneficial side effects, such as normalizing your weight, increasing your energy and lowering your blood pressure and triglycerides. You can find out more about this in my book, Total Health Program.

This approach helps normalizes cholesterol levels in nearly everyone -- unless they have a genetic defect called familial hypercholsterolemia.

Secondly, you can take a high-quality fish or krill oil that is chock full of beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. It is important to find a fish oil that is independently tested by a lab and found to conform to purity guidelines. This will ensure that the oil is free of mercury and other toxins.

Additionally, if you are a man, or a woman who is in menopause, you should check your iron levels as elevated levels of iron can raise cholesterol levels and cause major oxidative damage in the blood vessels, heart and other organs. Excess iron is also one of the major contributing factors of cancer risk.

Regular exercise is another important tool that may reduce your risk of heart disease.



+ Sources and References
  • Yahoo News June 8, 2006
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