Is Lipitor Safe? What to ask your doctor about statin drugs safety.
by N J Howell
Lower Cholesterol Naturally
Potential Lipitor Side Effects
This is in response to a question one of my readers asked. My answer was so long that I divided it into several sections by subject. Her original question
included needing to know if there were risks of liver damage with lipitor. This section provides some insight into assessing that and other health risks of taking lipitor.
About statin drugs safety....
If you ask a doctor, they will most likely tell you that lipitor (one of a class of drugs called statin drugs, used to lower cholesterol) is generally safe and well-tolerated. From what I've read, the person asking me the question about a correlation between lipitor and liver damage was correct in that Lipitor can cause liver damage if there is an existing liver problem. Also, Lipitor shouldn't be taken if you are pregnant.
So is Lipitor safe? If you ask a wholistic health practitioner, you will likely hear serious doubts being voiced about risks outweighing benefit when it comes to statin drugs. Ultimately, the decision is up to each person facing this health challenge. I personally expect that future research may prove long term use of statin drugs may have more impact on organ function than is now known. If I ever felt I had to take a statin drug, because my life depended on it at the time, I'd have a LONG talk with my doctor about how much and how long I would have to take it. I'd ask for all kinds of statistics on these questions.
The criteria I myself would use
in deciding whether to take Lipitor:
Provided mine was not an emergency or life-threatening situation, I personally would try natural means of lowering cholesterol first, including fully implementing cholesterol-lowering dietary changes and taking wholistic alternatives to statin drugs. If those natural means did not work to lower my cholesterol to a healthy level and the only option left was statin drugs, I'd require these three clarifying points from my doctor:
1. Tests are done to determine that there is no existing liver or kidney problem.
2. Agreement is forthcoming from the doctor, for taking the smallest effective dose, for the shortest period of time.
3. Liver Enzymes and Kidney function are tested more than normal.
4. Reduction of dosage over time would be considered, rather than "you'll have to take this the rest of your life" language.
In other words, I would not tolerate any kind of wait and see, like a follow-up in six months. I would want to see my doctor within a month of being put on statin drugs and I'd want follow up visits, at maximum, every three months. Yes, it means drawing blood and filling a cup for urinalysis more than I might like, but I'd consider it vital followup.
Related Article on Tonic Herbs and Cardiovascular Health
Health Care Disclaimer: If you are currently on Lipitor for high cholesterol or arterial plaque reduction, please consult with your chosen heart specialist about lipitor side effects you may be experiencing. Wholistic supplements are not presented as replacement for any other medical evaluation, medication or treatment your doctor may advise.