The lipid hypothesis is a medical theory postulating a link between blood cholesterol levels and the development, occurrence and prevention of heart disease and cardiovascular events.
All statin medications reduce cholesterol by inhibiting (HMG-CoA) while at the same time reducing the production of over 30,000 biomolecules such as vitamin K, coenzyme Q10, and all steroid hormones by up to 60%. This effect is biochemically unavoidable.
Pfizer manufactures Lipitor (Atorvastatin) which was approved by the FDA in 1996 on the basis of 4 clinical trials: ASCOT, CARDS, TNT and IDEAL
- Lipitor@Pfizer is a member of the drug class known as statins.
- Due to toxicity the maximum allowable dose of Lipitor@Pfizer is 80 mg per day.
SINCE 2000 HEALTH CANADA HAS ISSUED FIVE ADR ADVISORIES RELATED TO STATINS:
- 2002 – Rhabdomyolysis and Myopathy
- 2004 – Crestor and Rhabdomyolysis
- 2005 – Existing conditions increase risk of statin-related muscle problems
- 2005 – Statins and memory loss
- The 2005 Health Canada statement in the Canadian Adverse Reaction Newsletter suggested a possible association between statins and memory loss. The onset of these adverse events described in the case reports varied, but most occurred within 1 year of statin initiation. Most of the cases reported an improvement in cognitive symptoms once the statin was stopped or the dose reduced.
- 2010 – Statins and interstitial lung disease
In 2009 the FDA conducted a 6-week inspection of Pfizer’s New York headquarters where inspectors found system-wide lapses at the world’s largest drug manufacturer and in a 12-page warning letter to Pfizer Chief Executive Jeffrey Kindler, the FDA cited numerous examples of failing to report a growing number of serious side effects involving the company’s top selling cholesterol medication Lipitor@Pfizer dating back as far as 2004.
- On February 28, 2012, the US FDA revised statin labels, warning of the potential for “generally non-serious and reversible cognitive side effects (memory loss, confusion, etc.) and reports of increased blood sugar and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels”.
Common Adverse Side Effects
- The most common adverse side effect of all statins is muscle pain referred to as Statin Induced Myopathy and Exercise Intolerance. Myopathy is a disease of the muscle in which the muscle fibers do not function properly and has been well understood for decades :
- In 1989 Merck was issued patent (4,933,165) combining a statin and Coenzyme Q10 that was described as a pharmaceutical composition and method of counteracting HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor-associated myopathy. Coenzyme Q10 is used for energy production in cell mitochondria found in every cell in the human body.
- Low plasma concentrations of Coenzyme Q10 have been associated with other factors contributing to coronary heart diseases.
Cognitive Side Effects
- The second most common adverse side effect of statins are cognitive side effects including Confusion, Memory Loss, and Emotional Disorders.
- Lipitor@Pfizer is lipophilic and passes through the Blood Brain Barrier
- 25% of cholesterol in the body, is in the brain
- Most of the cholesterol within the brain is used to create myelin sheaths that surround the axons of nerve cells (neurons)
- Within the brain, the Hippocampus is known to be associated with memory, emotions and motivation.
- Neurogenesis is the process by which neurons are produced and occurs within the Hippocampus.
- Damage to the Hippocampus interferes the brain’s ability to form and retain new memories and results in anterograde amnesia.
In 2006 I had a heart attack and was prescribed 80 mg of Lipitor@Pfizer per day in order to lower my high cholesterol.
Whatever the validity of the lipid hypothesis, there are clear and substantial risks associated with taking Lipitor@Pfizer which I took as prescribed for eight years, and I was not warned.
No one can afford this standard of healthcare and medical practice. There is no insurance for it.
IMHO : The BC College of Pharmacists and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia have a legal duty to address the widespread failure of their members to have knowledge of the adverse side effects of the medications that they prescribe.