Main Article on Cholesterol Lowering Medications Question: Please describe your experience with cholesterol lowering medications. Submit Your Comment Comment from: Polly, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: March 12 I have been put on atorvastatin 20 mg by my doctor for lowering my cholesterol, but I must say I feel very well on them with no side effects. I have been reading the reviews and surprised with most of them being bad. So any new readers, don't be put off as I'm feeling better than I've been feeling in months. Perhaps it could be that this is the only medication I'm taking. My age is 81. Comment from: Roxy, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 29 I am a 72 year old female on atorvastatin over 2 years for lowering cholesterol, now having awful muscle/tendon pain in the back of my legs, arms and upper back. Feeling miserable. I walk 3 miles/day and it is painful. I am stopping the drug today and leaving message with my doctor. Comment from: Rizzo799, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 02 I've been on pravastatin for about 10 months for lowering my cholesterol. Recently I started having trembling, wobbly legs, spacey feeling, severe shoulder pain and elbow pain and the last straw for me was this month I started have muscle twitches everywhere. I thought I had some terrible disease or I was losing it. I decided to not take the medicines for the past two days. I already feel clearer and steadier on my feet. The twitches have diminished greatly. I'm never taking that medicine again! Horrible! Comment from: Dave W, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 24 I had terrible low back pain, couldn't bend or lift anything. Then suddenly I had excruciating pain in my left wrist. I couldn't think what I had done to make this happen. I suffered for 8 months, then read about statins causing muscle pain. I spoke to my general physician and he confirmed it was a well-known side effect of cholesterol lowering medications. I have been off them for only 4 days and already my pain is easing. Hoping the improvement will continue. I'll never take another statin ever again. Comment from: Sal, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 23 Cholesterol lowering medications caused me very bad shortness of breath, sleep apnea and cramps. I could not walk 50 feet without resting from the shortness of breath. CoQ10 helped with the cramps. I tried different statins and they all did the same thing to me. For 6 months doctors tried to find a cure. I stopped taking the statins and the sleep apnea and shortness of breath went away in 5 days. Doctor had a hard time believing it was the statin. I hope this helps someone. Comment from: KayKay, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 01 I have tried atorvastatin and pravastatin for lowering cholesterol. Both had the same awful side effect, so much so that I have stopped taking statins. Major issue was sweating; clothes-drenching, hairdo wrecking, dripping off my face sweating. It was worse than any menopausal hot flashes. Makes it hard to get dry after a shower or put on makeup (with a wet face)! I change clothes in the middle of the day if I can. Funny thing is I had no night sweats! I have to find something else that works, I have high cholesterol and fatty liver. Comment from: Marie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 22 I'm only 56 years young. Due to taking cholesterol medications, I cannot walk up or down steps, I look like I'm 100 years old. I have been off medicine 2 weeks and only took it for 10 days. My pharmacist said it breaks down your muscles when my prescribing doctor had no clue. Thank goodness for the pharmacist who saved me from further damage. Comment from: ohio, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 28 I think I have tried every kind of statin at some time, for lowering my cholesterol. They have all affected me adversely that I quit taking them after a short time. Four of my 5 siblings have been on statins and all 4 of them experienced transient global amnesia as a side effect. I have told my doctor that I will not take statins even though my numbers are high. Comment from: Skye, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 05 I've been on cholesterol medicines since January this year and I've had terrible muscle soreness and joint pain. I decided to cut the pill in half, 80 mg atorvastatin, and the muscle and joint pain is mostly gone; that was 3 days ago. I just found out about muscle soreness and pain with cholesterol medications today on another website and I realized I've been pain free for a couple of days, probably because I cut back on the medicines. I'm not suggesting you do that, I'm just telling all that I've noticed reduced pain. Comment from: Esperanza, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: April 26 I too have had the symptoms other people have mentioned because of cholesterol lowering medications. I've tried simvastatin, atorvastatin and most recently pravastatin, all with similar results; that is, shoulder and wrist pain, weak and wobbly legs, short-term memory loss, cataracts, dry eyes, loss of balance, muscle cramps and numbness in legs and feet. My usually equable temperament has disappeared. I'm anxious all the time and find it difficult to even walk round my garden let alone venture farther afield. I have alternately felt anger and despair and the final straw, so depressed that I've contemplated doing something drastic. I've tried talking to my doctor and he's decided to have me tested for diabetes! The difficulty is that you only get a maximum of ten minutes with a doctor which isn't enough time to discuss the whole picture. Anyway folks, this patient's had enough and as of now I'm taking myself off the darned things. I know it will take a while to get them out of my system but I'm hoping to get back to being the healthy person I once was. I'll let you know how I get on in a few weeks' time. QUESTION What is cholesterol? See Answer Comment from: Carol, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 24 I went back to statins after having problems the first time my doctor put me on simvastatin. I was off it for a year and after a cholesterol check my numbers were high so my doctor decided to try pravastatin 10 mg. After a few days on it I developed muscle and joint pains. My doctor took me off it again. It has been one week since I stopped and I am still miserable. My fingers hurt so badly and my back aches. I have sent away for red yeast rice which lowered my cholesterol years ago. It has co-enzyme Q10 in it. I will try that next. Never again will I take a statin! Comment from: Graham, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: June 28 I am experiencing pain in my lower legs especially first thing in morning. I wonder if this is an effect of taking my pravastatin at night. Comment from: Woollywonder, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 10 I started taking Simvastatin with Ezetrol a few months ago, having previously been on Lipitor. I am not sure whether my symptoms are due to side effects but I do recognize some similarities with other comments. For instance, whilst out walking my legs suddenly felt as though they didn't belong to me, and I feel as though I am made of cotton wool. I cannot concentrate and feel very apprehensive. My visit to the local walk-in centre suggested that I should visit my GP to have my back assessed. The GP was bewildered and I am waiting for him to determine what needs to be done. In the meanwhile I have made an appointment with a chiropractor to see if this could be the problem. I suffered the 'inner trembling' sensation some years ago when on another cholesterol lowering drug, the name of which I cannot remember. I have yet to ask the doctor if my symptoms could be drug related, but after reading some of these reviews, I think that I ought to. Comment from: wbond2, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: December 14 My experience with cholesterol-lowering medications was horrible. The pain in my wrists and hands gets so bad I can't hold onto anything. Comment from: linmass7, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 26 I have tried three times to take privastatin and simvastatin, but I had memory problems muscle shaking when going down steps. My friend saw it and was like, “Why is your legs doing that?” Now I know. I also had very bad consitation, also. My throat closed up at night couldnt swallow then gagged. I'm wondering if anyone may have had theses symptoms too. Comment from: disteel, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: March 21 My husband has been on many statins and anti-clotting medications. The results have been the same with all the drugs: extreme muscle pain, joint pain and stiffness, popping and cracking noises, and his hands swell like sausages every morning. Sleeping through the night was impossible because of the pain. The heart problem is less of a problem than the drugs. Comment from: Dayna, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 24 I took Lipitor and had weakness and muscle cramping and then tried Niaspan and had terrible hot flashes and burning that I could not tolerate at all and had to stop. Presently looking for another solution. Comment from: lorraine, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: March 15 As a result of my cholesterol medications, I have muscle pain in my shoulders. I have read that some statins can cause muscle pain. Comment from: sheila, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 25 I recently came off statins after years of use. I'm 69 years old, slim, and 5' 2” tall. I drink skim milk, and I've given up smoking. I eat very little cheese; I don't eat meat, and I eat oats and bran every day, winter or summer. My cholesterol count went up from 4.7 to 6+. The reason for my asking to come off was the fact I have osteoarthritis and have read that statins do not help if you have this. My late husband had a very low count and ate chips meat steak every day. Published: September 10 I have tried all the medications with statins to lower my cholesterol....I absolutely cannot tolerate the statins in the medications...My cholesterol is 301 and I have had carotid artery surgery and a pace maker...needless to say I need to lower my cholesterol and when I take Welchol or Niaspan it doesn't help at all. I am thinking about homeopathic medicines to turn to, but I do not know what to do and my doctors just say I have to go on low doses of statin meds, but even at 10 mgs. Every other day makes me lethargic and achy...even to a point of affecting my thinking. I feel 200% better when I am not on any of the meds...but...I need to do something. SLIDESHOW Lower Your Cholesterol, Save Your Heart See Slideshow Comment from: texasagape, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: January 26 I have taken several different medications and only the pravastin was tolerated. Other statins caused aches and fatigue, muscle weakness and anxiety. My memory was also affected. I now take niacin and omega-3 and also working to get more fruit and vegetables along with more exercise. If I had to live with all the side effects of the medication to lower my cholesterol and feel like hell I think it is safe to say I prefer a quality of life or a longer life. Comment from: shari, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 19 I tried pravastatin 10mg for 4 days and felt so bad that I thought I was going to have to go to the ER. I had shakes and trembling, light headedness, headache, fumble fingers, and constipation. I felt like a limp dishrag. The shaking and trembling were horrible. It was as if your body was reacting to "cold" and your insides were shaking to warm up....even though you were not cold. I stopped after 4 days and it is 2 1/2 days post medication and the effects are finally starting to wear off. I am still a little shaky and weak, but getting better. I NEVER want to take anything like this again. I was fine the day before this medication...and now am getting back to before. The effects started the very first day of the medication. I kept thinking it would pass. It only got worse with each day. Be very careful trying these statins and be aware of anything unusual, especially if you were fine right before starting it. Comment from: Sue, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 04 My physician has tried several different methods to lower my cholesterol. Each of them causes muscle and joint pain, the most extreme reaction was brown urine while taking Crestor. Side effects include short-term memory difficulties, joint pain to the point where medication is required for normal activity and mood changes-which all affect my ability to work- so I stop the drugs after a few months. I have history of Epstein-Barr Virus and lyme disease. Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 02 I was diagnosed with EBV virus and then lymes disease. I could hardly walk because of Lipitor. I am still suffering with EBV and my liver enzymes have been elevated on and off for over 2 years. My Doctor is sending me for a liver ultrasound and my cholesterol levels are high since stopping the Lipitor 4 months ago. I don't know if there is a drug that would lower my cholesterol levels without crippling me. I've tried changing my diet and that hasn't worked. I'm taking 1200 mg of fish oil twice a day hoping that, that will help. Any suggestions would be appreciated.