One-third of all deaths are caused by blood vessels “giving out”. Either they clog up or they break open. When this happens it’s called a stroke, heart attack, aneurism, or sudden death. Strokes are particularly scary because they leave people debilitated and partially paralyzed.
Most often these events happen without warning. They are silent killers because we can see them developing. If we could see inside the vessels that carry life sustain nutrients to our brain and other vital organs becoming red, inflamed, hardening, scaring, tearing, thinning, scabbing over with plaque, and breaking would be compelled to take sudden and aggressive action? If there was a drug to prevent this, would you take it?
If there was a drug to prevent this, would you take it? Well, there is a drug that when given to 48 patients with heart disease for 3 to 5 years it will consistently prevent one death in that group that normally would have happened if left untreated. This drug is proven to save lives. But what if you don’t have heart disease? What if you just want to avoid a heart attack, stroke, or just live longer? Well, treating about 60 patients at risk for heart disease with this drug for 4 years consistently prevents one NON-fatal heart attack or stroke.
It’s Important to know who is at risk because those people benefit the most. They are people with extremely high LDL cholesterol, middle-aged people with type 2 diabetes, people with smoking habits, and those who use blood pressure medicines. Also, men and women 40 to 75 who have an estimated 10-year risk of heart or blood vessel problems of 7.5% or higher according to this website: www.cvdrisk.nhlbi.nih.gov
Before I tell you the name of this drug, let me just say that if you have been reading my blogs you know that in my opinion, all drugs are good and bad depending on the situation. Most things in life are that way. Always gray, never black or white. Even water and oxygen are bad in excessive amounts. If you drink too much water it causes electrolyte imbalances, if you consume too much oxygen, your blood chemistry goes off.
This drug, rather this group of drugs, in my opinion, is an extreme case of both good and bad. The group of drugs is called Statins. Specific names for these products are called, advisor, atorvastatin, rosuvastatin, Crestor, Lescol, fluvastatin, Lipitor, pitavastatin, livalo, Mevacor, lovastatin, prachol, pravastatin, Mevacor, lovastatin, Zocor, simvastatin.
Time for some bad news: the number one side effect of this drug is muscle pain much like the feeling after you have just run a marathon. The spectrum ranges from the more common but less severe myalgia (5%-10%) to the less common but more severe myopathy (0.1%) and its potentially fatal complication, rhabdomyolysis (0.01%).
Fortunately, there are steps to ward off these effects: optimize your vitamin d levels with a supplement, and take coenzyme Q10. If you have any muscle fatigue or pain I recommend talking to your doctor about switching to another statin drug and/or taking the drug every OTHER day.
Remember these drugs save lives so don’t ever take yourself off this or any drug that is prescribed by a medical doctor. It’s worth repeating.
In the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study of men without a history of coronary artery disease, the risk of all-cause mortality was reduced 33% more among those who took 75% or more of their prescribed medication compared with those taking less than 75%.
These drugs are also being studied to preserve eyesight, prevent osteoporosis, reduce inflammation, protection of the kidneys when exposed to radioactive contrast dye, prevention of blood clots, and much, much more. It is even used in Progeria, the premature aging disease of young children who look like they are very elderly.
No other drug group can claim all that. Statins are the closest thing to an antiaging medical miracle that is on the market today.
So, How do fish oils and niacin compare? They lower triglycerides, and niacin also increases the good cholesterol HDL. But does having the right numbers translate into fewer heart attacks and strokes? If you gave someone an infusion of HDL good cholesterol, will they be healthier? No! They will develop liver problems. Good numbers without the lifestyle to produce them do not mean you are healthy.
The FDA won’t even allow the prescription omega3 product to claim that it reduces the incidence of heart attack or stroke. The only thing this product is allowed to claim is that it lowers triglycerides.
Just recently, in November 2013, medical experts lowered the criteria for taking a statin. More people are now eligible for this life-extending drug if they chose to take it. A lot of people criticized this decision but would you rather be denied access to it? Or would you rather be allowed to make an educated decision with your doctor as to whether it is right for you?
Stay tuned for drug interactions with statins that can trigger muscle problems and other less common side effects caused by statins. It’s important to get the whole story. You might even want to subscribe to this blog so you don’t miss it or any other articles similar to this….