The Food and Drug Administration just add
ed new language telling consumers about potential memory problems and an increased risk of high blood sugar for patients on statin cholesterol-lowering medicines. These medicines, including Lipitor, Zocor, and Crestor, are the most-prescribed class of drug in the country. According to drug data firm IMS Health, 255 million prescriptions for cholesterol-lowering drugs were written in 2010.
According to the FDA, the changes to the statin labels are:
* The drug labels have been revised to remove the need for routine periodic monitoring of liver enzymes in patients taking statins. FDA now recommends that liver enzyme tests should be performed before starting statin therapy, and as clinically indicated thereafter. FDA has concluded that serious liver injury with statins is rare and unpredictable in individual patients, and that routine periodic monitoring of liver enzymes does not appear to be effective in detecting or preventing this rare side effect. Patients should notify their health care professional immediately if they have the following symptoms of liver problems: unusual fatigue or weakness; loss of appetite; upper belly pain; dark-colored urine; yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes.
* Certain cognitive (brain-related) effects have been reported with statin use. Statin labels will now include information about some patients experiencing memory loss and confusion. These reports generally have not been serious and the patients’ symptoms were reversed by stopping the statin. However, patients should still alert their health care professional if these symptoms occur.
* Increases in blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) have been reported with statin use. The FDA is also aware of studies showing that patients being treated with statins may have a small increased risk of increased blood sugar levels and of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The labels will now warn healthcare professionals and patients of this potential risk.
* Health care professionals should take note of the new recommendations in the lovastatin label. Some medicines may interact with lovastatin, increasing the risk for muscle injury (myopathy/rhabdomyolysis). For example, certain medicines should never be taken (are contraindicated) with Mevacor (lovastatin) including drugs used to treat HIV (protease inhibitors) and drugs used to treat certain bacterial and fungal infections.
If you or anyone you know has been hurt by Lipitor, Zocor or Crestor; call us at 877 882 0095
For original article see: //www.forbes.com/sites/matthewherper/2012/02/28/fda-cautions-on-memory-diabetes-in-statin-drugs/