Haphazard Statin Use Harmful for Elderly

pillsOn the few occasions that I visit a traditional medical doctor, he or she is surprised that I do not take any medications. I must be doing something right because at my age, I “should” at least be taking something to control cholesterol, coronary problems,  high blood pressure and/or diabetes. I always reveal that I take lots of supplements but I am rarely asked, “Which ones do you take”? It’s assumed they are useless and that I’m wasting my money.

I work with a naturopath. Several times a year I have a comprehensive blood analysis that reveals what’s going on in my body. If something is “off” I adjust my diet and/or take one or more supplements to effect improvement. So far, that approach has served me well.

Because I know there is usually a better way to deal with health issues than ingesting drugs that more times than not, can have devastating side effects, it annoys me no end that the public has been conditioned to believe that whatever ails them can be fixed by something advertised on TV and available at your doctor’s office, and as the TV commercial suggests, you remember to ask “Is drug X right for me”. It is baffling that Big Pharma, with the blessing of the FDA, gets away with promoting a steady stream of questionable but profitable nostrums as if they are answers to all the ailments of mankind.

Recently I’ve written about side effects of the diabetes drug Farxiga, pitched on TV in a commercial that suggests sublime happiness for diabetics who take the drug, yet possible devastating side effects are mind boggling. I wonder how many men who take Farxia and develop discharge and a rash on their penis would be happy.  I’ve written about the new drug Addyi for women with low libido that has the potential for disaster when taken with alcohol.

At the top of my list of “time bomb” drugs are statins, the very profitable drugs that lower cholesterol. Cholesterol is necessary for the brain to function properly, yet no one seems able to suggest a connection between rampant statin use and increasing cases of cognitive decline, and not just among the elderly.

As I have mentioned several times, I first became aware of the dark side of statins when I read Lipitor: Thief of Memory  by Duane Graveline, M.D. In all the years statins have been on the market only sporadic warnings have appeared about statin safety, and those warnings haven’t made a big splash on the evening news. For a comprehensive look at the range of problems possibly related to statin use, see “FDA Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS) Statin Review“. It is scary to think of the millions of people who take statins and are not aware of how they may be adversely affecting them.

Most unsettling is that use of statins among elderly patients without vascular disease continues to rise despite a lack of evidence showing benefit in this age group. One of the most forthright warnings can be seen in an article titled,” Haphazard Statin Use Harmful for Elderly”. This article is a “must read” if you are in the 70+ age group and taking a statin. To be expected, supporters of statins provide their evidence to the contrary.

Bottom line: Your health is YOUR responsibility. When it comes to taking medications of any kind,  do some open minded research, preferably before you start taking prescribed medication(s). Ask questions. Respect your intuition and your intelligence. Apply common sense. Doctors are not all knowing gods. And bear in mind,  TV ads for drugs are designed to produce profit, and lots of it, for drug companies.

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