In March 2012, Scripps Research Institute cardiologist Eric Topol wrote an op-ed for The New York Times, arguing that statin medications (such as Lipitor, Crestor, and Zocor) should be avoided due to the increased risk of diabetes. Also in 2012, the Journal of Diabetes exposed the compelling connection between peripheral neuropathy and statin drugs.
Disturbingly, the list doesn’t end with diabetes and neuropathy. In fact, studies have linked this class of drugs with more than 300 adverse conditions (including memory loss), building a strong case that statins may do more harm than good for many patients. The study linking the drugs with neuropathy pain is of particular interest to those with chronic pain who take prescription medication to manage cholesterol levels.
Cholesterol drugs and neuropathy – substantial risk increase
The Journal of Diabetes study analyzed the medical histories of patients in the United States who were over 39 years old and had been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy (PN). By checking which of those patients had been prescribed statins, researchers were able to determine if the risk of neuropathy pain was higher for the statin population. The evidence revealed that PN is 75% more likely for users of statin medication: 23.5% of statin users develop peripheral neuropathy, while only 13.5% of non-users experience the neural disorder.
This study, unfortunately, was not groundbreaking. Previous studies on cholesterol drugs and neuropathy have arrived at similar conclusions. A three-year analysis of statin users was outlined in a 2011 Neuro Endocrinology Letters article. The study suggested that patients were suffering from underlying consequences of statins, even when symptoms were “clinically silent.” The authors of that study called the ill-effects of statins on a patient’s peripheral nerves “definite” when they are taken for more than 24 months.
As noted above, the dangers of statins are well-documented. Healthcare education resource GreenMedInfo has compiled a collection of hundreds of side-effects from clinical studies and other medical literature. According to the site, one of the primary dangers of statins is neurotoxicity – nerve damage that can eventually take the form of PN.
The path forward for those affected by neuropathy and statin drugs
Needless to say, patients who have suffered from the deleterious consequences of prescription medication are unlikely to want to treat PN with additional medication. Health Star Clinic uses a multidisciplinary approach for treatment. Methods such as spinal manipulation, electro analgesia, and laser therapy are core strategies of our integrated plans.
Book your comprehensive evaluation today: (334) 356-1111.