Tag Archives: statins


The review published yesterday by Discovery Health  “Medicine expenditure up by 26% in private healthcare industry” based on the Mediscor Medicines Review resonates with this week’s editorial from JAMA on Resolving Unreported Conflicts of Interest. Apart from anticancer therapy (which affects relatively few patients but is very costly), by far the two top drug costs to the private  health system in RSA  are antihypertensive and hypolipidemic drugs.

But why are these two groups of drugs 1/6th of  local private medicines expenditure?

The reason is quite plainly vested interests- between prescribers, drug developers and retailers, for  well-known reasons:
1.  Modern western medicine  rarely attempts to address the pathogenesis  of disease – it takes too much effort by prescribers and patients to try to change diet and  lifestyle. And  the only “modern” drug that addresses the main causes of the common degenerative diseases – overweight, (pre) diabetes type 2, lipidemia, atheroma, thrombosis,  hypertension, cancer, arthritis, dementia – is the antioxidant, insulin-sensitising, energising,  nitric-oxide-promoter, antilipidemic, antithrombogenic, antihypertensive, anti-infertility, anti-PCOS,  appetite-and-weight-suppressive,  anticancer, and diabetes-preventing   plant-derived metformin. This is the only prescription drug  ever – with zero serious persisting adverse effects in appropriate dose –    that has been  shown (including in the only 20year randomized controlled trial ever) to actually reduce all  major morbidity and all-cause mortality by over one-third.

2. Only new ie under-patent drugs are $billion dollar –a-year rainchecks in a $trillion dollar industry where only disease pays (not prevention- which keeps patients out of hospitals & specialist centres  and off new drug) .

So the Disease Industry has correctly pinpointed overweight and hypertension as the two leading risk factors to bombard consumers with new drugs;

but  has created the  gigantic marketing ploy  that these common lifestyle-diet problems  need designer drugs: that
average mild to moderate hypertension must be treated by combinations of angiotensin-and adrenergic, and calcium-blockers – which  do not reduce all-cause morbidity and mortality.;
and  even average lipid levels  by statins and now even the futile  ezetimibe –which do not reduce all-cause morbidity and mortality;
and overweight-obesity  by patented drugs like Orlistat and Rimonabant –which do not reduce all-cause morbidity and mortality  ,
and type 2 diabetes by new sulphonylureas, glitazones and even more toxic and expensive injectables  like gliptins- –which do not reduce all-cause morbidity and mortality .

But  simple analysis of the hundreds of better-quality  published studies and trials (not those ghost-written in glossy journals  for drug companies to promote their products) shows that:

For average mild-to-moderate hypertension, no modern drugs (with many serious  adverse effects)   surpass for benefit  the triple and zero-side-effect  combination of lowdose reserpine plus lowdose coamiloretic- in RSA costing retail about R45 per 4 months ie about $2/month;

For average-risk overweight adults with or without lipidemia and diabetes, nothing surpasses the global benefits- major reduction in all-cause mortality and mortality- of  metformin started in low dose eg 250mg/day and increased  slowly to tolerance.
Obviously primary prevention  for everyone includes a few grams a day of the essentials that  deplete at all ages with longevity, the degrading food chain,  pollution and stress – the natural ~50  replacement supplements of  vitamins and minerals and the human biologicals EPA+DHA, CoQ10, arginince, carnitine, n-acetyl cysteine, alphalipoic acid, taurine, carnosine, MSM, chondroglucosamine, lutein, bioflavinoid,  choline, inositol, 5HTP, GABA, melatonin, plus key plant supplements eg ginkgo, milk thistle, galega, gymnema, coleus etc;

all of which can be simply taken as a powder blend in water twice a day with a teasp of cod liver oil or a fish oil capsule;
at a global retail cost of as little as R100/$12 a month ( plus  in older people, appropriate physiological  human sex hormones).

So while there is some- but relatively little-  competition between generics, the major saving in both cost, risks and prevention is between therapeutic equivalents eg lowdose coamilozide+reserpine, metformin, and other safe effective  supplements – which are all that are needed for prevention and most treatment of all the major degenerative diseases of aging including osteoporosis  (which agents  Industry and their funded lobbyists- researchers, academics, regulators  try persistently to denigrate if not actively suppress)-  vs other newer- and heavily marketed  classes of antihypertensives, appetite ,  lipidemia and osteoarthritis-osteoporosis  suppressants.

This issue of promoting evidence-based best  therapeutic equivalents is indeed blowing against the wind, the tsunami of $billion dollar adspend by Big Business to promote their designer labels. But all countries- while  run by ruthless politician big business looking after their own interests – do pay some lip service to restraining the normative  monopolistic and price-fixing racketeering that screws the man in the street- both in gross overpricing, and in massive tax evasion by big business, and in rigging of elections and tenders .

Our own Medical Schemes Council is in the process of open consultations about the revised necessary and approved drug lists for all diseases in the medical schemes industry. Hence urgent vigorous debate is urgently required – in all countries- before vested interests further strangle citizens’ choice of and access to both cheap old drugs to eg reverse the dropping of reserpine by bureaucrats in UK, Europe and state clinics here, and reverse the rising tide of suppression of the best prevention and treatment there is- the base of all modern medicines – minerals, vitamins and the numerous proven safe human and plant biologicals.

The trend by the FDA and EU and Big Business in RSA must be reversed, before they (in the interests of their own pockets filled with paybacks by Big Pharma) put all supplements totally on prescription by health professionals- the very people whose livelihood (including their shares in Big Pharma, med schemes and hospitals) depends on new quick-fix designer drugs which cure and prevent no chronic degenerative disease ie on avoiding effective doses and combinations of proven supplements.

As it is, the medical schemes in RSA are now compelled to pay for the services of witchdoctors (who admittedly probably kill far fewer people than do modern prescriptions and surgery for non-urgent conditions) yet these schemes- while insuring for profit people who persist in suicidal and homicidal smoking and alcohol and sexual behaviour-  flatly refuse to pay for the best prevention  there is – the supplements mentioned- because  they are neither promoted by Big Pharma nor on prescription.

Numerous references are available under many keywords on this website below.




The previous chapter covered the commonest problems of aging: cancer, fractures and arthritis.


It has been recognized for decades that the age-old antioxidants, and the three antihomocysteine vitamins (B6 B9 B12), and nitric oxide promoters eg nitroglycerin NG, are major benefit against chronic CVD and it’s symptoms if not during acute myocardial infarction and stroke. NG remains the mainstay of treatment for angina. Nitric oxide is a key vasodilator, neurotransmitter and immune modulator; it’s therapeutic level is boosted by nitroglycerine; metformin (Kanazawa 2008); human sex hormones and arginine.

As with oxygen, vitamins, minerals, biologicals, foods, alcohol and all therapeutics, balance – the right amount- is everything. But vigorous timely combination of the dozens of natural biologicals that decline with age – the essentials eg fish oil, CoQ10, arginine, carnitine and ribose, and sex hormones, combined with often-diet-deficient minerals and vitamins – virtually avoid disability/ death from and surgery for heart disease (Sinatra and Roberts: Reversing Heart Disease 2007) .

Short of replacement, one cannot fix the worn-out heart, kidney, hip, spine, joints or mind once these are broken – as happens in virtually all aging adults. Half of older people die suddenly- and half of heart attacks and strokes kill suddenly or cripple permanently. Fortunately very few are crippled or killed by the commonest cancers (breast, prostate womb), so the common cancers are the least worry of aging. Of the perhaps 1 in 10 adults who develop breast or prostate cancer, with sensible management, less than perhaps 1 in 20 dies from the cancer.

But nothing can reverse sudden death, or worse, more than the mildest memory loss from dementing diseases (unless these are not due to Alzheimers’ or widespread vascular damage). And without (rare) mental or surgical transformation, very few people manage to reverse obesity back to health. So it is negligence, suicide to wait till obesity, vascular, cancer, fracturing or dementing diseases develop, when these can mostly be prevented.

OBESITY AND DIABETES PREVENTION/ TREATMENT: Overweight is the commonest avoidable cause of the diseases of aging – obesity, aging, vascular, musculoskeletal, dementing and malignant diseases.

Metformin (Werner & Bell 1922) – dimethylguanidine – is the only ‘synthetic’ drug (a tagged antihyperglycemic extract of the galega officinalis plant) that has been proven to be a panacea against virtually all major diseases, a heavy-metal chelating, anti-infection clot-avoiding anticancer antihypertensive antioxidant insulin sensitizer (without increasing C peptide) that also reduces lipidemia; and bone resorption (and thus unblocks obesity-related delayed adolescent growth) via promotion of nitric oxide. It is the only designer drug ever that has been proven in a 20 year randomized controlled trial RCT (mean 13.6yrs- the UKPDS, Holman ea 1998) to reduce all major adverse events including cancer and all-cause mortality by 36% in diabetics; and reduce new diabetes by about 50% (30 – 70%) in major prevention trials in the overweight over a mean of about 3 years in the USA, India and Chinese Diabetes Prevention Programs; and produces and sustains about 8% weight loss in the overweight for at least 4years – without a singe major adverse effect.

No other designer ie invented drug for chronic prevention can claim such multisystemic benefits and lack of adverse effects in sensible tolerable dose Unlike metformin, no new drugs are subjected to rigorous trials of even five years before they are launched on the unsuspecting public. So it is left to chance whether patients die or are crippled by new drugs before there is such outrage that they are cancelled. And the American Government has made it impossible to sue their profiteering devious drug companies for such negligence! . SEX

HORMONE REPLACEMENT SHRT: Estrogen is a known immunostimulator ie it easily awakens (auto)immune reactions and malignant growth; whereas progesterone and testosterone are known immunomodulators ie balance immune responses. In cell cultures, estrogen too may have dimorphic ie opposing effects on nitric oxide (Walsh 2003; Shih 2006; Richette 2007).

But in postmenopausal women transdermal or oral estrogen replacement ERT with or without cyclic synthetic progestins for 6 – months increases NO levels (Serin 2001; Kesim 2005). But progesterone followed by estrogen promotes activation of dormant breast cancer cells – so in both men and women these must always be at physiological bloodlevels with balancing testosterone levels, all at the lowest necessary doses.

Testosterone on the other hand is the well-known crucial stimulator of nitric oxide synthetase (Shabsingh 2004), like vitamin D and metformin an immune balancer fighting infection and cancer, muscle and bone frailty, thrombosis and depression.

So for youthful health (not least lifelong healthy necessary sexuality), most aging men (as often as do women) need physiological ie non-oral testosterone replacement to replace their youthful testosterone and estrogen levels; and women need non-oral replacement of estrogen and testosterone to restore balance. And both need some progesterone as well for optimal health.

It is unfair that aging men are given only safe parenteral testosterone ie spared the risks of testosterone tablets (which were banned some time ago), but aging and more vulnerable women are told it’s OK to take sex hormone therapy – tablets- by mouth. It has been well known for decades that (unlike balanced non-oral hormones) this is risky – especially using xenohormones – hormones foreign to humans: premarin from mares’ urine, and progestin ie synthetics.



          The attending internist – anaesthetist drug expert for those needing anaesthetia/ analgesia,  is  a crucial lifeline for the patient who might otherwise see just the surgeon and GP.


         And how many anaesthetists or surgeons first trained as specialist physicians in preventative medicine?




     Apart from the primary role of the anaesthetist – safe  life support, pain relief, and muscle relaxation through surgery- there are obviously at least seven other overlapping domains that the anaesthetist  can improve if necessary, and bring to the attention of the patient & GP (as opposed to the surgeon & ICU specialist who would inevitably otherwise just focus on current problems):


1. Steroids- corticosteroids CS as the anaesthetist well knows,  at the appropriate replacement (rather than rare pharmacological) dose, since relative CS deficiency or resistance is increasingly common in the older & sicker;


2. The Superhormones- Sex steroids & thyroid in replacement dose– deficient in at least half by midlife.

    Various Swiss/German studies  in ICU/ the ER have shown that men (and postmenopausal women) do worse than menstruating young women because the active well-housed gonads of the lattter are least perturbed by acute illness/acute injury. Thus  men (who  anyway clearly have androgen resistance compared to women – Bancroft’s hypothesis – involving apparent desensitization of the central nervous system to testosterone TT during early development in the male) suffer catastrophic fall in their main balancing anabolic immunomodulating hormone – testosterone – during major illness/injury. This cardinal hormone can  easily  be measured, and if suboptimal safely replaced if only temporarily with a single shot of Sustanon or Depotrone. The proportionate dose applies equally to the common androgen-deficient older woman. Similarly, thyroid deficiency can easily be measured immediately, and replaced with Diotroxin or even better Tertroxin initially.

      The older patient needing major surgery may already as a consequence long have lost/ given up sex due to both illness and the causal or consequent fall in sex hormones – but sexual activity  may well  have become the only healthy exercise  and antidepressant that many older  people get  if not need.


3. Secosteroid: relative vitamin D deficiency  is increasingly recognized in all populations and agegroups, with the evidence suggesting that the optimal blood level is the upper quintile of the average adult ie around 100nmol/L to drastically reduce fractures, CVD, cancer, depression, autism and infections.  Deficiency has probably increased as fish has become unobtainable, with rising dairy product intolerance, with increasing avoidance of sunburn, and with the forced hypocholesterolemia (from low cholesterol diet and statins)  driven by the lunatic fringe who for profit insist that even normal levels of cholesterol are causal in vascular disease, not simply an effect of  stress- and obesity-induced insulin resistance.

      So, while vitamin D intoxication occurs only with intake  in excess of 50 000  to 100 000iu daily, vitamin D is easily and cheaply boosted to near the optimal level with eg 50 000iu a week or about  6000 iu a day. Unfortunately it takes weeks to get a vitamin D level measurement back from up country (at a  local cost of R660 ie US$66); but provided blood calcium , ALP & ESR etc do not suggest the very rare malignant hypercalcemia, it is harmless to give 50 000iu vit D pre-op, whether orally or sc..


4. the populist Synthetic designer but  adverse  drugs- Statins, sulphonylureas/ glitazones,oral HRT pills,   bisphosphonates,  antacids,  NSAIDs non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, psychotropes, and most antihypertensives,  –  should be at least temporarily suspended preop and in ICU; since there is rarely justification for any of them, and they all cause significant morbidity.

    statins are better replaced by fish oil, CoQ10 and other natural insulin-sensitizing antioxidants;

    the fattening  hypoglycemic- risky antidiabetic tabs by appropriate dose metformin +- insulin; only metformin halves mortality in diabetics, halves the incidence of new diabetics when used to promote weight loss & lower IGR in the overweight- and metformin plus androgen is antithrombotic, mildly thrombolytic and antilipidemic;

    the gastrotoxic thrombogenic (and sudden-death eg Voltaren injection ) NSAIDs replaced by  fish oil; paracetamol- opioid; and safe beneficial natural analgesic NSAIDs by  a combo of curcumin-MSM -vit B5-cat’s claw-bromelain-boswelia,  and for osteoarthritis and CVD protection, chondroglucosamine; 

     We have all had experience of anaesthesia, either as the patient, the relative  or as one of the team. It may not always be good shortterm or longterm. Readers have been lucky- we were in good hands, and survived to be reading this.
     so everyone can contribute some comment


with  calmag-zinc, carnosine – glutamine-glycine-milk thistle  to prevent gastric erosion/reflux and leaky gut, largely        

    replacing the  H2 Antagonists and PPIs with their dizzifying effects.

    HRT pills replaced eg natural physiological  estradiol -progesterone- testosterone  patch or cream;

    no populist antihypertensives   act for 24 hrs; the betablockers are now reserved only for ischaemic heart disease and arrhythmia because of increased risk; and the ACEI/ ARBs cause symptomatic let alone asymptomatic bronchial/angioedema risk in at least a quarter if not half  of users;

 whereas the best antihypertensive regime remains what has been proven in numerous trials for almost 50 years- lowdose reserpine 0.0625 (initially 0.125)mg/d plus lowdose coamilozide eg amiloretic 1/4 to 1/2  day. we seldom see patients who need amlodipine added as the best 4th drug choice for  suboptimal control, provided they simply stop sugar, cooked fats and excess salt, and take routine fish oil, the other multisupplement discussed here, and appropriate metformin, and parenteral HRT (for men & women respectively);


     prescription psychotropes:  as substitutes, apart from the major benefits of natural parenteral  HRT also as antidepressant and neuroprotection, there are the primary brain neurotransmitters melatonin and GABA gama-amino butyric acid let alone 5HTP 5hydroxytryptamine; all of these are usually appropriate, freely available, safe and relatively low cost;


    and bisphosphonates replaced  by all that is needed – appropriate combo of testo-estradiol;  proline;  the key minerals     CalMagZincBoronMn;

               and the key anabolic vits  B6-B9-B12, C, D & K – especially to combat the rapid bone and muscle loss  & delayed/ failed healing  of major surgery,  let alone prolonged immobility with complications.


5. safe oils – fish oil should always be added pre-op, replacing (as capsules or liquid) both aspirin and   the plant oil supplements (which are inflammatory) with the essential EPA + DHA at least a gram a day ie as  4  gm fish oil a day,  which further help reduce constipation, thrombosis, inflammation- pain, depression, infection, memory loss and arrhythmia.


6. safe other supplements: added to the above in eg one drink twice a day: daily bcarotene 6000iu, the other vits B, E 400iu/d; and vit C to tolerance ie short of diarrhoea- eg 2-3 gm/d; orally / by n/g tube, but  eg 1-5 gm in every vacolitre while on a drip;

    the other minerals eg Cr, Mo, Se; and  if appropriate iron.

    N acetyl cysteine + guaifenesin as crucial lung protection;

and the magic quintet to reverse cardiovascular disease- CoQ10, arginine, carnitine, ribose and carnosine. (arginine is the key Nitric oxide substrate). 


7. Screening: Fortunately very little needs to be added to what is already often routine before major surgery and in ICU: apart from  baseline FBC creat elecs, LFT, calcium & redcell magnesium, there is appropriate testing for CK; iron;  T4, TSH;  glucose-insulin; and the steroid profile- cortisol; vit D, DHEA, testost, estradiol, progesterone & SHBG; and (rarely informative) FSH-LH.


8. Whose priorities and interests are served by perioperative / intensive care ICU prevention?   Patients and acute response doctors, like gynes and other surgeons,  traditionally focus only  reactively on the acute presenting problem-  not on long term prevention.

Obviously longterm prevention is against the shortterm interests of both patients (it takes too much discipline); and  of private hospitals, the new drug industry, and private practice specialist internists & gynes-  for whom only profitable disease pays; and against the interests of politicians- since the Disease  Industry generate vast jobs and taxes (and opportunities for graft).


    But the evidence from the literature and experience the past 50 years is that such prevention from admission can halve mortality, morbidity and complications including post-op confusion ie halve hospital stay and shortterm/ longterm incapacity.

          Waiting for the major fracture before implementing lowcost safe effective preventatives may be worthwhile for the surgeon and hospital- but 20% die from the hip fracture, only 20% recover full health thereafter.


And only longterm androgen replacement  may reverse the chief cause of osteoporotic fractures- frailty and falls. Nothing can reverse a fatal thrombosis, or chronic dementia, only early and permanent prevention can avoid these.





It’s tragicomedy that the BBC – the quintessential British spokespersona – laments NHS woes: * UK c.diff deaths ‘rising sharply’ * “The equivalent of one person an hour dies in hospital from clostridium difficile, figures suggest.”

And yet Authorities there and mostwhere are still in denial about enforcing simple safe low-cost multi-system prevention – in this instance to keep people out of bed and hospital, off antibiotics.
Authorities- regulators, politicians, the Tax Man – benefit as hugely from disease as do their fairy godmother the Disease Industry- the Drug conglomerates and their researchers and lobbyists, private hospitals, medical schemes – that pay them handsomely and creates myriad factories and jobs.

So because it is not profitable, Prevention Does Not Pay, no matter that it adds decades to health:

*There is no move to ban smoking, to make it (and sale, and allowance thereof) a criminal offence.

*No move to immediately jail drunken drivers for a long time, and on second offence permanently confiscate their driving licence and ban them permanently from current and future public office and public vehicle driving, be they judges or janitors, cabinet ministers or cabbies.

*The banning of deadly polluting coal-and oil-powered vehicles and major electricity sources has been blocked for decades by the endlessly greedy and ruthless oil-based industry magnates, despite the fact that these finite energy sources are desperately needed for other purposes. Now the world faces immediate famine because the oil-based transport-and energy behemoths (who have blocked investment in natural – solar – energy for decades) are paying bigger dollars for crop and marine resources as energy supplies than most consumers can afford to pay for these finite resources as food.

*No official move to acknowledge that the best drugs for both prevention and chronic treatment are the long-proven natural low-cost vigorous safe daily doses of a few score appropriate micronutrient supplements – vitamins (~15), minerals(~10) and biologicals (human and other species’) that are increasingly inadequate in the food chain in longer-lived increasingly overweight stressed humans facing worsening man-made epidemics and environmental disaster.

*No serious move yet by the US FDA- the chief protector of the new drugs industry of the west -English- Europe- Japan – (against the interests of consumers) to enforce integrity, insist that no chronic designer drugs for the chronic major common degenerative diseases be released for general use until they have been proven both at least as safe and effective as those already existing and effective, in major randomised controlled trials of a mean of at least 8years, head to head against both older designer drugs, and long-proven natural drugs, for similar purpose, in those diseases.

*The past decade alone has seen condemnation of myriad unproven unnecessary and risky released drugs –
on Wikipedia alone at least a dozen – eg Propulsid; cerivastatin; Vioxx; pemoline; benzbromarone; torcetrapib; and the discrediting of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as no better – and potentially more hazardous than- appropriate cortisone and micronutrient use, and
newer designer antidepressants and anticlotting agents as less safe and effective than appropriately used older ones;

*the unnecessary anti-osteoporosis bisphosphonates that are increasingly associated with the very long-bone fractures they are supposed to prevent;

*and most especially the wannabe oral anti-diabetic anti-atheroma and anti-obesity drugs – statins, rimonabant, glitazones, meglitanides and sulphonylureas – as inferior to and less safe than metformin, the 85year old plant extract which is the only designer drug ever proven as invaluable panacea in a 20year RCT, tested against sulphonylureas, but not against all other modern designer drugs which (as in more recent studies) have never been shown to meaningfully reduce all-cause morbidity and mortality as does metformin.

The until-recent FDA haste to licence new drugs after scanty trials was reminiscent of the criminal conspiracy between the FDA and industry that licenced the already contested diethylstilbestrol Chicago trial of 1950- and kept that drug on the market another 25years after it was discredited. And it was in stark contrast to the FDA (to protect USA drug companies) blocking drugs already in highly effective use elsewhere for decades, like lithium carbonate, metformin and betablockers.

Since no drug corporations promote the out-of-patent old and proven agents, authorities cannot afford to promote truth – that the only remedies for chronic prevention that lower all-cause disease and mortality by between a third and a half – overweight, obesity, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, arthritis, osteoporosis fractures, vascular disease, acute infections, depression, dementia – are:

-fish oil a few grams a day- which also drastically lowers behavioural and learning disorders;
-a lowcost simple blend of a few score other proven natural micronutrients – the fifteen vitamins, ten minerals and the human / other species’ biologicals including herbs;
-metformin titrated to tolerance about 2.5gms a day, for both prevention and treatment of overweight, diabetes type 2 and most major chronic degenerative diseases; &
-appropriate conservative balanced sex hormone replacement in most older men and women, as proven in the landmark Womens’ Health Initiative and Finnish Oulu randomised controlled trials, and numerous other studies in major centres in North America, UK, Europe, Australia and South Africa, since 1953.

It is a tenet of endocrinology for the past 60 years that all major hormone deficiencies should be replaced permanently and physiologically with the same human hormones, yet there are still those, even medical specialists, who would deny this to those most in need – from middle age onwards, especially women. At least some of these specialists have the honesty to disclose that they are well paid by drug compnies to be advocates and trialists for the wannabe designer drugs to supplant the old.

Recognition of appropriate measured low cost HRT and the other proven listed supplements for all aging people would of course rob the drug industry of perhaps 90% of it’s market for it’s wannabe designer substitutes that the FDA allows to be marketed prematurely until enough people die of their complications or shortcomings.

In fact, while no study shows that any modern drug for common chronic degenerative disease prevention does any overall – mutidisease- good, reduces all-cause mortality, those who promote and practice such published truth – that the old is better – are threatened with prosecution.

more bisphosphonate, statin complications:

note the latest designer drug complications-

severe diffuse pain from statins and biphosphonates,

interstitial lung disease, and tendon rupture, from statin:

FDA ALERT [1/7/2008]: ” FDA is highlighting the possibility of severe and sometimes incapacitating bone, joint, and/or muscle (musculoskeletal) pain in patients taking bisphosphonates. Although severe musculoskeletal pain is included in the prescribing information for all bisphosphonates, the association between bisphosphonates and severe musculoskeletal pain may be overlooked by healthcare professionals, delaying diagnosis, prolonging pain and/or impairment, and necessitating the use of analgesics.”
read on at http://www.fda.gov/CDER/drug/InfoSheets/HCP/bisphosphonatesHCP.htm

CONCERNS ABOUT STATINS: COMPLICATIONS AND SIDE EFFECTS: TreatmentUpdate 150 Volume 17 Issue 4 2005 June/July http://www.catie.ca/tu.nsf/acdff2c60dab4741852571b60051c9fe/d5b21cf52ec5187785257066005ce726!OpenDocument Currently available statins include the following:
atorvastatin (Lipitor)
fluvastatin (Lescor and Lescor XL)
pravastatin (Pravachol)
rosuvastatin (Crestor)
simvastatin (Zocor)
“Statin safety controversy
The safety of statins has become controversial in recent years. In 2001, another powerful statin, cerivastatin (Baycol, Lipobay), had to be withdrawn from sale because, particularly at higher doses, it was linked to the development of muscle weakness and kidney damage. The manufacturer of cerivastatin, Bayer, was subsequently listed as a defendant in 14,700 lawsuits around the world. Nearly 3,000 of these have been settled at a cost of $1.3 billion US.

“Crestor was licensed in high-income countries over the past couple of years in this environment of lawsuits and heightened safety concerns. As a result, perhaps its side effects have come under more scrutiny than expected.

“An American consumer advocacy group, Public Citizen, has criticized regulatory authorities in that country for the approval of Crestor. Moreover, Public Citizen has asked the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban the sale of Crestor because of concerns about its safety. However, the FDA has refused to do so.

Warnings from regulatory agencies
In 2004, several regulatory agencies in Canada and the European Union sent letters to physicians warning them to begin therapy with Crestor at a low dose of the drug and reminding them about possible side effects. Last year, Canada’s Federal Health Ministry also sent an advisory to patients asking them to review the use of Crestor with their doctors. In July 2005, Health Canada has issued yet another advisory to patients related to the use of statins, warning them about health conditions that may make users more susceptible to side effects from statins (a report on this appears later in this issue of TreatmentUpdate).
http://www.arc.org.uk/news/article/18492474 Statin use linked to tendon complications. Statins, popularly prescribed treatments for lowering cholesterol, have been linked to tendon complications, according to a new study published in the journal Arthritis Care & Research.

A team of French scientists found that although very rare, there was evidence of a link between statins, which are widely used and have been demonstrated to be safe in large clinical trials, and musculoskeletal complications, such as tendon impairment.

Studying patient records from the Rouen University Hospital database between 1990 and 2005, 4,597 side effects were associated with statins, most of which were extremely mild.

Approximately two per cent of these, identified in 96 cases, were attributed to tendon complications. Symptoms usually occurred within eight months of beginning statin therapy and included tendonitis and occasionally ruptured tendons.

“Our study suggests that regular tendinous clinical examination may be required in statin-treated patients, particularly during the first year following statin therapy initiation,” the authors reported.

Although the researchers did not know how statins are linked to tendon injury, they suggested that blocking cholesterol synthesis could reduce the cholesterol content of tendon cell membranes, making them less stable.

Title MHRA: class side-effects of statins
Date Published 04/02/2008 http://www.nelm.nhs.uk/Record%20Viewing/vR.aspx?id=589805
Reporter initials Nicola Pocock Hospital Pharmacist
Source MHRA Drug Safety Update; February 2008
” The February 2008 issue of ‘Drug Safety Update’ from the MHRA notes that product information for statins is being updated to reflect a number of different side-effects which appear to be a class-effect of these medicines. The following prescribing advice is given:

• Patients should be made aware that treatment with any statin may sometimes be associated with depression, sleep disturbances, memory loss, and sexual dysfunction

• Statins may very rarely be associated with interstitial lung disease. Patients should seek help from their doctor if they develop presenting features of interstitial lung disease such as dyspnoea, non-productive cough, and deterioration in general health (e.g., fatigue, weight loss, and fever)”

note: the MHRA list convenently ignores the insidious muscle damage- myopathy- kidney- liver damage that statins cause”.

These heavily prescribed drugs are never needed for mild-to-moderate lipidemia, or for osteoporosis, since there are better safer natural long-proven drugs.



A new study from Texas University (Riechman SE ea, Statins and dietary and serum cholesterol are associated with increased lean mass following resistance training. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2007;62:1164-71) shows that the cholesterol-busting statins significantly increase muscle mass. But the authors carefully analyze why this did not translate to increase in muscle strength. In fact many studies show that these drugs cause muscle damage- pain and fatigue, weakness – in up to 25% of users – especially with exercise – perhaps especially where there is pseudohypertrophy, which is probably what Riechman ea saw, muscle swelling from statin-induced damage..

This contrasts with physiological human androgen (testosterone) which cause genuine increase in both lean mass and strength (independent of exercise, and far more so with exercise), whether in bodybuilders or in the frail elderly (Bhasin ea 1996 et seq). Statins predictably cause the reverse- muscle damage pseudohypertrophy associated with significant fall in androgen levels, depression, impotence, lung, liver and kidney damage…

Contrary to the hype of the marketing industry (which funds the Regulators – FDA, Governments, Academics and the vast Disease Industry through “research” grants, taxes, jobs and congresses), there is no good reason to take or prescribe routine statins since evidence does not support their benefit EXCEPT in rare severe hypercholesterolemia. Cholesterol is not the cause of disease, it is a key biological building block – common mild to moderate lipidemia is mostly a manifestation of simple dysmetabolism, mostly insulin resistance from lack of exercise and a few score micronutrients that are safely, easily and cheaply supplemented .

The creation of the non-existent hypercholesterolemia epidemic to sell statins is well described by Dr James le Fanu in The Rise and Fall of Modern Medicine: Abacus, London, 1999;
and was mimicked a decade later by Pfizer in fabricating a pandemic of impotence to create a market for the potentially blinding/ killer blockbuster arrhythmogenic Viagra sildenafil – which is rarely needed if the common relative androgen and other micronutrient deficiency of aging is simply screened for and appropriately corrected at trivial cost and no risk, with global health benefits.
It is common cause that sexuality (in both genders) starts declining as the serum testosterone falls below the average level of healthy youth – but Pfizer and the FDA have colluded tenaciously to conceal this fact in refusing for years to disclose the mean and range of testosterone levels of the men who were included in the infamous Viagra trials. Yet simple testosterone, magneium and fish oil are the major antiarrhythmic drugs- and most people die suddenly, from arrhythmia as the terminal event.

Antimicrobials aside, statins and all other modern drugs for chronic prevention are designed to target symptoms, not the root cause of diseases- so modern chronic drugs do not significantly reduce all-cause mortality and common major diseases of aging. The last thing the trillion-dollar Disease Industry wants is effective cheap prevention that can reduce by 90% the need for modern drugs, high-tech investigations and admissions to hospitals.

So the Disease Industry and it’s myriad beneficiaries – shareholders and staff, the FDA, Governments, academics, clinicians and politicians everywhere- desperately want to suppress and regulate access to and supply of the simple safe combination of natural proven drugs – the nutritional supplements like appropriate niacin, fish oil, and a few score other vitamins, minerals and biologicals (mostly also insulin sensitizers like appropriate sex hormone replacement/HRT, metformin/ galega etc) Together these unprofitable old drugs do vastly better in halving all common major chronic degenerative diseases of aging than fraudulent wannabe designer patent drugs like statins (and non-steroidal, anti-osteoporosis, anti-diabetics, anti-obesity, anti-depressants, and hormone substitutes) that are allowed by Regulators (like Congress and politicians everywhere, the tool of the lucrative drug industry – Only Disease Pays) to poison millions – the Innocent Survivors – Elaine Feuer’s famous 1997 expose..

AND Just in case you thought statins were “benign” drugs…. from the University of Cape Town Drug Info Centre-
The February 2008 issue of ‘Drug Safety Update’ from the MHRA notes that product information for statins is being updated to reflect a number of different side-effects which appear to be a class-effect of these medicines. The following prescribing advice is given:

• Patients should be made aware that treatment with any statin may sometimes be associated with depression, sleep disturbances, memory loss, and sexual dysfunction

• Statins may very rarely be associated with interstitial lung disease. Patients should seek help from their doctor if they develop presenting features of interstitial lung disease such as dyspnoea, non-productive cough, and deterioration in general health (e.g., fatigue, weight loss, and fever)

so, why take statins? unless you have severe lipidemia, stop them, take supplements that are far better. But discuss this with your doctor.