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New Drug May Help Those Who Can't Take Statins

Posted 5 Nov 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 5 – An experimental drug may help patients who can't tolerate statins lower their cholesterol, a new Australian study suggests. The 12-week, phase 2 clinical trial was conducted at 33 international sites and included adults who suffered muscle problems when taking statins, a class of cholesterol-lowering drugs that includes Crestor and Lipitor. They received injections of a placebo or different doses of AMG145, which is a human monoclonal antibody. Human monoclonal antibodies are naturally occurring human antibodies that are genetically altered in a laboratory, cloned in large numbers and introduced into the patient to target disease sites. The patients who received AMG145 had 41 percent to 63 percent reductions in "bad" (LDL) cholesterol and did not experience significant muscle-related side effects, said study leader Dr. David Sullivan, of the Royal Prince Alfred ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Pravachol, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Baycol, Fluvastatin, Altoprev, Pitavastatin, Altocor

Cholesterol Levels Dropping in U.S. Adults, Mostly From Statin Use

Posted 17 Oct 2012 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 16 – When it comes to coronary artery disease in the United States, there's good news and bad news. The good news? Average levels of the worst forms of cholesterol are dropping among U.S. adults. The bad news? Americans are achieving those better numbers not so much by changing their diet or ramping up their exercise, but largely by taking statins: cholesterol-lowering medications. A comprehensive look at how Americans are faring in the battle against coronary artery disease shows that over about 22 years, total cholesterol and LDL (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, often called "bad" cholesterol) have declined. But the percentage of adults taking anti-cholesterol medications has climbed as well. In addition to looking at the average levels of cholesterol and factors associated with increased risk of heart disease, the researchers noted whether participants were taking ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Pravachol, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Baycol, Fluvastatin, Altoprev

Statins Tied to Reduced Glaucoma Risk

Posted 2 Oct 2012 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 2 – Researchers may have discovered yet another potential use for the widely used cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins. In a new study, older people with high cholesterol who had taken statins for two years had an 8 percent reduced risk of developing open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of the eye disease. "That's a big deal," said Dr. Mark Fromer, an ophthalmologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, and eye surgeon director for the New York Rangers hockey team. "We're talking 3 million people [in the United States] who have glaucoma and half those people don't know it." Fromer was not involved with the study, which appears in the October issue of Ophthalmology. Glaucoma, which often affects people over 60, can lead to blindness. People at higher risk include those with a family member with glaucoma, blacks and older Hispanics, according to the Glaucoma ... Read more

Related support groups: Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Glaucoma, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Glaucoma (Open Angle), Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Pravachol, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Baycol, Pitavastatin, Altoprev, Fluvastatin

Statin Use Tied to Possible Boost in Cataract Risk

Posted 26 Aug 2012 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 24 – The millions of adults who currently use prescription statins to control their cholesterol levels may be inadvertently increasing their risk for developing age-related cataracts, new research suggests. The bump in cataract risk linked to statin use appears comparable to the elevated risk already known to exist among people with type 2 diabetes, the study team observed. That said, the study authors cautioned that more research is needed before being able to definitively say there is a cause-and-effect relationship between statins and cataract risk. "The bottom line is that there appears to be an increased risk among people taking statins as far as getting cataracts," said study lead author Elizabeth Irving, research chairwoman in the School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada. "That was actually a surprise, because most of ... Read more

Related support groups: Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Cataract, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Pravachol, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Baycol, Fluvastatin, Altoprev, Pitavastatin, Altocor

Statins Won't Hurt, Might Even Help, Your Pancreas: Study

Posted 21 Aug 2012 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 21 – Statins don't raise the risk of pancreatitis, a painful and potentially life-threatening inflammation, a new review finds. Putting to rest concerns raised by previous research, this new study finds cholesterol-lowering drugs such as Lipitor (atorvastatin) and Zocor (simvastatin) may actually help ward off pancreatitis. The pooled analysis of 21 published and unpublished randomized, controlled trials – the gold standard of medical research – found that people taking statins were at 18 percent to 23 percent reduced chance of developing pancreatitis. Researchers also looked at a class of drugs called fibrates, which doctors prescribe for people with high triglycerides, another type of blood fat. Their analysis found a slight, but statistically insignificant, increase of developing pancreatitis from fibrates. "Statins seem to carry a previously unrecognized benefit of ... Read more

Related support groups: Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Pravachol, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Pitavastatin, Baycol, Altoprev, Fluvastatin, Altocor, Cerivastatin

Statins' Heart Benefits Outweigh Diabetes Risk: Study

Posted 9 Aug 2012 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 9 – The cardiac benefits of statins outweigh any increased chances for developing diabetes, even among those who run the highest risk of developing the blood sugar disease, Harvard researchers report. The concern that these cholesterol-lowering drugs, which include the widely prescribed medications Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor, increased the risk for diabetes prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to require labeling that warns users of the risk. "Earlier this year, concern was raised that patients taking statins had an increased risk of developing diabetes, and on that basis many patients stopped taking their medications," explained lead researcher Dr. Paul Ridker, director of the Center for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention at Brigham and Women's Hospital, in Boston. "Unfortunately, little if any data was available at that time to address not only the risks, but ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Pravachol, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Baycol, Fluvastatin, Altoprev, Pitavastatin

Are Statins Less Helpful for Women?

Posted 25 Jun 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 25 – The cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins may be less effective for preventing death and recurrent strokes in women than in men, a new study suggests. A review of 11 trials found that statins such as Lipitor and Crestor prevent recurrent heart attacks in men and women, but it showed no benefit for women in terms of second stroke or death from all causes. However, experts who weren't involved with the study said it was flawed – women comprised only a fraction of participants, for example – and they contend the drugs are life-savers for both sexes. The report was published June 25 in the Archives of Internal Medicine. For the study, researchers led by Dr. Jose Gutierrez, of the vascular neurology program at the Neurological Institute of Columbia University Medical Center in New York City, pooled data on more than 43,000 participants from studies published prior ... Read more

Related support groups: Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Ischemic Stroke - Prophylaxis, Pravachol, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Baycol, Fluvastatin, Altoprev, Pitavastatin, Altocor

Statins May Leave Patients With Less Energy: Study

Posted 11 Jun 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 11 – Statins – the popular class of cholesterol-lowering drugs – significantly increase the risk of experiencing a drop in energy or becoming unduly tired when exercising, according to new research. The finding stems from work tracking about 1,000 adults, and includes well-known shelf names Pravachol and Zocor, both designed to reduce levels of the so-called "bad" cholesterol known as low-density lipoprotein, or LDL. "We found that even at comparatively modest doses, statins were associated with a not-inconsequential drop in energy in some patients, a rise in fatigue with exertion in others and sometimes both," said study lead author Dr. Beatrice Golomb, associate professor of medicine at the University of California-San Diego. "This was true for both men and women," she added. "But it appears to be more of a problem for female patients." Golomb and her colleagues ... Read more

Related support groups: Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Pravachol, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Pitavastatin, Baycol, Altoprev, Fluvastatin, Altocor, Cerivastatin

Statins May Help Prevent Enlarged Prostate: Study

Posted 21 May 2012 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 21 – Statin drugs commonly used to lower cholesterol levels may also slow the unhealthy growth of the prostate in men with elevated blood levels of prostate-specific antigen, a new study finds. Prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, levels are often elevated due to cancer or other conditions involving the prostate, explained researchers from Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. The study authors noted that their findings are significant because an enlarged prostate affects up to 90 percent of men older than 70 years and can lead to bladder or kidney damage. Many of these men may already be taking a statin, which include cholesterol-lowering drugs such as Crestor, Lipitor, Pravachol or Zocor. "Given that prostate enlargement is an important health problem in the United States and elsewhere, and will be a larger problem as the population ages, it's important to ... Read more

Related support groups: Lipitor, Simvastatin, Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Pravachol, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Baycol, Fluvastatin, Altoprev, Pitavastatin, Altocor

Benefits of Widespread Statin Use Outweigh Risks: Study

Posted 17 May 2012 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, May 17 – Statins – commonly used cholesterol-lowering drugs – can significantly lower the risk for heart disease in people with no history of vascular disease, according to a new study. Researchers from the University of Oxford in England found the medication reduced the risk of major heart-related problems, such as hearts attacks and strokes, in men and women of all ages with heart disease – as well as those with no previous history of the condition – by about 20 percent. The benefits of widespread statin use outweigh any known side effects, said the study's authors, led by Colin Baigent, a professor in the clinical trial service unit and epidemiological studies unit at Oxford. The researchers said their findings should prompt a review of national and international guidelines on these drugs. Current U.S. and European guidelines restrict statin use to people with at least ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Pravachol, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Baycol, Fluvastatin, Altoprev, Pitavastatin, Altocor

Statins May Help Prevent Irregular Heartbeat in Elderly

Posted 9 May 2012 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, May 9 – The widely used class of cholesterol-lowering medications known as statins may help elderly patients with high blood pressure avoid developing atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm abnormality tied to stroke. "Our study found that statin therapy in elderly patients with hypertension reduces the risk of new-onset atrial fibrillation," said Dr. Chen-Ying Hung, lead author of a study scheduled for presentation Wednesday at the Heart Rhythm Society's annual meeting in Boston. But the findings are extremely preliminary and don't provide enough evidence to support this particular use of statins, such as Lipitor (atorvastatin) and Zocor (simvastatin) just yet, said the study authors and outside experts alike. "We still need further studies to confirm this relationship before we can suggest statin use in [this population]," said Hung, a fellow at the Cardiovascular Center at ... Read more

Related support groups: Atrial Fibrillation, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Pravachol, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Baycol, Fluvastatin, Altoprev, Pitavastatin, Altocor

Rate of Statin-Linked Muscle Woes Unclear, Study Suggests

Posted 27 Apr 2012 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 27 – It's been long known that people on high doses of statins, cholesterol-lowering medications taken by millions of Americans, are at risk for a rare yet serious muscle condition. However, new research suggests that the frequency of the condition, called rhabdomyolysis, is a bit less clear due to confusion with the codes health professionals use to classify and report such problems. Statins include such bestselling drugs as Crestor, Lipitor, Pravachol and Zocor. Muscle ailments have long been cited as a rare but possible side effect of statin use, particularly at higher doses. In the new study, University of Washington researchers evaluated the use of the diagnostic code for "statin-related rhabdomyolysis," a serious condition involving achy muscles that is sometimes accompanied by kidney problems. The code was introduced in 2006 as a way of tracking how many cases of ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Pravachol, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Baycol, Fluvastatin, Altoprev, Pitavastatin, Altocor

Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients Who Quit Statins May Face Raised Death Risk

Posted 28 Mar 2012 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 28 – People suffering from rheumatoid arthritis who stop taking their cholesterol-lowering drugs may raise their risk of dying, a new study finds. In fact, those who stopped taking statins raised their chances of dying from cardiovascular disease by 60 percent and dying from any cause by 79 percent during the course of the study, the Canadian researchers reported. Since rheumatoid arthritis is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, patients often are prescribed statins such as Lipitor (atorvastatin) or Crestor (rosuvastatin) to lower their cholesterol. "Doctor knows best," said Dr. Richard Furie, chief of the division of rheumatology at North Shore-LIJ Health System in Lake Success, N.Y. "Whatever medicines your doctor puts you on, take them all." "We know that in inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular events are a ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Pravachol, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Baycol, Fluvastatin, Altoprev, Pitavastatin, Altocor

Showing Patients Images of Their Clogged Arteries a Powerful Wake-Up Call

Posted 25 Mar 2012 by Drugs.com

SATURDAY, March 24 – Showing patients with clogged arteries evidence of their condition makes them more likely to stick with treatments such as weight loss and cholesterol-lowering statins, two related studies found. Coronary artery disease is the most common type of heart disease in Americans, but many patients fail to adhere to therapies that can treat or prevent heart disease. For example, patient compliance with statin therapy has been reported to be as low as 20 percent to 50 percent, the researchers said. The two studies included patients who underwent coronary artery calcium scoring with cardiac CT, a test that takes clear, detailed pictures of the heart. Patients with the most severe coronary artery disease who saw images of their heart were 2.5 times more likely to take statins as directed, and more than three times more likely to lose weight as those whose scans showed little ... Read more

Related support groups: Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Coronary Artery Disease (CAD), Livalo, Pravachol, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Baycol, Fluvastatin, Altoprev, Pitavastatin, Altocor

Statin Alternative Looks Promising in Early Trials

Posted 21 Mar 2012 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 21 – A new anti-cholesterol drug appears safe and effective in people already taking statins such as Lipitor, making it a potential addition to statin therapy or an alternative, a preliminary new study suggests. Two single-dose trials in healthy volunteers and a multiple-dose trial in a group with high cholesterol showed that the drug, known as a monoclonal antibody, reduced low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol levels an average of 40 percent. The injectable drug was also well-tolerated by all participants, with headache the most commonly reported side effect. The drug works by attacking a destructive enzyme in the liver, keeping LDL cholesterol from spilling into the bloodstream, according to the report published in the March 22 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. "It was entirely safe, as best they could tell, and LDL levels plummeted within ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Atorvastatin, Zocor, Lovastatin, Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Livalo, Pravachol, Lescol, Lescol XL, Mevacor, Baycol, Fluvastatin, Altoprev, Pitavastatin, Altocor

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