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A Drug Company's Gift Might Change How Your Doctor Prescribes

Posted 25 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 25, 2017 – Gifts from drug companies can lead doctors and other health care providers to prescribe more brand-name and expensive medications, a new study finds. The researchers analyzed data from 2013 from nearly 2,900 health care providers in the Washington, D.C., area who issued prescriptions through Medicare Part D, the federal prescription drug program for people who are 65 and over or disabled. Nearly 40 percent of these doctors or providers accepted money, meals, trips and other gifts from drug companies, the study found. The gifts – totaling $3.9 million – ranged from as little as $7 a year (the cost of a dozen donuts) to as much as $200,000 in cash, according to researchers. Health care providers who received gifts from drug companies averaged 892 prescriptions, compared with 389 prescriptions ordered by those who didn't receive gifts. Gift recipients also ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Heart Disease, Vytorin, Caduet, Simcor, Amlodipine/Atorvastatin, Advicor, Liptruzet, Atorvastatin/Ezetimibe, Ezetimibe/Simvastatin, Pravigard Pac, Niacin/Simvastatin, Juvisync, Aspirin/Pravastatin, Lovastatin/Niacin, Simvastatin/sitagliptin

Blood Thinners Can Come With Dangerous Side Effects

Posted 3 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 3, 2017 – Blood-thinning drugs can save your life by preventing a heart attack or stroke caused by artery-blocking blood clots. But these are powerful drugs, and a pair of new studies detail side effects people need to understand before taking them. The effectiveness of a class of blood thinners called nonvitamin K oral anticoagulants (NOACs) can be significantly altered through interaction with other drugs, the first study reveals. In some cases, these drug interactions increase a person's risk of life-threatening bleeding in locations such as the brain and gastrointestinal tract. In other cases, the NOACs' effectiveness is reduced, robbing patients of some protection against stroke and heart attack. "NOACs alone do not pose a significant risk of bleeding, but the concurrent use of NOACs with certain drugs that share the same metabolic pathways may cause increased risk ... Read more

Related support groups: Warfarin, Coumadin, Xarelto, Lipitor, Atorvastatin, Pradaxa, Eliquis, Erythromycin, Clarithromycin, Digoxin, Biaxin, Rivaroxaban, Apixaban, MY-E, Prevpac, Caduet, A/T/S, Arixtra, Benzoyl Peroxide/Erythromycin, Biaxin XL

Study Hints at Link Between Some Statins, Parkinson's Risk

Posted 20 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, June 20, 2017 – People on cholesterol-lowering statins may have a slightly increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease, a new study suggests. Researchers said the finding doesn't prove statins are to blame. But, they added, the findings undercut the notion that statins might help protect against Parkinson's. Where does that idea come from? Past research has shown that people with high cholesterol tend to have a lower risk of Parkinson's, explained Dr. Xuemei Huang, a professor of neurology at Penn State College of Medicine. Since many of those people are treated with statins, that led to speculation that the drugs – rather than high cholesterol itself – might be protective. But so far, studies have come to mixed conclusions, according to Huang. Some have tied statins to a lower Parkinson's risk, while others have found either no connection or an increased risk. Enter ... Read more

Related support groups: Lipitor, Simvastatin, Parkinson's Disease, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Lovastatin, Zocor, Rosuvastatin, Vytorin, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Livalo, Caduet, Simcor, Parkinsonism, Parkinsonian Tremor, Amlodipine/Atorvastatin, Lescol XL, Lescol

Conflicting Statin Guidelines Leave Millions in 'Gray Zone'

Posted 18 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 18, 2017 – Conflicting guidelines on statin use could leave about 9 million Americans unsure about treatment, a new study suggests. Researchers estimate that if all doctors followed the latest guidelines from the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) for the cholesterol-lowering drugs, the number of Americans aged 40 to 75 on statin medications would rise by 16 percent. In absolute numbers, that would mean another 17 million statin users. If that sounds like a big jump, consider what would happen if all doctors followed the advice of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association: Statin use would climb by 24 percent – for an additional 26 million Americans on the drugs, the study authors estimated. The difference between the two sets of guidelines leaves 9 million Americans in a statin "gray zone." So, which guidelines are "right"? That's not ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Lovastatin, Zocor, Rosuvastatin, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Vytorin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Livalo, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Caduet, Simcor, Lescol XL, Hyperlipoproteinemia

Many Young Adults With High Cholesterol Not on Statins as Recommended

Posted 4 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 4, 2017 – Too few Americans who need them – especially young adults – are getting cholesterol-lowering statin medications, a new study suggests. The study of nearly 3 million adults found that more than half of younger patients under 40 with too-high blood levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol are getting statins as recommended. "This article clearly articulates the under-usage of statins in young people with severe elevations of LDL cholesterol," said heart specialist Dr. Carl Reimers. Reimers is associate chair of cardiovascular medicine at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. He reviewed the new findings but wasn't involved in the research. Reimers said that younger patients often show early signs of heart trouble linked to cholesterol, but too often aren't treated with statins. That's a shame, he said, because "it is well-established that treating these patients with ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Lovastatin, Zocor, Rosuvastatin, Vytorin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Livalo, Caduet, Simcor, Lescol XL, Lescol, Hyperlipoproteinemia, Amlodipine/Atorvastatin

Whether Statins Cut Alzheimer's Risk May Depend on Gender, Race

Posted 12 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 12, 2016 – Could cholesterol-fighting statins fend off Alzheimer's disease? A new, large study suggests that if they do have that power, it may depend on the specific statin, and the gender and race or ethnicity of the person taking it. For example, black men appeared to gain no benefit from taking any statin, while white women may lower their risk regardless of which statin they take, the researchers said. The findings don't prove that statins reduce the chances of developing Alzheimer's. And if they do shrink the risk, the effect seems to be small. Still, "those with high exposure to statins had a reduced risk of [Alzheimer's disease] compared to those with low exposure. And it varied by type of statin and for men, women and for different racial and ethnic individuals," said study author Julie Zissimopoulos. She is associate director of the Schaeffer Center for Health ... Read more

Related support groups: Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Alzheimer's Disease, Lovastatin, Zocor, Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Livalo, Caduet, Lescol XL, Amlodipine/Atorvastatin, Lescol, Mevacor, Atorvastatin/Ezetimibe, Liptruzet, Altoprev

Drug Combo for Irregular Heartbeat Might Raise Bleeding Risk

Posted 21 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 21, 2016 – Because the irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation can trigger stroke-inducing clots, many patients are prescribed a blood thinner. But a new Canadian study suggests that combining one blood thinner, Pradaxa, with certain statin medications could raise the odds for bleeding in these patients. "An increase in the risk of bleeding requiring hospital admission or emergency department visits was seen with lovastatin [Mevacor] and simvastatin [Zocor] compared with the other statins," said study author Tony Antoniou, a pharmacist at St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto. His team tracked outcomes for nearly 46,000 patients ages 65 and older. All had atrial fibrillation and took Pradaxa (dabigatran) to reduce their risk of stroke. Those who also took either lovastatin or simvastatin had a 40 percent higher risk of bleeding than those who took other statins, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Bleeding Disorder, Atrial Fibrillation, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Pradaxa, Prevention of Thromboembolism in Atrial Fibrillation, Lovastatin, Zocor, Rosuvastatin, Vytorin, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Livalo, Caduet, Simcor, Lescol XL, Dabigatran

Coming Soon: Lower Cholesterol From a Twice-a-Year Shot?

Posted 15 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Nov. 15, 2016 – Instead of popping a pill every day, people might soon control "bad" LDL cholesterol by getting an injection at their doctor's office two or three times a year. Researchers testing a new injectable drug called Inclisiran found it cut LDL cholesterol by half or more. According to early clinical trial data, the effect could last for four to six months. Inclisiran produced "significant and durable reductions in LDL cholesterol, and thus could potentially impact cardiovascular events," said study presenter Dr. Kausik Ray, a professor of public health at Imperial College London in England. Such long-lasting effects could provide a major advance in preventing heart disease, heart attack and stroke, by helping reduce hardening of the arteries, the researchers said. The trial results were presented Tuesday at the American Heart Association annual meeting in New ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Lovastatin, Zocor, Rosuvastatin, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Hypertriglyceridemia, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Livalo, High Cholesterol - Familial Homozygous, Repatha, Caduet, Amlodipine/Atorvastatin, Lescol XL, Hyperlipoproteinemia

High-Dose Statins Boost Survival: Study

Posted 9 Nov 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 9, 2016 – Higher doses of the cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins appear to boost survival slightly for certain people, a large new study reports. The study followed more than 509,000 patients with various forms of cardiovascular disease. The researchers found that survival increased by 9 percent when people took high versus moderate doses of statin for a little over a year. High doses – also called high-intensity statin therapy – included 40 to 80 milligrams (mg) of atorvastatin (Lipitor) or 20 to 40 mg of rosuvastatin (Crestor) daily. Examples of moderate doses include 10 to 20 mg of Lipitor and 5 to 10 mg of Crestor, the study reported. Unlike some previous studies, this study included adults over age 75. The study showed that people over 75 also have a survival benefit with high doses compared to moderate doses, said study author Dr. Fatima Rodriguez. ... Read more

Related support groups: Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Lovastatin, Zocor, Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Livalo, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Caduet, Lescol XL, Amlodipine/Atorvastatin, Lescol, Mevacor, Liptruzet, Atorvastatin/Ezetimibe

Are There Alternatives to Statins?

Posted 27 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 27, 2016 – Statins are the go-to therapy for lowering "bad" LDL cholesterol, but other treatments also can effectively reduce risk of future heart problems, a new evidence review reports. These alternative therapies – including a heart-healthy diet, other cholesterol-lowering medications, and even intestinal bypass surgery – seem to confer the same level of heart health protection as statins when cholesterol levels decrease, according to the findings. Nonstatin therapies reduced the risk of heart problems by 25 percent for each 1 millimole per liter (mmol/L) decrease in LDL cholesterol levels. That's very similar to the 23 percent reduction per 1 mmol/L decrease seen with statins like atorvastatin (Lipitor) and simvastatin (Zocor), the researchers said. What's more, the benefits of these therapies stack up if more than one proves effective at lowering a person's ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Welchol, Cholestyramine, Lovastatin, Zocor, Zetia, Rosuvastatin, High Cholesterol - Familial Heterozygous, Vytorin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Gastric Bypass Surgery, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Questran, Livalo

Just a Little of Statins' Effect Enough to Help Heart: Study

Posted 20 Jun 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 20, 2016 – Giving high doses of statins to patients with heart disease doesn't lower the risk of future heart trouble any more than moderate doses of the cholesterol-lowering drugs do, a new study finds. Having heart disease raises the risk of heart attack and stroke, as blood vessels become clogged and cut the normal flow of blood and oxygen to the heart. These patients are typically prescribed statins on a long-term basis, to lower levels of vessel-clogging LDL ("bad") cholesterol. But experts remain conflicted about exactly how low LDL cholesterol levels should go. "Our study demonstrates that physicians treating patients with heart disease and elevated levels of cholesterol with statins have to ensure that patients meet a target of less than 100 mg/dL to prevent future [heart] events," said study author Dr. Morton Leibowitz. He is a senior physician with the Clalit ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Lovastatin, Zocor, Rosuvastatin, Vytorin, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease, Livalo, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Caduet, Simcor, Lescol XL, Amlodipine/Atorvastatin, Lescol

Statins Might Not Lower Colon Cancer Risk: Study

Posted 26 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 26, 2016 – Long-term use of cholesterol-lowering statins does not appear to reduce the risk of colon cancer, but a person's cholesterol levels might affect risk, a new study suggests. Both statins and cholesterol levels have been linked with lower colon cancer risk, but pinpointing which one is actually responsible has been difficult, the University of Pennsylvania researchers explained. So, they compared statin use and cholesterol levels in more than 22,000 British patients with colon cancer and more than 86,500 without the disease. The results confirmed findings from previous studies that showed a lower risk of colon cancer in people who take statins. But the risk was not significantly different between people who kept taking statins and those who stopped taking the drugs. Instead, the higher the cholesterol level, the lower the colon cancer risk for patients, ... Read more

Related support groups: High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Colonoscopy, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Colorectal Cancer, Lovastatin, Zocor, Rosuvastatin, Vytorin, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Livalo, Caduet, Simcor, Amlodipine/Atorvastatin, Lescol XL, Lescol

Negative News on Statins Tied to Dropped Prescriptions

Posted 2 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2, 2015 – News reports on the downsides of statins may push some people to stop taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs, a new study hints. The findings, published Dec. 2 in the European Heart Journal, cannot prove that media stories drive statin users to give up their prescriptions. Instead, Danish researchers found a broad correlation between "negative" media coverage and people's odds of quitting a statin within six months of their first prescription. But even without a clear cause-and-effect connection, experts said it's reasonable to assume that media stories had an influence over some statin users in the study. It rings true to Dr. Thomas Whayne Jr., of the Gill Heart Institute at the University of Kentucky. "I've seen this happen a lot," said Whayne, who was not involved in the study. "News stories come out, and you have patients saying, 'I'm not going to take ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Muscle Pain, Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Lovastatin, Zocor, Pre-Diabetes, Zetia, Rosuvastatin, Vytorin, Hypertriglyceridemia, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Livalo, Repatha

Statins Might Reduce Complications After Major Lung Surgery

Posted 26 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, June 26, 2015 – Widely used cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins might help reduce major complications after lung surgery, new research suggests. Statins have been linked to fewer complications after heart surgery, and researchers at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City theorized they might also benefit patients undergoing major lung surgery. The researchers randomly assigned more than 160 study participants to receive the statin Lipitor (atorvastatin) or an inactive placebo before and after lung resection – removal of part of the lung. Complications – such as pneumonia, heart attack and acute respiratory failure – were reported in 22 percent of patients receiving placebo, compared with 12 percent taking statins. Statins were also linked to a nearly 50 percent reduction in post-surgery rates of atrial fibrillation (abnormal heart rhythm), the ... Read more

Related support groups: Surgery, Atrial Fibrillation, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Lovastatin, Zocor, Rosuvastatin, Red Yeast Rice, Pravachol, Livalo, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction, Caduet, Amlodipine/Atorvastatin, Lescol XL, Lescol, Mevacor, Pitavastatin

One-Third of Americans Have Dangerous Mix of Heart Risk Factors

Posted 19 May 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, May 19, 2015 – More than one-third of U.S. adults have a combination of health problems collectively known as metabolic syndrome that increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes, according to new research. What's worse, the researchers found the rate of metabolic syndrome increases dramatically with age. Almost half of people 60 or older in the United States have metabolic syndrome, the study found. "That's concerning, because we know the population of the U.S. is aging," said senior author Dr. Robert Wong, an assistant clinical professor at University of California, San Francisco. "I think it will potentially place a huge burden on our health care system." Metabolic syndrome is a "perfect storm" of conditions that include high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol levels, increased levels of blood sugar, and a wider waist circumference, Wong said. Medical experts are ... Read more

Related support groups: High Blood Pressure, Diabetes, Type 2, Hypertension, Heart Disease, High Cholesterol, Lipitor, Simvastatin, Atorvastatin, Crestor, Pravastatin, Angina, Niacin, Insulin Resistance, Niaspan, Lovastatin, Zocor, Pre-Diabetes, Rosuvastatin, Vytorin, Hypertriglyceridemia

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