Naked Science Forum

Life Sciences => Physiology & Medicine => Topic started by: JimBob on 07/07/2007 14:18:35

Title: Lipitor [Statins] - Are they useful or worth the risks ????
Post by: JimBob on 07/07/2007 14:18:35
Why statins if they do not significantly reduce risks of heart disease? AND, why are they prescribed if concomitant risk factors are so counter-indicated?

From the Lipitor PDF file on-line (Test group of 10305 individuals total)

"LIPITOR significantly reduced the rate of coronary events [either fatal coronary heart
disease (46 events in the placebo group vs 40 events in the LIPITOR group) or nonfatal
MI (108 events in the placebo group vs 60 events in the LIPITOR group)] with a
relative risk reduction of 36% [(based on incidences of 1.9% for LIPITOR vs 3.0% for
placebo), p=0.0005 (see Figure 1)]. The risk reduction was consistent regardless of age,
smoking status, obesity or presence of renal dysfunction. The effect of LIPITOR was
seen regardless of baseline LDL levels. Due to the small number of events, results for
women were inconclusive."

Relative Risk Reduction figures are correct. BUT the absolute risk reduction is statistically insignificant. Of 10,305 people in the study, there were 144 total cardiac events - 144 with placebo and 106 with Lipitor. A difference of 38 people in 10,305 or 0.36875303250849102377486656962639 %. That is just not a good rate of return on the use of Lipitor. It isn't even statistically significant.

ALSO - risk factors for administration of the drug are warned against in the prescribing information (??? - make sense ???):

"Atorvastatin therapy should be temporarily withheld or discontinued in any patient
with an acute, serious condition suggestive of a myopathy or having a risk factor
predisposing to the development of renal failure secondary to rhabdomyolysis (eg,
severe acute infection, hypotension, major surgery, trauma, severe metabolic,
endocrine and electrolyte disorders, and uncontrolled seizures)."

rhabdomyolysis - The destruction of skeletal muscle cells. Often the result of electrical injury, alcoholism, injury (or laying in one position for an extended period of time), drug side effects or toxins. from Centre for Cancer Education, University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Rhabdomyolysis is a usual result of Lipitor therapy, causing the muscular myopothy in serious cases. It is my understanding that this occurs to a greater or lesser degree in all who take the drug.


Pfizer-ParkDavis has this (scan below) in the extremely fine print on the insert that comes with the medication to the pharmacy.


See last sentence


I expect a new member to join who will post, say how good statins are and how bad cholesterol is. That person will be a drug company shill, since I have used a trademarked name.

The subject of the deleterious effects of cholesterol is a whole other can of worms. It isn't a bad thing - the body must have it to function properly (digest food, build muscle and connective tissue[statins interfere with this - see "rhabdomyolysis," above], etc.)

Title: Lipitor [Statins] - Are they useful or worth the risks ????
Post by: DoctorBeaver on 07/07/2007 16:36:58
My best friend's nan is on that stuff.