Lipitor side effects and benefit of medication
July 12, 2014 by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

 

Lipitor is in a class of medications called HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins). It works by slowing the production of cholesterol in the body but there are many natural and safer ways to lower cholesterol in the blood. Buildup of cholesterol and fats along the walls of the blood vessels (a process known as atherosclerosis) decreases blood flow and, therefore, the oxygen supply to the heart, brain, and other parts of the body. Lowering blood levels of cholesterol and fats may help to prevent heart disease, angina (chest pain), strokes, and heart attacks.  Lipitor is used with diet changes (restriction of cholesterol and fat intake) to reduce the amount of cholesterol and certain fatty substances in the blood. Lipitor is made by Pfizer. Lipitor is the world's biggest-selling medicine but it loses U.S. patent protection in 2011. Lipitor had $13 billion in 2006 sales. There is no doubt that Lipitor medication use lowers cholesterol levels. What is in question is whether the use of Lipitor decreases mortality or increases longevity. Sometimes a drug can be shown to lower cholesterol and lower the risk of stroke and heart attack, but the overall mortality rate could be the same or even higher on the drug, hence why take the drug, in this case Lipitor, in the first place. Plus, Lipitor is very expensive and many people have side effects.

 

Lipitor does not reduce cardiovascular risk in those with diabetes

Efficacy and safety of Lipitor in the prevention of cardiovascular end points in subjects with type 2 diabetes: the Lipitor Study for Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease Endpoints in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (ASPEN).
Diabetes Care. 2006.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of 10 mg of Lipitor versus placebo on cardiovascular disease prevention in subjects with type 2 diabetes and LDL cholesterol levels below contemporary guideline targets. Subjects were randomly assigned to receive 10 mg of Lipitor or placebo in a 4-year, double-blind, parallel-group study. The composite primary end point comprised cardiovascular death, nonfatal myocardial infarction, nonfatal stroke, recanalization, coronary artery bypass surgery, resuscitated cardiac arrest, and worsening or unstable angina requiring hospitalization. Composite end point reductions were not statistically significant. This result may relate to the overall study design, the types of subjects recruited, the nature of the primary end point, and the protocol changes required because of changing treatment guidelines. For these reasons, the results of the Lipitor Study for Prevention of Coronary Heart Disease Endpoints in Non-Insulin-Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (ASPEN) did not confirm the benefit of therapy.

 

Lipitor medication does not help aortic stenosis

The popular cholesterol-reducing drug Lipitor made by Pfizer does not prevent obstruction of the heart valve that leads to the aorta, the body's largest artery, according to June 2005 findings published in The New England Journal of Medicine. In a study conducted to determine whether the cholesterol drug Lipitor did more than just reduce cholesterol, doctors found that Lipitor medication failed to prevent obstructions that can keep the heart from pumping blood adequately. The condition, known as calcified aortic stenosis, occurs when a key heart valve narrows or becomes blocked, preventing the heart from pumping blood properly and can manifest itself in spite of reductions of cholesterol levels.

 

FDA expands use
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved expanded use of Pfizer Inc's cholesterol lowering medicine Lipitor by five new categories, including one to reduce the risk of non-fatal heart attacks and strokes. The expanded label for the world's top-selling prescription drug will also now include its approval for use in reducing the risks of certain types of heart surgery, hospitalization for heart failure, and chest pain in patients with heart disease. Pfizer said Lipitor is the first cholesterol-lowering drug to win approval for reducing risk of hospitalization for heart failure.
   Comments: There is still no evidence that Lipitor use decreases overall mortality, or whether a simple supplement such as psyllium could be as helpful, cheaper, and with fewer side effects.

 

Lipitor and fish oils
Factorial study of the effect of n-3 fatty acid supplementation and Lipitor on the kinetics of HDL apolipoproteins A-I and A-II in men with abdominal obesity.Am J Clin Nutr. 2006.Disturbed HDL metabolism in insulin-resistant, obese subjects may account for an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Fish oils and Lipitor increase plasma HDL cholesterol, but the underlying mechanisms responsible for this change are not fully understood. We studied the independent and combined effects of fish oils and Lipitor on the metabolism of HDL apolipoprotein A-I (apo A-I) and HDL apo A-II in obese men.CONCLUSIONS: Fish oils, but not Lipitor, influence HDL metabolism chiefly by decreasing both the catabolism and production of HDL apo A-I and HDL apo A-II in insulin-resistant obese men. Addition of Lipitor to treatment with fish oils had no additional effect on HDL kinetics compared with fish oils alone.

 

Lipitor side effects, lawsuit 2006 - Two men who believe they suffered lasting damage from the popular anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor are suing Pfizer Inc., claiming the pharmaceutical company didn’t issue adequate warnings about potential Lipitor side effects. Charles M. Wilson, a former insurance executive from Atlanta, and Michael Mazzariello, an attorney from New York City, said in separate lawsuits that they began experiencing Lipitor side effects of debilitating pain, weakness and memory problems. “It ruined my life,” said Mazzariello, 47. He said that within weeks of going on the medication, he couldn’t walk without a cane, tend his garden or lift his 1-year-old child. Mazzariello said the Lipitor side effect symptoms subsided once he stopped taking the medication, but he still suffers from pain, fatigue and a tingling sensation in his hands and feet. Wilson, 67, of Atlanta, said he suffered from neuropathy, a nervous system disease that disrupts muscle control. Lipitor, a type of statin, is the top-selling medication in the world and brings in more than $12 billion a year for Pfizer.

 

As more people take Lipitor for prolonged periods, we are likely to come across additional adverse effects. In the meantime, these are some potential problems that could occur:
Body as a Whole: Chest pain, malaise, photosensitivity reaction, generalized edema, anemia, blood cell abnormalities.
Musculoskeletal System Lipitor side effects : Vague muscle and joint aches, arthritis, leg cramps, bursitis, myositis.
Digestive System: Nausea, abnormal liver function tests, colitis, gastritis, dry mouth, esophagitis, glossitis, anorexia, increased appetite, pancreatitis, cholestatic jaundice.
Respiratory System: Rhinitis, dyspnea, and asthma.
Nervous System and brain: Insomnia, dizziness, paresthesia, sleepiness, amnesia, decreased libido, emotional lability, peripheral neuropathy, and depression.
   Eur J Pharmacol. 2014 Jan 15. Effects of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors on learning and memory in the guinea pig. Statins reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease in millions of people worldwide. Recent pharmacovigilance data has suggested that people taking statins have an increased risk of psychiatric adverse events such as amnesia and anxiety. This study aimed to investigate the possibility of statin-induced amnesia through animal models of memory and learning. The deficits observed in our experiments in water maze performance and hippocampal LTP are suggestive of statin induced changes in hippocampal plasticity. The effects on LTP are independent of cholesterol regulation, and occur at concentrations that may be relevant to clinical use. Our results may help to explain some of the behavioural changes reported in some people after beginning statin treatment.
Skin and Appendages: Pruritus, contact dermatitis, alopecia, dry skin, sweating, urticaria, and eczema.
   Testimonial: I have been taking Lipitor, 10 mg. daily for a little over a year now. Iam 55 and post menopausal. I am taking Lipitor obviously to lower mycholesterol in conjunction with plaque build up in Carotid - mild to moderate.My problem is that I didn't realize it til recently but I have had significanthair loss. I really think this is more related to Lipitor ( I take the generic) rather than to menopause. I have read that is a common side effect that ispurposely omitted by the manufacturer. Is this true and is hair loss a common complaint?
Urogenital System: Urinary frequency, hematuria, impotence, dysuria, kidney calculus, nocturia, fibrocystic breast, breast enlargement, metrorrhagia, nephritis, urinary incontinence, urinary retention, abnormal ejaculation.
Special Senses: Amblyopia, tinnitus, dry eyes, refraction disorder, deafness, glaucoma, taste loss.
Cardiovascular System: Palpitation, syncope, migraine, postural hypotension, arrhythmia, angina pectoris, hypertension.
Metabolic and Nutritional Disorders: Peripheral edema, hyperglycemia, creatine phosphokinase increased, gout, weight gain, hypoglycemia.

 

2009 - I have just spent a 2 week stay in the hospital with inflamed pancreatitis. No apparent cause was found for the attack. I do not have my gall bladder nor am I a drinker. I do however take Lipitor. I have been on the drug for almost ten years. My doctor said they could not find the reason for this most painful attack. After reading your site I am convinced the attack was cause by Lipitor. I suffered 3 weeks with the pain with 2 of the weeks in the hospital. I loved your site and found it very informative.


Testimonial June 2014
I found your website while researching the possible side effects of Lipitor. I was prescribed it approximately 2 years ago to keep my cholesterol levels in check. After 18 months of insomnia and extremely painful night hand cramps, I took myself off it. These problems have since improved. Although they haven't entirely gone away. I have quadriplegic cerebal palsy. In 1998 I developed irritable bowel syndrome . In August last year, a month before I came off Lipitor my IBS became really bad. 8 months later I find it difficult to leave the house. Due to this and the huge anxiety I now feel because of it. I am seeing a specialist team at the hospital. I note from your website, that other people have reported suffering from IBS and anxiety. I now wonder if the Lipitor could be responsible for my now severe IBS and anxiety.
 

Questions
Q. You can add me to the list of leg muscle pain taking Lipitor drug. I took it for 2 yrs and stopped 3 months ago.
 

Q. I have been taking a lot of these drugs. Liptor, and 3 more, I have muscles discomfort, leg cramps, finger draws real bad, my legs get weak, muscle draws in legs, head hurts, back hurts all the time. Actos doesn't help my sugar at all.
 

Q. In a newsletter you mentioned Dr.  Robert Jarvik was promoting Lipitor drug in TV ads. Dr. Robert Jarvik is promoting it because Pfizer paid him over a million dollars to do so. It is quite sad that money had this effect on people.

Q. I am 67 years old and have been on Lipitor drug for 10 years. I do not see any side effects of it endangering my health at this time.
 

Q. Within 3 days of stopping Lipitor, the pain in my legs went away. I had been on it for 18 months, and the pains started a few months ago. My doctor did not tell me that the Lipitor could cause muscle aches. I had not been walking for the past few months because of aches in muscles and joints and I thought it was due to possible onset of arthritis.
 

Q. Thanks for your frank and true appraisals. My wife is on Lipitor and I trepidate. We eat healthy already. She experienced chest -pains (not into arm or leg); cardiac cath, x-ray, and CT scan eliminated cardiac causes. She does have minor blockage, hence continued Lipitor. How do we turn to more fish etc. to reduce cholesterol (which in her case is good -- I think 68) without incurring the wrath of the cardiologist? How do we deal with the gas reportedly caused by psyllium? And do you have tho'ts about chelation, oral or intra-venal?
   A. We can only refer you to general info we have on our website on psyllium and cholesterol. I am not too familiar with chelation.
 

Q.  Is Red Yeast Rice compatible with Lipitor or do I have to choose one or the other. If it is compatible - can I reduce my dose of Lipitor and add Red Yeast Rice?
   A. First, it is important to address all the issues with high cholesterol such as diet, exercise, etc before resorting to a supplement such as red yeast rice an particularly a stating drug such as Lipitor. If the level of cholesterol is mild or moderate, then it would be worthwhile to just use red yeast rice or other natural options for a few months to see how the cholesterol level does. Only after this trial does not succeed, and cholesterol levels are very high, then it would be appropriate to take a statin drug such as Lipitor. It would be best not to combine Lipitor and red yeast rice since we don't know what kind of side effects would arise. Red yeast rice may also cause muscle tissue damage in high doses.

Q. My husband has high cholesterol levels (about 235) and has been prescribed Lipitor 10mg. It has been brought down now to 201. We also heard about the benefits of Ayurvedic medicines on cholesterol and would like to start on Ayurvedic medicines too. Please advise us if there is any side effect if he takes Lipitor as well as the ayurvedic medicines simultaneously.
   A. No research is available regarding the combination of Lipitor and Ayurvedic herbs. Hence, we don't know what the combinations would do. You may consider reading about other options for cholesterol reduction besides using LIpitor.
 

Q. I am 70 and reading Mind Boosting Secrets and now note the need for cholesterol in my brain. I had a nonconfirmed TIA but I have passed all non-invasive heart related tests and do not have any significant plaque build up according to my heart doctor but the he is trying to lower my LDL to 65. I am at LDL of 80 and HDL of 47now. I have been concerned about continuing on large doses of Lipitor and the potential effect on the liver and now the brain.
 

Q. I stopped taking the drug over a year ago due to adverse effects. My bones used to hurt so bad, anywhere where a joint could be found wrist, ankle, knee, elbow. My numbers are still elevated (245,  60 hdl,140 ldl), i've incorporated policosanol  with coq10, eat lots of fish from the fresh market (sauteed in onions), take spirulina and kelp (good for the type o diet), i wish i could get to the gym more often.
 

Q. I have been on Lipitor for about 6 months and I feel terrible. I am swelling up like a balloon, my muscles hurt, I have crushing pains in my calves, my fingers ache if I carry something for more then a second. I stopped taking the Lipitor last night and I am hoping that I will feel better asap. Does vitamin c help lower cholesterol? I feel like sueing that
Lipitor company for making such a terrible medication.
 

Q. I want to say thank you for posting the possible side effects of Lipitor. You do so in a manner that was unbiased and very professional. My father took Lipitor, after trying several other statin drugs, to lower his cholesterol. He took Lipitor for several years. He now suffers from pancreatitis; which is attributed, by the attending physician's notes and verbally, to my father, to the drug Lipitor. He now suffers with this pancreatitis disorder and must monitor his diet closely. It is inexcusable that he was not forewarned of the possibilty of developing such a chronic illness. My father does not consume alcohol and Lipitor is the reason he has chronic pancreatitis. He recently retired, at age 70 and despite having bypass surgery aproximately 15 years ago, he is a basically healthy man; other than this horrible pancreatitis. My personal opinion, being one who has high cholesterol (genetic), I have elected to avoid Lipitor and statins. I am 45 years old and although I don't want to have a heart attack, I am of the opinion that it would be much easier to contend with blocked arteries (IF it ever happens) than to try and replace my liver or pancreas! On a clinical note, I believe that studies conducted to validate the true relevance of cholesterol and coronary artery disease, are in fact, biased and based at times, on dated information. The control groups used, post by-pass surgery, from the studies I have read, were mostly male and most of them smokers. Some of the studies linking cholesterol to blockages goes back as far as the early 1970s! Polycosanol, I have found, is effective and actually makes one feel better i.e., increase in energy. Although it may not be as effective as statins, (although it is a rice wax derivative and similar in nature, or am I wrong in this assumption?) I would rather take policosanol in order to lower my cholesterol. However, is cholesterol truly a major contributor to heart disease; or is it part of pharmaceutical hype and "cholesterol scare?" With that said, thanks for sharing information about alternatives to some of these debilitating statin drugs, as well as a fair and unbiased look at the medications and their side effects. Generally, all one hears from a physician or expensive commercial is regarding muscle weakness, leg cramping, and fatigue. Have a great day! I'm glad I stumbled onto your site! I will forward your link to people who are seeking alternative remedies.
   A. Thank you so much for your report on Lipitor side effect of pancreatitis. There are many alternatives to maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and the majority of people who are placed on Lipitor could possibly do as well or better on natural dietary intervention and supplements. High cholesterol level in blood is related to heart disease, but whether lowering cholesterol level with Lipitor or another statin helps increase lifespan has not been proven.

 

Q. Does Lipitor cause memory loss or Alzheimer's? The dosage that my father is on is 40 mg a day and it seems he is having memory loss lately. He started the Lipitor a year ago.
   A. We have not seen any direct studies linking Lipitor to Alzheimer's disease, however, since Lipitor and statin drugs alter the formation of cholesterol, and cholesterol is the substance from which neurosteroids are made from, and since neurosteroids are involved with memory, there may be a reasonable explanation why Lipitor could cause memory loss.

 

Q. I enjoyed reading your take on Lipitor and pancreatitis. My husband was just in the hospital for pancreatitis and
they said because he is taking only 5 mg Lipitor a day that it is not from the Lipitor. He has been on this drug now for a couple years and I see a lot of signs from this drug (even though he nor the docs. think so). I am glad to know you are Armenian, so is my husband and maybe he will listen to you. You give great advise. I think all MD's need to be educated about nutrition and alternative therapies.

 

My husband has taken Lipitor for 5 years. He is impotent 5yrs now he's so frustrated but his cholestrol, triglycerides, are terrific. Impotence is so bad Viagra wont work.

 

Q. After taking Lipitor [a statin drug used for cholesterol lowering] for  2  years, without forewarning, I experienced very heavy and sore calf muscles in both legs along with a very fatigued feeling all over, particularly my legs and arms. At the ER they suspected peripheral artery disease, but tests ruled that out. The ER doctor told me to stop taking Lipitor. After taking over $30,000 worth of tests, including a complete vascular study with heart catheterization, two neurological studies, and four MRIs, no one had any answers except to wait several months to be accepted into a medical college study plan. In the meantime, I was unable to walk over 150 feet without a 3-wheeled walker. I used a wheel chair for longer adventures. This experience has been very traumatic for me and my family.
   A. When I get emails such as the above, it reinforces my dedication to provide alternative options to prescription drugs. There are many medical conditions, particularly for the treatment of infections or for pain relief, where only a pharmaceutical drug is helpful and necessary, but there are countless other diseases where natural alternatives are not only safer, but as, or more effective.    I wonder if the simple use of CoQ10, which has been found to be depleted in those who take statin drugs, could have prevented the Lipitor side effects, or at least reduced the severity. Have you recovered?
      Q. I figured out quickly what was going on and stopped the Lipitor drug. I recovered totally. Thanks. I do want to mention that I have fibromyalgia, and I have never yet met a patient with fibromyalgia who could tolerate statins.
BTW, my lipids are now almost as much improved as they were on Lipitor, just from taking Neptune Krill Oil 3 times daily. Fish oil just made my LDL even worse, but NKO is great..... and no reflux!

 

Q.  In a recent posting, you wondered whether the questioner would have developed the muscle pain problems from his Lipitor if he'd been taking COQ10. I had been taking 200 Mgs. Of COQ10 daily for a couple of years at the time, when I was placed on only 10 mgs. Of Lipitor. I still developed such painful muscles and so much weakness that I could not even walk to the mailbox. So, I am not sure COQ10 would be able to prevent this problem. I figured out quickly what was going on and stopped the Lipitor drug. I recovered totally.

 

Q. I am a healthy 55 yr old woman and have been on the Lipitor medication routine for three months. My joints ache so much, after setting in the evening I get up and walk like I'm 90. I just went off the poison and will let you know. It did lower my cholesterol to 210 but at a scary cost.

 

Q. I, too, was taking Lipitor and now have chronic pancreatitis. The doctors don't know for sure if the Lipitor caused it, but it is the chief suspicion. I am a nondrinker, 39 years old and was healthy until the pancreatitis. I am now having to consider disability retirement. Is there any safer drug I could take for my high cholesterol? My cholesterol level was already 263 about 6 weeks off Lipitor and my diet was completely fat free due to the pancreatitis. That was in November, 2007 and I dread to know what my cholesterol is now. My high cholesterol is hereditary and many people in my family have died young because of it so I don't think ignoring it is the best idea either.
   A. You may consider some of the options listed on the cholesterol page.

 

Q. Is there a danger taking Lipitor and Cholestasys together. I understand guggul gum may pose a threat.
   A. I am not familiar with the Cholestasys product and am not aware of any studies that have used a combination of Lipitor or another statin drug together with Cholestasys. I am also not aware of human studies combining a statin drug or LIpitor with guggul.

 

Q. My father has always been healthy and hardworking. He lives alone in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and cuts 20 cords of firewood every summer, shovels the snow in his 100 foot driveway by hand every winter. After a mild heart attack in 2004 his cholesterol went from 219 down to 45 with the help of Lipitor. He turned 80 in 2007 and has been taking Lipitor for the last four years at 80 mg per day. Up until 2 months ago my father was extremely healthy and as his doctor said a poster child for Lipitor. This winter he experienced an unusual number of snow storms and had to shovel over 12 feet of snow for 45 days straight. He complained of soreness and pain in his left shoulder and legs. He and I thought it was due to all the snow shoveling. But after a couple weeks with no reduction in soreness or pain we started to research other causes. Since this is a classic side effect of Lipitor we checked that first. Our research leads us to believe that Lipitor has damaged the myelin sheath of his nerves. With his doctor’s approval he has quit taking Lipitor three weeks ago. Our research also uncovered the CoQ10 supplement and recommendations for it’s use when taking statin type drugs. Of course his doctors have run all the normal tests and found nothing and have no recommendations. Three days ago he started taking 100mg of CoQ10 enzyme hoping that will reduce or eliminate the soreness and pain.

 

Q. On Father's Day, my daughter's father-in-law passed away from acute pancreatitis and peritonitis. He was on Lipitor and I wonder if Lipitor could have caused this. He was taking Lipitor. He was a healthy man of 65 when he suddenly became ill with abdominal pain and was admitted to the hospital. For 4 months doctors were baffled as to the cause of this acute pancreatitis and peritonitis. Let me say that he was not a drinker. He might have had 1 or 2 drinks a week, at most. His kidneys shut down and he suffered the loss o f most of his liver. I have been reading the side effects of Lipitor, and now wonder if his death was caused by Lipitor.
   A. This is quite sad. Not knowing the full details and medical exam it is not possible to say for sure the Lipitor was the cause of the condition, but statins can cause pancreatitis.

 

Q. I spend a lot of time reviewing the very valuable information on your website. Recently, I was diagnosed with pancreatitis after suffering a severe, acute attack and landing in the hospital for 3 days. During that time, I was permitted nothing by mouth (for 2 days) and given all sorts of blood tests plus a CT scan and an MRI. The blood work revealed the pancreatitis but the radiology scans showed no apparent cause. I questioned every doctor I saw (two attendings, a surgeon, and GI specialist) and they all said that medications can cause pancreatitis but I wasn't on any that appeared to be problematic. My own family doctor said the same thing. It was my wife's physiatrist (whom she sees for fibromyalgia) that asked if I was taking Lipitor. When she told him I was, he told her that Lipitor can cause pancreatitis. That's when my research began (which eventually led me to your site). I am 41 years old and have been taking Lipitor for nearly 10 years. During that 10-year period, I have developed diabetes, high blood pressure, and irritable bowel syndrome. I have never smoked in my life and drink alcohol very rarely (1 or 2 small drinks of amaretto every
couple of months). Since coming home from the hospital, I resumed taking all of my meds except Lipitor. On the two occasions when I did take Lipitor, I became very sick--nausea and abdominal pain just like the attack that landed me in the hospital, only these attacks were a "little" more mild. I am convinced that the pancreatitis was caused by long-term use of Lipitor as the doctors can offer no other explanation. I am now scheduled for an ERCP procedure to see if a different GI specialist can determine the
cause of the pancreatitis and the extent of damage to the pancreas and ducts. Now that I have stopped the Lipitor, my blood sugar is under greater control than ever before, I have ten times the energy I had even six months ago, my IBS has improved significantly, and even my blood pressure has been better. Unfortunately, as I have been told by the GI specialist, if the pancreas is indeed damaged, the damage is permanent.

 

Q. I want to try Diet Rx but noticed that it had grapefruit seed extract in it. I also take Lipitor (10 mg daily) which you are not supposed to take grapefruit with. Is the grapefruit extract in the Diet Rx safe to take with Lipitor?
   A. The amount of grapefruit seed extract in Diet Rx is very small and should not interfere with the LIpitor but the final decision as to the use of this product together with the statin medication rests with your doctor. When a person eats less as a result of using Diet Rx, their cholesterol level may drop and thus it is possible the dosage of Lipitor could be reduced.

 

I have just started to see a chiropractor because of the severe pain I am having in my hips and legs. I can't sit anywhere in comfort and when I get up I am stiff and it's difficult to walk. Alot of pain. His first reaction was that it is the 10mg Lipitor that I have been taking for at least 3 years. I have stopped taking it and will probably go to Vitamin C. What I want to know is how long before the joint pain and all that goes away or subsides? I am at 3 weeks now with no relief. I have started taking CoQ10 to see if that helps.
    Each person is different in their response to the withdrawal but, as a general rule, most people find their aches and pains, if due to the Lipitor, subside in a few weeks.

 

Thank you for this site about Lipitor and its effects on the body. I just learned from my own research today, that I definitely have MYOSITIS. The pain I have had for the past ten plus years has been incredibly hard to endure and has rapidly increased. Today I have pain so badly that I wanted to die. I went on line to try and find someone who was going through what I was going through. While on line I read an article about the side effects of Lipitor and then read about the disease. I Googled the two words together and read and read all I could about it from all the hits. I am certain of my own self diagnosis at this point, and I am ready to comfront my doctor this week with my own evaluation. I am going to demand that blood tests be done and that all tests as to the current condition of my muscles be taken. I want to make sure I nave not damanged any of them, especially my heart muscle. The next step I am going to take is tomorrow morning. I will stop "cold turkey" the Lipitor pill which I took this morning, and which I have been taking for many years. And the third thing I am going to do is try to calm down. Because I need to rid myself of this anger I now feel. If this isn't a cover up somewhere, than darn it, why the ignorance? Why have our own internal medicine physicians not become more aware of these side effects that cause horrendously painful and dangerous muscle pain and muscle degeneration side effects in their patients on this cholesterol drug.