Has anyone else stopped taking a dail... - British Heart Fou...

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Has anyone else stopped taking a daily statin?

Denis1950 profile image
120 Replies

Hi everyone, I'm wondering if I'm alone in deciding that I no longer wish to continue taking statins? I'm into my ninth week of recovery following Bypass Surgery. I'm extremely aware that compared to a lot of people who have found themselves in my situation I'm blessed. The only fly in the ointment are the side effects brought on by the daily medication regime that everyone has to endure following Bypass surgery. In an effort to mitigate those side effects I managed to get a telephone appointment with my GP to see if there was any chance that I could reduce the amount of medications I was on. He was more than helpful and seemed to be well clued up on why it was vital that I continued to take a daily dose of Lansoprazole + Clopidgrel + Ramipril + Bisoprolol + Aspirin and put up with the upset stomach etc. The only disagreement we had was with regard to the 40mg of Avarvstatin that I'd been taking of an evening. I felt that that daily dose was contributing to my symptoms and I could drop it without short term consequences. However, I'm no fool and I know that Statins will definitely reduce the potential risk of plaque building up going forward and blocking my Arteries. But, I can't come to terms with taking something that is preventing my liver from functioning as it should and producing enough Cholesterol to satisfy my bodies needs. As you can imagine I've had a few sleepless nights mulling over this dilemma and I'm wondering 🤔 if I'm alone?

120 Replies
Thatwasunexpected profile image
Thatwasunexpected

Honestly, no.

I'm now off all of my meds post heart attack EXCEPT aspirin and the statin.

Many of the side effects that are commonly ascribed to them are actually effects of the underlying condition - people too easily forget they've just had a major medical event and assume that any new effects "must be the meds" rather than anything to do with the massive shock their body's been through.

Which is a bit like having a car crash then deciding that the foot you lost under the dashboard "must be from the painkillers".

The thing with cholesterol levels is, the damage they're doing is silent until it's too late. So people are happy to assume it's all under control until that next bit of freshly made plaque ruptures....

As for "your daily needs", your daily need for LDL is almost nil and that's what statins reduce (but not to zero). What your body DOES need is HDL cholesterol and statins actually tend to INCREASE those.

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to Thatwasunexpected

Hi thanks for your reply, sadly I've been advised that beta Blockers are for life which is standard practice following Bypass surgery so there's no chance I can drop down to a daily Asprin + a statin. I'm pretty sure that the daily dose of Lansoprazole + Clopidgrel is the main culprit of my malaise and not the after effects of my operation. But, they're only necessary for the next 10months once that's over I'll be back to normal. Good luck going forward best regards Denis.

Thatwasunexpected profile image
Thatwasunexpected in reply to Denis1950

I was told the same re beta blockers but was lucky that my clinical outcomes (in terms of blood pressure, heart rates and exercise capacity) convinced them otherwise. Obviously, with a bypass, they might take a lot more convincing!

Certainly, clopidogrel can cause some pretty unpleasant "general sickness" type effects but it IS relatively short term while things settle. Lansoprazol tends to be less troublesome and usually offsets the nastiness of the anti-platelets but (as with any meds) may not agree with everyone.

At 9 weeks past bypass you're really very much in the early days - I know it's "over 2 months" but imagine if you'd been in that car crash I mentioned and had your chest crushed by the steering wheel. You certainly wouldn't expect to be anywhere near fully healed after 2 months!

But that's the level of physical injury you've suffered. In terms of healing time, your body doesn't know, or care, if it was a steering wheel or a surgeon's scalpel doing the damage. It'll take as long as it takes regardless of the cause, but it will get there :)

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to Thatwasunexpected

👍😃

BobbyB1962 profile image
BobbyB1962 in reply to Thatwasunexpected

I had a quadruple bypass last year and the Cardiologist has recently said I can stop taking beta blockers. Obviously it depends very much on our own individual circumstances but shows that you're not necessarily stuck on the likes of Bisoprolol for life 🙂

Thatwasunexpected profile image
Thatwasunexpected in reply to BobbyB1962

Yes, they really have to advise you "for life" to prepare you for the idea. But every patient responds to treatment differently and it's that response that has the final say!

Zbignieva profile image
Zbignieva in reply to Thatwasunexpected

I found I had psychological distress around the idea of being on a drug for life. It was thyroxine when I was quite young but it reminded me I was getting older

Captain_Birdseye profile image
Captain_Birdseye in reply to Zbignieva

My GP when I was 19 told me I'd be on thyroxine "to the grave"... wasn't particularly pleasant.

However, 2 bouts of the virus that shall not be named later and my thyroid is now functioning normally. Go figure 🤷‍♀️

KLH1916 profile image
KLH1916 in reply to Denis1950

I had a cardiac arrest resulting in moderate damage to my heart. Also told I’d be on beta blockers for life. 15 months later my cardiologist cleared me to stop taking them. ‘Long term benefit of taking them any longer would be minimal’ - no longer sleepy, cold and no more runny nose! Have a chat with your cardiologist and read some of the latest research.

Good luck

CyclingTime profile image
CyclingTime in reply to Denis1950

I was taken off and stopped the beta blockers 2.5 months after surgery. Like the chap before I am on aspirin and statins only

ETHEL103 profile image
ETHEL103 in reply to Denis1950

I have taken lansoperazol for 15 years no probs.

Chappychap profile image
Chappychap

Not something I'd ever do, but it's your life Denis so it's absolutely your decision.

The important thing to recognise is that bypass surgery (or stents) don't actually cure us of our atherosclerosis/heart disease. All they can do is (temporarily) relieve the symptoms of angina and buy us a bit of time for medication and life style changes to hopefully slow the inevitable progress of our disease to a crawl.

We're each in charge of our own health and wellbeing, so all anyone can do is wish you luck with the choices you've made.

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to Chappychap

Hi thanks for your reply, I guess I was lucky that I only experienced mild symptoms of Angina this time last year when exercising. Eventually, following a Angiogram I was shocked to find I had a severe stenosis at the top of the LAD and some plaques in the Diagonal Artery but other than that my heart and Arteries were fine. At 72 going on 73 my Cholesterol has always been low and my resting heart rate was in the 60 s ( now mid 50s because of the betablokers) and I've never had high blood pressure. You're probably right re Statins but I'm hoping that my active lifestyle + healthy diet + stress free living will go some way to offset my decision to give stains a miss. Stay well and good luck for the future . Regards, Denis

Chappychap profile image
Chappychap in reply to Denis1950

I'll take one last shot at persuading you to change your mind! Here are two factors that you may not have fully incorporated into your calculations.

Firstly, you said in your original post that you were concerned about the risk of organ damage caused by Statins. The NHS is alive to this risk, as a heart patient you should be offered an annual cardio check up with your GP, that will include a range of blood tests, one of which monitors the risk of medication induced organ damage. So, in the unlikely event that you're one of the tiny minority susceptible to this problem, then your GP will catch the problem at an early stage.

Secondly, the benefits of Stains go beyond simple lipid control. It's a long story but basically some people have plaque that ruptures and causes heart attacks, where as other people have far more serious levels of plaque but it never ruptures and so they get angina rather than heart attacks. In a nutshell these people have a more stable kind of plaque, and Statins (especially when taken in conjunction with Ramipril) helps promote this more stable plaque. As you get older, and the risk of strokes increases exponentially, then this plaque stability becomes even more important.

Just something to chew over. Whatever your decision, good luck with your future health!

Heartifact profile image
Heartifact in reply to Chappychap

So given all this info. If you found that you could no longer exercise because of statin intolerance, are you saying you would continue with the statin regardless?

This is a serious question as for me it’s all well and good if you are someone who does not experience any side effects, but as someone who does, trust me when I say it is very real and is quite a dilemma. So someone arguing their case is bit like someone who smokes telling me it will do me good to start smoking!

MikeBB profile image
MikeBB in reply to Heartifact

I decided the side effects of the various statins I have taken over 25 years didn’t justify the benefits. I no longer wake in the night screaming in pain from leg cramps, I think more clearly and the persistent back trouble I’ve had for 35 years is now just a niggle rather than immobilising me every few months.

And at last count my cholesterol had gone from 5.5 (where its been for all the time on statins) to 8.0. ☹️

This was done in conjunction with my gp. We’re now experimenting with Ezetimbe which is seemingly helpful reduce cholesterol but there is evidence of liver irritation. I’m due another blood test in a few weeks and then we’ll decide what to do.

Personally, I’m not going to take statins. I also accept the risk this adds. For me, the benefits outweigh the risk. Given my family history, with my father dying of a heart attack at about 48, I’m happy to be healthy at 66.

Ultimately, we’re all responsible for our decisions and the choices we make. I make my decisions in conjunction with people I trust to advise me on their specialist subject areas. My gp being one.

Heartifact profile image
Heartifact in reply to MikeBB

Similar to me, my dad died at 42 from a HA and I am in my 60’s, so I’ve beaten him by 20+ years :-)

For me it is not about reducing cholesterol, mine has always been and still is around 3.8 Total and LDL is around 2.0, it’s about the added benefit of the stabilising effect that statins have.

Karabiner profile image
Karabiner in reply to Chappychap

Bang on! I've had three HAs - well two proper ones (STEMIs) and one NSTEMI. The STEMIs were pure random plaque ruptures, the NSTEMi was effectively a very late stent restenosis. All my disease is random plaque ruptures, never ever had an angina attack outside of these events. Ran 1.20 half marathons in my youth, mountaineered all my life.... was all a shock at 44, 53, and 60 when these events popped up. Nonetheless, I DO have high lipid levels, and have taken a statin and asprin since the first event... Would I not take them.... no! Asprin is not only a blood thinner/antiplatelet, it's also got anti-inflammatory properties. Statins reduce lipids like nothing else available. Over the years the cardiologists I've dealt with have varied lots of doses of meds.... (beta blockers esp..) but always insist on Asprin and a Statin.... This is a great book to read.... and the author recommends a daily Asprin and Statin.... and lots of walking.... goodreads.com/en/book/show/...

runforhealth96 profile image
runforhealth96 in reply to Karabiner

That seems like a good read, thank you for posting it up.

runforhealth96 profile image
runforhealth96 in reply to Karabiner

Just to thank you again for that link, I bought the book and am reading it now, it is very interesting indeed.👍

Karabiner profile image
Karabiner in reply to runforhealth96

Great! Hope you enjoy it.

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to Chappychap

Hi Chappychap, when I posted yesterday evening I had no idea people would be so kind as to pass on their knowledge/experience in such a positive manner. Having stopped taking a daily statin a week ago I decided last night to continue taking one. I did take the trouble prior to my post to look into what evidence is available to the average layperson with regard to evidence based medicine on the long term benefits of Lipid therapy and its not exactly clear cut. Thanks so much for your post it has swung me to taking a daily statin despite my misgivings. Best regards, Denis

Zbignieva profile image
Zbignieva in reply to Denis1950

it isn’t the total cholesterol but the LDL that is the issue. If your cholesterol is 3 but your LDL is 2.5, that could be a problem..

If you have a genetic predisposition to high LDL, nothing is going to modify the elevated LDL risk.

There has also been a lot of bad, and frequently very incorrect, press about statins.

I bought into it and ended up with a near miss massive MI.

All with weightlifting and running 4-6 times per week with a diet to support this training.

Chinkoflight profile image
Chinkoflight

Hi, I do understand concern about all the meds and combined side effects. I'm not clear how you know the Atorvastatin is causing symptoms and impacting so much on cholesterol and liver function. Do your blood tests support this assumption? Having had to try and understand cholesterol the system, enzymes, hormones etc is complex and of course before I had to look at this I thought all cholesterol was bad! Your regime is tackling platelet and antiplatelet formation from several angles. Could you consider with your GP going to a lower dose, I believe it can be 10mg? I would be loathe to go against my GP who understands my history.

dunestar profile image
dunestar in reply to Chinkoflight

I was going to reply to Denis 1950 but your reply covers it all. I was taking 40 mg Atorvastatin but noticed on my blood test results that it was pushing my triglycerides below the reference level. We do need some lipids so I was concerned and discussed with the GP who agreed to halve the dose to 20mg.

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to Chinkoflight

Thank you for your reply. When I posted last night I had no idea how helpful everyone would be in passing on their experience re. heart medication. It definitely has given me a great deal to think about and I have decided to persevere with the statins as a necessary evil. Best regards, Denis

Heartifact profile image
Heartifact

I didn’t start on a statin until a few months after my bypass surgery, mostly due to liver function problems post arrest and bypass, before starting them I wasn’t suffering with any muscle aches other than those obviously attributable to the surgery. Within a few weeks of being on them I felt like I was walking in mud and had severe muscle pains that only appeared since being on the statin. I called my GP and told him I was stopping them, he agreed and within a few weeks everything was back to normal, pretty conclusive that it was the statin.

When I saw my cardiologist he was very understanding and whilst he agreed that being able to exercise was more important than taking the statin, he said that he really wanted me on some level of statin and I should try a different statin at the lowest dose and take 1 a week, if I tolerate it then 1 every 5 days with an aim of slowly increasing the frequency to find how much I could (if any) actually tolerate. I haven’t yet tried this but probably will.

Oaks6 profile image
Oaks6 in reply to Heartifact

I took statins for 5 years after having 3 stents before I had muscle weakness. They tried me on a different statin but made no difference. Then they checked my ‘ CK ‘ blood levels and it was so high the doctor thought I might have had a heart attack and told me to go to A&E to get my Troponin levels checked . I didn’t know but you’re supposed to have your ck blood tests ever year if you’re on statins. I’d never been tested before.

They found an alternative that did the same thing as the statin and my levels have dropped. I’m gradually feeling better as time goes on. The levels are still much higher than normal but importantly , dropping.

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to Oaks6

Thank you for your reply and I'm glad to hear that you're condition is on the up. Best 👌 regards, Denis

Heather1957 profile image
Heather1957

Please don't take this the wrong way but 'to Statin' or 'not to Statin' has been done to death on here.

My view is people should do their own research and if they are 'happy' to ignore medical advice and not take the Statin that is your choice.

I have done my own research and was put on Stating in 2012 when I was diagnosed with Diabetes and after a few stops and start I have to take a whopping 80 mgs after finding out that some arteries in my heart were calcified and had to be drilled to fit stents. My cholesterol readings were fine.

You do your research and make your decision for YOU!

Heartifact profile image
Heartifact in reply to Heather1957

If you had read their post you would realise they are not asking the question whether or not to take a statin, but rather asking if anyone else had made the same decision as they have ‘to stop taking a statin’! Quite different.

Heather1957 profile image
Heather1957 in reply to Heartifact

Really? I believe I DID read the question properly and stand by the fact that people should do their own research then reaching their own decision.

Thank you. 😀

Heartifact profile image
Heartifact in reply to Heather1957

Specsavers are closed unfortunately

Heather1957 profile image
Heather1957 in reply to Heartifact

What is unfortunate is that there are shops for people who need glasses but not for people who are just rude.

Goodnight! 😘

Heartifact profile image
Heartifact in reply to Heather1957

I never said you where rude? But if the cap fits I can recommend a shop :-)

Zbignieva profile image
Zbignieva in reply to Heather1957

This is partially a response to the ‘experts’ in quotations further down this thread from Heather.

The vast majority of people haven’t had the education or training to do their own research into scientific papers or reviews in the same way the experts have.

This isn’t like booking a holiday or buying a new hoover.

People are medical and scientific experts because they spend nearly a decade in education just to qualify to do their jobs, and then require almost another decade of on the job training to become proficient.

Yes, be a well-informed patient, however, it doesn’t replace medical advice.

There is an anti-intellectual trend in western culture, ‘The British people are tired of experts’, which is quite worrying.

I understand you are unable to take statins and you have made the correct choice for yourself, that is great. This may not be the correct choice for everyone.

Captain_Birdseye profile image
Captain_Birdseye in reply to Zbignieva

Completely agree here... for my line of work it was 6 years in education followed by 10 years in the field... I imagine to be a specialist doctor it's much more time and much more intense. Yet the number of people who believe they know better because they've "done their own research" (usually a couple of weblinks and youtube videos with a touch of confirmation bias) is staggering.

I'm not accusing anyone on this forum of this... it's been a general observation in life lately. I agree that patients should be well informed, so when reading up on anything I'd only advise that the source is checked and reputable. And if unsure, run it past a qualified medical professional.

And, of course, take anything said by online strangers with a pinch of virtual salt 😉

Thatwasunexpected profile image
Thatwasunexpected

Come on, folks, the OP had a fair question & hopefully gained some good perspective.

Let's not have it descend into yet another BHF forum spat :)

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950

Thanks for all of your replies / contributions everyone. It's definitely given me food for thought and I may well re-consider my decision re. taking statins.

Heather1957 profile image
Heather1957 in reply to Denis1950

As I said in an earlier post it seems there are 2 camps re Statins, some people are really anti them after doing a lot of their own research. You will find 'experts' on both sides of the fence which makes it even harder to decide.

I am happy to listen to the cardiologists I was seeing and both prescribe Statins.

I hope you can see that was all I was trying to say earlier.

In some ways it is like asking shall I vote Labour or shall I vote Conservative, people will have an opinion but ultimately you have to make your own mind up.

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to Heather1957

👍😃

Zbignieva profile image
Zbignieva in reply to Heather1957

Science and evidence based medicine is not remotely close to an opinion, and this is where the problem lies.

Opinion has nothing to do with reality.

Heather1957 profile image
Heather1957 in reply to Zbignieva

Most of us have to make an opinion based on Science and evidence based medicine and have to rely on what is reported.

BeKind28 profile image
BeKind28

Hello :-)

I know I have said this before but a few years ago I was told I needed to take a statin and I ignored it and went on later to have 3 heart attacks and a triple Bypass

I often wondered had I took the advice and taken a statin would that have happened but now I shall never know

I like you are on a combination of meds and I am suffering with stomach aches

I take Bisoprolol in a Morning with Lanzopral as well as a water tablet

As soon as I take those I start with stomach ache and it goes on most of the day

I feel it could be for me the Bisoprolol as for instance I took that first this Morning and found I instantly started having stomach ache

At the moment between me and my Doctor we are trying to find which med in a Morning is causing it as there are different options if we can get to the one that is having this affect

Lansoprazol actually is one that says can cause stomach pains and does not suit everyone but there are other PPI'S to try

I take my statin at night and I do not have stomach ache

It can be really difficult when you are on so many meds to know which one is he cause but rather than stopping them I would try and pinpoint which one it is and try a different one

I know it is not pleasant I get fed up everyday but I need to take them so I will work with my Doctor till hopefully we find the one that is causing it

Good luck I hope you get it sorted :-) x

Oaks6 profile image
Oaks6 in reply to BeKind28

I’m glad you mentioned stomach ache. I’m on around 10 tablets a day and have stomach problems. It’s so hard to work out which could be causing the stomach problems. You’re supposed to take each tablet every day so how can you check to see which one is causing it , if any !

BeKind28 profile image
BeKind28 in reply to Oaks6

Hello :-)

I know it is something that is very hard to do

Can be a bit of a guessing game trying to pinpoint which one it is

If I find out eventually I will tell you how I did it :-) x

Oaks6 profile image
Oaks6 in reply to BeKind28

thanks 😊

BeKind28 profile image
BeKind28 in reply to Oaks6

:-) x

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to Oaks6

Hi , having not taken any medication this time last year I'm in exactly the same dilemma . Stopped taking a statin over a week ago not noticed any difference so started taking them again last night. Reluctant to drop any of the others as it might lead to serious consequences. So, decided I'll just have to soldier on. Thanks so much for your reply to my post. Regards, Denis

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to BeKind28

Hi , thanks for your response to my post. Everyone seems to have lived experience to pass on and on reflection I have taken up statins again until such time as something better comes along. Best regards, Denis and once again thanks for your insights. 😆

BeKind28 profile image
BeKind28 in reply to Denis1950

Hello :-)

You are quite right :-) x

Oaks6 profile image
Oaks6 in reply to Denis1950

after side effects from my statins my doctor replaced them with ‘ Ezetimibe ‘ apparently they do the same job as statins. My old statins side affects are reducing. They are keeping an eye on my creatine kinase (CK) levels ( caused by statins ) in my blood. That’s what has caused my muscle pain I believe. It was originally very high, now reducing.

annpavitt250448 profile image
annpavitt250448 in reply to Denis1950

It could be the lanzoperol, I can't tolerate it as it gives me extremely upset stomach and stomach ache. My doc has put me on panzoperol which I can take.

Salihyuksel67 profile image
Salihyuksel67 in reply to BeKind28

try to take bisoprol night and statin

BeKind28 profile image
BeKind28 in reply to Salihyuksel67

Hello :-)

I am talking with my Surgeon on Tuesday and going to ask :-)

Thank you :-) x

Triheart profile image
Triheart in reply to BeKind28

May I suggest taking the Bisoprolol at night, after many years of IBS I found taking it in the morning gave me terrible tummy problems, my cardiologist told me it makes no difference when taken. Also I now only take 1.25mg, also aspirin and Ezetimibe instead of statins. I find this trio keeps BP and blood levels stable and no side effects (like you I had my triple 18 months ago) GPs like to keep you on the higher doses but we don’t always need them!

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to Triheart

Thank you so much for passing on the benefit of your own lived experience. Fortunately, I seem to be getting on better with my meds not feeling to queasy and even coffee is beginning to taste OK. Spoken to my GP at length and as long as the effects of my meds don't become unbearable going to stick with them until the twelve month anniversary of my Bypass. Hopefully, by then I should be able to see how the land lies and with any luck ditch most if not all my medications. Keep well and thanks again for responding to my post. Regards, Denis

BeKind28 profile image
BeKind28 in reply to Triheart

Hello :-)

Sorry for the late reply I saw it and lost it and now found it again :-)

I asked if I could take the Bisoprolol at night but they said they would rather me take it in the Morning for some reason my Doctors say it is better then even though we all know that the Doctors have different opinions which I find so confusing sometimes :-)

With my IBS it does not like change or most tablets yet I know we have to take them but can be a nightmare it is playing up today

I hope like you I can get them to find the right combination and when to take them that settles it down :-)

Thank you for your suggestions it is a relief to know it is not just you that can have these issues and I do appreciate it :-) x

Carlg profile image
Carlg

I for one am happy to take my statin. .I am on two cholesterol lowering meds as one just doesn't seem to lower it enough. However maybe there is a discussion to be had with your gp that isnt about stopping hut maybe reducing the dosage? Still getting some benefit whilst maybe reducing the side effects so you can do want you want to do.

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to Carlg

Thanks for sharing your thoughts Carig. Best 👌 regards, Denis

benjijen profile image
benjijen

I was on atorvastatin 80mg. Too high so was dropped to 40mg. Some days could barely walk along the hall! Also didn't do much for cholesterol level, it was still over 6 after taking for 3 years! My diet is fine so not much I could do there. Early this year I told GP I wanted to stop statin but he convinced me to try 5mg rosuvastatin. Within 2 weeks leg pains had gone. Had cholesterol checked this week and is 4.3. Maybe try a different one before giving up?

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to benjijen

Thanks 😊 for sharing your thoughts. Best 👌 regards, Denis

LindyMc profile image
LindyMc

I see that lanzoprosol and clopidogeral are your main concerns. May I suggest you check the PIL in each of these pill packets ? When my partner was prescribed clopidogeral years ago while already on lanzoprosol, I discovered that in one or other it said to avoid the other one. The prescription was added by the hospital but the GP hadn't spotted the problem but was glad when I did. After several changes we happened upon almond in their jackets unsalted and un roasted chewed slowly either at regular intervals or several, one at a time, when ever you get a twinge of indigestion. My partner has been PPI or any other antacid free forc7 years and daily almonds are really good for heart health.

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to LindyMc

Thanks for your reply Lindy, I think your probably right re. Clopidgrel being the villain here. On reading all the insightful responses to my post I started back on my statins last night. Will definitely consider your advice. Best regards, Denis

LindyMc profile image
LindyMc in reply to Denis1950

I was't very clear was I? Its lansoprazole that was what we swapped out for almonds. If your think clopiderol is the villain then perhaps go for another blood thinner. as there are others e.g apixeban or riveroxiban which are more beneign.

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to LindyMc

Hi Lindy, my bad. I should have explained that I've been advised to continue with the Lansoprazole as it works in conjunction with Clopidgrel. It's only for another 10 months and fingers crossed 🤞 I will definitely feel better when I can ditch them both. Regards, Denis

Arpadoppia profile image
Arpadoppia

Hi Denis

Yes, I did. The last heart specialist I saw in 2021 suggested I dropped them and I feel more 'normal' now with fewer side effects. He said that many older people are too medicated and tries to reduce the load. I am 81

jerry12953 profile image
jerry12953 in reply to Arpadoppia

That's a remarkably enlightened doctor! I think we largely are too medicated. So many GP's put you on some medication or other for life whether or not that medication is either good for you or actually making any difference....

The difficulty for the patient is knowing which of these medications is important and worthwhile and which isn't.

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to jerry12953

Thanks for your replyJerry, you pretty much some up my own thoughts re. Medication 💊 trying to nail down evidence based outcomes from different Medications is literally impossible so it makes taking an informed decision very difficult. All the best, Denis

GWP1952 profile image
GWP1952

Hi Denis,

I had adverse reactions to statins. Initially I was put on 80mg Atorvastatin which gave me serious leg pains when exercising which was really counter-productive. My GP changed my prescription to Pravastatin which was only marginally better, then to Simvastatin which had a similar outcome. In the end he put me on Ezetimibe which is not a statin, but is often prescribed in conjunction with a statin. Later, while this gave me no side effects, it also was proved to be totally ineffective.

Following further investigation by the Clinical Pathologist at the local hospital (into why I had had a heart attack in the first place), I was persuaded to try Rosuvastatin. After an initial bedding in period of a couple of weeks, I found this produced no side effects.

Perhaps you might entertain a different statin rather than ditching it all together. As others have said, do the research and make your decision. Hopefully your GP will assist.

Best regards,

Gerald

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to GWP1952

Thanks for your post Gerald, having stopped taking a statin over a week ago now I re. started last night. So, far so good 👍. Having read all the responses to my original post I think my malaise is more than likely down to Clopidgrel. Unfortunately, looks like I'm stuck with it for the next ten months. However, having been in limbo for a year with a severe stenosis of the LAD waiting for a Bypass 10 months on Clopidgrel doesn't seem to bad! Best regards, Denis

GWP1952 profile image
GWP1952 in reply to Denis1950

I had no problem with either Prasugrel (taken for 11 months between heart attack / stents and bypass op) or Clopidogrel (12 months post op) other than having to be very careful when shaving! However, we are all different. I sympathise with your situation. Medication is meant to make us better, but I've run up against many different meds in my time. My GP has declared me to be a nightmare to medicate. 😀

Pollypuss profile image
Pollypuss

Hello Dennis I sympathise with you completely.I had an awful time on the drugs I was on during my bypass. Feeling sick and diarrhea and having to take pills to counteract both problems . I was losing weight and felt dreadful. At my post consultation with the cardiologist he decided to take me off everything apart from aspirin. The hospital tested me on many different Statins and came to the conclusion that I could not tolerate them. That was 3 years ago. I live a healthy life and play tennis twice a week and watch carefully what I eat and my cholesterol level at my last blood test came back “no further action” However I am aware of plaque built up which Statins is meant to prevent and often get fed up on this site with the tales of gloom for people who just cannot tolerate them.

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to Pollypuss

Thank you so much for your reply Polly, thankfully my symptoms are no were near what you had to endure. Mine are a just minor when compared to what you and many have to suffer. As my wife is fond of pointing out I've enjoyed rude health and luck even playing tennis 🎾 days before my Bypass (my cardiologist would have had a heart attack if he'd known!) So, I'm not use to taking any medication and the thought of being stuck on them for the foreseeable future fills me with horror. That's why I wanted advice on ditching the Statins at least that was one med I could leave out but, like you I do worry re. plaque build up going forward. Keep up the tennis 🎾 I'm hoping to be back on court next Saturday not bad for 10 weeks post op. 😀

Pollypuss profile image
Pollypuss in reply to Denis1950

well done . At 80 I play tennis twice a week and walk every day . If I don’t my body will remind me and I feel awful with no energy.

pasigal profile image
pasigal

Of course it's your health and nobody will tie you down and shove statins down your throat.

As you note, there is solid evidence that statins can lessen the risk of further heart events -- if taken correctly. This is a good article on that point: sciencedaily.com/releases/2...

You are taking a cocktail of medications and you have suffered an adverse coronary event and with a triple bypass you need time to heal. It honestly took me 15-18 months to feel sort of normal after cardiac arrest.

Eventually you will be weaned off everything except aspirin, statins and maybe proton pump inhibitors. If you can get to that point perhaps you can find an alternative to common statins.

My personal -- just me -- take is that psychologically I feel better taking statins. Will they really prevent/significantly reduce risk of another heart attack? I don't know, but I do know that I feel better doing everything I can to prevent one, whether that's (weeping copious tears) giving up sausages and runny cheese or taking statins...good luck with your recovery!

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to pasigal

Thank you for your thoughtful reply to my post. It would appear that the overwhelming majority see statin therapy as a necessary evil until something better comes along. On trawling through everyones posts it has brought home to me that I have got off very lightly when compared to other peoples experiences of heart disease. Its only 9 weeks post op and I'm off for a couple of hours intensive table tennis and I'm hoping to be on the tennis 🎾 court by next Saturday. So, I should probably put up with the minor side effects of my meds and carry on. ps. Started back on my Statins last night. Best regards, Denis and good luck for your future heart health.

pasigal profile image
pasigal in reply to Denis1950

Glad to hear it -- that said, a very close and longtime friend of mine cannot tolerate statins at all, and won't take them, so he is taking his chances with chronically high cholesterol. We can't really know how others experience side effects, but he tells me that he had extreme leg pain and fatigue...that said, one person's "extreme leg pain" is another's "I can live with this well enough..."🤷‍♂️

jerry12953 profile image
jerry12953 in reply to pasigal

And of course the PPI' s are to counteract the possible side-effects of the aspirin.......

Minkies profile image
Minkies

I was put on 40mg Atorvastatin in August following a MRI showing I had had numerous strokes, none recent. This was because I was/am having difficulty with balance and walking unaided I was nauseous for the first few weeks then developed leg muscle issues which made it difficult to walk. I cut the tablets in half and only take 20mg a day plus 100mg aspirin at bedtime. I feel fine now and on 5th December go for a neck ultrasound after which I see my Neurosurgeon, when I will tell him what I have done.

As my issue is blood flow and Strokes, perhaps this is different than Heart Attack.

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to Minkies

Thank you for your insight. Best regards, Denis ps. Good luck going forward 👍

Coxtribe profile image
Coxtribe

I've had similar conversations with various cardiologists and the response is always the same: the statins not only reduce the production of LDL cholesterol but also help to stabilise any existing plaque deposits in the arteries. Also, that most side effects relating to the digestive system are generally associated with clopidogrel, which, in my case at least, has only been prescribed for 12 months. I've been fortunate so far with side effects but I understand there are alternatives to atorvastatin. Good luck.

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to Coxtribe

When I posted yesterday evening I did not envisage such a knowledgeable response from everyone. It's definitely given me a great deal to think about. ps. I've now decided to continue with Statins as it would appear from most responses to my post the Clopidgrel is the main villain. Thanks for your response. 👌 Best regards, Denis

GA1961 profile image
GA1961

Just to say how useful I have found this thread. Although maybe not all answering your actual question, the comments have helped me to further my understanding of Statins. Having gone from no medications at all to the usual cocktail in May this year (after a totally out of the blue heart attack) I am still getting to grips with what they are all for. I'm finding it much better here than on google. Thanks

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to GA1961

Thank you for your post, as a very active 70 + plus male who didn't take any medication this time last year being forced to take so many drugs post operation has come as a bit of a shock. But knowing that others feel exactly the same is a great help. Best regards, Denis

Platypus6 profile image
Platypus6

Hi Denis1950 Sorry to hear your Struggles with the meds! I tried all the statins I think all ,they just didn’t suit me! I haven’t taken any for the last two years. It’s a chance I have to take. I currently take Bisoprolol clopidogrel pantoprozole also famotidine as a top up if needed for acid reflux, some of these come with side effects I have changed my way of taking them from morning to evening to try and sleep through the side effects. I hope you get back to normal soon best wishes 😊

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to Platypus6

Thank you 😊 for passing on your experiences with heart medication 💊 . In all honesty the amount of medications I had to take post op came as a bit of a shock and its very comforting to know I'm not alone in not finding it all a bit much. Best regards, Denis

AlfredV profile image
AlfredV

Yes, I stopped statins within a matter of weeks after my stent was fitted. I have a history of bad reactions to a wide range of medications and supplements due to an underlying medical condition. That was over two years ago. I've been completely medication free since March of this year. I doubt my GP would recommend the choices I have made but I have taken the decisions that I believe will lead to the best quality of life I can have.

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to AlfredV

Hi Alfred, thanks for your response to my post it really does help to hear how others deal with suddenly being faced with having to take multiple meds. Not something I thought I would have to deal with this time last year. Regards, Denis

Pollypuss profile image
Pollypuss in reply to AlfredV

I wish they would do more research on people such as how long they lived without taking Statins😺

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to Pollypuss

Hi Polly, my feelings entirely. I did try speaking to one of the Cardiac nurses at the BHF but was given short shrift. People far more intelligent than us have studied lipid theory and have come to the conclusion that you're a fool if you do not heed their advice. Can't really blame her she probably thought I was a crank. All I really wanted to know was could she point me in the right direction to where I could see the evidence re. Statin therapy. And how they came to the conclusion that Statins stabilise plaque on the Artery walls. I can grasp the fact that they lower cholesterol as that seems measurable but how did the manage to prove plaque stabilisation? On another note having read through all the responses to my original post reluctantly I've decided to persevere with Statins etc. until the 12 month anniversary of my Bypass and hopefully I will be in a better position to review my medication. Good luck going forward regards Denis.

Bustermydog profile image
Bustermydog

hello Denis1950, I stopped taking statins some years ago, after 3 different types supplied. I wasn’t prepared to have pain in my joints etc on top of cancer. Never had a problem with guidance from my GP. I have since been diagnosed with hypo cardiomyopathy and doing well. No statins suggested perhaps the records show not tolerant. Hope all goes well for you.

Regards, Pam bustermydog.

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to Bustermydog

Thank you so much for your reply. Best 👌 regards, Denis

Tempo57 profile image
Tempo57

My father stopped taking Avarvstatin after having a triple bypass at age 69 but he made sure that he was eating a low fat healthy diet, which included a fair amount of fish. He continued with this healthy diet until the end. He took Avarvstatin for about 3/4 years after his bypass before stopping it. But we are all different. One regimen doesn’t suit all.

He lived until he was 97 and was only taking an Asprin when he finally passed away from pneumonia.

Good luck and best wishes, T57

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to Tempo57

Thank you for your reply. I to stick to a healthy diet/lifestyle and your post has really given me a lift going forward. Regards, Denis 😀

Pollypuss profile image
Pollypuss in reply to Tempo57

oh thank goodness for a reply like yours . Many people don’t realise how stressful it is not to be able to tolerate Statins . I never had a problem with my cholesterol until I had to eat hospital food for two months and brought it back down when I got home

Silvasava profile image
Silvasava

Hi, I was put on 40mg of Atorvastatin automatically after a stroke. Prior to this my cholesterol levels were fine, stroke was caused by Afib and subsequently DCM . I developed pains in my wrists that really impacted my qol, I am aware statins have other benefits and after discussion with my doctor I reduced the dose to 20mg. Been fine on that level.

Karabiner profile image
Karabiner

You may need to experiment with the type of statin you're taking.... they do vary in terms of side effects depending on the particular family..... simi, atorva, etc..... I had to switch about a bit to find one with less side effects. You might like to read this.... The research cardiologist is pretty convinced asprin and a statin are essential tools to to slow down heart disease. goodreads.com/en/book/show/...

gorillaqueen profile image
gorillaqueen

Good morning I’m 3 weeks post triple bypass and can relate to what your saying regards to meds. I’m only on 10mg Atorvastatin as my cholesterol was borderline. However I still worry about all the meds and ruddy side effects but you have to weigh up the pros and cons. I certainly don’t want to risk going through this massive surgery for nothing and the grafts blocking up. I’m constantly worrying about what I eat ( very little at mo as appetite very poor) I was put on 10mg as I also have Fibromyalgia which causes muscle pain which I believe statins can aggravate. However post surgery I’m going to speak to my team for their advise on this as I feel the risk of clogged Arteries outweighs the problems the statin may cause with the Fibromyalgia. One thing I should mention is they changed my Lansoprazole to Pantoprazole in hospital due to interaction with Clopidogrel so this may be worth investigating with a medical professional. I hope you are doing well post surgery and you can get advise going forward with your meds. Take care speedy recovery.

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to gorillaqueen

Hi gorillaqueen, thank you for your giving me a run down on your own experience. If it's any comfort I felt a great deal better post 4 weeks following my Bypass Surgery. Good luck going forward. All the best Denis

scentedgardener profile image
scentedgardener

Just as an additional thing to think about, it might be worth trying a different PPI. I can't take them at all, fatigue, aches and D&V. A different PPI, or maybe an H2 antagonist instead, might resolve your problems. It's hard to work out what causes what when you suddenly have to take multiple pills daily.

Holiday12345 profile image
Holiday12345

discuss with your cardiologist, I’ve had bad reaction to most my meds except Clopidrogrel. And was told taking statin any amount is better than none, every second day or last cardiologist has prescribed once a week. Everyone’s situation is different but I was told we have to be pragmatic if meds are causing more problems.

Ellie-Ann profile image
Ellie-Ann

Hi Denis. I’ve got AF and S/ Angina, I’m nearly 76. My GP prescribed me statins (and calcium tablets for my bones) some time back. My daughter is a Nutritionist and keeps a graph of my blood test results ( which you can get if you write and ask for them…if you don’t have the NHS app.where they are displayed.).

My ratio was perfectly ok and I was within reasonable parameters. She also spotted the extra calcium given to me and told me that could be dangerous to my heart condition. So I wrote a polite letter to my GP thanking him for caring for me but pointed out about my normal cholesterol and also the calcium asking him to take it off of my repeat prescriptions. He promptly did that for me and there was no awkward follow up appointment.

I do watch my diet, having said that, I have butter on one slice of wholewheat bread toasted in the mornings and I use semi skimmed milk. Cheese is definitely a treat for the odd occasion rather than the norm. I also have three desert spoons of ground flax seeds into hot water, stirred round and left to ‘gel’ a bit before drinking it down. ( For constipation…BUT….,also good for helping keep cholesterol down.)

I take ONE 1,000 mg capsule of fish oil every morning too with no problems with NOAC and other meds etc.

It’s a case of “ Can you cope with a sensible diet” I reckon. So good luck to you Denis.

Ellie Ann.

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to Ellie-Ann

Hi Ellie-Ann, thank you for responding to my post. Reading everyone's experiences with heart problems has been quite uplifting and has given me a great deal to think about. Best regards and good luck for the future. Denis

ParrotLover22 profile image
ParrotLover22

Hello Denis. I have also had a Bypass and doing well I have to say :). I was actually Discharged by my Consultant just over a Week ago and now my Care is with my Doctor. He did say though to keep taking the Tablets, (including Simvastatin), as a precautionary measure. I would definitely not never stop taking anything without their Consent. They know what they are doing! I have taken Simvastatin for years without any problems at all. These Tablets are given to protect our 'Heart' and, in my Opinion, that is/should be our first priority. Best of Luck 🤞

Jack2019 profile image
Jack2019

I do not take the statin. My doctor gave me all the reasons , the same ones you have received from members of this group, to take them. I came with questions on whether or not the odds are in my favor to benefit from them in ways that matter conclusively. If you talk about mortality benefit the statistics are insignificant, if talking about preventing another infarction it's something like 1 in 69 if taking it for 5 years. Ultimately he said he is required to prescribe. The interesting thing is he said when I hit 70 he is no longer required to prescribe them, even for secondary prevention measures, and I could go off them then( I live in Canada). I am 63 and it's clear to me the odds of a meaningful POTENTIAL benefit and weighing that against the knowledge of what statins will do to my liver and each and every cell in my body I decided no thanks. I feel offended when people decide that if you educate yourself on doctor google you are being misled and playing with your life, the discussion should always be on whether or not a drug prevents a thing from occurring and the absolute statistics are not strong for statins.

Violymay profile image
Violymay in reply to Jack2019

Hi Jack!

I am 87 and have had dealings with different cardiologists who were treating me for hypertension and who have differing views re Statins.

No 1 put me on Statins.

No 2 asked why was I on Statins? At my age they do no good but could make me tired and give me joint pains etc and took me off them. Over the age of 65, they are ineffective, apparently.

No 3 said he would have kept me on them and prescribed them again!

When I asked the last guy why could I not walk as far or do as many Line dances as I used to, he said ‘It’s because you’re old, dear!’

So I just keep taking the tablets!

Jack2019 profile image
Jack2019 in reply to Violymay

Well my doctor seems to agree with your number 2 doctor. I concluded if after a certain age they don't even recommend them then the reported beneficial effects of a statin are not favorable to health, especially since most heart problems seem to start to appear in people reaching age 60.

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950

Hi Jack, really interesting 👍 response. I probably didn't make myself clear re.my post regarding Statins it was just a throwaway post that I thought no one would respond to. I don't think they are responsible for my lack of appetite etc. That's far more likely the other medication I'm taking. What I really had in mind was everyones take on the evidence based reality of what Statins bring to the table. I personally have my doubts re the whole theory of Lipids being the villain of the piece hence my worries about what damage statins do by interfering in liver function. And had anybody decided to not take a statin who was in a similar situation to me. So, doubly 😊 Thanks for your post. Best regards, Denis

Jack2019 profile image
Jack2019 in reply to Denis1950

oops, I meant to reply to your post directly, see comment below.

Jack2019 profile image
Jack2019

I wish you well in your recovery! If you decide to stay on the statins be proactive and make sure you have your liver function checked periodically, as recommended, even if you feel you are doing alright on them.

TheBoys profile image
TheBoys

hi

You should go with what you want to do.

Paul.

Marco2764 profile image
Marco2764

There're a lot of fantastic replys to your posting today. Not all the meds are for everybody , ( me included) but there are some statins, usually the expensive ones that your body doesn't re- act to. Rosuvastatin was the one I eventually tolerated. Good luck in your recovery

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to Marco2764

Thanks for your reply Marco, best regards, Denis

runforhealth96 profile image
runforhealth96

Hello Denis. I noticed you post and all the great replies you have had, a bit late and anything I would have said has already been said, other than I think comment's such as "do what you want to do" are unhelpful, you should be wary of this as we are mostly not qualified to make such important decisions. I have had problems too and am currently "working with" my GP to try and find a balance between continuing to exercise while tolerating the side effects of headache and connective tissue aches but I would never disregard anything they said or go against advice. At the end of the day it is no good being able to do 5K in 20 mins or having a first class liver if you then drop dead from a massive MI. I would also like to say well done for putting up a really good post and also responding to many of the replies in such a great manner. As you continue on this journey you will become much more informed as many of us have, especially regarding the situation Chappychap highlighted regarding the dangers of rupturing plaque and the role that statins play to stabilise them. Good luck!

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to runforhealth96

Thank you for your kind words. When I posted I had no idea it would engender such a positive response. I'd been feeling a little green around the Gills ever since my Bypass. Had just had my 7-8 week followup post op telephone appointment. Had been told that I was on statins and betablokers for life. So, I was a little down and wanted to reach out to others who found themselves in the same boat. Did they consider dropping their statins or other medications 💊 ? I've always been rather sceptical re statins and thought it was the one med I could drop without serious consequences. However, your and other well informed posts have swung me in favour of continuing with them despite my reservations. On the upside I'm now feeling a little more chipper and I'm hoping to be back on the tennis 🎾 court this week. Best regards and good luck with your future heart health, Denis

runforhealth96 profile image
runforhealth96 in reply to Denis1950

I was also told I would be on all the meds for life including BB's. Following my determination to try and exercise my way out of this and with consultation with my very understanding GP at the time I have progressively come of all of them bar aspirin and statins, although we are currently still "experimenting" with lower dose statin and Ezetimibe. If you did not have a HA like me, it may be possible you could do similar especially if you intend to exercise regularly. I had stents so not sure if you have to be on BB's for life after a CABG but don't see why, they were on extreme hinderance when I started exercising regularly and seriously.

RJBme profile image
RJBme

Yes. I had my first coronary stents fitted in 2002 and was then prescribed Statins. After a year or so it was clear that they were causing issues with tiredness and muscle/tendon pains in my legs. I stopped taking them.

I have had several further stents fitted over the years from then and some may conclude that is as a result of my decision. However for me it was a ‘quality of life’ issue. I simply could not have continued with the side effects.

peterjram profile image
peterjram

Hi Denis. Maybe you should ask for a different statin. I’ve been on Pravastatin for 31 years with minimal or no side affects.

I’m 71 with a very strong family history of cardio vascular desease, fortunately I’ve been spared heart desease so far, I put this down to Pravastatin and Ramipril ( and the occasional Whisky).

People think that Statins are just for lowering cholesterol in the blood but they also play an. Important part in reducing inflammation. I believe that along with my Ramipril both medications have warded off heart desease so far.

With all off the adverse publicity about Statins recently people have advised not taking them, but because I’m free from any heart desease signs at the moment I will continue to take them.

Regards

Denis1950 profile image
Denis1950 in reply to peterjram

Hi Peter, thank you for passing on your own experience re. Statins. I've actually decided to continue with Statins until my meds are reviewed at the twelve month anniversary of my Bypass. I couldn't believe the huge response to my post and I'm grateful for everyones contributions. Best regards, Denis

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