Be careful of the statin dosage that is prescribed

I thought it might be useful to share some recent experiences I had with 2 friends and 1 family member who are all taking a statin-lowering drug called Crestor. Whilst not treating any of them myself, I was in social settings where the topic of cholesterol came up because they know of my expertise. Their ages were 64 (taking 20mg Crestor), 67 (20mg) and 71 (10mg reduced recently from 20mg).

All 3 commented to me that they were having difficulty remembering things, which set off an alarm bell with me, because I have seen a number of cases of people permanently losing their ability to remember conversations and events. Often this cognitive decline affects the part of the brain that stores recent events, and the net effect is an Alzheimer’s like condition that is usually irreversible. Luckily these three were not that advanced, but the wife of one of them did express some concerns to me. To be fair, it is possible that all three of these people are losing their memorability due to other factors besides statins, although they did state that their memory problems coincided with them taking this particular drug.

This led me to think about what to suggest that might be a positive step. I did not want to suggest they go off statins, as they were not under my care.

I decided to provide each with some information that is really important to know. That is, what is the average cholesterol-lowering ability of Crestor as determined by the daily dose:

1mg = 34% reduction in cholesterol

5mg = 45% reduction in cholesterol

10mg = 52% reduction in cholesterol

20mg = 55% reduction in cholesterol

Hopefully the above is clear. That is - why would anyone take 20 times the amount of a drug to achieve such a small additional benefit? I would have thought 1mg of Crestor was adequate if you could reduce cholesterol by 34%, and not increase the dose 20X for a marginal gain. Unfortunately the manufacturer for unknown reasons have decided not to produce a 1mg tablet which is unfortunate for many patients.

I should mention that there are a number of patients where 20mg may be necessary. However, it is clear from the comments on this site, that there are a number of people with NO evidence of heart disease, who merely have elevated cholesterol, who are being prescribed (some members on this site are saying coerced) into very high doses of statins with little thought of the consequences to the patient.

When we deal with the topic of poisons and toxicity, we often explain that “the difference between Medicine and Poison in in the dose”. The above numbers should be a red flag for some people that a medicine can become toxic poison if the dose is too high. In addition, there appears to be a lack of knowledge by many medical practitioners that a person’s weight must be considered when we prescribe a strong medicine. As a case in point, if all things are equal, a small 50kg women may need to be on half the dosage of a drug compared to a 100kg large man, but this is rarely considered. Hence why I often see more side effects in people of lower weight.

In summary, I wanted to highlight to viewers taking statin prescriptions that they may like to do some research on the correct dosage, which can be readily found on the internet, and to question their physician if they feel they are being over medicated.

Frank Cooper

Nutritionist & Naturopath

Melbourne Australia

Author of ‘’Cholesterol and The French Paradox’’

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15 Replies

  • Hello Frank,

    Thank you for the above information. I wan on station 20mg liaptor, total cholesterol came down from 7.6 to 2.8, 75% reduction in three months..

    Gave up due to side effect and my total cholesterol with out statin is 5.05, this check was at supermarket chemist. NHS test will be in two months time, cholesterol and HbA1c.

    My lifestyle change and food intake control is working fine therefore there are no plans to reduce cholesterol with statin. Keeping an eye on HbA1c numbers.

    My GP cannot understand even with high cholesterol, my echo cardiogram and electro cardiogram tests showed that there are no problems with my heart, aged 67. did ask my GP for magnesium RBC testing, it appears that NHS do not do it at the moment.

    New product coming on the market "Ote well", calming to reduce cholesterol and blood glucose.

    Please do write on this site with your findings.

  • My refusal to take statins any more is due directly to the mind altering problems. I turned from a competent intelligent type of person into a forgetful, confused and mistake making individual very quickly. I could put up with the muscle ache but to feel you are losing your mind is very frightening to experience.

  • Hi Frank,

    Just wondered if you know or can guide me to information regarding statin equivalents.

    I was taking 20mg of simvastatin . This has now been replaced with 20mg of pravastatin -would you know if this is the correct equivalent dose?


  • Hello,

    Please take a look at this link.

    New product will be in UK soon, claims to reduce cholesterol and blood glucose!

  • 'Hi Marion, there is a great book written by Jay S Cohen, MD in USA that focuses specifically on the correct dosage of statins. I would recommended reading it. It is called 'What you should know about Statins Drugs. His book states 20mg simvastatin reduces LDL by 38% and 20mg Pravachol reduces it by 32%.

  • My sister is on statins and I'm really worried about her, last time I saw her she looked frail and seemed, if not confused, at least a bit out of it. She is in her sixties, so a bit young for Alzheimers.

    Yes the side effects are the reason why I won't touch them - the memory loss side effects are getting much better documented now. Google statins and memory loss and there is host of data.

    The reason why this happens is that they block the melavonate pathway in your liver which produces a substance called dolichols, along with cholesterol and COq10. See this for an explanation.

  • Nice to hear from you again Frank!

    I totally agree with you about Crestor. In my relatively short lived statin career it was the only one that had an immediate adverse reaction, a hacking asthma like cough, and that was on 10mg.

    Do you think the tide is turning against these very high doses of potent statins like Crestor? I am horrified that post heart attack patients are given these massively high doses of 80mg as a matter of course. If the heart attack didn't kill me 80mg of Crestor certainly would.

    Even sceptics like Duane Graveline acknowledge that statins may have a place in FH, but at very much lower doses and for their anti inflammatory properties and not their cholesterol lowering.

  • Hi Aliwally, nice to hear from you too. I think the tide on Crestor is turning, but very slowly. When I wrote my cholesterol book - which is nearly 10 years ago - I stated that it is likely to take at least 10-15 years for the fear of cholesterol to subside and for reality to set in. In other words, that the fear of cholesterol would reduce significantly. Based on where we are at today, when I look at the enthusiasm for statins by the NHS and by medical authorities in other countries worldwide, I am a little dismayed. Clearly the marketing efforts by major drug companies continues at full pace, and we have a large population who simply do what their doctor tells them, without researching the risks. We seem to be persuading a lot of people who are healthy, into taking statin medications, and making them very sick. I have seen many cases of elderly people who are coerced into taking statins, and seeing their quality of life degrade significantly. It makes me sad. What I can say is that the followers of this website have very good fortune, in learning about both sides of the cholesterol discussion, and in being able to see the risks in medications, enable many to live a longer life, and with better cognitive function. Best wishes.

  • There is a lot of data that shows higher doses of statins don't make any difference to outcomes. That's not really surprising since they don't work by cholesterol lowering, they work by being anti inflammatory and anticoagulant - just like Aspirin in fact.

  • Hi Frank, when you refer to Crestor are you talking about Rosuvastatin? Thanks

  • K8TY, yes I am talking about Rosuvastatin

  • Hello,

    The information below may help you.

    Several types of statins exist such as atorvastatin, cerivastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, mevastatin, pitavastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin, and simvastatin. Atorvastatin and rosuvastatin are the most potent, while fluvastatin is the least potent. These medicines are sold under several different brand names including Lipitor (an atorvastatin), Pravachol (a pravastatin), Crestor (a rosuvastatin), Zocor (a simvastatin), Lescol (a fluvastatin) and Vytorin (a combination of simvastatin and ezetimibe). Mevastatin is a naturally occurring statin that is found in red yeast rice.

  • HI, thank you I am familiar with them and am currently on Rosuvastatin and have an awful memory which I have previously put down to baby brain but maybe. It. I am much much younger than everyone else who seems to be complaining of a poor memory!

  • Hello,

    Memory, I am 67, having short term memory problem! was on station only for a very short time. My pain is a lot better now.

    Memory example taking things to the wrong place or putting it down in a different place and looking for it, example, money, tea cups and my engineering tools. My wife and I both are retired now. I was planning to be in full time employment for few more years but did not work out. questions-- "What have you done with it I cannot find it?" " Why is the cup in the wrong place?" The funny thing is, I cannot remember doing it and many more. Another example, at the check out or in the bank the 4 digit pin number? .

    All I can do is to have a laugh. Because, I am dyslexic therefore I do many incorrect things in a day to day environment.

  • Hello,

    The reduction is nearly 20% in three months. Would it be possible for you to give some details of food intake and exercise over the last three months to reduce cholesterol by 20%.? Thanks.

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