Cholesterol Support
7,432 members2,104 posts


Hi to everyone....newbie here. Can anyone please tell me if erratic memory loss is a side effect of Simvastatin? I have heard memory loss is common amongst people taking statins but it does not mention this on the Simvastatin leaflet. My memory is constantly terribly erratic, hit and miss, just as though all the details from my life are stored there in my memory but sometimes i can access them and sometimes i cannot. Just like when you see someone in the street who you have not seen for years and you recognise them and you know you know them but you just cannot remember their name. I can sometimes remember things from many years ago but forget current things within 2 minutes. I am in my mid fifties and not senile. Thank you.

22 Replies

Hi Rueben,

Welcome to Health Unlocked. I know memory loss is often cited , especially by the "cholesterol sceptics". I am thinking of Dr Duanne Graveline who has witten "Lipitor Thief of Memory", but that is atorvastatin not simvastatin.

Loss of memory is listed for Lipitor under uncommon side effects, but I don't know about simvastatin.

Simvastatin gave me very disturbing nightmares and this is also listed for Lipitor.

Sorry if this sounds a bit garbled!


Several years ago I was on Liptor and it certainly does effect memory. Husband said I wasnt remembering thing like I did or recalling detail the same. it also seemed to effect eyes. (I had a fantastic memory) Came of it due to other symptoms also. Wasnt aware it was side effect untill now. Should have read detalls, bit late now as damage done.


It's not in the leaflet with my Simvastatin tablets either. I thought I had heard this, but it might be from when I was on Atorvastatin. My memory is pretty bad, but that happened before I took any statins.


I haven't heard this but will be very interested to know if it is true as I am on them and sometimes my sudden loss of memory is quite frightening.


Hi 2squirrels

My erratic memory is ruining my life and it is indeed quite frightening. I used to be able to speak and debate in public and my memory was my strength, knowledge is power as they say. But now, i am totally useless, i forget what i am talking about before i have even finished saying it sometimes! I regularly do things and then minutes later have to go and check if i have done them because i cannot remember if i have or not, even after only a few minutes, crazy.


Thank you everyone for your replies. Traci, you describe it pretty spot on, the speech break up and the erratic memory, my garbled brain is ruining my life. My GP just tells me it is depression and dismisses me with more medication! I feel it is my vast array of medication that is frying my brain and i am seriously considering stopping taking some of them so i can be my old-self again. Also. i had heard that if you can get your GP to prescribe Omacor then you can cut your statins out, is this true? For info my Cholesterol measurements are...

Total Chol=5.1 HDL=1.4 LDL=3.2 Triglyc=1.2

I have had a heart attack, quad bypass, flatlined during op and have FH.

Thanks again everyone, not many people out there to talk to about this stuff, i really appreciate your help.


Hi Reuben

I seem to be in the same boat as you. I used to do public speking and give demonstrations but now I am more likely to hide. I have been looking up informaion on Omacor and it appears to be much like many other meds it must agree with everything you already take - which for me is difficult as it also has to be suitable for my kidneys. I lost the best parts of 30 years of my life due to wrongful prescription so it is really a difficult path and a lot of the meds I a on now are solely because of the wrongful given meds. Good luck let us know if you get anywhere,


I took lipitor 80mg following a heart attack,reduced to 20mg after 12 months and I now take 10mg and will stop them altogether if my memory loss continues,I used to have fantastic memory but now I repeatedly ask the same questions and cannot remember my dogs names and sometimes have to write them down but then forget where I left the note.


Have you seen this earlier blog?


That's more like linkspam than a blog post.


This subject is also very topical as the FDA in the US have added memory loss as a possible side effect to all statins.This is one link but there are many others.

To be honest , I think the suggestion of stopping statins would go down like a lead balloon with doctors in view of your history and condition, but there are other drugs and treatments available, especially if your memory loss is as miserable as it sounds.


I was reading recently about how in the US statins now carry a health warning on the labels concerning memory loss and the fact the they may infact increase your chances of getting diabetes.Now i don't know about you but if i was given that hand in the poker game of life i think i would rather die of a heart attack than of losing my mind or the slow onset of diabetes.

If you don't believe me do your own research.You do have a choice to choose a natural product with nobel prize winning medicine behind it and over 100000 studies carried out on it,with virtually no known side effects.

Good luck on what ever you decide.


Mevastatin and lovastatin occur naturally and simvastatin isn't far removed. Meanwhile, Omacor has been esterified so isn't what you would get from natural sources. Which do you mean by the natural one?


Can you tell us what this natural product is? - Do you mean Vitamin C?


Thank you very much everyone for your replies. I am "on the case" as they say and will get back to you. malcolmp, what is the natural one please?


Are some statins (by name) stronger or weaker with more or less side effects than others? I do not mean the strength measured by the mg content but the strength of the different named statin. i.e. is simvastatin seen as a weak statin compared to atarvostatin etc?


Yes, from reading (endlessly!) about statins, the newer ones such as Lipitor and Crestor (atorvastatin and rosuvasatin) are more potent. Crestor is nicknamed " the gorilla statin". The older ones like pravastatin are less potent. I would describe simvastatin as bog standard as it's the one you are given first of all when, as in my case, the GP nearly falls off her swivel chair when she reads my levels.


Practice varies. I was put straight onto Lipitor despite a family history of good tolerance of simvastatin, thereby starting years of pain for me!


I am having trouble with Simvastatin too, the standard answer seems to be to try a different statin until you find one that agrees wuth you which seems very hit-or-miss. Has anyone tried natural alternatives like Solaray or Choleslo?


hi rueben.

i've been on simvastatin 40mg for about 2 years. among others,and probably the worst of all damage I suffered from is the cognitive decline which very suddenly started after 22 month of taking the statin. If you can't imagine any other reason (heavy stress, a cva/tia, apneu or whatever imaginable) I'd stop the simvastatin right away. you might try lowering the dosis first but having serious cognitive problems which did not get better during the past 7 months I'm not anymore on any statin (and never ever will take any statin again for sure, no matter what), I'd myself not try to lower but immediately stop the drug.

you should inform at the san diego university and read the article of dr.Beatrice Golomb about statin adverse effects and cognitive problems.

don't ever take a statin without for sure adding Q10 plus vitamin D.

now you seem to be hit by the statin cognitively there are especially two ways beside stopping the statin to help your recovery hopefully:

- taking a high dosis of Q10 (you have to build it up and then take about 300mg daily after building it up)

- taking vitamin d

- and taking norwegian cod liver oil

If you suffer adverse effects you'll make quite a chance that you also might suffer from other statins and if not immediately, it might start after weeks, months or years. the problem then is you won't easily think of statin being the producer of the problems.

if you might chose to try one more statin, you need to chose a lower dosis or a statin less strong than simvastatin. as far as I am informed Pravastatin might be a good choice. Same dosage you took with Simvastatin will be about half as strong more or less. Fluvastatin is even less strong. You also might discuss with your doctor... statins are lipophilic or hydrophilic of nature. Lipophilic ones I think are those which more easily cross the brain/blood/barrier.

You also might try something else: niacin which is vitamin B3

and foremost trying to move/sport some more and eating healthy food.

Having been severely damaged by a statin and not knowing yet whether I will be able to further recover from the problems still there... I'm sure if I would not have stopped the statin and immediately started with Q10 I would not have had much more than just some weeks to live. At the moment I stopped statin therapy my heart was aching at times (like a knife put into it) and I got more and more difficulty to breath. Walking became more and more heavy. In the end walking to the grocery nearby was a heavy task. My muscle weakness was so strong I had difficulty to push a button.

So from me you'll never hear 'I'd try another statin' but given my experiende I merely can wish you all the best and I hope you'll chose another way than another statin. And you never should take the next statin to try as long as you have not been OFF the statin for some time and ALL of your problems are gone.

Although you had a heart attack... I had a CVA... don't get scared to not take a statin just b/c the overall opinion (it's an OPINION!...) tells us we should take a statin.

The cerebral infarction has damaged me much less than the statin damaged me when I aleady had recovered quite well from the infarction. Cognitive probelms I have now (including orientation problems) I did not suffer from after my CVA.

Use your brains to heal your brain, I'd like to recommend.

Take good care of yourself.Get as much information as possible. And stay away from a doctor who tells you you HAVE to take a statin. Get one who wants to listen, check, read, inform and discuss, one who's not indoctrinated by the pharma in other words.

The extreme pains I was going through - I would take not any chance to reexperience that. I would not check out any other statin even if someone would pay me an enourmous amount of money for it. I'm sure I jumped off the train in one of the last moments. I've never been so very ill than I became from the meds which should prevent further harm. They harmed me more than anything ever did before. And the 'nice' thing is... now being harmed by medicine prescribed... who/what will heal me? There is no meds able to heal... there is just Q10 and norwegian cod liver oil and some other supplements... not payed by the insurance company (as the cheap simvastatin was!)...

I even think they should take statins from the market as long as the producers don't have a remedy to treat all the damage done by statins in not just some but quite some cases.

wishing you the best! stopping for me was slowly starting to get better. I hope you'll recover from the cognitive problems shortly after stopping with the statin. most of us who suffer from cognitive problems get well soon. the sooner you stop the statin, the sooner you'll recover. there's one step to take first and foremost, and that's to stop the statin.

Good luck and all the best!


I am, no was on Ezetrol 10 mg, had the same problems, also my hands were extremely painful. The fingers crossed and went into spasm, very difficult when driving. Difficult to hold the wheel and needed to stop driving. Pains in the thighs,stopped taking the tablets.


I was put on Simvistatin about 8 years ago for raised Cholesterol by my GP. During the first week of taking it I suffered, on two separate occasions from agonizing pain and cramp in my abdominal and chest diaphragm seized up and I had great trouble breathing. I was alone on the top deck of a bus and could not move or call for help. I was terrified. It eased off after about 4-5 minutes. I rang my GP who told me to stop the statins. I have never taken one since.

Muscle pains are very common as is memory disturbance. I have also read articles about links to Alzheimer's and like most drugs there is a litany of side effects with varying degrees severity. It seems to me that statins are the only answer that doctors have for high Cholesterol. Having also read, that 70% of people who die of heart attacks, have Cholesterol within normal limits. I feel that statins, one of the best selling drugs of all time, are, like antibiotics, dispensed all too frequently.


You may also like...