Intro and history.....any advice welcome

Hi Everyone,

I'm new here but hope to learn so much from you all.

Hope this isn't too long, and would welcome any comments.

I was diagnosed as having serious CAD at the end of Nov 2010. the resultant emergency angiogram at Sheffield NG showed i needed either a CABG or a total of 5 Stents over 2 procedures. Being a bit wary of a CABG i opted for the stents. First 3 put in no problem and i returned to the unit for the remaining 2 towards the end of Jan 2011. All went well and i was discharged....On to Rehab, which i found educational.

Any way 8 weeks later symptoms return and further Angiogram revealed more furring up, so again offered CABG or 6 more stents.....Went for the stents (No i am not going for a record).....They opted to insert 3 there and then however third stent insertion resulted in Dissection of the Artery and the inevitable MI !!

Had final procedure 8 weeks later and all went well this time, and am now proud owner of 10 little bits of wire.

Also been placed on numerous drugs, and diagnosed as a Type 2 Diabetic.

Not been the best year but C'est la Vie.

One of the drugs is obviously a Statin (atorvastatin 80mg) to lower Cholesterol.

I have always been a little sceptical over statins and recently read Dr M Kendricks book. this has made me more sceptical. I am due a meds review next week and was wondering if anyone has a bullet list i could present to my GP from the sceptics side of the statin argument..

Thanks for your patience

Tony S

9 Replies

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  • Dear Smithy,

    Welcome to Health Unlocked!

    I have not been through your experiences but there are others on this site who have.

    I am absolutely not a medical expert but I do know that statins are much more effective for people who have already had a coronary "event". Also you are diabetic so this would put you at a higher risk. Atorvastatin 80mg is a very big dose and there are others who have had reactions to doses this high.

    I think Malcolm Kendrick makes some really good points but I think he generalises too much and doesn't include people at high risk.

    The real cotroversy over statins is for primary prevention, that is if you haven't already had an MI.

  • Hi Tony,

    I had an MI and following this had stents placed.

    I am also on the same statin as yourself, and have been since September,without any side effects, other than doing the job!! My LDL level ( what is called the 'bad' bit) is now 0.09, but the doctors do monitor this and will change this tablet when required.

    My advice would be to discuss with your doctor if concerned but be aware that they don't prescribe tablets for fun !!

    Take care and keep getting better. Mags

  • Hi Tony,

    Malcolm Kendrick's book is an excellent reference, but a far more detailed treatise is Anthony Colpo's book of the same name.

  • This post raised tons of questions in my mind, including: what are Smithy's cholesterol levels? Has FH been diagnosed or rejected or is the diagnosis process underway? Have any of the typical suspected statin side-effects been experienced? Should a GP be changing meds/shouldn't Smithy's treatment be led by an expert consultant?

  • Thanks for all the comments.

    I understand the controversy over use of statins for primary care, but Kendrick also points out that even for those in my condition the advantage they may give are negligable....ie 2 days longer life for every year, or in my case about 2 months presuming i live to eighty.

    Not sure what my LDL level is, but overall cholesterol level is now 3.6 from 8.7 at diagnosis. I have drastically changed my diet....cut out the bad fats, sugars etc and keep the carbs down, and have lost 10kg. I think your right that they don't prescribe them for fun, but they do toe the party line!!

    There has never been any tests carried out for FH, but this was mentioned 20 years ago when i lived in canada, as my mother had an MI, had raised cholesterol levels and was in her 50s. Any way it seems there is a massive family history of CAD (Both Grandparents, mother, father, mothers brother, my younger brother etc), and the feeling is that FH may be a factor.

    I've not personally experienced any side effects that i could point to statins, but i'm taking that many pills it would be almost impossible to identify what effects were caused by which pills!! However i have a close friend who got muscle aches, which he ignored and he is now almost in a wheelchair!!

    I see the GP next week as a result of an angiogram, at which time the cardiologist stated he may recommend a meds review with the GP, hence me seeing him. I was also advised, quietly, by a nurse that there is a 'new' cholesterol drug that doesn't carry the known side effects of lipitor etc, but is rarely prescribed as it is very expensive!.

    Any way hope that answered all the comments, and once again thanks for the speedy and informative replies.

    tony

  • I have made a similar comment before. I have been taking 80mg/day of atorvastatin since 1997 and am not aware of any side effects. My father and brother died from MIs at the ages of 50 and 39 respectively. I had a cholesterol level of 12.5 mmol/l. I had a CABG in 1990 after which I was immediately prescribed the less effective simvastatin. I am now 65 and although suffering from the after effects of cancer treatment I am otherwise quite well. I think statins have prolonged my life with many quality years.

    Remember most people who post on forums have cause for complaint. Those who are satisfied tend not to. This forum tends to be anti medical.

  • I wouldn't go so far as to say that this forum is anti-medical.

    I just think we are all coming at this high cholesterol problem from different angles and (thank goodness) we are all individuals.

    Hopefully the point of bringing up things we have found upsetting or difficult is to change practice for the better.

    I have made a mental note though, that when things go well, I will say so. I am eternally grateful to 3 doctors who put themselves out for me and arranged genetic testing for FH....(even though I probably haven't even got it!)

  • I wonder if the "'new' cholesterol drug that doesn't carry the known side effects of lipitor" is Crestor/rozuvastatin or ezetimibe? Crestor was worse for me. Not tried ezetimibe yet.

    I also think the gene test would be the best thing, but that can be fun to get sometimes.

    I'd also be cautious about following only Kendrick. Take a mix of authors and try to balance them.

  • Hi all,

    Well its been a while since i first started this statin debate. I really appreciated all your comments, and after a meds review, got an agreement from my GP, who spoke to my cardiologist, to cease the Atorvastatin as my Cholesterol was 2.9. Stopped taking them in December.

    Just had results from test at the beginning of Feb and now up to 6.9 (After only 6 weeks) with an LDL level of 4.7 or 4 times higher than the HDL.

    Needless to say when i saw my Cardiologist on thursday he insisted i go back on the Atorvastatin!!

    Oh well a failed experiment.....Hope my experience helps keep you informed.

    Bye for now

    Tony

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