Simvastatin 20 mg prescribed today ?

After reading about statins, I am reluctant to start taking my first pill today, my father has high cholesterol and his specialist asked that his children's be tested. My results are 6.1 with 1.8 good and my GP recommends commencing statins, I was in agreement this morning bit after reading I am now not convicted? I have a relatively healthy life style, no meat, and exercise twice a week, not overweight. 45 female, Any comments much appreciated

13 Replies

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  • I will repeat what Traci has said. Vast numbers of people take statins with no side effects at all. I have been taking therm for almost ten years now and, apart from lowering my cholesterol levels, I have noticed no other side effects, either physical or mental. The minority who may have suffered side effects have had a lot of publicity but you are far more likely to reap benefits than adverse reactions. Why not give them a fair trial and decide for yourself?

  • I agree with what Traci has to say but I would always bear in mind that there will be a lot of people out there taking statins who are not aware of this web site, who have not researched statins and who will suffer in silence because they have been recommended by their GP. From my research statins have been denegrated for many years, there were articles critisising the excessive use of them since 2005, and still they are being prescribed willy nilly. The anecdotal evidence against them and serious side effects caused by them is overwhelming.

    Simvastatin is the one most prescribed and the one that causes the most side effects. This is because it is the cheapest. There are others that appear to cause less side effects but GP's will start with the cheapest. Simvastatin is the one I took because eventually and against my better judgement I succumbed to pressure from my GP. The side effects for me changed my life.....I became depressive, lethargic, fatigued all day; my brain would not function as it used to, it felt muzzy all the time, until I stopped taking them, I am now almost back to my old self. Because of this I reseached, I read everything i could find about statins and will not be persuaded to try a different one. There is no evidence that I could find that they have been proven to help a woman over 60.....in fact the opposite. And the small difference for younger people in my opinion does not justify the damage caused to some.

    Read the reports, google the great statin debate, the statin con, read what Dr John Briffa has to say. Then draw your own conclusions. Try them but be prepared to stop if you experience side effects. It is sooooo complicated and a minefield, I hope you make the right decision, only you can make it.

  • Totally agree. It is absolutely vital to do a huge amount of research yourself. The days of doctors writing a prescription as if it were a given are coming to an end. This is only possible with the advent of the internet and easy access to information. Briffa and Kendrick are good starting reads.

  • I would say "suck it and see" . Not everyone has side effects and for them the results could be worthwhile. I would advise to be aware of possible effects and vigilant. I have tried 5 different statins and reacted badly to all of them-silva station the worst and rosuvastatin the least bad. I've been off them for @least 2 years and am STILL suffering. But beware, vibrates, edit amiable, and the now banned Tredaptive (nicotanic acid) can be even worse. If your problem is FH statins, if you are tolerant is probably your best bet. BUT LOOK FOR SIDE EFFECTS BECAUSE SOME CAN BE PERMANENT!

    Richbod

  • Should have said simvastatin, not silva station, fibrates not vibrate, and ezitamide not edit amiable. Sorry-new to this.

    Richbod

  • Totally agree. I've been on so many anti cholesterol drugs singly and in combinations for years (with no real success) and reacted to them all in some degree. When I've been taking the combinations I've had to stop them one at a time to find out which was causing which problem- all to no avail. Look forward to my next Specialist appointment next month!

    Richbod

  • The question is, with high cholesterol what happens if you do NOT take a statin.

    Obviously, it could possible get worse and lead to other medical complications, such as vascular disease. This happened to me and ended with blocked leg arteries that required major surgery. Had I realised early on, I would have definitely taken statins as advised, bit late now! Also coronary arteries can get blocked etc, in the long run, we have to make decisions that could have a profound affect on our future health, it's easy to say,'statins give me a headache, or what ever', so I won't take them, but the build up of cholesterol in blood vessels can be life threatening, the choice is yours.

    If we lived in America, getting diagnostic treatment would cost a fortune, in UK, we are offered it free, so should we ignore what is offered as do many patients?

  • It's a difficult one....but for some the side effects ruin lives. For me I would rather live a shorter good life than a long one ruined by drugs, (the evidence is there). Statins affect every cell in your body; cholesterol is needed by every cell in your body, particularly the brain. As Mike says the internet gives us all the opportunity to do our own research and make an informed decision. Ask your GP is he/she has seen the latest research??!! And it seems now that sugar is a bigger danger than cholesterol....here is another research project!! Pharmaceutical lobby, sugar lobby....all have a vested interest and are determined to get as much of our money as possible regardless of the harm done to many individuals.

  • Hi.

    I put off taking my 20mg of Simvistatin for 6 months. When I look back now I realise how ridiculous that was. I have a history of drug allergies which was why I was scared so my GP started me off on 10mg then gradually increased to 20mg and I've been absolutely fine for the last 2 years. Id rather be on them than have a heart attack like my brother did who died at age 40.

  • This is both sides of the great statin debate for primary prevention, that is taking them to prevent a cardiac event.

    Usually GP's give you time to try and get your levels down with diet and exercise before offering medication.

    What you do is entirely up to you, you may be perfectly OK on statins and think it worth being on them to reduce your absolute risk (see patient decision aids, they are excellent!). You may get side effects from statins which make your life miserable and you decide that the reduction in risk is not worth it. Remember statins are a life long medication.

    Everybody here should make a decision on what is right for them....not easy I know, I've done it.

  • Crestor (Rosuvastatin) seems to be the least harmful, as doctors say. I have taken it for 2 years without side effects.

  • The 40mg Simvastatin made me weary so I'm trying the 20mg now. Trouble is, the more I read about the whole Cholesterol/ Diet/Statin subject the more I become cynical. The patient decision aids referred to by Aliwally did nothing to convince me that my life would be longer if I stayed on them. I'm reading John Nicholson's The Meat Fix right now and, with reservations about some of his statements, find he makes a pretty strong case for desisting. Exercise, avoiding processed and "healthy" chemical foods (such as margarines) and eating red meat feels a much better approach at the moment. If I suddenly get symptoms of something serious I'll change my mind! My wife meticulously checks her low-fat food intake but is no healthier than I! Her friend who followed macro-biotic diet (I think it was totally meat-free) for many years with exercise and frugal living was killed by a totally unexpected stroke. Maybe I worry too much.

  • No need to worry on this one,a well proven drug and i have been on them for 10 years but BOY do i Wee a lot during the night.

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