Simvastatin and effects of!

Cholesterol 7.7 so GP prescribed 40mcg of simvastatin to be taken nightly. Took first one Monday evening. On Wednesday had a funny dizzy spell, but didn't link it to new drugs. Thursday and Friday feeling a little spaced out and not wanting to do anything. Saturday - extremely spaced out and dizzy, pins and needles all over body, spent day in bed! Phoned nhs direct and was told to stop taking statins. Today, pins and needles going, but still quite dizzy and feeling detached from body, if that makes sense! Anyone else had this drug with similar results or have I picked up a bug and am blaming statins? No sickness, etc - just feel really weird.

26 Replies

  • I thought I was going to die. I was on Simvastatin and I could not even get out of bed If anyone were to ask me to take Simvastatin - I would say I WON'T DO IT! If you are hypothyroid and your cholesterol is high that is because you are not on a good enough dosage. I know. I was on 150mcg Levo for 23 years, Cholesterol 4.7. The doctor reduced it to 100.

    2 months later, cholesterol 9.7. Then it went up to 10 so he put me on simvastatin. It all but destroyed my muscles, I was barely able to walk and ended up almost bedridden. - and then I read what it does to your heart - Whoah! It depletes the body of COQ10 which can cause heart attacks!

    I stopped taking them and started fighting for my thyroxine to be restored. After 7 years I have finally succeeded in persuading the doc to put it up to 125mcg. 3 months later my cholesterol had fallen from 10 down to 8. I hope it's still falling, I won't know until my next blood test. If you want to find out more about statin damage I will put a link on here.


    That is one link but there are many. What I have observed is that there is a far higher number of 'anti' articles than 'pro' articles. I also have observed that the ones who are 'pro' do not take the trouble to say if there are conflicting interests, eg being paid by a drug company. Important, I think.

    Also, it mentions in the patient information leaflet that those with 'untreated' (or, indeed, under-treated) hypothyroidism should NOT take statins. The reason is, they are more likely to suffer the muscle-damaging effects, since they are already struggling because of the thyroid.

    If after this, you should decide to continue with the statins, may I suggest you get some COQ10 to at least protect your heart muscle.

  • Here is another link:

  • Xx

  • Xx

  • Wow - thank you! I'm definitely NOT taking these drugs again. I'll return to gp and battle with him to raise my Levo - on 100mcg at present. Many thanks for the links and your help, Laura xx

  • From the above article, "Odds are greater than 100 to 1 that if you're taking a statin, you don't really need it. The ONLY subgroup that might benefit are those born with a genetic defect called familial hypercholesterolemia, as this makes them resistant to traditional measures of normalizing cholesterol."

    My gp says mine IS familial, ie: genetic! :(

  • If you are going to continue with statins, other ones seem to be more popular with patients.

    E.g. rosuvastatin.

    But they cost more... :-(


  • Thanks Rod x

  • Mine told me that, too. When I asked why it had gone up from 4.7 to 9.7. I was even convinced he was right. Actually it is quite a rare condition. He asked me if anyone else in my family had high cholesterol, and I remembered that my Nan had strokes etc. So the doctor had almost convinced me.

    But then I remembered, she also had thyroid trouble. Until thyroid disease as a cause has been ruled out, and genetic testing has been done, familial hypercholesterolaemia should not be assumed. Since you KNOW that your thyroid is underactive, it's the most obvious cause. If it has long ears, a white tail and looks like a rabbit, it's a rabbit.

    Have you had high cholesterol all your life? Or is it since your thyroid became underactive?

    Actually 7.7 is not ALL that high if familial hypercholesterolaemia were really the cause. I would expect it to be in the 10s or 12s - and even then, mine was 10 but since when I was better medicated it was 4.7, I would still question that conclusion.

  • I agree - a GP simply asserting that it is familial is inadequate.

  • Statins are clearly contra indicated with thyroid hormone. Here is the report...

  • Thank you x

  • I read somewhere that studies conducted by the manufacturers of Simvastatin showed that taking it only reduced your risk of a heart attack if you had already had a previous heart attack and then only by 1%.

    I need to find the article, but perhaps that might help you decide what to do. It may be that you could take a lower dose. My mum couldn't take statins so her doctor told her not to bother. Obviously I am not advising you not to take it. That would be wrong.

    High cholesterol can be an indication that you are hypothyroid, or not adequately treated for hypothyroidism. It might be worth getting hold of your latest blood results (with ranges) and seeing if there is room for improvement. An increase in levo may be all you need.

    Some info: Dr Toft (former chair of the British Thyroid Association) stated in his book that patients on levo need to have their TSH below 1 and their T4 at the top of the range. He even says that some patients need their TSH below range to achieve this and that this is fine provided that their T3 is within range.

    Please get your results and have a firm debate with him. Under treating your thyroid is just as dangerous as over treating. If you are not experiencing symptoms of being over treated, then it is likely you are not over treated.

    I hope you get somewhere with your doctor.

    Carolyn x

  • There have also been studies that show that Simvastatin does significantly reduce risk of heart attack, but these are in people who already show clinical evidence of heart disease. If you don't already have heart disease, I don't know what the effect would be. The results aren't amazing, even for those with heart disease, but It does seem that statins are important in these circumstances.

  • GP Magazine Pulse has in the past few days published a story about statins giving you an extra 14 days of life...

    Giving patients statins ‘buys them just fourteen days of life’

    1 May 2013 | By Caroline Price

    Giving patients statins for primary prevention may mean patients live longer – but only for a matter of weeks, according to a new analysis described in a hotly debated session at Pulse Live.

    Macclesfield GP Dr Malcolm Kendrick said data shows that after five years of secondary prevention treatment with a statin, the average person just lives fourteen days longer as a result.

    But Whitby GP and Cardiology GPSI Dr Terry McCormack countered that the latest, most robust evidence shows the benefits of statin treatment in primary prevention outweigh the risks even among people with the lowest baseline risk.

    <more by following link>

    Not sure if registration is required.


  • Thanks. Registration not required :)

    I find it interesting that when my mum had really bad side-effects (confusion and memory loss) the doctor just said to stop taking them and didn't seem at all concerned. I think that says it all really.

    On the other hand, my dad has already had a heart attack and a triple bypass so probably required in that situation!

  • I agree, I was given simvastatin quite a few years ago. When I started it was the first day of our summer holiday and were on our way to the south of France in a camper. I had no worries about taking them but by the time we got to Aix - I had been on them for less than a week and I could barely walk. My legs felt awful. I also felt really depressed, as if just wanted to curl up in a corner and just blot out the world, it took a bit longer to find mention of that side effect online but I found it eventually. Anyway, I felt really bad on them. In the end I took them on alternate days for a couple of days then stopped them altogether. When I got home I confessed to my doctor that I had stopped, otherwise they would have come up of my repeat prescription and I didn't want that. I was told there were other brands I could try but I did not want to take the chance of feeling like that again so I declined her offer. She recommended using those cholesterol lowering drinks and spreads which I did (I preferred the Flora ones) and that helped along with losing a bit of weight and getting regular exercise. That was all years before discovering I had Graves in November last year. I found the depressed feeling really horrible - wasn't too keen on not being able to walk either though. I would never take them again. I read somewhere that you can have some sort of test before starting them to see if your muscles are likely to be affected by them but I didn't have that. Trouble is as far as I am aware the muscle damage is irreversible. My father died at 52 after his third heart attack, he was a heavy smoker though.

    Good luck

    Liz x

  • I was told to take simvastin many yrs ago. I didn't.

    I know of a friend of a friend who took statins for yrs. I think it was simvastatin. She now has a buggered up liver. I heard she was trying to sue the nhs.

  • To give another perspective, I have Hashimotos, was told I have familial hypercholesterolemia by a Doctor who has done many studies on cholesterol and statins and the links to heart disease. My Endo decided to take me off Simvastatin which I had been on for years, to see if it made any difference to my pain levels (it didn't) but it put my cholesterol levels back up again and I had a stroke! Im not saying that had anything to do with it but Im not willing to find out again and the Hospital immediately put me back on it.

    I personally dont have any symptoms from taking it at all.

  • I was put on statins after being admitted to hospital last year with chest pains. Before I took the first one I asked if there were any side effects and told NO! I asked to read the patient information leaflet and told there wasn't one.

    Within half an hour I was in another 'place', and spent the whole night not sleeping in a 'trance' like state. I refused them for the next two nights but was persuaded to take it the fourth night as I was reasurred that what I was feeling was nothing to do with statins. Lo and behold, the same thing happened again.

    I have never taken one since and never will ~Cardiologist has a go at me constantly, offered to half the dose - no chance xx

  • Isn't your metabolism messed up enough, without statins?

  • Here here!

  • Following heart attack and strokes and genetic high cholesterol I take a huge does of Atorvastatin every day and feel awful with all the muscle and other symptoms BUT without the blood thinners other pills and the statin I would prob be dead so don't just write them off if you are told that you need them.

    Had thyrotoxicosis 30 idd years ago treated with radio active iodine until under active was put on premarin until they stopped that and change to levo. Did notoce a downward slope since on the levo though

  • How much levo are you on? if it is too low that will put up your cholesterol bigtime. No joke. I was on 150 mcg (fine for me) but it was dropped to 100. Within 2 months I had 3 TIAs and my cholesterol went from 4.7 to 9.7. I'm now fighting back, up to 125 and already my cholesterol is falling - it was 10 in December, 8 now.

  • I once tried a bottle of Red Yeast Rice Gold. I didn't take the maximum dose. I think I just took 1 capsule daily.

    I took a cholesterol test before taking the product, and then after I finished the bottle. My cholesterol dropped by about 1/3. I don't recall experiencing the usual weirdness that goes with statins.

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