Feedback on Lipitor Side Effects and Usage – Page 2

About Lipitor

If you use Lipitor or another statin please help others by sharing your experience. What would you tell your best friend about this product? Please remember that we do not give medical advice. That is for your local health care provider, who is familiar with your medical history.

Subj: Lipitor and gragefruit
Date: 1/6/2004
You state in the section on what to avoid while taking Lipitor that grapefruit or grapefruit juice may interact with the Lipitor. Just what is the interaction, are there symptoms associated with this interaction? I love grapefruit and was not aware of a potential problem until a co-worker brought this to my attention. My doctor and pharmacist never told me anything about an interaction with grapefruit.


AskDocWeb: Studies have shown that grapefruit juice can increase your body’s ability to absorb some drugs. This may lead to an increase risk of adverse effects of Lipitor, which may include effects on your muscles (such as pain, weakness and muscle loss).

Grapefruit juice inhibits a special enzyme in the intestines that is responsible for the natural breakdown of many medications. When the action of this enzyme is blocked, the blood levels of these medications increase.

The interaction between grapefruit juice and Lipitor may not be important if the doses of Lipitor are low or moderate. The extent of the interaction with grapefruit juice may vary between the different brands and strengths. Problems may also arise from whole grapefruit.

Here are 3 ways others are dealing with this interaction.

1. While taking Lipitor, some avoid grapefruit and its juice altogether. Studies have suggested that the interacting effect may last up to 3 days after ingestion of grapefruit, particularly after daily consumption.

2. Some find this unacceptable and have changed to other medication.

3. A third option was to take advantage of this interaction (with your doctor’s help) to reduce the dosage and still get the same serum concentration of the drug.

If you are taking grapefruit juice and Lipitor, and not experiencing any side effects (pain, weakness and muscle loss), do not discontinue the consumption of grapefruit without consulting with your doctor to see whether your dosage needs adjusted.

Subj: Would like to have grapefruit
Date: 2/25/2004
I am a 56 year old female weighing 130lbs. I take 20 mg of lipitor before bed. I would like to have grapefruit in the late morning (1/2 grapefruit). Is 20mg considered “low dose”? Thank you for your response,


AskDocWeb: Your cholesterol levels (along with other factors) are used by your doctor to determine what dosage is right for you. Tell you doctor you read about the effect of grapefruit on Lipitor and that you are concerned about having a half grapefruit each morning. Your doctor is the one to advise you based on your personal medical history.

Subj: Grapefruit and Lipitor
Date: 3/4/2004
I have been taking Lipitor for four years and was interested in the interaction of Grapefruit and this statin. Should I stop eating Grapefruit? I live in Florida and have a very bountiful tree and I do enjoy the fruit. I was taking 40mg and now I am back to 20mg. Thank you


AskDocWeb: Talk to your doctor before you start or stop eating grapefruit. Just make sure your doctor knows that you are eating or considering eating grapefruit.

Subj: Is this common?
Date: 3/5/2004
My doctor recently put me on lipitor for high cholesterol. I find that I am very sleepy. I can close my eyes almost any time and be snoozing in the blink of an eye, any time during the day. At times I can hardly keep my eyes open. Is this a common side effect or is it unusual?


Subj: Severe side effects
Date: 3/18/2004
I was given lipitor by my doctor to reduce my cholesterol. Within a week I had severe muscle pain, cramps, weakness, blurred vision, pain in my head, joint pain. I have stopped taking it and I am starting to get my strength back.

F. E.

AskDocWeb: There are a lot of alternatives now, so talk to your doctor about changing meds.

Subj: Is it safe to eat?
Date: 4/7/2004
While taking Lipitor, is it safe to take Apple Pectin (1000 mg) daily? Is it safe to take Red Yeast Rice Complex while taking Lipitor?


AskDocWeb:We have no reference on those supplements. Remember this is a product review website. If you have information about using Lipitor with the above products, we welcome your feedback.

Subj: Found the problem
Date: 4/9/2004
I took this Lipitor drug for 8 months. After 4 months I started to get a side effect. I noticed that mine mouth was dry. No taste at all. Weakness, difficulty breathing and end up in the hospital. I got diverend test. The logspecialist could not find what it was. All the results from the test were okay. After 2 days in the hospital I was looking on the cp and open the web about lipitor. I found out that lipitor and Digoxin, my heart medication, cannot go together. I brought a copy from “About Lipitor”, to let the doctor know, what the problem was from my illness. He was shocked.


AskDocWeb:Some doctors just can’t keep up with everything. Glad we could help.

Subj: Crestor and grapefruit?
Date: 4/11/2004
Are there side effects taking Crestor (rosuvastatin calcium tablests) and grapefruit?


AskDocWeb: None that we have heard or read about.

Subj: Muscle damage
Date: 4/12/2004
My friends mothers muscles have been damaged due to the usage of lipitor. Does anyone out there know of a treatment that may give her back her strength?


Subj: Ache all over
Date: 4/26/2004
I was wondering if Lipitor could be the reason that I ache so bad…when I have to get out of the car, up from a chair, or bending over and then straightening up, I ache all over. I feel like an old lady and I am only 58…Your drug has really lowered my cholesterol (320 down to 191), but is this a common side effect or not and what should I do? Thanks in advance..


AskDocWeb: This is one of the side effects that should be reported to your health care provider. The manufacturer says to stop taking it and immediately tell your doctor that you are experiencing muscle aches.

Subj: Leg pain and tenderness
Date: 4/29/2004
I’m a 57-year old woman who has been on Lipitor for about 10 months, always at 20 mg. My cholesterol was 296 (HDL 70). Now it is 188 (HDL 72).
Several months ago I began to have leg pain and tenderness, which actually began in my right foot. (I also seem to have the beginning of a bunion on that foot, so I have been a little uncomfortable for a while.) My feet always felt swollen and my shoes tight even when neither was the case. In the past few weeks the tenderness has gone up the calves and knees. It got so bad that I couldn’t sleep on my side with my legs touching (one leg on the other).
Last week I stopped taking Lipitor. If the medication is not at fault, I can always resume it later. However, I have noticed some improvement in only 1 week, in both the less affected left leg and as well as in the right one. The worst of the night pain has vanished, and I feel less pain in my shins, although my calves still feel tight and swollen. In actuality, they are NOT swollen!
What I would like to know please is: How long does it take for Lipitor to be depleted in one’s system after you stop ingesting it? I would also be very grateful for any general insight or suggestions you might offer. Thank you.


AskDocWeb: Unfortunately, the effect on muscles can last long after the drug is out of your system. Please contact your doctor immediately about this. Tell your doctor every medication you are taking and the effects you listed above. There are a number of medications that can interact with lipitor to cause muscle damage.

Subj: Feeling week
Date: 4/30/2004
My husband is taking lipitor, and sense he started he has been feeling week, and tired, way more than usual. He also hasn’t been able to get or keep an erection, can this be a side effect from the lipitor? This has only been sense he started taking this drug. Please e-mail me and let me know.


AskDocWeb: Yes it can. And the manufacturer says to contact your doctor immediately if you experience unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness, especially if it is accompanied by a fever or flu-like symptoms or yellowing of your eyes or skin.

We update the posts on a first come, first served basis, and sometimes we get behind on updating as much as three weeks. Do not expect a direct reply to inquires. We have all we can do just keeping up with posting on the website.

Subj: Time for a change
Date: 5/1/2004
I have been on Lipitor for over two years. I’ve had both knees replaced and always assumed my pain was from the replacements, never dreaming it was a prescription drug. I figured I needed to do more therapy. For the last three weeks, I have been so tired, I do not want to go to therapy – something I have been doing for years. Then I see that Lipitor could be the culprit. I was told by a general practitioner that I will be on Lipitor for the rest of my life. This morning I spoke with our pharmacist, who said he’s never heard of such a thing. This is something I will discuss with a different physician. As far the grapefruit, my bottles have a reminder on them to not consume any grapefruit. Thanks for letting me VENT.. not knowing which way to jump. As of this time, I will take half a ten mg tonight and a half tomorrow night and get in contact with different physician Monday.


AskDocWeb: It really sounds like getting a different physician would be a good idea, one who is familiar with alternatives to Lipitor.

Subj: Effect on surgery
Date: 5/5/2004
Directions say that if you are having surgery, even dental surgery, to tell the dr. you are taking Lipitor. What is the effect of Lipitor on surgery?


AskDocWeb: Those who have surgery while on Lipitor may be at risk of developing muscle problems that can lead to kidney failure.

Subj: Four years ago
Date: 5/19/2004
I’m 46 years old. I took Lipitor for a week four years ago, experienced severe muscle pain, weakness, sleepiness, can’t concentrate for more than a few minutes. Still after four years I have a mildly elevated CK, and all the symptoms. I haven’t been able to work during this time. My doctors here in Sweden say it’s not possible to have these problems for such a long time. Isn’t it? What’s your knowledge about this? For me it feels like the damage is permanent. Is there any hope for me?


AskDocWeb: If you have had these problems for that long then obviously it is possible. The question is, were the problems caused by taking Lipitor for a week. We would encourage you to get a second opinion from another doctor. Also, there may be something else going on that your doctor has missed.

Subj: Tapering off
Date: 5/23/2004How does one taper off of lipitor. My doctor said it must be tapered off – from 10 mg (usual dose), then 5 mg a day for a week, then you can stop. Is this true?


AskDocWeb: The idea is to gradually reduce the amount of drug in your body so you have a chance to get used to the difference over time. Follow your doctor’s advice.

Subj: Lowering CPK levels
Date: 5/23/2004
I was taking Lipator, but my doctor has taken me off of it due to muscle pain and weakness. I have also been diagnosed with a paralyzed diaphragm. My CPK levels are lower now that I’ve been off Lipator. Is there a way to speed up the lowering of my CPK levels?


AskDocWeb: We haven’t come across any. If anyone writes in with ideas, we will post them here.

Subj: Uncontrollable itching
Date: 5/24/2004
I was admitted to the hospital last week, straight from the doctors office via gurney (they thought I had a blood clot or was having a heartache – I am ONLY 43 years old!) with numerous problems, shortness of breath, chest pain, etc. While doing blood work it was discovered that my cholesterol level was at 377, with the “bad” part being 189. I began taking Lipitor 10 mg Saturday morning. Since Saturday night I have had UNCONTROLABLE itching ALL OVER my body. Can this be caused by the Lipitor? Please help! I also plan on calling my cardiologist in the AM tomorrow. Thanks!


AskDocWeb: What you are describing sounds like hives. This is one indication of an allergic reaction and you need to seek medical help as soon as possible.

How do you know if you have hives? Multiple itchy red spots or welts appear on the skin, sometimes slightly raised. These can appear anywhere on your body. These may or may not have a pale white bump in the center of each red spot. These spots can be redder or paler than the surrounding skin, usually have well defined margins and often are accompanied by itching. They are also known as urticaria or welts.

An allergic reaction can also be caused from an insect bit, eating certain foods, taking certain medications or supplements. A severe allergic reaction can cause death from anaphylactic shock. This is a common cause of death of children three years and under.

Subj: Side effects
Date: 5/24/2004
I have had a lot of the same symptoms, couldn’t place the real problem until I paid attention to the possible side effects on their commercial. My whole lower extremities were like a clenched fist four days ago. I stopped taking it and I’m getting better. Rather lock ’em up than to go through this pain again, & I’m only 40!


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