Tuesday, April 19, 2011
The growing list of serious negative side effects caused by statin drugs now includes memory loss and depression, according to a new study published in the Cochrane Library. Researchers discovered that the vast majority of drug trials allegedly showing statins to be safe have been conducted by drug companies, and that way too many people are being prescribed the dangerous medications as a result.
Researchers pulled data from 14 drug trials involving 34,000 patients and found that, while statins appeared to help prevent heart attacks and strokes in some patients, there was simply not enough evidence to prove that people with no history of heart disease can safely take the drugs. And yet millions of healthy people needlessly taking statins every day at the direction of their doctors.
“[W]e found that evidence of potential harm is not being taken seriously,” said Professor Shah Ebrahim, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “The adverse effects are not included in the trials.”
Amy Thompson, a senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, added that “[i]t is still unclear whether statins provide any real benefits for people without heart and circulatory disease and who are at low risk.” She and others are thus advising people without any history of heart disease to avoid statins altogether.
But do statin drugs actually provide any real benefit for anyone? According to a study published in the British Medical Journal in 2010, for every heart attack allegedly prevented by statins, two people suffer liver damage, kidney failure, cataracts or extreme muscle weakness from taking the drug. And statistically, less than three percent of people experience any benefit at all from taking statins.