Statins have become an oft-prescribed drug treatment for heart health and prevention of blood vessel constriction and blockage. However, these "wonder drugs" are not without risks. In some cases, natural home remedies can take the place of statins or work to counteract some of the drug's more harmful side-effects--especially statin-induced neuropathy.
Statins are designed to inhibit a certain enzyme's functioning in the body, so that cholesterol levels are kept lower. This helps to reduce blood vessel blockage and improve overall cardiovascular health. Neuropathy, that is cell and tissue death, occurs due to long-term use of statins, especially in diabetics.
Home Remedies: To treat statin-induced neuropathy and its symptoms at home, some have successfully turned to coenzyme Q-10 (CoQ10) to address issues with neuropathy.
Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.
Statin-Induced Side Effects
[SIDE EFFECTS] 05/18/2013: Deedle from Cabot, Arkansas: "I too suffer from Statin drug neuropathy. Mine was so severe I have to take the high does gabapentin and high dose Hydrocodone just to bring my pain level down a small bit. I had to find another doctor because the pain was getting worse and he couldn't find anything to help it or seem to want to help me in anyways. The new doctor immediately too me off of the Statin drugs and after about a week I started to feel some relief from the the neuropathy pain, after a couple weeks he told me to try alpha lipoic acid. With in two weeks my neuropathy pain went from unbearable to painful. Now after a year I am back walking, playing and living a better life now. I still have the neuropathy pain still but it is a whole lot better and hardly interfere with my life. I just wish doctors would go back to healing people instead of trying to make people sicker."
[SIDE EFFECTS] 06/22/2010: Gtcharlie from La, Ca, Usa: "If you'd search "statin-induced neuropathy" on the web and you'll be amazed at how many people are suffering from this statin drug. I am one of the victims by this big Pharma scam! Most of us suffer debilitating pains in our lower bodies plus other symtoms due to the damage caused by statins on our peripherol nurvous systems. This disease can hit some patients even after they stopped their statins for four years! Sadly, it is not reversable and so far, there is no cure! A former NASA medical doctor, spoke from his own experience, said:"Don't waste your time and money, just take as much CoQ10 as you can afford!".
So beware! Those who are being advised to take statins by your doctors should pay close attention to your body reactions. The best thing is to evaluate yourself if it is reallly benefitial to you. Is cloresterol as bad as they claim? Search the web and you'll find many infos that might shock you! It was too late for me! Cholesterol has been distorted by the big Pharma for they can benefit big time in it - worldwide sales of statins is over $160 billion annually. But to those who suffer this so called side effects from the statins everyday, it is a killing drug! Many healthy people became sick and a few died from this drug! I don't know how much incentive my doctor who prescribed me the statins had received, but I wish him and those who push the statins to burn in hell!
PS - I wonder if EC would open a new link on this topic? I am sure I am not the only victim of statins over here! Ironically, if I didn't suffer from this thing, I would'nt be connected to this wonderful website! Thank you, EC!"
06/26/2010: Emstari from Sacramento, Ca replies: "My statin-induced neuropathy is STILL causing me great pain, even though it's been 6 years. Is there any grassroot movement to protect people?
I see so many people on the statins and suffering neuropathy, not aware of the harmful potential. They may be swallowing the very thing that is causing their foot pain."
06/27/2010: Brenda from San Antonio, Texas replies: "The best thing i have ever seen work for neuropathy is alpha lipoic acid. You can get it at most health food stores. We first started to use it for blood sugar and found that stoping the tingling numbness and sharp pain of neuropathy was a great side effect. Needless to say, we then tried it in any nerve pain and yea! it worked. The dosage is 2, 300mgs caps a day. In one bottle the pain was gone. Please give it a try."
06/27/2010: R. from Dallas, Texas, Usa replies: "How do you tell what medications or disease, is causing neuropathy? I have been on statins for over 3 years, and hiv/aids meds for 20 years. My doctors blame it on the hiv disease, or the hiv meds, which is what causes my need for the statin drug. They have never brought up the fact that the statins can cause neuropathy either.."
06/28/2010: Gtcharlie from La, Ca, Usa replies: "Hi, R!
Sadly, most of the doctors are still burying their heads in the sand in this issue! If I were you, I would definitely consider changing this doctor if s/he refuses to listen. Some in similar cases said they did when they rant their stories on the forums. Many wrote: "Thank you guys! I finally found someone who shares my pain. It is not in my head like my doctor said!"
The latest info I can find online (unofficial): a small group of researchers have narrowed down the culprit. It is due to a deformed gene (SLCO1B1) in some patients, lacking a LDL subgroup Lrp4 (destroyed by the statin drug), trigger the damaging process on the neurons. And this problem happens to about 4% of the patients who take statins. But some say it could be as high as 10%. The big pharmas are not doing anything since there is no money in it. Some lawyers sued but with little success.
Medications for your Hiv can also cause Peripherol Neuopathy too. Reseachers found COQ10 can help to an extent.
My suggestion is, talk to your doctor and see if s/he is willing to take measures to identify the problem - either it is your statin or your Hiv drugs. Tell your doctor that blood work won't tell. You have to take a muscle biopsy which could cost up to $6000, someone did! But this could only confirm it and there is still no cure!
At the mean time, take a lot of vitamins - B/C/D/E and COQ10. Exercise! I found exercise, any kind that suits your life style, that relax the muscles will help. Pay close attention to your pain triggering point. Don't let it develope into a big thing by stopping everything to avoid angering your body!
Don't give up, dawn is coming!
With my warmest regards,
Good Time Charlie"
07/03/2010: Stano from Laurel, Md, Usa replies: "69 years old and have taken statins for 12 years. I developed pain and tingling in my left shoulder, arms and hands. Doctor prescribed physical therapy and it could not cure so had MRI and it detected thinning of myelin around neck spinal cord that was touching disc so he scheduled surgery to open and fuse vertebra. Then I asked the doctor if it could be statin induced and he said no way. I asked to stop but he said no and I stopped any way. After 2 months all pain went away and I told the doctor. He said no way Statin could have caused it so I started taking half a dose, 10 MG every other day and in 4 months pain was back so I stopped the statin but it took 3 months for the pain to go away this time and I have been off of it ever since. Doctor keeps saying I need to lower cholesterol and to take it, no way he cannot force it. Reported to FDA, drug company and doctor and they do not believe and do not acknowlodge statin might be the cause. I take 100 mg CoQ10 daily instead and I believe it helped restore the spinal cord myelin protective sheath."
07/05/2010: Joy from Aurora, Nc Usa replies: "Stano, your email of Saturday was eye-opening. My husband's situation (regarding neuropathy) sounds very similar. A statin was working but the Dr. didn't think cholesterol was low enough and changed to another statin. Mistake, he began on a spiral downhill and after reading your blog, I am convinced it is that. For a year we have struggled along trying to figure out what has happened. Finally, he has developed lung cancer on top of the neuropathy so he is in pain but it is from the neuropathy going from the left side of the neck down to the hand. The damage may be permanent but at least we are on the trail of some answers. Thank you for sharing."
10/24/2012: Rick R from Camarillo, California replies: "I am 57 years old and have had neuropathy since 1995. I had to quit my full time job because of leg pain and fatigue. It started in my feet and calves and is now all over my body, including my hands, I have about 50% loss in my fingers. I've been taking Lipitor for over 20 years and just recently was reading about the possible connection. I've had 3 brain MRI's, 3 spinal taps, and several nerve conduction tests for possible MS. None was conclusive for MS, and nerve conduction was marginal normal. If indeed Lipitor has caused this horrible condition, it's cost me a career, a family, and put my entire life on hold. I'm going to see my doctor as soon as I can."
10/24/2012: Lisa from Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa replies: "Hi Rick, So sorry to hear this. 20 years on Lipitor could definitely do this. I heard a well-known person speak on this subject a year and a half ago. He said statin drugs will definitely waste the muscles without a doubt. It's sad that your doctors haven't told you the connection. The good news is our bodies can be healed. You will have to be committed to that though. There are many of us on EC who have forged through many physical adversities and restored or are restoring our health. There are many natural ways to reduce cholesterol without drugs which will always have side effects. Here is the section on EC:
Also, begin detoxing to get it out of your system and just clean your body up in general. There are many ways to do this. Here is the section:
I also see you are in Camarillo so you're a neighbor! Well, there's a place in Westlake Village called Oasis Wellness Center where they have far infrared saunas which would accelerate the detoxification, bring down inflammation, help your body pain, remove heavy metals and so much more. I take a sauna at least once a week to detox.
I wish you the best and hope this info helps. Lisa"