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Remedies for Statin-Induced Neuropathy

Last Modified on Jan 27, 2016


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.

Remedies for Statin-Induced Neuropathy


Statin-Induced Neuropathy
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Statin-Induced Side Effects02016-01-20

Statin-Induced Side Effects  
25 User Reviews | 1 WARNING! | 3 SIDE EFFECTS

Posted by Christopher (Wisconsin) on 01/20/2016

I was prescribed 10mg Lipitor in 1998, which I tolerated well for 3.5 years, when in July of 2002, I began to have horrible headaches, the likes of which I have never experienced before. In August, the headaches began to be accompanied with episodic confusion and profound lethargy which caused me to remain in bed up to 16 hours/day. I missed several days of work between Aug and Oct 2002. The episodic confusion was increasing in frequency. One night in particular, my wife woke to find me in the kitchen digging through the trash, when she asked what I was doing, I responded “Im looking for some milk”..this caused her concern. She took me to the doctor in the morning, to which he told her, I was having migraines, gave me a prescription for Imitrex (Injection), which I could not figure out how to administer it, despite my past 12 years working as a Critical Care and Emergency Room Registered Nurse , Over the next few weeks the frequency and severity of the headaches, fatigue and confusion worsened. And on one Sunday morning, after my wife woke to find me walking down the middle of the street at 2am, when she approached me, I did not know who she was, what I was doing etc..she was able to convince me to come back home. And in the morning she took me to the ER, as my confusion/lethrargy/headaches were unabated.

In the ER, she pleaded with the Dr to do an MRI scan, which she was told was not indicated. (34 years old, profound headaches, accompanied by confusion and fatigue is a pretty good indication for an MRI scan) And I was sent home with a diagnosis of Atypical Migraine. The following morning, my wife called my primary care doctor and asked him to order an MRI scan, to which he agreed. And was done the next day. When the results of the MRI were called to my doctor, he in turn called my wife and told her that the MRI revealed multiple lesions in my brain, scattered throughout the white and grey matter, and he referred me to a neurologist. When we saw the Neurologist, he told use he thought it was Atypical Multiple Sclerosis. We decided to seek a second opinion, and we called the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and made an appointment with an MS specialist. When we went there and I was evaluated by the specialist, to which we were told “I dont think it is MS, though I am unsure what is going on” we went home to follow up in 2 weeks for additional testing and further evaluation. Over the next few days, I took my Lipitor as usual, and I continued to worsen with headaches, confusion, and profound lethargy.

My wife called the MS Specialist at UW Clinics, and he recommended I be evaluated as soon as possible. My wife and I dropped our 2 year old son off at my parents and we headed to UW Hospital where we were met by the Neurologist we had seen in clinic prior. Upon a mini mental exam, which I failed miserably, he admitted me to the hospital, Where I spent the next 28 days, akin to a 90 year old with advanced Alzheimer's disease. I could not walk, nor speak coherently, I was incontinent of bowel and bladder, I did not know my wife, nor my parents, brother or sister.

I had a brain biopsy which showed the lesions to be Apoptosis, (Programmed Cell Death), and an Electron Mictroscopy which revealed Mitochondrial DNA abnormalities consistent with Mitochondrial Encephalomyopathy and Lactic Acidosis with Stroke Like Episodes (MELAS). A muscle biopsy corroborated these findings. Serial Lactic Acid levels were grossly elevated, consistent with MELAS. I was to be transferred to a nursing home to live out my days, when I was evaluated by a visiting professor from Harvard, he suggested starting me on a mitochondrial Cocktail (essentially 13 vitamins, amino acids and one KEY NUTRIENT, CoQ10.

It was within 36 hours of starting this cocktail, that I could now answer simple questions, I began to walk with assistance, I could feed myself with assistance, I could now recognize my wife and my son and my parents and siblings. I was able to discharge home with aggressive rehab therapies.

Within a few weeks of being home, my wife and I watched Good Morning America one day, and Diane Sawyer was interviewing Dr Beatrice Golomb MD PhD, of the University of California San Diego. They were discussing a Statin Effects Study, Dr Golomb was to be doing. My wife urged me to enroll in the study, to which I replies, “Honey, my job as an RN was to know full well what the drugs I gave to my patients could do as well as any adverse effects.” But she was persistent, and I enrolled in the study, and had all of my medical records sent to Dr Golomb. When the study had finished, I received a call from Dr Golomb who informed me that I was one of several patients in her study with similar courses of illness and similar Brain and Muscle Biopsy findings, she told be she referred our cases to Dr Doug Wallace at UC Irvine, who she referred to as one of the top Mitochondrial Disease Experts in the US, and it was his opinion that my use of Lipitor was the Causal Contributor to the Mitochondrial DNA mutations, as well as the holes (Apoptosis) in my brain.

Since discharge on 11/7/2002, I have Peripheral Neuropathy, I still struggle with profound fatigue, muscle pain in my legs, severe cognitive delay as evidenced by an in depth Neuro-psychiatric Evaluation. It has been 13 and 1/2 years since my disability began. I have poured thousands of hours into researching the effects these dangerous drugs can and do have, more often than admitted by the doctors who dole these drugs out with callous disregard to the profound risks these drugs can have. I am an admin in a facebook group for statin side effects…I have read several books about statins and their risks an minimal benefits..none of which I was truly educated about during my tenure as a Critical Care RN. If anyone would like more information, please check out http://www.facebook.com/groups/statinsand or read “The Truth About Statins: Risks and Alternatives to Cholesterol Lowering Drugs” by Dr Barbara Roberts MD a cardiologist of 40 years who knows all to well the dangers these drugs can and do have.

Replied by Timh Donate

Ky
01/21/2016
C: Thanks so much for the detailed testimony of the dangers of statins.

There are a number of nutrients or herbs beneficial for brain health that you may or may not know about. If you type "Nootropics" into your search bar you will have plenty to read upon and possibly recover more completely.

Antioxidant nutrition in general is very important to prevent the horrible occurrence you endured, so, again, may do some research there. Specifically, add Selenium and Broad Spectrum Vit-E to your CoQ10 for maximum benefit and 3mg Melatonin prior to retiring.

For more info on the dangers of pharmaceutical drugs in general check out Jenny Thompson at http://hsionline.com/

Replied by Rsw
Oh
01/21/2016
Hi Christopher,

I belong to the Yahoo Group "Stopped Our Statins, " and your story is all too familiar to me. So many others have suffered many of the same adverse, life changing effects as you. The Group can be found here:

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Stopped_Our_Statins/info

If you could even copy and paste your comments from EarthClinic, it would be helpful to others. Dr. Roberts has commented on our site, also. Statins help about 1% of men who have had a previous heart event to avoid another event, while having about a 20% rate of adverse effects, some very serious and irreversible. No women are helped, except in a small way by the antiinflammatory properties. I, too, had a couple of episodes of transient global amnesia, that I thought were pre-Alzheimers warnings, and especially dangerous because they occurred while I was driving my car. I find it impossible to sleep since taking them, even though I quit them years ago. I also have two autoimmune diseases, the first one I never heard of called Lichen Planus, that I later read can be linked to statin drugs, and acquired during the many years I was told to take my statins or risk a heart attack, even though with each drug taken, I could barely climb my stairs after being very physically fit. In fact, I now have a much greater chance of CHF because my heart, our largest muscle, was most likely damaged along with my leg muscles from the statins. I, too, believe I have DNA damage and this is the reason the LDN I have taken for about six years does not work well for me, and why I have also developed Sjogren's disease. (I do believe the LDN has been helpful, however). I do not belong to Facebook or I would like to see your site. I do read Dr. Graveline's public Facebook site about his own statin damage and suggestions and studies. Best wishes with your quest for an answer. I know it is out there. Take care.

Replied by Rsw
Oh
01/21/2016
Thanks for this, TimH. As always, you are a remarkable source of useful information. I had never heard of "Nootropics" before, but looking over the list and descriptions, I see a wealth of possibilities to help with brain clarity and memory. I have heard of some of the supplements and even tried a couple, but this list is a wealth of information. Thank you!
Replied by Timh Donate

Ky
01/22/2016
Rsw. You are very much welcome. It really feels good to know that I have returned the favor of your tip on, I think it was, LDN, of which I take once daily and has helped a bunch in my immune system.

Hope you can reverse what damage was done in your case. Do keep us up-to-date on that.

Replied by Timh Donate

Ky
01/22/2016
Rsw: Forgot to mention that sleeplessness is a common side effect of liver disease, and of course we know statins are toxic to the liver. Lots of good, natural remedies for liver health.
Replied by Rsw
Oh
01/22/2016
Thanks, Timh. I will look into this. I did have severe Hep A many years ago, with numbers so high that my blood stopped clotting, I was hospitalized and the doctors said no one in the practice had ever seen numbers that high (not sure what numbers) and it could go either way. Obviously, by the grace of God, I recovered. So I will look into the remedies for liver health and see if that helps. Thank you! I'm glad you have gotten some benefit from the LDN. I never cease to be amazed at how it helps so many different ailments.
Replied by Timh Donate

Ky
01/24/2016
Rsw: OK, I'm back after musing on your condition and this is what I got to offer.

1. We know that there are many preconditions to consider for any particular otc or Rx medications. In the category of hepatoxic medications, statins must be high on the list, so it may needs be known if your history of Hep-A was included on your medical records at the Dr office you got prescribed statin. If the Dr or Nurse knew of your precondition, and prescribed the s anyway, there may be grounds for legal action if you encountered much loss in this regard. And it doesn't end here. Next

2. People with an event of Hep are several times more likely to develop liver cancer later in life. It was my misfortune to loose my dear mother to this statistic in 2009.

3. Fortunately the liver is remarkably regenerative. Any successful recovery will include removing the obstacles of inflammation, fibrosis, and steatosis (fat). Raw Liver tablets plus the good herbs plus ALA will bring about a near complete recovery (if the pre-conditions above listed are removed).

Lots of good info and products for recovery at

http://www.liversupport.com/

Maybe not part of the mainstream alternative med liver protocol, but there is a Chiro in Florida that has had very good results with TMG for people with liver disease.

Replied by Rsw
Oh
01/26/2016
Hi Timh,

I can't thank you enough for your analysis of my situation. I always concentrate on heart blockages and cerebral hemorrhage, my family's weak areas, and don't spend much time thinking about the liver. It's amazing how you could see how that may need some assistance!

I have been reading the site you recommended, and have bought some phytosome Milk Thistle, TMG, I have ALA, and lemon water in the morning. Not sure if I can stomach raw liver and wondered if I could cook it and still get some benefit? I also bought some b. Coagulans probiotic to aid in overall digestive health after looking at that. I wish I were more informed on taking the supplements because I noticed after about two years of taking iodine plus companion nutrients with Boron each morning that Bill posted to be sure not to take them at the same time, and I realize how I don't have a good understanding of combining these supplements.

Yes, my doctor knew about the severe Hep A and still insisted I take every statin ever made, even after quitting each one because of muscle problems. I have noticed many statin damaged people were told the same thing, "You aren't as young as you were" as an excuse for the muscle pain, and that line seems too prevalent to think it might not have been fed to doctors by the pharma companies. One week you're jogging around the neighborhood, and the next you aren't as young as you were because you can't get up the stairs?

Thank you Timh, for all of your help and for thinking outside the box. I will continue to investigate this, and will update you on any progress. I don't want to get dramatic, but pointing this liver problem out to me may have saved my life. I am so grateful that you are here on Earth Clinic!

Replied by Timh Donate

Ky
01/27/2016
Rsw: It really feels good to pass on stuff I've learned during my journey, especially when it makes a difference in someone's life.

One item to note is that most physicians are under heavy pressure from big pharma to sell the most profitable Rx drugs. From the BP reps all the way up to head of marketing dept to excecutives they push, push, push, and keep grinding the numbers. And they have their own punishment-reward system for Dr's. If the Dr is young and has much financial dept they willingly keep those Rx pads unfolding. So here are folks like yourself that absolutely do not need to take any meds that are hepatoxic, but are "caught in the river - can't stop the flood - that's the power of money - paper blood" -E.L.P.

Back to the liver. Depending on the extend of damage, will determine how aggressive your remedies. As for the Raw Liver, I take capsules or tablets, and be sure they are "concentrate". You should also eat cooked chicken or calf liver. As for me, I don't cook much and live alone so it is periodically that I get cooked chicken liver carry-out from local restaurant or KFC.

The ALA, from my experience, is powerful in the regenerative area especially when combined with the herbs and raw or cooked liver. As for fat burning (which is very important) of course all the B vitamins and extra Choline/Inositol, Carnitine, and or Methionine. Of all the fat burners I find Methionine the most effective and take B-12/Folic Acid or SAM-e with it. The TMG works kinda like these and maybe it will be sufficient.

Yes, I too am glad about going deeper into your situation as, like I said before, people with an occurrence of Hep are several times more likely to develop liver cancer later in life. So it is very important to address this situation or almost surely face some bad consequences in the yrs to come.

Will be waiting for good news from you!


Posted by Stephen (Argyle, Tx) on 06/28/2013

[SIDE EFFECTS]  I was perfectly healthy. My doctor started me on a statin in 2008. My numbers were not real high but he started me just as a precauction. After just a few months I got a nagging pain on the right side of my neck, developed cataracs and had an episode where I almost passed out and thought I was having a stroke. I immediately stopped the statin. I had such weakness and fatigue that it took over a year to recover. Since the episode I have had annoying tingling in my hands and feet. I am going to try the alpha lipoic acid as Brenda suggested. Stay away from statins. They are a worthless poison.

Replied by Gavin
Manganui, Northland, New Zealand
06/28/2013
Apparently 50% of people on statins get cataracts. Which is a bit of a worry when lemon juice or ACV can clean you up without the side effects.
Replied by Mmsg
Somewhere, Europe
06/29/2013
Gavin, are you saying that lemon juice or ACV can clear up cataracts?
Replied by Gavin
Manganui, Northland, New Zealand
07/01/2013
I don't know if they clear up cataracts. Just the fact that statin use will give 50% of users cataracts within two years of usage. But apple cider venegar and lemon juice will clear dead calcium.. which might be the cause of the lens becoming opaque.

Posted by Deedle (Cabot, Arkansas) on 05/18/2013

[SIDE EFFECTS]  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.


Posted by Gtcharlie (La, Ca, Usa) on 06/22/2010

[SIDE EFFECTS]  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!

Replied by Emstari
Sacramento, Ca
06/26/2010
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.
Replied by Brenda
San Antonio, Texas
06/27/2010
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.
Replied by R.
Dallas, Texas, Usa
06/27/2010
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..
Replied by Gtcharlie
La, Ca, Usa
06/28/2010
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
Replied by Stano
Laurel, Md, Usa
07/03/2010
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.
Replied by Joy
Aurora, Nc Usa
07/05/2010
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.
Replied by Rick R
Camarillo, California
10/24/2012
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.
Replied by Lisa
Thousand Oaks, Ca, Usa
10/24/2012
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:

http://www.earthclinic.com/cures/cholesterol.html

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:

http://www.earthclinic.com/cures/detoxification.html

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

Replied by Ron
Wy
09/24/2015
[WARNING!]   On sept.15 was prescribe atorvastatin : On day 1 and 2 little pain neck. On day 3 and 4 pain went to neck and shoulder. Day 5 pain got worse. I stopped taking meds day 6, pain so bad could not sleep. Day 7 went to ER. They did 2 ekg and xrays founding nothing, Didn't think it was the statin drugs. Gave me tylenol 3 for pain and sent me home .[took 2 tylenol] no 9/13 no more pain.

I take warfarin for blood thinner, checked INR on 8/15 was 3.1 on 9/15 as 4.1 .I also have afib

I'm so glad I stopped taking this after 6 days.

Going to start coq10. good luck to all