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High Cholesterol Message Board


High Cholesterol Board Index


Hello,

I just started Lipitor about a week ago because of an extremely high lipid
profile (TC over 500) thats cause is hereditary.
After the second day of taking it I noticed muscle soreness...a good deal but nothing too severe. This seems to be going away. What has been troubling
me is that I have bouts of a tingling sensation that I get in primarily both my arms....also my face, chest and part of my back.
I was wondering if anyone else had this type of experience when starting up Lipitor...or is this a sign that I'm going to have a heart attack soon? My doctor scared the life out of me with the cholesterol count and said I was a time bomb waiting to go off in terms of artery blockage. So whenever I get this tingly sensation (which lasts for hours) I think that I'm going to have a heart attack.

Thanks for any input.
Bushleager,

I can't say for sure, but lots of people who experienced "peripheral neuropathy" (nerve damage) from statins started with 'tingling' sensations. It can progress from tingling to outright pain.

Look up "Statin" plus "peripheral neuropathy" on the web - it is one of the known side-effects of statins. By the way, it seems to be one of the side effects that has the lowest recovery rate - muscle pains seem to resolve themselves much better when the medicine is discontinued, but PN sometimes goes on for years with no improvement.

If this is what you think you may be experiencing, ask your doctor to switch you to a different medication. Some people react badly to one statin, but not another.

Vytorin is another option - it is a combination of statin (Zocor) plus Ezetimibil. It works to decrease cholesterol absorption in the intestines, plus reduces it's synthesis by the liver. But it contains a statin - so you may not tolerate it.

There is one other option if you can't tolerate statins, a supplement called 'Policosanol' - it reduced LDL (bad) cholesterol also, and raises HDL (good) cholesterol, but you need to get a brand made from sugar-cane, not beeswax.


With your TC, I'm afraid you need to get on some medication (statin or fibrate) or Policosanol. Dietary changes and exercise alone probably won't help enough.

What were your other numbers (HDL, LDL, Triglycerides)?


HubbleRules
:cool:
Thank you for the replies, everyone.

Just to answer - I'm not diabetic. Along with the lipid profile I was also checked for sugar levels and whatnot.

The difficulty I have is that I also suffer from anxiety disorder, so it is altogether possible that the tingling could be anxiety-related (over-stimulated nerves)...or a combo of the two (over-stimulated nerves that are being hit by the statin as well).

I've done some research on the web, and found it surprising to get hit with muscle soreness right away...only to have it abate.

Either way, I will inform my doctor and discuss with him what alternatives there are in the event that the tingling and such continue. I certainly don't want to do permanent damage in the sake of getting my cholesterol down. While I fully appreciate the gravity of such a high cholesterol count, I don't want to ruin my body in other ways in the process. I see my doctor in two weeks....so I think I'll give it a few more days and see what happens. If the tingling persists and/or the muscle soreness reappears, I will give him a call beforehand and discuss it with him. Otherwise I'll wait until my next appointment (where he is also going to draw more blood to see how the lipitor is working).

I'm hoping I can stay on this stuff....with hereditary cholesterol, I don't have much choice. Perhaps I should ask the anxiety board if tingling is an anxiety symptom. Certainly the news of such a high TC level had an effect on me as I began to think that I would drop soon due to a massive heart attack.

Oh, almost forgot to respond -

my HDL was 69 (at least this was good)
my triglycerides were 2500....very alarming, giving the risk for pancreatitis
I don't remember my LDL....but I imagine it wasn't good
Thanks for the support, everyone.

Just to update:

After 5 weeks of Lipitor (20mgs/day)...

My total cholesterol went from over 500 to 170.

My triglycerides went from over 2500 to 462.

My LDL is still n/a due to the high triglyceride count.

Get this - my HDL went down to 32 (I don't get that).


Well, I guess Lipitor is the med for me. The "tingling sensation" that I originally posted about has just about gone away. I don't have any more muscle soreness, either. The only thing that persists is the constipation, but popping a stool softener every now and then helps out.

My doctor was pleased with the results...to say the least. We still have some ground to cover, however, due to the trigs and the drop in the HDL. He's started me on Omega-3 supplementation and niacin. I have yet to give the niacin a go...partly because of the horror stories I've read. I'm going to give it a try tomorrow (Saturday) when I have nothing to do so if I flush bad or get sick it won't incumber anything I need to do. I'll also take an aspirin beforehand, as he said this helps with the flushing. He also put me on Co Q-10 because I'm taking a statin. Aside from that, I'll stick to the dietary changes and exercise.

Thanks again for the support.
[QUOTE=bushleaguer]Thanks for the support, everyone.

Just to update:

After 5 weeks of Lipitor (20mgs/day)...

My total cholesterol went from over 500 to 170.

My triglycerides went from over 2500 to 462.

My LDL is still n/a due to the high triglyceride count.

Get this - my HDL went down to 32 (I don't get that).


Well, I guess Lipitor is the med for me. The "tingling sensation" that I originally posted about has just about gone away. I don't have any more muscle soreness, either. The only thing that persists is the constipation, but popping a stool softener every now and then helps out.

My doctor was pleased with the results...to say the least. We still have some ground to cover, however, due to the trigs and the drop in the HDL. He's started me on Omega-3 supplementation and niacin. I have yet to give the niacin a go...partly because of the horror stories I've read. I'm going to give it a try tomorrow (Saturday) when I have nothing to do so if I flush bad or get sick it won't incumber anything I need to do. I'll also take an aspirin beforehand, as he said this helps with the flushing. He also put me on Co Q-10 because I'm taking a statin. Aside from that, I'll stick to the dietary changes and exercise.

Thanks again for the support.[/QUOTE]

Great to see the Lipitor is working for you and the tingling and muscle pains are going. Don't be too upset about the HDL, I'm sure the Niacin will help that, but at least the overall numbers have improved greatly.

Glad your dr. suggested the CoQ10, alot of drs. don't tell their patients about it. Wishing U continued success, your doing mighty good so far....... :)
Bushleager,

THose are impressive drops in both total cholesterol and triglycerides - keep up the good work!!!

You absolutely need to be on statins.. And definitely stick with the dietary changes.

I agree with the Omega-3s - I'm not sure of combining Niacin with statins - you should do more research into this. Arizona had mentioned previously that taking vitamin-c with niacin helps reduce the flush. I take a 500mg Inositol Hexanicotinate with 1000mg vitamin-c, and I notice very little flushing.

Has your doctor said anything about Tricor or Gemfibrozil in addition to the Lipitor? These fibrate drugs are better than the statins at reducing triglycerides. THe reason I mention it is that the chances of you having muscular pain induced by the drugs rises about 25 fold when on a statin/fibrate combination therapy. I know, I took Tricor in addition to my Lipitor about 2 years ago - and within a few months had so much muscle pain and weakness I couldn't even lift my laptop PC.

If he prescribes the Tricor, just be very watchful for any chronic, unexplained muscle pains in your arms or legs. Chances are you won't have any problems - but you should be aware. My doctor said nothing to me beforehand about this risk - and I stayed on the 2 drugs for a few months after the pain started before I made the connection, and it took quite a while for the pain to subside after I stopped taking both.

Other than that, I think your doctor has you on a good treatment plan.

Good luck!

HubbleRules
:cool:
Glad to hear of these major improvements! :bouncing: Though you may feel you still have a ways to go, (and you do) at least you'll pulled that incredibly high risk down to just high risk, and that's nothing to sneeze at.[QUOTE=bushleaguer]The only thing that persists is the constipation, but popping a stool softener every now and then helps out.[/QUOTE]One suggestion here. Instead of a stool softener, there are a couple of better choices. How many legumes are you eating a week? If you aren't eating much fiber, you may need to build up gradually, but try eating legumes at least four times a week. Try bean, pea or lentil soup. Or if you are in an area where you are suffering from 90-plus degree weather, make that a bean or lentil salad. In addition, eat a lot of other high-fiber fruits and vegetables - plums, apricots, leafy greens, etc. If that still isn't enough, try psyllium (like Metamucil). There is an additional bonus with psyllium and foods like legumes - not only do they help the bowels, they also help to lower serum cholesterol by binding with dietary cholesterol in the intestines so it never enters the blood stream. Obviously, most of your cholesterol is made by the body, but keeping additional cholesterol from adding to the problem could certainly be another help.





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