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Pros And Cons Of Cholesterol Drugs

Posting Date: 08/26/2002

?Finally, I decided if this was what I had to do to survive, inasmuch as it was ruining my quality of life, it just was not worth it, and I stopped taking the medicine. The improvement was dramatic and quick, and in a very short time my legs were back to normal. At that point the doctor prescribed a different cholesterol drug and I am not suffering any leg pains.?

Muscle pain and weakness are known complications of statins. More recently, researchers in Denmark have reported (Neurology, May, 2002) nerve damage called ?polyneuropathy.? Some patients on long-term statin therapy experienced pain, tingling and numbness in legs and feet.

No one should ever stop prescribed medication, including cholesterol-lowering drugs, without medical supervision. But when side effects begin to interfere with exercise and quality of life, doctors and patients need to reevaluate the treatment program.

Anyone who would like free information on the pros and cons of cholesterol-lowering drugs can send a long (no. 10) stamped, self-addressed envelope: Graedons' People's Pharmacy, No. L-01, P. O. Box 52027, Durham, NC 27717-2027.

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Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist. Teresa Graedon holds a doctorate in medical anthropology and is a nutrition expert. Their newest book is "The People's Pharmacy Guide to Home and Herbal Remedies (St. Martin's Press). In their column, Joe and Teresa Graedon answer letters from readers. Write to them in care of this newspaper or e-mail them via their Web site: on the network.

2002 King Features Syndicate, Inc.