Zocor May Lower Your Cholesterol.....But

You may die in the process! In the last week, the FDA announced that individuals taking 80mg of Zocor (simvastatin), a cholesterol-lowering drug, face a high risk of developing muscle problems, including rhabdomyolysis (the rapid breakdown of skeletal muscles) and the most serious form of myopathy, which can lead to kidney damage, kidney failure, and even death.

This news is disturbing on so many levels. For individuals who have high cholesterol drugs, your doctor may have originally prescribed Lipitor or Crestor. But, after the first year of taking either of these drugs, you may have suddenly been told that your insurance company will no longer pay for them and therefore, Zocor (Simvastatin) would be prescribed instead. Now we learn that Zocor in high doses can affect muscles and kidneys.

As we approach the all-important vote to reform health care, it seems to this writer than we are at the edge of an abyss, with the insurance companies and pharmaceutical companies standing behind us ready to push us over the edge.

While it is true that all statins have side effects, this news about Zocor is not only infuriating and frightening, but begs the question: Why wasn’t this information available before it was prescribed to millions of people? In the case of Lipitor, it was studied for 17 years before it was released. Yet, because the insurance companies are so greedy, and do not give a hoot about anything except the bottom line, those who are taking high does of Zocor may develop serious and life-threatening conditions as a result.

Cholesterol is normally produced by the body. It not only assists functions in the body, but it produces cell membranes that are important to our health. Too much cholesterol can lead to strokes and heart attacks. Thus, when you go for your annual check-up, and a blood test is taken to chart the cholesterol levels in your body, it is at this point that the doctor will tell you whether or not you need to make changes in your lifestyle or take statins. A healthy diet and exercise can go a long way in keep your cholesterol in check. But, if your numbers are too high, a statin drug will be prescribed.

In most cases, Zocor will be the statin drug of choice, even if you have the best medical coverage on the planet. In lieu of Zocor, you may have to pay quite a bit of money to afford Lipitor or Crestor. For those who cannot afford the more expensive statin drugs, they are left to deal with Zocor and take an enormous risk they will not develop myopathy or kidney failure.

These are the choices we have? These are the risks we continually have to take because an insurance company or pharmaceutical company deems it so? It’s enough! One doctor’s comment about the Zocor news was quite alarming. He said “patients shouldn't lose sight of the benefits of statin use.” Well, doctor, you are wrong! Patients should never lose sight of the risks associated with taking Zocor.