Monday, May 7, 2007

Duane Graveline MD MPH strikes again!

If you are, or have been, a statin drug user (Zocor, Lipitor, Vytorin, Crestor, Mevacor, Baycol, etc.) or just want to be up to date on side effects of this ubiquitious medication some tout with evangelistic fervor as though it is the magic bullet to solve coronary artery disease, cardio vascular disease, atherosclerosis and the like, you'll be interested in what this former USAF Flight Surgeon and Former NASA Astronaut has to say. His "Statin Drugs Side Effects" book is on my shelf and has worn pages from re-reads. He hasn't stopped however with the publication of the book but continues to research this topic. Read his book and read the many articles available on his web site - http://www.spacedoc.net . I also added a link from his last newsletter to "Credible Evidence" about Rhabdomyolysis. Good heavens what is that? I can't even say it!

Well, Wikipedia explains it this way "Rhabdomyolysis is the rapid breakdown of skeletal muscle tissue due to traumatic injury, either mechanical, physical or chemical."

Of particular interest in that definition pertinent to this discussion is the word 'chemical' because I'm dealing here with "Statin Associated Rhabdomyolysis". Statins are a group of chemicals primarily used to reduce c... eh... cho.... oops! hard to say the word many near to me only refer to as the "C" word ... chol... er... - Oh well see the right side panel for many references to it.

Looking under 'causes of the "R" word' I find the following at http://members.tripod.com/~baggas/rhabdo.html#acquired.
Read the full article yourself if you dare.

"Drugs and Toxins A large range of drugs and toxins have been seen to cause rhabdomyolysis.... Some drugs appear to have a direct toxic action on skeletal muscle when given systemically. These include cholesterol lowering drugs (clofibrate, gemfibrozil, HMG CoA reductase inhibitors), emetine (ipecac), zidovudine (AZT), vincristine, and epsilon-aminocaproic acid."

Wow that is getting pretty technical and hard to understand ( for me at least ). I'll zero in a bit more with the following explanation of a cause of Rhab.... "A large range of drugs ... have been seen to cause rhabdomyolysis.... Some drugs appear to have a direct toxic action on skeletal muscle.... These include cholesterol lowering drugs (.... HMG CoA reductase inhibitors), ...."

Well the 'HMG CoA reductase inhibitor' is a technical way of saying STATINS! Statin drugs are a significant cause of rhabdomyolysis.

You might ask, "Why do I care enough about all of this to take the time to blog about it?" I dare you to ask, cuz I might just tell you. But I will say here that is more than just a intellectual curiosity. Being a twenty year or so user of HMG CoA reductase inhibitors (statin drugs), including Baycol which resulted in liver failure and death to around 100 people, and was taken off the market by the FDA in 2001 just after I began taking it, and putting up with drug induced side effect - myopathy (of which rhabdomyolysis is the most severe form) most of those 20 years, I ask you "Why shouldn't I be interested?"

Maybe in some small way this blog, which is mainly about the "C" word and related health stuff with an occasional 'out-of-the-ball-park' other topic thrown in for whatever reason, will be stumbled upon by someone and my hope is that they will be helped.

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps you have seen the Direct-to-Consumer TV and print advertisements with Robert Jarvik, the inventor of the Jarvik Heart, speaking on behalf of the Pfizer’s anti-cholesterol drug, Lipitor.

    Perhaps Jarvik is not the best choice for the Lipitor campaign which has had mixed reviews. Instead of Jarvik, a more convincing yet unlikely spokesman would be the popular Duane Graveline MD MPH, a former NASA astronaut, and author who was started on Lipitor during an annual astronaut physical at the Johnson Space Center, and 6 weeks later had an episode of transient global amnesia, a sudden form of total memory loss described in his book, Lipitor Thief of Memory.

    Two more unlikely spokesmen for the Lipitor ad campaign include Mary Enig and Uffe Ravnskov.

    Should either one be selected as Lipitor spokesman, I myself would run down to the corner drug store to buy up the drug. It seems unlikey that even Pfizer’s deep pockets could ever induce them to recant their opposing position on the cholesterol theory of heart disease.

    Mary G. Enig writes, ”hypercholesterolemia is the health issue of the 21st century. It is actually an invented disease, a problem that emerged when health professionals learned how to measure cholesterol levels in the blood.

    Uffe Ravnskov MD PhD is spokesman for Thincs, The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics, and author of “The Cholesterol Myths, Exposing the Fallacy That Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Cause Heart Disease”. His controversial ideas have angered loyal cholesterol theory supporters in Finland who demonstrated by burning his book on live television.

    For more discussion on this, see my newsletter: Lipitor and The Dracula of Modern Technology

    Jeffrey Dach MD


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