The findings of a new review suggest that Statin Drugs (class of drugs used to lower cholesterol levels) do little to prevent cardiovascular events in patients with advanced stages of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). The recent pharmacological report from Oregon State University claims that CKD patients should not be prescribed Statin Drugs as often as they are in order to reduce their risk of heart attacks. The lead author, Professor of Pharmacology Ali Olyaei, summarized the report with, "I believe the evidence shows that the majority of people with Chronic Kidney Disease are taking Statins inappropriately."
CKD patients are 23 times more likely to develop Cardiovascular Disease, the leading cause of death in the CKD Community. People with CKD are prescribed the drug with the intent to help lower cholesterol and prevent serious Cardiovascular events and deaths. The review published online on August 24, 2013 in the American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs, identified a few studies that suggested Statins were associated with a decrease in Cardiovascular risk in those with CKD. In more advanced stages of the disease, however, the opposite was the case. There was no significant difference in the number of cardiovascular events experienced by patients who received Statins and those who received a placebo (no active ingredient) pill.
Recommended Reading: Why Your Cholesterol Medication May Not be Effective if You are an ESRD Patient
"They may help a little in early-stage disease, but those people are not the ones who generally die from cardiovascular diseases. And by the end stages the risks outweigh any benefit," said Professor Olyaei. Risks include nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headaches, rashes, muscle aches or dysfunction, tendon problems, dementia, amnesia, depression, chronic fatigue, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke, peripheral neuropathies (nerve damage) and even fatal rhabdomyolysis (muscle breakdown).
Though research is increasingly showing that Statins are doing little to nothing to assist Kidney Disease patients, their worldwide sales exceed 30 billion dollars annually and they are continued to be heavily prescribed. In fact, the intended effects of Statin Drugs may cause depression. Since cholesterol plays an important role in protecting against brain injury (neuroprotection), low cholesterol may disrupt the communication between neurons (neurotransmission), thereby increasing the risk of depression. Also in our skin, cholesterol performs the first phase of converting sunlight's UVB rays into vitamin D3, a prehormone that helps create, regulate and balance other hormones for optimum personal health.
Authors of the study also note that although Statins are safe when used appropriately, those with CKD are at increased risk for potential interactions with other medications. As a result of findings they suggest that Statins should be prescribed less frequently and at lower doses in people with CKD. DO NOT STOP taking your prescribed Statin medication before consulting your Nephrologist! The risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke are real. If you attempt to self diagnose you may cause yourself more harm. You should monitor your cholesterol numbers and note any mood disturbances or other effects, and discuss the matter with your healthcare team. If you are currently experiencing severe depressive tendencies bring it to the immediate attention of your Nephrologist at the earliest possible opportunity.
Like Us on our Facebook Page for more Daily News and Information about life with CKD and ESRD:
Most Popular Stories:
"Statin Drugs Wildly Overprescribed for Patients with Kidney Disease." NaturalNews.
"Statins May Do Little for Kidney Disease Patients." Pharmacy Times.
"Statins Being Overprescribed for Growing Number of Kidney Disease Patients." Oregon State University - News & Research Communications.