Lipitor Information, Side Effects, Type 2 Diabetes, Lawsuits
General Lipitor information
Lipitor is a synthetic lipid-lowering drug that has the chemical name atorvastatin calcium. It was first placed on the market in 1997 and quickly has grown to become one of the most popular statin drugs in the world. The medication works in the body by lowering serum LDL levels. LDL is a type of cholesterol that is commonly referred to as bad cholesterol. This type of cholesterol contributes to plaque buildup in your arteries and increased levels of this form can lead to atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, heart attacks and stroke. Lipitor acts in the body by inhibiting the enzyme 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase. This enzyme catalyzes an essential step in the biosynthesis of LDL cholesterol. By taking this oral medication, patients can drastically reduce their LDL levels and in turn reduce their risk of developing serious medical complications.
Lipitor Side Effects
Like any other drug, Lipitor has a short set of side effects that generally do affect people when they first begin taking the medication. As your body adjusts to the medication though the side effects should dissipate. Some of the less serious side effects may include:
- mild muscle pain
- mild nausea.
Lipitor can produce severe side effects as well. If you experience any of these severe side effects then call your doctor immediately. These more serious side effects include:
- muscle tenderness or weakness
- confusion or memory problems
- dark colored unripe
- swelling or weight gain
- increased thirst
Lipitor and Diabetes
While Lipitor may be touted as a miracle drug by some doctors and medical professionals, it has been shown to increase some patients’ risk for developing type 2 diabetes. This form of diabetes occurs in patients whenever their body fails to properly synthesize or utilize insulin. People who are obese or eat a lot of sugary foods are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes versus people who are fit and healthy. When a person develops the disease their cells begin to fail because they cannot obtain any glucose. Insulin is an essential hormone in the body that transports blood glucose into the cells for energy. Without insulin, blood glucose cannot be transported across cellular membranes and patients endure extreme changes in blood glucose levels. Lipitor has been shown in clinical trials to increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in middle aged and older women. Experts say that clinical evidence from over 154,000 women reports that women who take Lipitor or other statin drugs are 50% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who did not take statin drugs. The exact mechanism for why middle aged and older women develop the disease due to statin drugs is unknown. However, experts have also stated that the benefits of statin drugs greatly outweigh the risks of developing type 2 diabetes.
Current Lipitor Lawsuit Status
Lipitor has many lawsuits against it that are initiated by women who are undergoing treatment for type 2 diabetes due to taking the cholesterol lowering drug. These women allege that the drug Lipitor caused them to develop type 2 diabetes and this risk was not clearly stated in the literature they received with their prescription. The current lawsuits against the statin drug claim that its label never carried a warning that it could cause changes in blood sugar levels or could cause type 2 diabetes.