Lipitor Side Effects – Memory Loss

Is memory loss one of the many Lipitor side effects that should concern you?

Medical professionals are quick to chalk up memory loss in their cholesterol patients as another sign of advancing age.

After all, that's what happens when we get older, right?

We start forgetting what we ate for breakfast … or mistake Thursday for Friday.

At least, that's what your doctor might tell you…

But if you're taking a cholesterol-lowering statin drug like Lipitor (generic name, atorvastatin), there might be a lot more going on that you need to be concerned about.

That's because stories of statin users losing their ability to remember simple things while on the drug are far too numerous to ignore.

In Dr. Jay S. Cohen's book "Over Dose: The Case Against the Drug Companies", he recalls an account of a former patient who had been using Lipitor.

"My doctor prescribed Lipitor, and after several months I found I was having trouble remembering names and coming up with the right word. At dinner once, I said, 'Please pass the elephant,' though I wanted the bread. I told my husband that I thought I'd had a stroke."

How aggravating … how scary would it be for you if you forgot your own child's name? That's what happened to another patient…

"In January, a friend came to visit. She was worried about her memory and couldn't think of her daughter's name on the telephone. She too was on Lipitor."

These type of incidents are upsetting enough. But some have experienced transient global amnesia, which is normally found in epileptics or stroke victims.

One of the more talked about incidents of this is one that happened to a doctor and former NASA astronaut, Duane Graveline MD, MPH.

Dr. Graveline had been on Lipitor for only six weeks, when he went on his routine walk in the woods near his home.

At the end of his walk, a woman in the neighborhood found him walking aimlessly around her yard. He didn't recognize the woman or where he was at.

After some convincing, he finally agreed to some cookies and milk. But he wouldn't enter the woman's home.

But get this…

The woman was his wife. The home he wouldn't enter? His own.

Thankfully, his doctor was suspicious that Lipitor may have been the cause as it was the only new medication Dr. Graveline was on.

A year later, he was encouraged to start on atorvastatin again. This time at half the dose.

Once again, six weeks later, he experienced another episode that he describes as "the black pit of amnesia".

His memory less went back to his high school years.

Result?

For half a day, he had absolutely no memory of college, his NASA training or experiences, or even his wife and kids.

[Related article: Lipitor liver side effects]

Is Memory Loss Common Among Lipitor Users?

The FDA has finally released a statement saying that all statin drugs would now have memory loss and confusion added to the list of possible side effects.

Here's an excerpt:

Certain cognitive (brain-related) effects have been reported with statin use. Statin labels will now include information about some patients experiencing memory loss and confusion.

And just when you thought the FDA finally "saw the light" on this and set out to warn us of these grave dangers, they follow up with this…

These reports generally have not been serious and the patients’ symptoms were reversed by stopping the statin.

Sigh.

Brain fog, confusion or total global amnesia … does that sound "not serious" to you?

Let's connect the dots on how this can happen…

It's not clear as to exactly how Lipitor or other statins cause memory loss, but it doesn't take much to see a direct connection on how this can happen.

Fact #1: Cholesterol is the most common organic molecule in the human brain.

Fact #2: Statin drugs like atorvastatin block the production of cholesterol in the liver.

So what do you think would happen to brain function if you slowed or stopped the production of it's most prominent substance?

If all you do is connect those two dots, it's easy to see how these cholesterol-lowering drugs can and do cause cognitive problems.

Memory loss is just one of a long list of Lipitor side effects. But it may just be the scariest one to deal with. If you want to avoid these memory and cognitive side effects, you might want to sign-up for our daily tips below and get rid of your cholesterol problem naturally.

Sources:
> Jay S. Cohen, M.D., Overdose: The Case Against Drug Companies
> http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm293623.htm

References:
> http://www.spacedoc.com/lipitor_thief_of_memory.html


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