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Statin Drugs Cause Even More Nerve Damage Than We Thought


Statin Drugs Cause Even More Nerve Damage Than We Thought Have the nerve-damaging properties of statin drugs now been confirmed? There are over 300 adverse health effects associated with the use of this chemical class of cholesterol-lowering medications known as statins, with myotoxicity (muscle-damaging) and neurotoxicity (nerve-damaging) top on the list.

When will the FDA step in and warn the public? As proof of the problem in the biomedical literature reaches an alarming level of clarity.

The neurotoxicity of statin drugs is back in the news. Following on the heels of the FDA decision earlier this year to require statin drug manufacturers to add “memory loss” as a side effect of this chemical class, a new study published in the Journal of Diabetes reveals a clear association between statin use and peripheral neuropathy in a US population 40 years of age and older.

The study found “the prevalence of peripheral neuropathy was significantly higher among those who used statins compared to those who did not (23.5% vs. 13.5%; p < 0.01),” which is a 75% increase in relative risk.

Case reports of statin-induced peripheral neuropathy have existed in the medical literature for over 15 years. Now, larger human studies are confirming that statin drugs do damage to the peripheral nerves.

Moreover, much of the damage is occurring below the threshold of clinical surveillance, silently causing harm in unsuspecting patients.

For example, in 2011, the results of a 36-month prospective clinical and neurophysiological follow-up of patients treated with statins over 3 years was published in the journal Neuro Endocrinology Letters. It revealed in forty-two patients that despite the fact that they did not report subjective symptoms typical for peripheral neuropathy, damage was occurring. They concluded: “The study confirmed that long-term treatment with statins caused a clinically silent but still definite damage to peripheral nerves when the treatment lasts longer than 2 years.” Click the hyperlink to view all 9 studies on statin-induced peripheral neuropathy on Or, view an even more sizeable dataset (54 studies) on statin-associated neurotoxicity.

While this research is adding to a growing awareness of the nerve-damaging properties of statins, this side effect is just the tip of a massive iceberg of under reported deleterious effects. For example, our project has identified 314 possible adverse effects of statins thus far. Conversely, we have identified a wide range of health benefits of cholesterol, running diametrically opposed to the over-simplification inherent in the cholesterol hypothesis (some say “cholesterol myth“) of heart disease causation.


[1] Pavel Otruba, Petr Kanovsky, Petr Hlustik. Treatment with statins and peripheral neuropathy: results of 36-months a prospective clinical and neurophysiological follow-up. Neuro Endocrinol Lett. 2011 Sep 3 ;32(5):688-690. Epub 2011 Sep 3. PMID: 22167150

[2] T Phan, J G McLeod, J D Pollard, O Peiris, A Rohan, J P Halpern. Peripheral neuropathy associated with simvastatin. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 1995 May ;58(5):625-8. PMID: 7745415

This article is republished with permission from Green Med Info. Go straight to the source.

Sayer Ji Sayer Ji is the founder of, an author, researcher, lecturer, and an advisory board member of the National Health Federation. Google Plus Profile. His writings have been published and referenced widely in print and online, including, Truthout,, New York Times online, The Journal of Gluten Sensitivity, New York Times and The Well Being Journal.

He founded in 2008 in order to provide the world an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. It is widely recognized as the most widely referenced health resource of its kind.

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50 responses to “Statin Drugs Cause Even More Nerve Damage Than We Thought”

  1. David Mackay says:

    It seems to me that it is hard to know what to believe anymore !!! Earlier this year i suffered a heart attack which was closely associated with my lifetime of being a diabetic ( i am now 52)
    It was revealed in the Daily Express today , that Statins are the key to long life along with a healthy exercise lifestyle.
    I find myself confused and concerned about just which article to believe.
    Should i be consulting my doctor to establish what the facts truly are as i am going to be on this medication for the rest of my life, and if it is detrimental to my well being then should i just stop taking them or continue and hope for the best ? Who knows and if anyone does please comment.

    • mothman777 says:

      To treat your heart problem download the free book “Why Animals Don’t Get Heart Attacks But Humans Do” by Dr Matthias Rath.

      He explains how to remove 50% of atherosclerotic plaque in 3 years just using 500mg minimum vitamin C a day and some other really inexpensive common dietary supplements.

      Avoid hydrogenated fats, as they are like candle wax and cause systemic ischaemia, like mini stroke all over your body through constant oxygen deprivation.

      Don’t bother with statins as the health problems they cause as documented in numerous studies in articles by Dr Mercola and Mike Adams (Healthranger) mean that overall they do much more harm than good.

      Take a capsule or two of Krill oil every day, get plenty of Vit D, like 5,000 to 8,000 iu a day, which will reduce several major diseases by over 70%, take 300mg magnesium a day, shown to reduce death from all causes by 40%. Use cold hemp oil sprinkled on your food (this is pressed from the seeds and not intoxicating).

      Use coconut oil to clean out your arteries also and increase your oxygen supply all over your body, especially to heart, eyes, ears and brain.

      Try EDTA to strip your arteries clean as well, and look up the benefits of DMSO too, as people who use that experience many years longer life. The DMSO from Jacob Laboratories is the real deal and not weak or industrial or contaminated stuff.

      Just a few ideas to get you started anyway.

      • Mary Nanninga says:

        It’s not true that animals don’t have heart attacks or that they don’t have heart disease. Absolutely untrue. I’ve had two animals with heart disease; one died of a heart attack.

        • Augustus says:

          I think the point was “animals in the wild”. How much bacon did you feed your pets? Not really specifically bacon, but store-bought pet food and the like.

    • David says:

      Everyone’s looking for the right pill or combination of pills. Nature never intended this. Heart disease, as are most chronic diseases, is a paper tiger. Eliminate all foods known to damage the endothelial cells. Eat those foods known to feed the endothelial cells. Your body heals. Nature has a way of simplifying all the confusion. Meats, fish, poultry, dairy, eggs, ALL added oils all lead to plaque and degeneration of health. Whole grains, beans, vegetables, fruits all feed the body and do no harm. Eating lots of raw and steamed green leafy vegetables every day, throughout the day, will stop any further progression of heart disease, will dilate the arteries so there is well-being and nutrition throughout the heart and body. Once you leave behind everyone’s agendas and biases, nutritional science has confirmed plant-based nutrition to be the only healthy diet. You will become heart-attack proof, even if you already have advanced stages of coronary artery disease. Watch glucose stabilize. No more high blood pressure. Stroke and erectile disfunction avoided. The list goes on and on. Most cancers will not be in your future and will only improve if you already have it adopting this lifestyle change. The pills, the suggestions for supplements, exercise, all these suggestions pale in comparison to the effectiveness of the body chemistry balancing effects of a do-no-harm diet.

      • RM says:

        Exceptional advice for people. Thanks.

      • Rich says:

        You must be a vegan, and wouldn’t your opinion be a biased one with an agenda of getting people to believe in what you believe in. Sorry to break this to you, but our make up is really for eating meats. Our teeth are for chewing and tearing meat. Enzymes in meat is required for our bodies to function. A very high percentage of vegans and vegetarians are anemic. But this is just me pushing my agendas and biases.

      • BH says:

        I agree. Eat better, feel better. It’s simple.

    • stacy says:

      Its simple. Get off your ass and move…walk, swim…stop eating more drive thru food and microwaved processed poison.

      Take care of your body…it will take care of you

      • Sonja says:

        I agree with you 100% get of your butt and move.
        me being a german Citizien , my spouse a Military man we eat healty food, somethimes in moderation we slack, but we watch the bad fett intake, since we boths have a Stent in our body.
        we boths take Plavix each day one baby Asprin Blood pressure pill and at night 40 gramm of Lipertor? to keep the Ateries clean?
        WE boths senior spouse 77years me going on 70.
        You right about Statin, my Bones mainly my Legs wont do, what I used do before taking the statin, plus my memorie is good, but not as sharp before I took those Pills.
        ps. I do Believe, there is no Wonder pill and the Pill is not my Saver, Sideafects a high price to pay for believing this pill is wonder pill my Foot.
        ps. I will bring this up this fall when I see my cardiallist?

  2. Mac says:

    Took statins for about 15 years & continually reported joint/muscular pain to my Dr who would discontinue particular med & try another…
    Upon retirement & relocation, found the need for a cardiologist who apparently heard me & following the heart cath/stent put me on Zetia… no more pain.
    Thank You Dr Lance LaMotte,
    Baton Rouge, La

    • James May says:

      I was put on Zetia and had more pain in my legs than ever. Also it effected my memory. I was put in the hospital for 4 days and the doctors could find a reason for the memory loss. I found out – it was caused by the Zetia. No more statins for me – and now my cholestoral is droping as time goes by.

  3. Bryan says:

    Isn’t peripheral neuropathy one of the inidcators or signs and symptoms of diabeties? In which case this study doesn’t make a lot of sense.

    • stacie says:

      go back & do more research. It won’t take much digging for you to find the truth in answer to your question. Enjoy the journey!!!

    • Kathy says:

      I have it, no diabetes but had chemotherapy in the past caused my neuropathy.

  4. yiddishlion says:

    Does anyone besides the doctors know that cholesterol has no link to heart disease what so ever? There are virtually ZERO studies linking the two. However every time they come out with a new cholesterol lowering drug, the acceptable level gets set lower. Wake up people.

  5. Marcus Sasiadek says:

    Bottomline, it comes down to benefit vs risk for the patient. The patient with the doctor has to make informed decisions. Your article focuses on 1 risk and mentions no benefit. The data regarding the benefits are quite impressive compared to any other drug class out on the market today. One wonders what the motivation for your article is? I suspect to cause fear, thus getting more ad-clicks. Are you working for the patient or for $?

  6. Matthew Bram says:

    Did you read the so-called supporting studies? The sample sizes were minuscule. On had a few dozen patients and the other one had only 4 patients! This is recklessly irresponsible reporting, and I question the motives behind it. To sell your book?

  7. Ken Roberts says:

    years ago my wife and I both were prescribed statin drugs to fight the fats in our blood I became like I had arthritis all over my body and so did my wife, she stopped taking them and did later when I found out her symptoms stopped . I am on Niacin now and still have high cholesterol. so I am doomed to have it and I am on a very low fat diet .

  8. I started to get memory loss and kicked my lipitor.
    I now avoid trans-fats, take fish oil and CQ10.
    The FDA does not want people to use natural cures like fish oil as they can’t patent them and make the obsene profits they make on lipitor.

  9. mary collins finn says:

    I have a congenital hypercholesterolemia inherited from my dad who died at 41 of an MI. I have been on max doses of statins since 1987 ( now on 40 mg of Crestor daily0 along with Zetia. Have never had a single side effect. I run marathons so nothing wrong with my muscles thank you.
    The article above is a scare-mongering piece of crap written by an advocate of holistic therapies. The studies on diabetes is skewed. Diabetes is THE most common cause of peripheral neuropathy and its increased incidence in those who took statins probably means the patients are living with their diabetes longer BECAUSE of the statins. I’m sure that there are some side effects associated with statins but I know without them I would not be alive. Consider the source of this article before condemning the medication. BTW I am a retired MD.

  10. Tim Macik says:

    I had been taking a Statin drug for 4 years to lower cholesterol. After losing weight and drinking less this past year the muscle pain in my wrists was getting unbearable. The doctor had no help. After quiting the Statin a month ago my wrists are much better. Am able to play racquetball without pain again. I believe there is something to this story.

  11. BH says:

    It’s a simple answer for every and anyone. Don’t eat crap food. But, the majority of people just don’t live that way.

  12. Lori Taylor says:

    I am on Pravastatin for my high cholesterol. What is that doing to my body right now?

  13. Judi says:

    I knew this and I told my Dr. and he said it could not be causing that. Well, I listen to what my body was saying and refused to take statin drugs and that has been over 15 yrs. now.
    I took them one time that if I would of stayed on them, I would of been in a wheel chair. Some people just can not take them without serious side effects.

  14. George Bailey says:

    I recently started taking a statin, I have begun having numbness in my left hand. I had nerve surgery years ago and have not had any problems until I started taking statins. Makes sense to me now why all of a sudden this returned. I will speak with my Dr. and will stop taking statin to see if symptom clears. Thanks for the article…….

  15. 49erkat says:

    I plan to keep my life and health in my hands and not rely on statins but on FOOD as Dr. Bernard Jensen said…”Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.” If anyone believes that drug manufacturers are interested in having everyone healthy, then I’ve got some ocean front property to sell you!

    A 5 year comprehensive study was just completed through the NIH on using EDTA chelation therapy for heart disease. The results surprised them as they were quite positive for using this therapy to combat heart disease by cleaning the plaque out of arteries in a very NON INVASIVE manor. Those benefitting the most from this treatment were diabetic patients. Of course, it would put a lot of heart surgeons out of business, but they could always become plastic surgeons as many have here. But it will be years before it’s utilized in main stream medicine although it would save hundreds of thousands in medical costs to use chelation therapy over angioplasty or bypass surgery.

    I personally do happen to believe that heredity plays a HUGE role in the amount of plaque and cholesterol in our bodies. Many years ago, my ex husband and I had our cholesterol checked. His life style and nutrition were much better than mine with him exercising regularly and not eating greasy fried foods, while I didn’t hardly exercise and ate lots of greasy fried foods as a single working mom when I met this guy. My cholesterol was so good the doc said my blood must run through my veins like oil. However, my ex was put on the “fatboy” program in the military due to his cholesterol being so high. High blood pressure ran strongly in his family. One thing that might contribute also is that I am white- Irish Scottish English ancestry and he was hispanic and Italian equally. Many reports show that Latinos have a much higher incidence of heart disease than other ethnic cultures, so I believe it’s a factor as well.

    Last but not least, the way we manage our stress in our lives is probably more signficant than other high risk factors combined. People with high stress levels generally carry much of that stress in their bodies, not releasing and letting go properly. I used to be one of those and now I just teach people where they hold onto things in their bodies and give them tips on letting go.

  16. Eric says:

    IM 46 Had Major Bypass in 12 I have been on Lipitor 80mg For 3 years. I Can tell Their Must be some Nerve Problems with this class of drug. I Get the shakes easily now and My Extremities Tingle alot. Im Not A Diabetic and I Try and follow a Heart Healthy diet. i mUst Also say that For Myself Theirs also been Some E.D. Problems since I Started this class of Drug.

    • Ed M. says:

      I normally don’t respond to articles of any nature, but I think my symptoms mimic what I’ve been reading in the main stream press and other magazines and articles on health matters. My cholesterol has always been high (350+) and when I was advised to use statins by my part time doctor ( I usually only go to a doctor when serious matters persist) I immediately noted that my fingers, toes and neck started to cramp. These complications remained for about two weeks and then gradually disappeared, only to re-surface on occasion. My cholesterol dropped dramatically to 160 or thereabouts. Then, the ‘drama’ started. My left foot went numb while walking (I exercise regularly) one day and the pain that followed was UNBEARABLE. I was switched to Crestor from Lipitor, but nothing changed. I recently was put back on a low every other day dosage of Crestor and sure enough, the symptoms started again. I took myself off them and while I have permanent damage from them, my fingers immediately benefitted from the removal. I haven’t reported this to my doctor, but I will eventually. Another of the symptoms is tingling in the feet (maybe neuropathy?). My blood pressure etc., is very good and my health is good overall(age 76). My point is this: I feel the many articles I have read on this subject seem to indicate the problem(s) I and others described are under reported. In fact, if this write up helps someone decide pro or con on statins, then I may have accomplished a good deed.

  17. David Alexander says:

    The negative side effects of statins have been known for years, but have effectively been downplayed to the point that they are almost universally prescribed.

    Dr. Duane Graveline had memory problems years ago after taking Lipitor and began a website, to document research and publish user’s experiences.

    It is mandatory that co-enzyme Q-10 be supplemented along with statins, but hardly any doctors will mention it.

  18. Are we being used as lab rats for the Pharm. Co. ?? If diet is the key to hypertension,& lower colestoral, why aren’t we being told about it. ??

  19. James J. “Jim” Cramer
    Exactly what has Warner done for Virginia? He has remained silent while Obama and the Democrats have imported illegals for the sole purpose of getting votes. He stood by while illegals have taken jobs and driven down wages for Virginians. He stood by while the Obama administration secretly transported thousands of illegal aliens to Virginia for Virginians to support and educate. He lied to his Virginia constituents when he said he would never vote for health care legislation that wouldn’t allow people to keep their plans and their doctors. He stood silently by while Obama utilized the IRS to go after US citizens and Virginians who had different viewpoints. He stood silently by while Obama declared that ISIS was nothing but JV. He didn’t stand up when Obama lied about Benghazi and Fast and Furious. He didn’t stand up when Harry Reid used draconian and unethical tactics in the Senate. He stood by while the Obama administration has piled on regulations that have hurt businesses and their confidence at expanding and employing people. He didn’t speak up when Obama traded five terrorists for one Army deserter. He stood by while Mexicans jailed and tortured a US Marine who mistakenly drove into Mexico. Warner has done nothing that has helped Virginia in the past six years. It’s time to give someone else a chance.

  20. Margaret says:

    I have FIBROMYALGIA and doctor wants me on SIMVASTATIN now I am glad I resisted taking another drug after reading this. Not sure but sounds as if this would enhance the nerve pain of FIBROMYALGIA.

  21. David says:

    What a bunch of baloney! Statins have been shown to reduce neuropathy (nerve damage from diseases such as diabetes) and have so few side-effects that blood tests for muscles and liver are now considered unnecessary.

    Although statins lower cholesterol, that is not their main effect – they protect the lining of your blood vessels (“endothelium”) against inflammation and damage from oxidants/free radicals. They reduce cancers, deaths from viral and bacterial infection, and even improve waste disposal in the brain, reducing Alzheimer’s. They are not curative, just preventative, and are some of the most important supplements/medicines we have.

    Beware of schlock articles trying to sell you untested supplements of unknown safety.

    • E . Dixon says:

      Have you taken any-Staten, and for how long?
      Take some and let me here your opinion after five yrs.

    • Jacqueline Wilson says:

      How does that tie in with the fact statins can increase your risk of diabetes?? By a whopping 46%!!!!??? As noted in, & many other sources…

  22. E . Dixon says:

    My Wife just recently died from the side effects of taking cholesterol drugs/STATINS- for over ten yrs. When she first reported her symptoms to her Doctors, not only did not take her off the drugs they continue to prescribe them to her to take. When she died, they put metastatic breast cancer on her death certificate.

    Makes one wonder how many deaths are been covered up the same way.

  23. Jacqueline Wilson says:

    After suffering a mild heart attack at age 56 almost two years ago, I was put on statins along with many other mess. I also have ME/CFS so already have major muscle problems. I did not tolerate Atorvastatin. So this was changed to Pravastatin. I did not tolerate this well either. Adverse symptoms were extreme muscle pain, weakness & further lethargy (on top of what I already suffer). So instead of going off the drug, I halved the dose to 20mg per day instead of 40mg. I seemed to tolerate this better. However. After approx. one year, I began to experience extreme nerve pain, tingling & numbness in my hands, wrists, & feet. In my hands it got to a pint where I could not bear the pain. I read of adverse effects from statins, so trialled coming off them for a while to see if this would make a difference. It did!! The nerve pain, numbness & tingling went away completely. But I got scared. I didn’t want to suffer another heart attack. So I eventually went back on the half dose of statin. After a while, the nerve symptoms returned. So I went off them again, & the symptoms went away. But again, I got scared of further heart trouble, so went back on them again. Recently I have been experiencing severe nerve problems in my hands again. So what the hell do I do now??? I am FED UP with the controversy here!! Obviously they DO cause problems in some people, me included. But what should I do? Stay on them, prevent further heart problems, but be in severe pain from nerve problems, which MUST be damaging to cause this??? Or do I go off the statins, get rid of the nerve problems, but risk further heart problems??? HELP!!! I am SO OVER worrying about this, & am losing faith in both sides…

  24. John Vaughan says:

    I have stopped seeing doctors because the pharmaceutical corporations use payola to get the doctors to prescribe their drugs with no thought about how their drugs effect the human body. I complained to my doctor about the side effects that I was experiencing and all he wanted to do was prescribe me another “poison” that the pharmaceutical corporations have renamed and repackaged so that they can make their billions. With thought about how much they may have to pay out in lawsuits they just raise their prices to cover the lawsuits and go about with their usual payola scheme, buying off doctors and greedy politicians and most importantly the American Medical Association which is run by ex-pharmaceutical corporation officers. My doctor warned me to not stop taking the “medicines” that were prescribed to me, that was over two years ago and I’m in better health now than when I was consuming the “poisons” that the government allows these corporations to push on the public. Never again will I trust my health to anyone but myself and never again will I support a system that allows corporations to add “poisons” to our food supply and then sell us drugs to help combat the poisons that they have fed us.

  25. Gordon says:

    What was the “cure” for things years ago when there were no Statins. People survived, or not. But then there were all homemade items to eat. Everything was home grown. They could have REAL butter and Cream and our ancestors survived. They had home remedies that worked. They did not have to have additives to make their foods be healthy. The days were long and hard; but most people were healthy from the outside work and good food.

  26. Bill Taylor says:

    simple reality about humans, central heat and air is a really recent mode of living, for many tens of thousands of years humans sat close to fires for warmth, breathing air with smoke in it has always been part of the human experience……and the modern medicines are very recent things, the concept of altering the livers basic output into the body is something to avoid doing unless there is a VERY good reason…..having cholesterol totals in the mid 200’s is NOT in any way a valid reason to alter your livers basic functions….and the new standards being discussed as having a goal of under 180 total will certainly harm humans at the cellular level, our bodies really need cholesterol to function properly.

  27. Keith Mathews says:

    I took a statin, at my doctor’s insistence, for over two years. The onset of night tremors in my left leg started almost immediately. I also had some breathing restrictions which would awaken me at night.
    While I was at another doctor’s office a nurse (RN) suggested my leg pains and recent onset of night twitches and breathlessness might be caused by the statins. She pointed to the list of “side effects” which included exactly what I was experiencing.
    The doctor assured me that was not the case.
    As a personal experiment, I stopped taking the drug for a trail period of three months. I felt it would do no harm, since my diet was largely non-meat or carbohydrate based anyway.
    Nearly immediately I experienced much less leg pain, more stability on the affect leg and less night tremors in my legs. Within a couple of weeks the breathlessness at night completely disappeared.
    Although some of the nerve damage appears to be permanent, (my left leg is noticeably weaker since the onset of the statin treatment), than my right and continues to cause a lower level of pain), stopping that evil drug wasthe best thing I could do.
    The excuse the manufacturers use that the side effects are warrented by the good effects is total bullshit. My cholesterol levels did not significantly decrease during the drug taking, and have not increased since I stopped taking them. Diet appears to have had a more efficacious effect.

  28. Helena Chatfieldh says:

    6 weeks after taking CRESTOR, I could barley walk, I couldn’t lift my leg to go up step. 3rd week into another statin, I could barely walk, They tried me on several statin drugs, Same result, Now on my adverse reaction medical information.Few years later, now I have neuropathy, even after quieting the drugs statins. Please be careful with statins.

  29. Hello there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before
    but after looking at many of the articles I realized it’s new
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  30. Mary Lou Harvan says:

    What about Aten lol 25 mg.? Would love to get off it after a tachycardia but Dr. insists I stay on it.

  31. Mary Lou Harvan says:

    Been on Atenolol 25mg decade now due to tachycardia, even tho no problems since doc insists I stay on it! Why is it necessary?