In February, the FDA issued a change to the labels of various statin medications. These changes included:
- A warning of increased Hemoglobin A1c levels (a lab measure of the average amount of glucose in your blood)
- A warning of increased risk of cognitive impairment
- The discontinuation of monitoring liver enzymes with treatment. Instead, measuring liver function enzymes is encouraged at the start of treatment
- Lovastatin included additional warnings in that should not be used in combination with certain antiretrovirals, antifungals, and certain macrolide antibiotics and their derivatives.
…..Doctors are being informed of the changes and being encouraged that the benefits outweigh the warnings. Furthermore, some evidence does exist that statins have prevented some cardiovascular deaths. I agree to a point, in relation to prevention of secondary heart attacks in men. However, do the risks outweigh the benefits?
Perhaps, those with diabetes may be best to try lifestyle modification first. As Mark Hyman, MD reports:
I recall reading a scientific paper in the Journal of the American Medical Association a number of years ago by Dr. David Jenkins from the University of Toronto. He showed that using a combination of soy, fiber, almonds, and plant sterols (cholesterol-lowering fats) could lower cholesterol levels as much as statin medications.(i) Diet can lower cholesterol as much as statins--a surprise to many but common in my practice.