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Lipitor® – Diabetes in Women

The anti-cholesterol drug Lipitor®® is the best-selling medication of all time, with USA Today reporting sales of more than $125 billion since its approval in 1996. But in the last few years, an increasingly large body of research suggests that the drug may have exposed millions of female patients to severe health risks. 

That evidence has become so compelling that in 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning that Lipitor®® may cause increased blood sugar, which means that it may cause diabetes, particularly among women. Very recently, new cholesterol guidelines have been issued which will result in an enormous increase in the number of patients to whom the drug, with its attendant safety risks, will be prescribed.

Lipitor®®  is among a class of drugs called statins, which are meant to reduce what the U.S. Food and Drug Administration terms the “bad” form of cholesterol — low-density lipoproteins, or LDL. Unlike the “good” type of cholesterol — which your body needs to needs to make hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that assist in digestion — LDL can cause the formation of fatty blockages in blood vessels. Those blockages increase the risk of stroke, heart disease or heart attacks.

Some statins, Lipitor®® included, appear to have potentially dangerous side effects. A 2012 study by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester linked statins such as Lipitor®® with a higher incidence of diabetes. According to a Reuters report, the researchers found that women are at particular risk.

The study employed data on more than 150,000 women in their 50s, 60s and 70s, and concluded that the chance of a diabetes diagnosis was 48 percent greater for statin users. Still another large study, called JUPITER, uncovered a 27 percent higher diabetes risk for statin users.

When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ordered the label changes, it cited studies linking statins to higher blood sugar levels. Elevated blood sugar is a warning sign for diabetes, and used as a diagnostic tool.

The FDA’s warning label on Lipitor®® includes some other health risks as well, including serious liver problems, a form of muscle injury called myopathy, and memory loss and confusion.

A 2013 study published online in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that statins such as Lipitor®® appear to negate the benefits of exercise, such as greater cardiovascular fitness.

If you are a woman who was diagnosed with new-onset, Type II diabetes while taking Lipitor®®, then you may be eligible for compensation through a Lipitor®® diabetes lawsuit.

Contact Heaviside Reed Zaic for a free consultation.

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