Some European medical professionals are urging their colleagues to use caution in prescribing the class of cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins, following reports linking the medications to a higher risk of diabetes.
In a study published in the British Medical Journal, Canadian researchers said powerful statins such as Lipitor may increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 22 percent compared with weaker drugs. The researchers analyzed a sample of 1.5 million people over the age of 66 and compared the incidence of diabetes between people taking different statins, according to a BBC story.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently added warnings to the labels of Lipitor and other potent statins, advising that they may raise blood sugar levels, which are used to diagnose diabetes, and could cause memory loss.
The article on the study quotes two professors from the University of Turku in Finland as saying: “The most potent statins, at least in higher doses, should preferably be reserved for patients who do not respond to low-potency treatment, but have a high total risk of cardiovascular disease.”
The BBC also quotes the study authors as saying: “Clinicians should consider this risk when they are contemplating statin treatment for individual patients.”
Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with a Lipitor lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries.