Amnesia on Statins

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March 7, 2013 | 8 Comments


  1. July 27, 2013
    Statin Medication History.
    1993 begin Mevacor (20 mg) For high cholesterol. 3 years then memory problem.
    1996 changed to Prevacol (20 mg). 2 years then more memory problems.
    1998 changed to Lipitor (40 mg). 10 years then more memory problems.
    August 1, 2009 stopped Statin medication; against doctor’s order.

    I asked the doctor if I could stop the medication abruptly, and he told me yes. That evening I got on the Internet to check about stopping the Statin medication abruptly, and found one doctor who said to taper off the medication as there were a few people who stopped abruptly and after about two weeks they had strokes. Seems something happened to the blood platelets that caused the stroke.

    While on the computer I decided to look up the side-effects of Statin medication. That was scary as many of those noted were already a problem for me. Let me say here that I had no pain so really did not know I was having a physical problem. I had the memory problem, trouble walking, from wonderful penmanship to not being able to write my name clearly, plus other problems.

    About 2003-04 when pheasant hunting I was having a problem walking the rice fields, and when duck hunting had a problem walking the pond to get to the duck 2008 I had to stop bird hunting, and deer hunting because of my balance.

    In 2008 I also had to stop fishing as I could not get up, and down, the creek and river banks.

    2009 I stopped playing golf because of my balance.

    Thought the above problems were related to Old Age until I checked the Statin side-effects on the Internet.

    I have gone to many doctors with different disciplines for help, but only one (Neurologist) believed Statin medication had anything to do with my problem; another Neurologist did not.

    The only relief I get is through Acupuncture With Electrical Stimulation. It is no cure as I only get relief for a few days where I can walk without using my cane; but I carry in case I need it.

    I expect I would have never thought of Acupuncture for my problem, but when looking for different doctors I found a Holistic doctor in the phone book and he had an MD after his name. I made an appointment and found he only did acupuncture. I had a treatment and walked out of his office better than I had walked for some time.

    I do not know where I am going from here as I do not have any aches, or pains. When laying down, or sitting I feel like I can tackle any project, but when I stand I cannot do anything. My legs do not do what my brain tells them to do. Fortunately when sitting in the car I can drive comfortably without any problem with my legs.

  2. I had Trans. Global Amnesia on only 1 occasion. Lost my memory for approximately 48 hours. I had been stressed because of my husband’s and my sister’s ill health. However, I had been prescribed statins because of high cholesterol and angina. I had also been prescribed amatriptylene for depression. I did not feel “right”. It’s the closest description for my situation. The amnesia occurred while having a telephone conversation with my sister. My husband phoned our doctor who told him to take me to hospital. I had a CT scan. I have no memory of this but I know my family were distraught. I recovered and returned to work.
    Since this occasion I have felt as if there is something missing. Not myself. I asked my doctor for testing for Alzhiemers. She didn’t think it necessary which comforted me. However the memory issues kept recurring until I finally managed to get a referral for formal testing. Tests were inconclusive but I has referred for CT scan. I had an meeting with the doctor and was expecting to be told I was fine. It appears I am not. There are “changes”. The doctor was wonderful and explained there is no cure but drugs are available to “slow the progress”. I have been referred for another more in depth examination. As yet, no appointment. I am completely floored. I need to know what is happening to me. I have stopped the statins. I did not tell my GP. I have not seen her. I know she will have been informed of the results of scan but she has not contacted me to discuss. Have no idea how I or my family will cope. So sad.

  3. I had been taking statins for 10 years in my late 40’s to late 50’s. I was having trouble concentrating and my memory was really deficient. I had one short amnesia episode that lasted less than 30 seconds. When exiting my usual supermarket I didn’t have a clue where I was. It never even crossed my mind that it could have been the statins I was taking. I blamed it all on getting older. Until, while having a casual conversation with a friend, he told me that he was taken off statins because they were affecting his cognitive functions. I discontinued the statins to test his theory without asking permission from my physician. Lo and behold, within 2 weeks my memory and concentration improved by at least 80% to levels when I was in my 30’s. I discussed it with my doctor on my subsequent visit and he said that it could not be the statins because he had never heard or read anything like that before! That was in 2011 and I was on 10 mg Crestor once per day. He looked it up on his computer and saw that it occurred less than 1% of the time so he brushed it off as insignificant but he didn’t insist that I continue taking them, he offered to lower the dose instead and I conceded to try but even the lower dose affected me. He finally changed my prescription to Fenofibrate, which also affected me. Last time I saw him I told him in no uncertain terms that I will no longer take anything to lower my cholesterol and that I would rather live with the risk of dying younger (if in fact that risk is even real) than lose my mental faculties which to me are imperative in my daily life being a business woman with a lot of responsibilities. My cholesterol levels are normal, but because I have type 2 diabetes they want them to be lower than normal as a preventive measure. The brain needs cholesterol to function and there is no way I will ever again allow anyone to attempt to lower my cholesterol to minimal levels.

    • Iro

      one of the odd things about this is that lots of doctors would feel the same way about taking statins themselves – they just don’t seem to apply the same rules to those they give them to


      • David,
        The worst thing about it all is that while I was on statins with reduced cognitive functions, not only was I trying to look after my business that I was running from home, I was also home caring for my mom who had Alzheimer’s. I had to think for myself, my mom and my business. I thought I was losing it, but never ever suspected the statins. What a relief to relive normally again and take charge of my life and my mom’s, not to mention the business, when I stopped taking them. I get very angry when I think about what I went through because of low cholesterol levels. I reported the whole thing to Health Canada (I am from Canada) and I was told to encourage anyone who has lived similar experiences to file a report with them. Not that I believe that much will be done about it, you can label me a cynic, but at least it will be on record from as many people as possible.

        • Iro

          If you can get anyone you know to file a report with RxISK we will try and make something happen


    • Yet again a story of medical ignorance, arrogance and incompetence. The strange thing is that doctors are brainwashed by the pharmaceutical companies to expect certain results, and therefore are incapable of really listening to the patients’ reactions, insisting that they have nothing to do with the drug.
      If you never have had certain symptoms, and they suddenly appear shortly after you start taking a new drug surely it is not rocket science that the two things are correlated!
      I was prescribed an anti acid drug, which shortly after I started taking it made me feel dizzy and gave me a fainting feeling. I had never experienced these symptoms before in my life. The next day the whole packet landed in the bin, and those strange symptoms have never returned.
      I then went to the Internet and researched more holistic means for this problem. God knows what the prescription would have done to my brain!

  4. I had a severe loss of short term memory and general thinking issues with words at my recommended dosage of 20mg of Creator. The experience with Lipitor was the same.

    To prove it was the drugs, I went off and back on the drugs 3 times. Each time short term memory was confounded on the drug. Memory clear worth a couple of days after stopping it. Creator was even dose related. Cutting to 10mg eased the effects, but was still observable. I could see the effect in people eyes as well as observe myself.

    The memory impact was slow to build up which is why most people miss it and don’t connect the drugs to it.

    I also see the effect in my wife, but she continues to use it.

    For me it is a quality of life issue. I am accepting a shorter life that I can remember and be active in.

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