In recent years, a great deal of research has been published linking Lipitor (atorvastatin) use and new onset diabetes.  Unfortunately, Lipitor warning labels have inadequately represented these risks, and a number of Lipitor diabetes lawsuits have been filed.  Lipitor (atorvastatin) is in a class of cholesterol-lowering drugs called “statins,” and are among the world’s most widely prescribed.  Atorvastatin is one of the most powerful in this group.  Here, I summarize a few studies I read today concerning statin drugs and diabetes.  For more studies about Lipitor and diabetes, follow the preceding link.

First, a study titled “Diagnosis, prevention, and management of statin adverse effects and intolerance: Canadian Working Group Consensus update.” by G.B. Mancini and a team of researchers from Vancouver, published in the December, 2013 edition of The Canadian Journal of Cardiology.  Here, researchers state, “The Proceedings of a Canadian Working Group Consensus Conference, first published in 2011, provided a summary of statin-associated adverse effects and intolerance and management suggestions. In this update, new clinical studies identified since then that provide further insight into effects on muscle, cognition, cataracts, diabetes, kidney disease, and cancer are discussed. Of these, the arenas of greatest controversy pertain to purported effects on cognition and the emergence of diabetes during long-term therapy.” (emphasis added)

Clearly, diabetes was a well-known risk of statin use at the time.  Mancini et al. (2013) also note that compared to the statin effect on cognition, “the linkage between statin therapy and incident diabetes is more firm.”

Next, a study by DH Katz et al. published in the April, 2014 edition of Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics, titled “Addressing Statin Adverse Effects in the Clinic: The 5 Ms.”.  The Katz (2014) team purports that,“Before initiating therapy, however, it is critical that physicians and patients discuss 4 key topics: (1) the benefit of ASCVD risk reduction, (2) medication adverse effects, (3) drug-drug interactions, and (4) patient preferences.”  That sounds all well and good, isn’t profound, and frankly probably is how all drugs are (or ought to be prescribed).

They continue, “To facilitate discussion of statin adverse effects, we present here an evidence-based review of the 5 Ms of statin adverse effects: metabolism, muscle, medication interactions, major organ effects, and memory.”  (Because everyone likes a little alliteration.)

Atop their list of adverse statin considerations stood, “Metabolism.”  The team writes, “‘Metabolism’ represents the small risk of new-onset diabetes that comes with statins”.  Again, it is quite clear that diabetes has been well-established as a statin side effect.

Among other concerns, Katz et al. (2014) cites the following: “‘Major organ effects’ prompt the physician to review the possibility of a transient transaminitis as well as the recent observation of rare acute kidney injury with statin use. Both are rare and do not require routine monitoring. Finally, ‘memory’ references the recent observational data suggesting statins may contribute to memory loss and confusion, both of which have not been observed in RCTs and resolve with drug cessation.”

And lastly, a piece by T.F. Whayne, Jr. et al. titled “Problems and Possible Solutions for Therapy with Statins.” appearing in the June, 2013 The International Journal of Angiology.  This team of researchers from The University of Kentucky (Lexington) cites many problems with statin drugs of which clinicians ought be aware:  “Liver inflammation can occur with statins but is of minimal concern; frequently, statins alleviate the problem. Unless liver transaminases are over three times normal, a statin should be prescribed, if indicated.”

They cite, “Symptoms of statin-related myopathy are of more concern than stated by pharmaceutical companies. Occurrence of myopathy symptoms, estimated to be up to 10.4%, can decrease statin adherence of high CV risk patients.”

And of course, Whayne Jr. et al. (2013) note: “With diabetes mellitus (DM), statins can increase incidence”.  References to cognitive impairment with statin therapy are made as well

Due to the fact that many people have used statin drugs unaware of these and other risks, a number of Lipitor diabetes lawsuits have been filed.  If you or a loved one used Lipitor and received a diabetes diagnosis, please do not hesitate to contact our team of Lipitor diabetes lawyers at the information provided below.  We have the experience, resources, and skills required to win the justice you deserve.

(855) 452 – 5529

Our Lipitor Lawsuit Information page is a great place to start if you have any questions about Lipitor.