The FDA has raised concerns about the popular cholesterol-fighting drugs, saying the risk of diabetes should be added to the drug's warnings and precautions. NBC's Robert Bazell reports.
The Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that people who take popular cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins may have an increased risk of raised blood sugar levels and could also be at greater risk of getting Type 2 diabetes. In addition, some people who take statins have reported memory impairment.
Statins, some of the most-prescribed drugs on the market, are taken by millions of Americans.
In a statement, the FDA noted the benefits of taking the drugs often outweigh the risks.
“The value of statins in preventing heart disease has been clearly established,” said Amy G. Egan, M.D., M.PH., deputy director for safety in FDA’s Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products. “Their benefit is indisputable, but they need to be taken with care and knowledge of their side effects.”
The FDA will be modifying the drug package insert found in the following statin products to include the federal safety agency's new concerns:
- Altoprev (lovastatin extended-release)
- Crestor (rosuvastatin)
- Lescol (fluvastatin)
- Lipitor (atorvastatin)
- Livalo (pitavastatin)
- Mevacor (lovastatin)
- Pravachol (pravastatin)
- Zocor (simvastatin).
Products containing statins in combination with other drugs include:
- Advicor (lovastatin/niacin extended-release)
- Simcor (simvastatin/niacin extended-release)
- Vytorin (simvastatin/ezetimibe).