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Lipitor Side Effects for Women

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The drug Lipitor, or atorvastatin, is widely prescribed to lower blood cholesterol levels. However, recent science has demonstrated that postmenopausal women who take Lipitor may be at an elevated risk for type 2 diabetes.

Now, a number of women have filed Lipitor side effects lawsuit claims against Pfizer, arguing that the drug maker failed to warn them of this risk.

Like otherAtherosclerosis medications in its class, known as statins, Lipitor works by limiting the amount of cholesterol produced by the liver. LDL, sometimes called “bad” cholesterol, is a lipoprotein that transports cholesterol to the body’s cells.

Some cholesterol is necessary for the body to function, but if there is too much cholesterol in the blood it can accumulate in the arteries, causing them to harden and become clogged.

Statins like Lipitor bind to the enzymes in the liver that create LDL and prevent them from manufacturing cholesterol, which in turn keeps cholesterol from entering the bloodstream.

Unfortunately, some studies have suggested that while it lowers cholesterol levels in the blood, Lipitor increases blood sugar.

Lipitor is known to have a number of possible side effects, including:

  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, and nausea
  • Rhabdomyolysis, a potentially fatal condition involving muscle breakdown
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Insomnia and dizziness

Additionally, recent research has provided evidence that diabetes may be a Lipitor side effect in women.

Researchers Investigate Lipitor Diabetes Link in Women

In January of 2012, a study investigating the possible link between the use of statins like Lipitor and increased risk of diabetes in postmenopausal women was published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine.1 The researchers found that, even after adjusting for potential confounding variables, women taking statins had nearly 1.5 times the risk of developing type 2 diabetes than women in the control group.

Given this elevated risk, Dr. Eric J Topol, a professor at the Scripps Research Institute, wrote a New York Times editorial that called for the review of Lipitor prescribing practices.2 Topol argued that, based on research data, 1 in every 200 patients taking a statin like Lipitor for five years will develop diabetes. With more than 20 million Americans taking statins, that “would equate to 100,000 new statin-induced diabetics”.

He went on to state that patients who have never had a cardiac event like a heart attack receive little benefit from taking statins, and that given the risk of diabetes, there should be “a careful review of whether the statin is necessary” for these patients.

Some women who have been prescribed Lipitor are now questioning whether its benefits outweigh its potential diabetes risk. If you developed type 2 diabetes while taking Lipitor, you may be entitled to compensation.

Contact our diabetes lawsuit attorneys for more information about Lipitor lawsuits. It is free to consult with our attorneys about your situation; there are never any legal fees unless we win compensation in your case. Call us today at 1-888-578-4755.

1.  Statin Use and Risk of Diabetes Mellitus in Postmenopausal Women in the Women’s Health Initiative
2.  The Diabetes Dilemma for Statin Users

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