Your Brain On Statins: Not So Clear
Last week, the FDA got up the nerve to say something that the pharmaceutical industry really did not want to hear: statins, the widely-used cholesterol-lowering drugs whose trade names include Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor, Mevacor, and Livalo, can make your brain fuzzy. They can make you forgetful. As the FDA reports on its website, the agency has been studying allegations of brain fuzziness by statin users for several years, and only recently concluded that yes, the claims are real. The FDA now requires that labeling on many statins include a warning of the possibility of such side effects. Amy G. Egan, deputy director for safety in FDA’s Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products, believes that in general, statins do far more good than harm. “The value of statins in preventing heart disease has been clearly established,” she says. “Their benefit is indisputable, but they need to be taken with care and knowledge of their side effects.” For more on statins and fuzzy brains, read Tara Parker-Pope in the New York Times.