Let’s face it. A lifetime of taking medications is not anyone’s cup of tea. Especially for a that is painless and asymptomatic. Yet, millions of otherwise healthy people get placed on cholesterol lowering drugs, also known as statins. But are these drugs necessary?
Now, we do not in any way suggest that one should wait for symptoms, pain, or discomfort before starting on a medication. This would be a death sentence for someone with cancer, just for example.
Too many people stop taking their statins at a certain point without notifying their doctor, according to a report on NBC News. A study suggests that only 61 percent of people who were prescribed a statin were still using the drugs after three months, and only 55 percent after six months. A good number never even filled their first prescription for a statin.
And while the NBC News report calls statins “lifesaving”, a disagreement if not controversy persists as to who should be on statins.
A recent study from Harvard University published in British Journal of General Practice suggests that almost all men over 60 or women over 75 could “benefit from statin therapy”. This is as a preventive measure against heart attacks.
However, many professional bodies are calling for GPs (general practitioners) to adopt a more ‘common sense’ approach to statin use as over-prescription of these drugs is real concern.
Also of concern is the side effects to these drugs that would be prescribed to virtually all men over 60 and women over 75, some of who are otherwise healthy and have good cholesterol numbers. Previously, question have been raised as to the need for prescribing statins to healthy people. (See: Is There A Cholesterol Conspiracy Going On?)
If so many people with elevated cholesterol levels stop taking their medication (which usually means taking just one pill a day), many more will likely do the same if the drugs are prescribed on the basis of age.