Medications

Lipitor® and Diabetes

Lipitor® was the fifth member of a class of medications known as “statins” that was introduced to the pharmaceutical market in 1997. Lipitor® has been approved by the FDA to be used in conjunction with a healthy diet to lower low-density lipoprotein (bad) cholesterol and blood lipid levels known as triglycerides, with the aim of reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. For many years, Lipitor® has been one of the most widely prescribed drugs in America. However, recent studies have shown that women taking Lipitor® may have an increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder that causes blood sugar levels to rise without compensation from proper insulin use by the body, otherwise known as “insulin resistance.” The symptoms of Type 2 diabetes include, but are not limited to: increased thirst; increased urination; increased hunger; blurred vision; fatigue; and/or slow healing sores or frequent infections. If left untreated or unmanaged, women with Type 2 diabetes can have very serious complications including:

  • Nerve damage;
  • Kidney failure;
  • Eye damage and vision loss;
  • Increased risk of stroke and/or heart attack;
  • Increased risk of amputation of toes, feet or legs.

If you have concerns that you may have Type 2 diabetes or have already been diagnosed with diabetes and are still taking Lipitor®, please consult with your physician. You should never stop taking any prescription medication without first consulting your physician.

FDA Action

In early 2012, the FDA approved a drug safety update to the label of Lipitor®, and most other statins, informing patients of increased blood sugar levels associated with the drug. This label change was based on clinical studies and adverse events reported in the published medical literature1.

The FDA has also asked for patients who have developed side effects from Lipitor®, including Type 2 diabetes, to report that to the FDA via their website2.

Note: Lipitor® is a registered trademark of Pfizer, Inc., and/or its affiliates and is used here for identification only. This law firm is not associated with, sponsored by, endorsed by or affiliated with Pfizer, Inc., or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Nothing on this site has been authorized or approved by Pfizer, Inc., or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.


1 http://www.fda.gov/drugs/drugsafety/ucm293101.htm#pat

2 http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/medwatch

 

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