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Can Your Cholesterol-Lowering Drug Cause You Additional Problems?

Some of the most widely prescribed medications are drugs that lower a patient's cholesterol level.  These drugs are known as "statins."  While the effectiveness of statins in lowering cholesterol is well established, recent studies show that these medications can cause unintended side effects such as memory loss, new onset diabetes, and muscle pain.  The FDA has recently issued a safety alert for these side effects.  Patients who take statins, and patients who are recommended to start statin therapy, should consult with their doctors about these newly recognized risks, and should develop a plan for monitoring for the development of these side effects.