The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned about the link between Lipitor and diabetes after several studies found increased risks. This risk appears to be highest for post-menopausal women and people with other risk factors for diabetes. However, anyone who takes Lipitor may be at risk of diabetes. Unfortunately, millions of people took Lipitor before these warnings were published.
Do I Have a Texas Lipitor Lawsuit? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was injured by type-2 diabetes after using Lipitor, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a Lipitor lawsuit in Texas.
Lipitor and Diabetes
Lipitor (atorvastatin) is associated with type-2 diabetes, a metabolic disorder characterized by cellular insulin resistance and blood-sugar problems. If diabetes is not controlled with diet, exercise, and medication, it can grow progressively worse and lead to fatal side effects.
Unfortunately, studies have found that Lipitor can increase blood-sugar levels and decrease glycemic control. This can increase the risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
The link between Lipitor and diabetes is concerning, because many experts are concerned that Lipitor is over-prescribed to patients who do not need it. There is no clear evidence that Lipitor lowers mortality for patients who have high cholesterol but are otherwise healthy. Its use as “prophylaxis” against heart attacks, stroke, and heart disease is widely debated.
Older Women Have 50% Higher Diabetes Risk
According to a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine in January 2012, middle-aged and post-menopausal woman have a 50% higher risk of developing diabetes while taking a statin like Lipitor.
Researchers evaluated data from nearly 162,000 women between the ages of 50 and 79. They found that nearly 10% of women who took a statin developed diabetes within nine years on the drug. However, in the same time-frame, only 6.4% of women who did not take a statin developed diabetes.
Risk Factors for Diabetes on Lipitor
Overall, studies have found that the risk of diabetes from Lipitor is small. For most patients, the benefits of using Lipitor probably outweighs the risk of diabetes. However, individuals with multiple risk factors also have a higher risk of diabetes. These risk factors include:
- Being overweight
- High blood-sugar levels
- High triglycerides (blood fat)
- High blood pressure
- Women who are middle-aged or post-menopausal
FDA Warning About Lipitor and Diabetes
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned about the link between Lipitor and diabetes in a Drug Safety Communication published on February 28, 2012. They added a warning to the label about “reports of increased blood sugar and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels.” Elevated glycosylated hemoglobin indicates poor blood-sugar control and is a risk factor for kidney damage and heart problems.
Many Lipitor lawsuits allege that these warnings were too little, too late, and they are still not strong enough to warn the public about the risk of diabetes from Lipitor.
Studies of Lipitor and Diabetes
The FDA cited two concerning studies of Lipitor and diabetes when they updated the label:
- Justification for the Use of Statins in Primary Prevention: an Intervention Trial Evaluating Rosuvastatin (JUPITER): This study of Crestor (a statin in the same class as Lipitor) found a 27% increased risk of physician-reported diabetes compared to patients taking a placebo.
- Pravastatin or Atorvastatin Evaluation and Infection Therapy – Thrombolysis In Myocardial Infarction 22 (PROVE-IT TIMI 22) substudy: This study specifically linked Lipitor to worsening blood-sugar control.
Other studies have also found associations with Lipitor and diabetes:
- Lancet, February 2010: 9% increased risk of diabetes was associated with statins.
- Journal of the American College of Cardiology, March 2011: Higher risk of diabetes associated with higher doses of Lipitor.
- JAMA, June 2011: 12% higher risk of diabetes associated with statins, with approximately one extra case for every 498 people who use a statin.
Severe Lipitor Side Effects
- Type-2 diabetes
- Liver damage
- Kidney damage
- Liver failure
- Muscle pain
- Memory loss
- And more