Lipitor (atorvastatin) has been associated with an increased risk of cataracts, which causes progressive vision loss and can lead to blindness. The manufacturer or Lipitor, Pfizer Inc., is facing a growing litigation from people who took Lipitor and developed severe side effects, such as type-2 diabetes.
UPDATE: Another Study Links Statins and 30% Increased Risk of Cataracts
December 8, 2014 — The Canadian Journal of Cardiology has published a new study adding more evidence that cholesterol-lowering statins, such as Lipitor, could increase a person’s risk of cataracts by nearly 30%. Click here to read more
Lipitor (atorvastatin) is the most popular cholesterol-lowering drug in a class of medications known as statins. Unfortunately, there is growing concern about a link between Lipitor and cataracts. The lens of the eye requires cholesterol to maintain transparency. Drugs like Lipitor may interfere with the eye’s natural healing and repair processes, which could lead to vision loss.
Studies of Lipitor and Cataracts
September 19, 2013 — JAMA Ophthalmology published a study linking statins to a 27% increased risk of cataracts. Although previous studies suggested that statins had an antioxidant effect that could slow the natural aging progress in the eye, this study suggested that the risk of cataracts was actually higher among statin-users in comparison with non-users. The conclusions of the study were based on data from 13,626 statin-users and 32,623 non-users.
What is Cataracts?
Cataracts is a medical condition in which the lens of the eye becomes progressively cloudy, resulting in blurred vision, vision loss, and ultimately blindness. The cloudiness is caused by the build-up of protein in the lens, which prevents light from entering the eye. Cataracts are the leading caused of vision loss and blindness, especially in elderly populations.
Symptoms of Cataracts
- Vision is cloudy, blurry, foggy, or dim
- Increasing problems driving at night due to glare from oncoming headlights
- Sensitivity to light and glare
- Color changes (fading or yellowing of colors)
- Changes in eyeglass prescriptions
- “Halos” around lights
Treatment for Cataracts
Cataracts does not go away on its own, but it can stop progressing. In people whose cataracts continues getting worse, it can ultimately cause blindness. Fortunately, there are effective ways to treat cataracts. Millions of Americans undergo surgery to remove the lens of the eye and implant a permanent intraocular lens (IOL). The procedure is usually painless and can be performed when the patients is anesthetized but awake.