We might see changes in the coming months in the way drug companies label their cholesterol-lowering medicines or statins that are being sold nationwide.
Food and Drug Administration is instructing drug firms to include warning in their product labels about the ‘small risk’ of increased sugar levels and diabetes. However, the FDA also said they want to assure the public that those drugs are still providing significant health benefit in lowering cholesterol.
Health regulators are including warning to the medicine labels of popular cholesterol-lowering drugs that they might increase blood sugar and possibly cause memory loss.
FDA has publicized last week that there has been alterations in the safety information labels of statins of Merck & Co’s, AstraZeneca and Pfizer — medicines that are used by millions of Americans.
Statins have long proven that it is effective in reducing the risk of heart attack and other heart disorders and, according to FDA, this new development must not scare people into halting the use of the medicines.
FDA announced that they know of studies wherein several patients taking statins might have an increased risk of having high sugar levels in the blood and, eventually, of being diagnosed with diabetes.
They have apparently known for 4 years now that statin ‘slightly’ increases blood sugar but they are insisting that this does not change that statins are effective in reducing heart risk for patients.
This is the first time that FDA has officially connected the use of statin to cognitive disorders like confusion and forgetfulness, even though several patients have already reported those problems for years. The drugs affected include big brands such as Vytorin, Crestor, Zocor and Lipitor.
The chairman of cardiovascular medicine in Cleveland has said that diabetics and those who acquired diabetes only through ingesting statins must still continue taking the medicines.
According to medical practitioners, even though the benefits of statins can really outweigh the possible side effects, patients might still be alarmed by this new announcement.