For those taking cholesterol lowering drugs or statins, must read this. Recent studies in Thailand have shown that stopping cholesterol -lowering drugs soon after a stroke might actually increase the risk of a second stroke. During the research, it was observed that people who stopped taking statin drugs three to six months after a stroke had more chances of having another stroke in the coming year. The result was concluded after comparing tests with patients who kept taking their medication regularly.
The studies strongly suggested that the stroke patients should not discontinue the use of statin therapy unless directed by the doctor. This recent study is seen as a major breakthrough in curing stroke of patients all across the globe. In the USA alone, nearly 800,000 people suffer a stroke each year. As per records of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 610,000 people had a stroke for the first time in their lives.
So what exactly are “statins”?? Statins are drugs like atorvastatin which is commercially known as Lipitor along with rosuvastatin, also called Crestor, and simvastatin, or Zocor. These drugs once entering the body inhibit the liver’s ability to produce cholesterol and also help the liver to wash out excess fats in the bloodstream. These are the first line of defense around the world for people who suffer from cardiovascular diseases and strokes. In the United States, the drugs are generally prescribed to people of age group 40 to 75 and those who have even the faintest risk of heart attacks and strokes.
The study is based on a 10 year (2001-2012) research data published by the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. The data included over 45,000 people who had a stroke caused by blocked blood vessels. The patients were prescribed to take a statin within 90 days of leaving the hospital. After six months some of the patients had either reduced or completely stopped taking statins. To the researcher’s surprise, the ones who stopped taking statins ended up with having another stroke within a year while the ones who kept taking moderate dose had low levels of stroke cases.
The new results stand as a breakthrough against the standing results of the past. Stopping medication has shown to have significant stroke effects on patients even in the first year. One of the major reasons that patients told about getting off the medication were side effects of statins.