A number of studies have linked Lipitor and other statin drug use to an increase in type 2 diabetes risk. Statins are medications used to lower blood cholesterol levels.
One study, published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, used data from three clinical trials comparing high-dose atorvastatin (the generic name for Lipitor) with either a lower dose statin or placebo pill among participants with cardiovascular disease.
One of these trials used in the study focused on 3,800 adult participants who were diabetes-free at the start of the trial. All of the participants had a history of stroke or transient ischemic attacks (“mini” strokes).
The results of the study found that compared to the placebo group, atorvastatin users experienced an increase in their risk of developing type 2 diabetes over a period of five years. About 9 percent saw this increase, compared to only 6 percent of the placebo group who saw an increase.
However, when the researchers accounted for other risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes, such as age, weight and smoking habits, the use of atorvastatin was linked to a 37 percent increase in the odds of developing diabetes compared to the placebo. Among the participants with all four risk factors, approximately half of them developed diabetes. Only 20 percent of the placebo group developed diabetes.
The reason for this higher risk is linked to the drug’s effect on the body’s ability to control blood sugar, according to a Reuters article.
“[Researchers] suggest that doctors might want to carefully monitor atorvastatin users for diabetes,” said the article.
Lipitor is the world’s all-time best-selling prescription medication. It has cumulative sales of over $130 billion. Atorvastatin, the generic version of Lipitor, became available to consumers in late 2011. Despite the generic competition, Lipitor is expected to continue generating billions in revenue by 2015 due to the aggressive marketing moves by its manufacturer, Pfizer.
If you or someone you love has taken Lipitor and developed type 2 diabetes, you may have grounds for a Lipitor lawsuit. Contact one of our Lipitor lawyers today, or learn more about Lipitor warnings or the other serious side effects of Lipitor now.
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