What is Lipitor?
Lipitor is the brand name for the drug atorvastatin. Made and sold by the American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, this prescription medication is a popular drug to treat high cholesterol. It is a member of the statin class of hypolipidemics.
The FDA approved Lipitor in December of 1996. It is prescribed in 10 mg to 80 mg tablets that are taken daily.
Like other statin medications, Lipitor prevents an enzyme in the liver from creating low density lipids (LDLs). LDLs are a type of cholesterol that blocks arteries. Lipitor works to prevent the production of LDL and reduces the user’s risk of developing heart disease.
In early 2012, the FDA required Pfizer to update Lipitor’s label to include the increased risk of causing type 2 diabetes. Other manufacturers of cholesterol-lowering statins were also required to comply with the new guidelines.
“The announcement, medication label change and health advisory by the FDA were long overdue and have brought this important public health issue to light,” wrote Dr. Eric J. Topol, a professor of genomics at the Scripps Research Institute, in a New York Times article.
A January 2012 study published in the medical journal Archives of Internal Medicine found that women between the ages of 50 and 79 who took statin medicines like Lipitor were 48 percent more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than women who did not.
Three other medical studies investigating the link between statins and type 2 diabetes were published in the Lancet, the Journal of American College of Cardiology and Atherosclerosis.
The Lancet study published in 2011 was a review of several other studies and found that patients experienced an increased risk of 9 percent of developing type 2 diabetes when taking statins like Lipitor.
The JACC study published in 2010 focused primarily on the dosage amounts of Lipitor. It concluded that patients who took daily doses of Lipitor at 80mg experienced an increased risk of developing diabetes by 37 percent compared to the control group.
The Atherosclerosis study published in 2010 reviewed the metabolic effects of statins with specific focus on causing new onset of diabetes in users. It found that users taking daily doses of Lipitor significantly increased the risk of developing diabetes, even without preexisting conditions. This has, in turn, raised the incidence of Lipitor lawsuits and Lipitor class action lawsuits.
If you are currently taking Lipitor, discuss this information with your doctor. Do not ever stop taking any medication until you have discussed the risks and benefits with your health care provider.
Many individuals who were diagnosed with diabetes after taking Lipitor are filing Lipitor lawsuits. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with diabetes while taking the drug Lipitor, you may be eligible to file a Lipitor lawsuit. The pharmaceutical lawyers at Simmons Hanly Conroy, led by named shareholders Paul Hanly and Jayne Conroy, are currently investigating claims that the cholesterol-lowering medication Lipitor is linked to an increased risk of diabetes. Our experienced Lipitor attorneys will evaluate your case, answer your questions and provide you with legal options regarding filing a Lipitor lawsuit.
To learn more about Lipitor lawsuits, please contact us today.
The Diabetes Dilemma for Statin Users,
New York Times Opinion
New Study Fine-Tunes Diabetes, Statin Link,
The Wall Street Journal
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