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Old 02-27-09, 10:45 PM   #1
Focused1
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Zocor and Cycling?

Well, I've joined the ranks of the 50+, but have been a lurker till now. My doc wants to put on Zocor (heart disease in the family history and a high number on a blood test called c-reactive protein), My chlosterol isn't a problem, but some cardiologists think this stuff can stave off the big one. Anyone out there on Zocor? Side effects? Especially for us riders? Seems like the possible problems with muscle pain, etc. could be bad news....
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Old 02-27-09, 11:50 PM   #2
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The stuf tried to kill me I had to go off it after 7 weeks a few years ago . I almost was cripple had to rock to get out of bed !! Had my muscles hurting so bad ... Good luck
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Old 02-28-09, 12:22 AM   #3
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I've been taking it for a while now. No noticeable side effects at all. No impact on my riding.

I've been prone to stiff & sore muscles since I was a teenager. Didn't notice it worsening.
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Old 02-28-09, 01:59 AM   #4
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Trying to think if Zocor is a beta blocker or Cholesterol pill.

If Beta Blocker then exercise will be slowed down.

Now if it is The Cholesterol pill- a Statin of some form- Then it MAY have an effect on certain people. I have been on Statins for 10 years and last year had to increase the dose. They have never affected me with any of the pains that some have. But BB's slow the heart rate. They make it hard to get any impetus into any form of exercise. I was put on them and did affect my cycling. I came off them as soon as possible.
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Old 02-28-09, 05:30 AM   #5
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There is no reason in the world to take a statin drug!
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Old 02-28-09, 11:50 AM   #6
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Why would there be no reason to take a statin drug?
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Old 02-28-09, 12:10 PM   #7
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There is no reason in the world to take a statin drug!
Well, except maybe for these reasons:

http://bulletin.aarp.org/yourhealth/...t_disease.html

http://www.consumerreports.org/healt...gs/statins.htm
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Old 02-28-09, 12:13 PM   #8
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It would be foolish not to take advantage of your doctors medical advice. Three years ago I had unstable angina & couldn't walk more than half a block without stopping & wondering if I could make it back home & when I had a stent implanted the Dr. told me he thought I was just days away from a major heart attack & my artery was 95% closed .Today I can run up to four miles & enjoy biking more than ever. Just in case you are wondering I had biked & jogged most of my life, heart disease doesn't just hit couch potatoes who sit watch TV all day.

When I was a kid & something bad would happen & I would say why me. My dad used to laugh & say "why not you" So follow the Doctors advice & you will possibly avoid an early death and endless medical tests & procedures.

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Old 02-28-09, 07:33 PM   #9
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I take 20mg daily and have for the past 8 months. I keep a cycling log and I was very careful to observe any effects of this medication. My cycling improvement "curve" has not changed and my cholesterol number is below 70. I would like to try getting off of it and see if my cycling can keep my cholesterol under control. I'll discuss this with my doctor soon.

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Old 02-28-09, 07:44 PM   #10
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Those of you who are on a statin family drug might want to check with your doctor as to whether or not you can eat grapefruit or grapefruit products.There are some concerns about the interreaction of the two.
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Old 02-28-09, 07:48 PM   #11
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Just be aware there is a much cheaper generic version, known as Simvastatin. To my knowledge the Zocor or Simvastatin only lowers LDL cholesterol. I was on it briefly with no ill affects; but my problem was/is a too low HDL cholesterol. So now on Vytorin. Although sometimes think I was changed to just to keep me on a high priced drug.
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Old 02-28-09, 10:23 PM   #12
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All the statins only lower LDL cholesterol. Mevacor (Lovastatin) was the first of this class of drugs approved by the FDA in the late-1980s. Zocor (Simvastatin) was approved in 1991 (now generic) and is considered generally safe as far as statins are concerned. Some of the other approved statins are Pravachol, Crestor and Lipitor (which is now the top selling statin drug). If you start on a statin drug, make sure the doc follows up within a couple of months with a liver enzyme test (SGOT or something like that - not sure of the exact name of the test). The muscle weakness mentioned above is another noticeable side effect of taking statins for some folks.

Vytorin is nothing but Zocor plus Zetia (Ezetimibe). Zetia, which was approved four or five years ago, acts differently from a statin drug in that it is supposed to increase HDL. The combination was a way of extending Zocor's patent life after it became generic a couple of years ago. The other thing that seems to increase HDL levels is regular exercise - my own HDL has risen from high 40s to mid 60s within a couple of years of regular gym workouts and biking (along with losing 25+ lbs and a healthy diet).
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Old 02-28-09, 10:33 PM   #13
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Good point about grapefruit. Not just statins, a number of modern prescription drugs are not metabolized properly in the presence of grapefruit products. This is apparently unique to grapefruit in the citrus family. For example, orange juice is fine.

There is also some talk that pomegranate products may be similarly implicated in conjunction with prescription drugs.

Regardless, check with the doc if you are taking prescription medications.
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Old 02-28-09, 10:54 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by screenwasher View Post

Vytorin is nothing but Zocor plus Zetia (Ezetimibe). Zetia, which was approved four or five years ago, acts differently from a statin drug in that it is supposed to increase HDL. The combination was a way of extending Zocor's patent life after it became generic a couple of years ago. The other thing that seems to increase HDL levels is regular exercise - my own HDL has risen from high 40s to mid 60s within a couple of years of regular gym workouts and biking (along with losing 25+ lbs and a healthy diet).
And the effectiveness of Zetia and, in turn, Vytorin, is both being questioned and the subject of on-going studies, as discussed in this (and other) articles:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/...orin-qna_N.htm
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Old 03-01-09, 08:18 AM   #15
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Several years ago, I was put on different statins. The muscle pain, which is a symptom of possible heart muscle damage occuring, developed and I was switched over to Niaspan, which is a form of the vitamin, Niacin. I now take Niaspan and Zetia, and it has worked to correct my LDL and HDL problems without any noticable side effects.
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Old 03-01-09, 09:05 AM   #16
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I was on Lipitor in 2004. The side effects went beyond just sore muscles. They included my arms going numb from shoulder to fingertips, which would wake me up 4-5 times per night, no endurance, and a fogged brain that was starting to affect my speech. In addition to the soreness. After even a moderate ride I'd be sore for 4 days and a good hard training ride was out of the question! The harder I tried to stay in shape, the worse shape I was in. I went to cutting pills, then to taking it every other day, then once a week. Any dose at all was too much. Finally I told the doc I'd take my chances of having a heart attack if it meant less chance of dying of feebleness at 50, and thereafter I refused to take it at all. By that time I could barely walk a half-flight of stairs. The doc sheepishly admitted that some studies showed 100% incidence of at least some muscle damage by statins; it's just that those who don't push their bodies to the max don't notice. I've been working hard to recover for 5 years now, but I'm still not there.
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Old 03-01-09, 04:04 PM   #17
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One way to see if you would benefit from a statin is to Google Framingham risk calculator and plug in your numbers such as age, cholesterol, BP. If this shows you have a certain risk of developing heart disease then you may benefit from a satin. Because statins do more that lower cholesterol, they also reduce inflammation at the level of the lining of the blood vessels, some have advocated using the highly sensitive CRP to look for vascular inflammation. If this is elevated one may benefit from statins.

All statins can cause muscle soreness. A more serious side effect is actual muscle breakdown which can lead to kidney failure. Pravstatin, which is available at Walmart or Kroger for 4 dollars a month, might have less muscle side effects than the others.

Another thing that may help with the muscle soreness from statins is coenzyme Q 10

Ask your doc if he/she thinks Pravastatin is a good alternative to Zocor. Also ask about coenzyme Q 10.
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Old 03-01-09, 04:56 PM   #18
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I'm 57+ had 3 stents put in almost 4 years ago, one artery was 100% blocked another 90% and I had several (6) that were < 50%. The doc said that my being active and a runner all my life probably saved me or the collateral blood vessels did. Diet and excercise weren't getting it done, obviously; my problems were and are strictly hereditary. IN FACT, the day I had my first severe chest pain/pressure I was within 1 day of the same age as my Mother when she had her first heart attack!
I've been on Zocor (and the generic) for almost 4 years with no side affects, NONE. They started me on 20mg Zocor and 3 years later finally ended up at 80mg to get numbers reasonablly close to what the Dr. wanted. When the doc added Zetia 10mg my bad numbers LDL dropped immediatley to within acceptable numbers and the HDL went up about 10%. Adding bike riding 3-4 times a week (4000mi/yr) and loosing 22 pounds helped drop LDL another 10% and raised the HDL 10%. This winter I've dropped another 15 pounds and I'm in the gym 5-6 times a week versus 2-3 last year. I have my regular blood work in another month so those results will be very interesting to see. My c-reactive protein levels are fine, for me the problem is the cholesterol.
As long as you are aware that there can be complications you'll be fine. If you suspect muscle pain go see your Doctor right away, don't think that it might be just normal muscle fatigue from riding or working out; get in and be seen.
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Old 03-01-09, 08:15 PM   #19
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As a physician and a person who takes a statin I can vouch for their relative saftey and efficacy. Granted they are not for everyone but the vast majority of my patients take them without any problems. Take comfort in the fact that they are one of the most studied drugs in the world with millions of people taking them. The take home message that everyone needs to know is that no medicine does it all. The most important thing you can do for yourself is to follow the reccomended life style changes whic include a mediterranean diet, regular physical activity, and get as close to your ideal body weight as possible. Also maintain a normal BP.
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Old 03-02-09, 10:52 PM   #20
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I started on 20 mg of Zocor about 7 or 8 years ago. It brought my slightly elevated cholesterol down a little, but when I started cycling regularly, my cholesterol dropped significantly. These days I'm on 10 mg. Tried going off the drug, but the LDL started to creep up. My doctor and I have discussed at length the benefits of taking simvastatin, and I decided staying on it was a good idea.
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Old 03-03-09, 09:29 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Focused1 View Post
Well, I've joined the ranks of the 50+, but have been a lurker till now. My doc wants to put on Zocor (heart disease in the family history and a high number on a blood test called c-reactive protein), My chlosterol isn't a problem, but some cardiologists think this stuff can stave off the big one. Anyone out there on Zocor? Side effects? Especially for us riders? Seems like the possible problems with muscle pain, etc. could be bad news....
Muscle pains are a possible side effect of statin medications, but if Zocor is a problem, there are a number of other statins you could switch to instead.
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Old 03-03-09, 09:39 AM   #22
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I tried both Lipitor and later Zetia. Lipitor worked but over a few years the liver enzymes went crazy and I had to stop. Zetia followed but wasn't doing much. I now take a product by NOW Foods, Bloomingdale IL. Its Red Yeast Rice with CoQ 10, milk thistle, and alpha lipoic acid.
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Old 03-03-09, 12:32 PM   #23
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no one wants sore muscles, especially cyclists.

interview a few folks who have had heart attacks, a few who have had CABG procedures, and for good measure take a stroll through a graveyard ... and realize that no one wants coronary artery disease, either.

in one controlled study involving over 6000 patients, the incidence of side effects with statins was lower than that with placebos.

there is some risk, however, of serious side effects.

one way to approach this is to get a detailed analysis of your cholesterol, i.e. "big" versus "small" particles. there is some belief that composition trumps absolute level, meaning that it is safe to stay off of a statin even with a high level if the composition is right.

the other end of the spectrum is to keep in mind that most people who have heart attacks have normal cholesterol, and thus pull out all the stops, taking a statin regardless. the author of "south beach diet" (who is a cardiologist), says that every cardiologist he knows over the age of 40 takes statins, regardless of their cholesterol level.
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