More than 35 million Americans may be on a drug that causes violent, suicidal and homicidal behavior, and it's not antidepressants
Feeling irritable, paranoid or even violent lately? Before you blame other life triggers like your job, money problems or your significant other, you may want to examine your prescription drug regimen, as it could be changing you in more ways than you realize.
Close to 70 percent of Americans are taking at least one prescription drug and more than 50 percent are prescribed two or more, according to numbers released in 2013 by Mayo Clinic, meaning that it's probably even higher today.
Prescription drug use rose from 44 percent in 1999 - 2000 to 48 percent in 2007 – 2008. While the most common pharmaceuticals in use today include antibiotics, antidepressants and painkiller opioids, another drug is on the rise: statins, a class of drug routinely prescribed to help lower cholesterol levels in the blood.
Find more breaking headlines on statin drugs at statins.news
About 25 million Americans are currently taking statins, and under new guidelines issued in November, another 13 million may be eligible for the cholesterol-lowering drug.
While touted as being nothing short of a miracle for preventing heart attacks and stroke, a new study says statins may cause some pretty scary side effects including "aggressive, violently jealous, suicidal or even homicidal behavior."
Researchers from the University of California found a link between statins and aggression, particularly in postmenopausal women over 45-years-old. Interestingly, women who were innately calm exhibited the most aggressive behavior when on statins.
A separate study out of Pennsylvania State University found that women taking birth control pills were more jealous (to the point of violence) towards their partners.
Men, on the other hand, were much less likely to exhibit "large increases in aggression," says professor Beatrice Golomb, who led the statin research.
Statins not just for lowering cholesterol, but also used for acne, asthma and birth control
Published in the journal PLOS One, the study suggests that lower levels of cholesterol in the brain could be to blame for aggressive behavior, as the waxy fat-like substance enables brain cells to communicate, and can be adversely affected when lowered.
Proof of this lies in the case of violent prison inmates, many of which have lower levels of brain cholesterol.
"Professor Golomb says statins raise testosterone and cause sleep problems, which could tend to make people prone to irritability and aggression," The Daily Mail reports.
Golomb has uncovered several cases in which individuals acted aggressive and violent after taking statins, including one instance in which a 59-year-old man, who had no prior history of violence, began chasing his wife, threatening to kill her. Six weeks after quitting the drug he returned to his "normal, placid self."
David Healy, professor of psychiatry at Bangor University and an expert in the field of dangerous side-effects caused by common drugs, found that with the statin Lipitor, there were 310 reports of aggression and violence and 62 reports of homicidal behavior.
There were 309 reports of irritability, 256 reports of personality change and 68 of paranoia.
Here you may find a list of commonly prescribed statins.
Another article by The Daily Mail asks whether the benefits of statins have been exaggerated based on new evidence showing they aren't as safe as Big Pharma claims.
While they've reduce cholesterol levels, they've "failed to substantially improve cardiovascular outcomes," according to a review of clinical trial data. Many "studies" have failed to note serious side-effects including the ones discussed here.
In terms of psychological effects, the only consequences of statins listed are memory loss, confusion and amnesia, but there's absolutely no mention of suicidal and homicidal behavior.
The lack of information on, or rather the intent to hide, the more serious side-effects of statins is seriously concerning considering the number of Americans on the drug is about to be greatly increased under the new guidelines.
Keep up to date with Big Pharma news at fetch.news
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