“But it probably affects a small proportion of users,” says Golomb. Last month, Andrew Taylor, 58, a respected family solicitor from Cheadle, Greater Manchester, was jailed for four years after swindling £600,000 from elderly clients to spend on antiques, prostitutes and sex lines. Published: 18:05 EST, 13 July 2015 | Updated: 00:54 EST, 14 July 2015, This month researchers found that taking statins can make some women aggressive and violent. In 2016, Golomb and her colleagues published a paper describing 12 individuals who had experienced mood and behavioral changes after starting a statin. In this study, the researchers focused specifically on verbally or physically aggressive behavior. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 percent of Americans ages 40 and over were taking a cholesterol-lowering medication in 2012—and the vast majority of that group were taking a statin. Yet all medications can cause side effects, and statins are no exception. The preventive benefits of statins have been repeatedly affirmed—not only by the USPSTF, but also by the American Heart Association and American College of Cardiology as well as other major medical organizations. Keep in mind that it may be easier for others to recognize a change in your behavior than it is to see it in yourself. “That way, if the problem arises, the drug can be considered [as a possible cause],” she says. Statins can lead to diabetes at an alarming rate. She says any side-effect reported by a participant in a clinical trial, including unfavourable ones, is recorded as part of the trial. In 2008, it was linked to four suicides in the U.S. and one suicide attempt in Britain. A middle view is taken by Professor David Taylor, the director of pharmacy and pathology at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. However, as of now, no clear evidence exists to show that cholesterol-lowering drugs can cause depression by affecting neurosteroid synthesis. You won’t find irritability and aggression included in the standard list of statin side effects. 2016 Nov 15;316(19):1997-2007. Even an infrequent statin side effect could still impact a sizable number of individuals. Dopamine can make people more likely to risk money in high-stakes gambles. Patients on a statin drug regimen may also suffer from muscle pain (myopathy) or liver toxicity (hepatotoxicity), or from emotionally-related side-effects, such as mood-swings, difficulty sleeping or depression. Earlier this month, researchers at University College London found that the antidepressant citalopram may make patients more caring. ... Statins can lead to diabetes at an alarming rate. Can Lipitor cause anger and... Can Lipitor cause anger and anxiety? More research is needed to determine how strong the link, if any, may be. Corticosteroids can cause a variety of psychiatric symptoms. Professor Healy is critical of the MHRA, saying it does not adequately share information about potential dangers. Why your pills may be making you angry: As statins are linked to aggression in women, the mood-altering side-effects of everyday medicines Some medicines can … You should discuss the benefits and risks of taking statins with your doctor before you start taking the medicine. Golomb BA et al. In the right patients, statins can decrease the risk of heart attacks, strokes, and premature deaths. But like all drugs, statins can also have unintended effects. But most people tolerate them well and do not have any problems. A report in Southern Medical Journal described muscle pains and weakness in a man who took Chinese red rice, an herbal preparation that lowers cholesterol. Expert raises flag over the 'shaky science' behind Oxford's Covid jab and claims data behind promising... Could UK employers force staff to get a Covid vaccine? Professor Golomb says statins raise testosterone and cause sleep problems, which could tend to make people prone to irritability and aggression. Other drugs with psychiatric side-effects have been known about for years, but remain on the market as popular medications. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration requires that warning labels state that statins can cause memory loss as well as mental confusion, liver problems, and type 2 diabetes. These groups agree that most people tolerate statins well. Almost 250,000 women are overdue cervical smear tests this year due to Covid-19 pandemic, NHS figures show... How Europe's Covid second wave started with Spanish migrant workers: New virus strain started with fruit... What tier are YOU in and why? What if Your Stairway to Heaven Is My Highway to Hell? The risk of very serious side effects is extremely low, and calculated in a few cases per million people taking statins. Recent research by Pennsylvania State University found that women taking the Pill were more jealous (to the point of violence) towards their partners. It is thought that among other effects, corticosteroids affect serotonin, a substance produced by the brain which is believed to be involved in mood regulation. In 2015, Golomb and her colleagues published a study including 1,016 adults, who were randomly assigned to take either simvastatin, pravastatin, or a placebo for six months. He said, ‘Irritable? Previous research, including a randomized controlled trial, also suggested that there might be a connection between irritability or aggression and statin use in susceptible individuals. Six weeks after he stopped taking statins, he was his normal, placid self. The research has shown that long-term use of the drug causes significant changes in the structure and function of serotonin receptors leading to depression, anxiety and, in some cases, suicidal tendencies, he added. (Some say the link is more likely to do with acne patients being depressed. Yet all medications can cause side effects, and statins are no exception. CoQ10 deficiency associated with statin use is beginning to be understood by doctors in the U.S. but statins and personality change is a complete mystery and usually it is "off … Drug Safety-Case Reports. Cham S et al. For example, in some individuals, anti-anxiety medications may lead to agitation, rage, and aggression rather than having a soothing effect. Golomb recalls talking on the phone with another man about his reaction to a statin medication: “I was going through a list of questions, and I asked him about irritability. 'Any drug that gets into the brain has the potential to alter the way that we act and feel,' he says. Cholesterol enables brain cells to communicate, so behaviour may be affected if it drops. Britain's daily Covid-19 deaths spike to highest toll since May with 696 victims as infections drop again... Why has ALL of Kent been put in Tier 3? Why are so many people drawn to conspiracy theories in times of crisis? JAMA. Rise in COVID-19 Cases: Good for Approval Ratings? Some of the common drugs we take daily have more subtle, but still life-threatening, side-effects. So why is the danger so little known? Examples of this type of medication include cortisone, prednisone, methylprednisolone, and triamcinolone. His study of case reports submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) by doctors and patients found that with the statin Lipitor, there had been 310 reports of aggression and violence and 62 reports of homicidal behaviour. Last September, an advisory committee of the FDA called for stronger warnings on the drug's labelling. The association between statins and aggression has been known for more than ten years, thanks to studies by U.S. and Italian researchers (though this is not mentioned on the NHS Choices webpage on statin side-effects), but it is not yet understood why. She notes that something similar occurs with certain psychiatric medications. ), Such warnings from our authorities are rare. It’s still unknown, for example, how prevalent this side effect might be. However, it has paid nearly £200 million to settle similar lawsuits with 2,500 U.S. patients. Likewise, he says, pharmaceutical companies must be much more open with the results of their own clinical trials. 'Statins will be checked to see if they lower your cholesterol, but the clinical trials generally do not look properly at whether they are causing behaviour change,' says Professor Healy. Is fasting for five days a month the best way to slim? 'Too often with drugs, we don't have access to the data that is buried in the companies' trials. One issue that has received relatively little attention is the potential for triggering mood and behavioral changes. Moreover, he says such psychological changes 'can be very rare and may not turn up in trials that cover only a few hundred people'. Mood, Personality, and Behavior Changes During Treatment with Statins: A Case Series. The association between statins and aggression has been known for more than ten years. 2015 Jul 1;10(7):e0124451. 2016 Dec;3(1):1. The new guidelines, published in JAMA, will likely add more fuel to the already-explosive growth in statin use.