Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Maybe Pfizer should call it "Limpitor"

If you're considering taking a cholesterol lowing drug, there's an increased risk of impotence. You might want to read the entire article. Meanwhile, here's the money quote:

In Spain and France [3], 75 cases of impotence associated with statins were identified. All had a temporal sequence. About 90% of men recovered potency on statin withdrawal, and in some cases impotence appeared again on re-challenge. All statins were implicated.
It makes complete sense. Men need cholesterol to make their testosterone. When you have less cholesterol to make your testosterone, a loss of libido and a loss of performance could be in your future. For some men it happens rapidly.

Women aren't immune either. Women have a little testosterone, too, just as men have a slight amount of estrogen. Women need their tiny amount of testosterone for their libido. Without enough, they lose their desire for sex.

As yet, these risks aren't listed in the drug inserts. The decreases in desire have been passed off as part of heart disease rather than the drug.

But the anecodotal evidence is sometimes striking. Men lose their erections and desire while on the drug and regain it when they stop:

8) Erectile Dysfunction - I have had issues with ED for 60 of the last 90 days, all of which ( first 60 days ) I was taking Lipitor. I have had detailed testosterone testing, and have been told that androgen therapy would not be out of the question for me. My 214 average over three tests was lower than the 280-300 lowest limit the urologist wanted to see. The last 20-30 days off Lipitor I have had no erectile issues. I have had some stressful personal things going on as well that may have had an erectile effect. But, I have often wondered why my libido would take such a swing.
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William Kelley Eidem is the author of The Doctor Who Cures Cancer and It's Not Just For Sex.

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