SEATTLE – The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it is adding warnings to labels on statins over concerns that the popular cholesterol-lowering drug could increase the risk of diabetes.
The FDA said increases in blood sugar levels have been reported with statin use and studies have found a small increased risk of patients being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. The labels will now warn doctors and patients of the risk.
The agency also says some medicines that may interact with the drug lovastin could increase the risk for muscle injury.
There have also been reports that statin use can affect the brain, including memory loss and confusion. The FDA says the reports generally have not been serious and that the symptoms subsided when the patient stopped using statins.
Statins are mainly prescribed to prevent heart attacks in people with clogged arteries and work by dramatically lowering LDL or "bad cholesterol." They were the third best-selling drug class in the U.S. for 2010.
The products include:
- Lipitor (atorvastatin)
- Lescol (fluvastatin)
- Mevacor (lovastatin)
- Altoprev (lovastatin extended-release)
- Livalo (pitavastatin)
- Pravachol (pravastatin)
- Crestor (rosuvastatin)
- Zocor (simvastatin)
Combination products include:
- Advicor (lovastatin/niacin extended-release)
- Simcor (simvastatin/niacin extended-release)
- Vytorin (simvastatin/ezetimibe)