Pearls and Dreams
Federal advisers today and tomorrow will consider whether the Food and Drug Administration should approve Merck & Co.'s bid to make Mevacor the first of a class of hot-selling cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins to be sold over the counter.
My comments :
My uncle, a pharmacist, started taking a statin drug. A few weeks later, he was having weakness and pain, but somehow, didn't associate it with the drug. A few days after the pain started, he recieved a Christmas card from me. My christmas card said nothing imparticular, but because it came from me, it set off alarm bells in my uncle's brain. I have Myasthenia Gravis, the card from me, triggered thinking about my health ..which in turn ..made him think about his weakness and then a light went off in his brain and he called his doc and said he was stopping the statin drug.
This was a PHARMACIST who'd been a pharmacist for over 40 years! And a GOOD one.
How many people would take this drug and have the rare muscle problem and not have a niece with MG that can trigger the necessary train of thought to realize it's harming them?? While the statistics for this complication are rare now, if it goes OTC and people take it without Dr's RX ..would it STAY rare?
Just as a side ... I started to take the statin this last November. Warned, by my neuro, my PCP and my PCP's nurse, and reminded AGAIN in writing when I picked up the sample, that my risk for problems was high. I started taking it a week before Thanksgiving. The next Tuesday, my former PT called me and said "why in the world are you so out of breath?!" He was very alarmed. I hadn't realized I was, and made something up real quick about having had to rush to the phone. I did NOT connect it to the drug. The day after Thanksgiving going to Walmart, I felt like I was walking through jello, a lady asked me about sizing on clothing, and asked me if I had asthma because I was so short of breath. I walked out of the mens department and fell when the carpet changed to tile. I had to have help getting up. That's when I finally realized ... um ...my MG was NOT tolerating the statin drug.
I've had MG for 15 years, dx'd for almost 13. I was a new patient educator for our MG foundation for 3 years. I've also got Lupus and asthma and a whole host of things. I'm experienced and I know my body, I know my disease and I know the risks and I DIDN'T CATCH IT!
Going over the counter with one of these drugs ... they think they're getting sued (growl, shouldn't be happening) now ... they do this, and they will get sued like crazy ... and then, it just may be justified!!