Shingles and Statin Drugs

Shingles and Statin Drugs

Posted in the Shingles Forum

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Carla

Santa Maria, CA

#1 Sep 14, 2007
My husband has shingles right now and has had some side effects from his statin medication.

I have seen some posts of people who got shingles while taking Statin Drugs like Lipitor, Pravastatin, Lovastatin, etc. Statins are drugs to lower Cholesterol.

I am wondering how many people with Shingles are taking Statin medications. If you have or have had shingles and are taking a statin drug, please reply.
Marsye

United States

#2 Oct 18, 2007
My husband has shingles now also....he started taking Zocor about a month ago and about 2 weeks later developed shingles!!!!But he never got the rash, just severe pain in his left leg. I told him right after he was told he had shingles to stop taking the Zocor even tho the doctor said it had nothing to do with the shingles. I found it odd that he got shingles right after he starting taking it!
Carla wrote:
My husband has shingles right now and has had some side effects from his statin medication.
I have seen some posts of people who got shingles while taking Statin Drugs like Lipitor, Pravastatin, Lovastatin, etc. Statins are drugs to lower Cholesterol.
I am wondering how many people with Shingles are taking Statin medications. If you have or have had shingles and are taking a statin drug, please reply.
Mike

Ona, FL

#3 Nov 12, 2007
Statins work by inhibiting a compound that is used to create cholesterol in the body. The problem could be that that a similar pathway is used to create coenzyme q10. Statins have been found to drop co q10 levels in the human body. this enzyme is used in various parts of the body to do various things. A deficiency of co q10 has been linked to immune system problems. The drop in immune response could be whats allowing shingles to emerge.
Marti

Worcester, MA

#4 Feb 2, 2008
I've had attacks of shingles for over 30 years, but only discovered it was shingles about 15 years ago. A few weeks ago I started having the "old familiar" symptoms. I had started taking a statin a week or so before the attack and stopped because of the chronic headache I had gotten before the shingles started. 2 weeks ago I got a sudden pain down my left that felt much like a severely strained muscle. After 10 days of pain so intense I couldn't walk or even turn over in bed I went to the doctor. He diagnosed a pulled muscle. That was yesterday. Today the shingles have reemerged. Has anyone else had similiar pain with their shingles?
Edward

Dallas, TX

#5 Mar 15, 2008
Marti wrote:
I've had attacks of shingles for over 30 years, but only discovered it was shingles about 15 years ago. A few weeks ago I started having the "old familiar" symptoms. I had started taking a statin a week or so before the attack and stopped because of the chronic headache I had gotten before the shingles started. 2 weeks ago I got a sudden pain down my left that felt much like a severely strained muscle. After 10 days of pain so intense I couldn't walk or even turn over in bed I went to the doctor. He diagnosed a pulled muscle. That was yesterday. Today the shingles have reemerged. Has anyone else had similiar pain with their shingles?
I started taking zocor last October after my heart attack and stent therapy.
My shingles started without the rash as a severe pain down the left side of my back. This was in the latter part of February. Same diagnosis of muscle strain. Rash finally appeared and now trying to treat that.
I had a longer time lapse between the statin and the appearance of shingles than you, but I still think the 2 are connected.
tonia

White Plains, NY

#6 Mar 28, 2008
I am 48 years old and started taking zocor 6 weeks ago . Three weeks ago I developed shingles behind my right ear and neck. I was given valtrex and my sympoms diminshed. This the first time I am hearing about the connection . DOCTORS SHOULD BE MADE AWARE OF THE CONNECTION SO IT WONT BE A SHOCK WHEN THIS OCCURS. Tonia
Mont

Arnoldsville, GA

#7 May 17, 2008
I started taking lipitor late in 2005. I developed shingles in March of 2006. I have always wondered if the two are connected. It was interesting to find this forum. Of course, my doctor never mentioned that the two could be connected.
Lottie

Birmingham, UK

#8 May 22, 2008
I have been taking simvastatin since mid October 2007, since that time I have had several health problems, one being shingles. The shingles started 17 March 2008, in my mouth, nose, eye and on my face. My doctor described it as being an aggressive attack and I was treated with several drugs, drops and ointments(17 prescriptions in all). I felt really ill for a few weeks but I am glad to say that nine weeks since the out break I feel alot better even though I am still in pain and still taking Amitriptyline. I haven't asked my GP if there is any connection with shingles and Simvastatin yet, but on my next visit I shall ask.

Lottie
jobooty

United States

#9 May 27, 2008
Darn. I just got over a terrible outbreak of shingles (my first and hopefully last). I've been on statins for about 1 1/2 years, and was just switched to Zocor earlier this year. I also had to go on prednisone for a few weeks, which lowers your immunity and sets you up for a flair of the dormant chicken pox (herpes zostor) virus.

The shingles started as intense jaw pain, and then broke out to the upper left quadrant of my head. The Drs were worried about my eye for a while, but the antivirals knocked it out. I still have pain (mostly in my scalp) three weeks later, and one area looks like it'll scar.

I find the statin connection interesting. This gives me more incentive to get off this drug.
Mike

Salt Lake City, UT

#10 Jul 23, 2008
I was started on Lipitor back in 2004 and stopped taking it after a month or two because of the stomach aches. I got shingles in 2004 and had no idea of the possible connection. Since then it's been quite hellish for me. I have peripheral neuropathies in arms and legs. I have all kinds of odd tremors including pill roll tremors in my left thumb. I get dizzy easily. My arms are very sensitive and, at times, I feel as if my arms will just start flailing wildly. Most of the day I feel a tremendous pulsing of the blood in my arms and down into my hands. It's almost as if my arteries are closing off in some way. Very strange. I'm slowly losing muscle control and strength in my arms. My cognitive resources are still sharp though. I'm in my early 40's and can't believe what has happened since I contracted shingles. I hear horror stories of neuropathies that last for decades even life long.

Still unaware of a connection between shingles and statins I started on a generic statin this year. I took about a week's work of 40mg pills - one a day - and broke out in red lesions on my leg. I believe these were shingles but I did not get that confirmed by a doctor. And once again the statins made me sick and I stopped taking them.

Then I read some online articles about the statin shingle connection. I think I'm a prime test candidate to study the relationship. Does anyone know of any clinical studies being done?
Terry

Lakewood, WA

#11 Aug 10, 2008
I began taking semvastatin 40 mg (1/2 of 40 mg daily) on June 6th. I developed severe pain in my back on the right, upper side and quit taking the statin drug on July 23rd. I broke out with a rash on my back about a week and-a-half later. I found out, when I finally went back to the doctor because the rash was getting worse and some had scabs on them, that I had shingles.
Now the doctor is talking about starting me on another statin drug at a later date. I'm thinking no way. My cholesterol isn't even high, it is under 190 but because I'm a type 2 diabetic, the doctor says I should be on a cholesterol lowering medication.
I had no idea that there was a connection between statin drugs and these types of side effects. I am definitely going to check into other ways to lower my cholesterol verses statin drugs.
Michael -- Long Beach WA

Portland, OR

#12 Aug 17, 2008
I just started taking a generic Zocor (Simvastatin) 2-1/2 weeks ago (switched from Lipitor) and broke out with shingles on my left rib cage about two days ago. Twenty-seven years ago I had a minor eruption of shingles on my right rib cage, but this manifestation appears far more severe and is very painful. While I have been stressed to complete difficult projects, the shingles appeared after the stress was easing. After looking at the blogs, I suspect a relationship between this outbreak and the simvastatin.
marla

Hamilton, Canada

#13 Aug 26, 2008
I started taking statin therapy (Crestor) in June, and about a month later developed shingles. It was a horrible experience- it attacked the left side of my face around the eye, my scalp, and nose. It took a few weeks for the rash and eye inflammation to disappear and 6 weeks later i'm still dealing with some residual itchiness and i'm still taking prednisone drops for my eye. The pain in my temple was the absolute worst and lasted for several weeks!

I never considered that the shingles could be connected to the statins. I plan on talking to my doctor about the possible link.
Sandy

Powder Springs, GA

#14 Oct 13, 2008
My doctor prescribed provostatin. I just took one pill because it caused my legs to ache terribly the next day. Within two weeks, I got shingles. That was five weeks ago. The rash is gone, but my left breast still aches, the nipple feels "raw" and I have shooting pains in my back, under my shoulder. Although the pain is better, I still don't have my normal energy and I feel dizzy and I'm having heart palpitations and pounding. I get winded with very little exertion. I've always been a high-energy person and this is a sad state, which I'm hoping will go away soon. I'm gaining weight, too, from inactivity.
George

Philippines

#15 Nov 3, 2008
Carla wrote:
My husband has shingles right now and has had some side effects from his statin medication.
I have seen some posts of people who got shingles while taking Statin Drugs like Lipitor, Pravastatin, Lovastatin, etc. Statins are drugs to lower Cholesterol.
I am wondering how many people with Shingles are taking Statin medications. If you have or have had shingles and are taking a statin drug, please reply.
Ia am taking 20 mgs. of Lipitor daily and presently have shingles.
George

Philippines

#16 Nov 3, 2008
I have been taking Lipitor for 10 years without a problem. Presently with taking Lipitor at 20 mgs. a day I find myself with shingles.(very painful)>
concerned lady

Grand Lake, CO

#17 Nov 17, 2008
I don't take statins, but I did develop shingles.

Statins cause "peripheral neuropathy" (nerve damage), and I imagine this can promote shingles.

I had an intestinal bug a couple of weeks before the shingles struck (I had chicken pox as a child).

I'm taking extra Vitamin B-complex, with extra sub-lingual (under the tongue) Vitamin B-12 ("Methyl" cobal amine type).

I'm eating as nutritiously as possible, and avoiding sugar & avoiding all junk food.

I'm getting extra sleep, but my energy level is not yet back to normal.

I had a fever, but it's down to about normal now.

For pain at night, I use doctor prescribed Vicodin (just one a night).

During the day, and before bed, I use Calamine Lotion, which contains zinc.

It's amazing how powerful these tiny viruses are!

I'm wondering if my bone implant, back in September, in preparation for an upcoming tooth implant, might have had something bad in it (the bone came from a cadaver bone bank), like AIDS or Mad Cow Disease (Creutzfeld-Jacob Disease, also known as Bovine/cow Spongiform Encephalopathy).

I'll get tested, to find out, and I hope the tests will be negative.

I urge everyone to find natural ways to control their cholesterol, and avoid dangerous Statin drugs.

In addition to nerve damage, Statins can cause muscle damage with pain, and this is called Rhabdomyolysis, where the destroyed muscle can clog up the kidneys, causing kidney damage or kidney failure (shutdown).

Good luck to all!
eml256

Cincinnati, OH

#18 Dec 15, 2008
Husband developed shingles in 2003, three yrs after starting Lipitor 10 mgm/day. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease in 2004--stopped the lipitor in 04 and started on megadose coenzyme q10 as well ass other vitamins and nutrients to attempt to address just some of the damage done by statins--ie selenium supplementation, fish oil , B6,--just a few. He now takes anti parkinson's meds. we are still convinced the use of lipitor caused both shingles and parkinson's diseaase. Dr. Xuemei Huang, MD, UNC Chapel Hill has proposed a clinical trial to deetermine if there exists an association bwtween use of statins (esp the fat soluble ones that easily cross the blood brain barrier) and Parkinson's disease. Imagine the surprise that she has yet to find funding!!!( http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/01/...
Tony

Layton, UT

#19 Jan 1, 2009
I started taking Crestor in Mid October 08. I have had some muscle pain which went away. In Mid decemebr, I had major pain in my left upper abdomine. The pain was horrible. Doctors thought it was muscular or rib wall strain. A week later i had a very small outbreak of what looks like shingles. This forum has confirmed my hunch that it is related to Crestor.
Gloria

Raeford, NC

#20 Apr 22, 2009
My mother was only on Crestor a short amount of time before she started suffering with major back pain. She stopped taking it and after a few weeks she started breaking out in what looks like small patches of shingles. She has received cortisone shots in the area and they will clear up, but then return in different areas. The rash is painful and itches. Her doctors don't seem to know how to clear this up. Please advise if you can help us if you've been through this and what worked for you. Thanks!

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