Healthcare News & Insights

Statins to get new warning labels about diabetes risk

Several popular cholesterol-lowering drugs are about to get updated warning labels that may scare off some patients.

A number of widely used statins, including Lipitor, Crestor and Zocor are getting new warning labels courtesy of the FDA. The new labels will warn that the drugs may increase blood sugar levels and could cause memory loss.

Statins are a go-to drug for patients at risk of coronary disease — and still worth taking for the majority of those patients, according to most doctors — and the FDA isn’t recommending that fewer patients take the drugs.

But the new labels will highlight that the drugs also come with significant side effects and risks that patients need to be aware of.

The new warnings come about based on more recent research that shows patients on statins face a slightly elevated risk of increased blood sugar as well as developing Type 2 diabetes. In addition, adverse event reports indicate some patients experience memory loss while on statins. There isn’t yet any proof that statins are the cause of the problem, but the FDA wanted to alert patients to the possibility.

One warning is actually being eased though: The suggestion that patients receive ongoing monitoring of liver enzymes is being dropped since related liver disease has been found to be rare.

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