Health & wellness

G cover

Drugs that target high cholesterol come with new cautions

New FDA warnings about the side effects of cholesterol-lowering statins have physicians and patients weighing the risks and benefits of taking these drugs

Cholesterol-lowering statins, prescribed to some 30 million Americans, have begun to lose a bit of their luster. Signs are starting to appear that the risks of taking statins may outweigh the benefits for people at low risk of having a heart attack. Some doctors have begun to question the wisdom of putting young adults with high cholesterol on statins for decades, and many expressed outrage at national guidelines issued last year to test cholesterol levels in 9-to-11-year-olds, which could result in a surge of children being placed on statins.

A set of warnings and safety recommendations issued in February by the US Food and Drug Administration require that statin labels include information about the possibility of cognitive side effects such as memory loss and confusion, and an increase in blood sugar levels that could trigger type 2 diabetes. Already on manufacturer websites, the warnings will soon be appearing on the package inserts that accompany prescriptions.

Your comment is subject to the rules of our Posting Policy

This comment may appear on your public profile. Public Profile FAQ

You're reading  1 of 5 free articles.
Get UNLIMITED access for only 99¢ per week Subscribe Now >
You're reading1 of 5 free articles.Keep scrolling to see more articles recomended for you Subscribe now
We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of
Marketing image of