New study finds downplay of drug side effects

A new study co-written by a UC San Diego researcher found doctors who prescribe drugs to prevent strokes and heart attacks may be downplaying a wide range of side effects, it was reported Wednesday.

Dr. Beatrice Golomb, UC San Diego associate professor of medicine, co-wrote the study published Tuesday in the American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs.

According to Golomb, muscle and liver damage are the best-known side effects, but doctors often dismiss muscle soreness, pain and weakness as symptoms linked to other factors such as aging, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported.

“Unfortunately, physicians who aren’t aware or a problem with a drug often won’t consider the drug when the problem arises,’' Golomb told the Union-Tribune.

Golomb urged patients and doctors to look more closely at the list of possible side effects from such drugs as Lescol, Pravachol, Zocor and Lipitor, the newspaper reported.

In addition to muscle and liver damage, Golomb cited memory loss, insomnia, numbness in the fingers and toes, sexual dysfunction, weight gain, vision impairment and several other side effects in the study.

Golomb’s partner in the study was UC San Diego undergraduate Marcella Evans, who is now enrolled in UC Irvine’s Medical Scientist Training Program.