Statin Meds Issued New Warning Labels

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Federal health officials are adding new warning labels to cholesterol medicines containing statins.

The Food and Drug Administration says the new labels will warn of memory loss and higher blood sugar levels associated with taking the drugs.

Statins are the most widely prescribed cholesterol-lowering medications. They are used by tens of millions of people to help prevent heart-related problems associated with cholesterol.

Studies during the past five years have found a link between the drugs and type-two diabetes. Still, cardiologists said the benefits of taking such medication outweighed the health risks.

"Patients should not see this as a new danger with the drugs, but as a known abnormality that appears in blood testing and should be discussed with their doctor," said Dr. Kevin Marzo, chief of cardiology at Winthrop-University Hospital in New York.

The new labeling will also apply to combination drugs that mix older statins with newer cholesterol medicines like Merck's Vytorin and Abbott Laboratories' Simcor.

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