(Reuters) - Health regulators are adding warnings to the labels of widely used cholesterol lowering drugs, such as Lipitor, to say they may raise levels of blood sugar and could cause memory loss.
The Food and Drug Administration announced on Tuesday the changes to the safety information on the labels of statins such as Pfizer Inc's Lipitor, AstraZeneca's Crestor and Merck & Co's Zocor that are taken by tens of millions of people.
Statins have been shown to significantly reduce the risk of heart attack and heart disease, and the FDA said the new information should not scare people into stopping taking the drugs.
"The value of statins in preventing heart disease has been clearly established," Amy Egan, deputy director for safety in FDA's Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products, said in a statement. "Their benefit is indisputable, but they need to be taken with care and knowledge of their side effects."