Every medicine that we take has potential benefit and potential risk. A reasoned and individual decision needs to be made between the health care provider and the patient regarding what is best.
The risks of statins include a small incidence of liver and muscle problems which almost always resolve with stopping the medicine. Besides the recent link to type 2 diabetes, there is also some work that indicates statins occasionally cause reversible memory problems.
On the plus side, there is no doubt that statins decrease cholesterol build up in the blood vessels that go the heart and the brain. They can even help "melt away" plaque build-up that is already there. When those vessels get clogged, heart attacks and strokes can occur. In a study recently published, people on statins when their cancer was diagnosed (as compared to those not on statins) had better survival and less metastatic disease. Statin use has also been associated with less Parkinson's disease and less Alzheimer's disease.
The higher your risk for cardiovascular events, the more absolute benefit is derived from statin use. Patients with known vascular narrowing from plaque (to the heart, brain, or legs) derive the most benefit. The more risk factors that you have, such as diabetes (and pre-diabetes), high cholesterol, family history, smoking, and hypertension, the greater the likelihood that you will avoid major problems in the future by taking a daily statin.
Have a discussion with your doctor, nurse practitioner or physicians assistant and decide if taking Lipitor is right for you. With all the new information and concerns out there, as of now I will continue to take my one Lipitor a day, as I have done for the last 20 years.