Skip Navigation LinksHome > July/August 2008 - Volume 16 - Issue 4 > Statin–Drug Interactions: Not a Class Effect
Cardiology in Review:
doi: 10.1097/CRD.0b013e31817532db
Review Article

Statin–Drug Interactions: Not a Class Effect

Frishman, William H. MD*; Horn, John PharmD†

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Abstract

Statins are one of the most well-studied class of drugs and the benefits of statins in the treatment and prevention of both cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease are well documented. Statin monotherapy is safe and well tolerated, with a low frequency of adverse events. However, conditions that raise the plasma concentrations of statins, such as high doses or combination therapy, can increase the potential risk of adverse events. The cataloging of drug interactions within scientific journals and improvements in our understanding of drug metabolism mean that statin–drug interactions are an avoidable problem. However, large numbers of patients are still prescribed interacting medications, and approximately 50% of serious adverse events related to statin therapy are due to drug–drug interactions. Within the statin class of drugs, each agent has a unique pharmacokinetic profile that can make one statin more suitable than another for a particular treatment regimen or patient group. Careful consideration of the lipid lowering efficacy and also the risk profile for drug–drug interactions should be taken before initiating patients on statin therapy, or switching patients between different drugs of the statin class.

© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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