3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl (HMG)-CoA reductase inhibitors (the so-called statins: atorvastatin, fluvastatin, pravastatin, lovastatin, rosuvastatin and simvastatin) are a well-established class of drugs in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia. Statin monotherapy is generally well tolerated, with a low frequency of adverse events. The most important adverse effects associated with statins are myopathy and an asymptomatic increase in hepatic transaminases, both of which occur infrequently. Since statins are prescribed on a long-term basis, possible interactions with other drugs deserve particular attention, as many patients will typically receive pharmacological therapy for concomitant conditions during the course of statin treatment. Moreover, a combination of therapy between statins and other classes of lipid-lowering agents (e.g., ezetimibe, fibrates, resins and nicotinic acid) is recommended for some patients by current guidelines. Therefore, the potential for drug-drug interactions emerges as a relevant factor in determining the safety profile of statins. This review summarizes the pharmacokinetic properties of statins and emphasizes their clinically relevant drug interactions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)