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Cleveland Clinic research: Most statin-intolerant patients can eventually tolerate statins
Date:9/9/2013

Monday, September 9, 2013, Cleveland: Most patients who report statin intolerance, including muscle aches and other side effects from the cholesterol-lowering drugs, can actually tolerate drugs from this class on subsequent trials, according to research from Cleveland Clinic recently released online and forthcoming in the September issue of the American Heart Journal. The study is the largest ever to examine the effects of re-challenging statin-intolerant patients.

Statins are among the most prescribed drugs in the world and are a first-line, highly effective therapy for patients with high cholesterol, which is a major risk factor in the development of cardiovascular disease. Statins have been shown to reduce cholesterol levels by as much as 20 to 40 percent at the lowest dose level. However, in clinical trials, about 5 to 10 percent of patients have been reported as suffering from statin-related side effects like muscle pain and liver enzyme abnormalities, making them statin intolerant. In observational studies which often incorporate patients not typically selected for clinical trials, including older patients, more women, and those with comorbidities the rate of statin intolerance is as high as 20 percent.

In these patients, physicians often try intermittent dosing of statins, instructing patients to take the medication every other day, for instance, instead of daily, to reduce side effects.

Researchers, led by Leslie Cho, M.D., Section Head of Preventative Cardiology and Rehabilitation in the Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart & Vascular Institute at Cleveland Clinic, analyzed the electronic medical records of 1,605 patients who were referred to Cleveland Clinic for statin intolerance between January 1995 and March 2010.

Dr. Cho and her colleagues found that 72.5 percent of patients who were previously reported to be intolerant to two or more statins were able to take drugs from the class on subsequent t
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Contact: Wyatt DuBois
duboisw@ccf.org
216-445-9946
Cleveland Clinic
Source:Eurekalert

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