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Tendon complications, though rare, linked to statins
Date:2/27/2008

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The authors note that tendon complications due to statins may be largely unreported; no cases were reported during the large therapeutic trials that included more than 30,000 patients, but this may have been due to controlling for factors that predisposed patients to tendon conditions. In this study, an increasing number of patients with complications was seen with the increasing number of prescriptions between 1990 and 2005. They also note that although the prevalence of tendon problems in connection with statins is low, all types of statins could potentially cause tendon problems, which occurred at the recommended dosages.

Our study suggests that regular tendinous clinical examination may be required in statin-treated patients, particularly during the first year following statin therapy initiation, the authors state. They also suggest that it is worth considering interrupting statin therapy before strenuous physical activity such as marathon running.

Although it is not known how statins may produce tendon injury, there are several theories. It may be that blocking cholesterol synthesis reduces the cholesterol content of tendon cell membranes, making them unstable, or that statins either reduce the levels of proteins involved in maintaining tendon cells or destroy vascular smooth muscle cells.

The authors suggest that although statins are effective, physicians should be aware that their side effects may include tendon complications. We also suggest that patients who are at risk of developing statin-associated tendon manifestations and who require statins be routinely questioned about symptoms consistent with tendon involvement, they state, adding that postmarketing surveillance appears to be a major tool for early detection of safety problems with a new drug.


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Contact: Amy Molnar
amolnar@wiley.com
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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