(HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors)
Type of Medication
Medications and Their Commonly Used Brand Names
|Generic Name||Brand Name|
What They Are Prescribed For
- Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol)
- High triglyceride levels
- Help certain people decrease their risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and death if used along with diet and exercise
- Lower total cholesterol
- Lower LDL-cholesterol (bad cholesterol)
- Raise HDL-cholesterol (good cholesterol)
- Lower triglycerides
- Lower C-reactive protein levels (a marker of inflammation)
How Statins Work
Precautions While Using These Medicines
See Your Doctor Regularly
Control Your Weight
Manage Your Medications
- Antifungals—fluconazole (eg, Diflucan), itraconazole (eg, Sporanox), ketoconazole (eg, Nizoral)
- Cyclosporine (eg, Neoral)
- Digoxin (eg, Lanoxin)—Some statins may increase blood levels of digoxin, increasing the risk of side effects.
- Macrolide antibiotics—erythromycin, clarithromycin
- Fibric acid derivatives—gemfibrozil (eg, Lopid)
- Niacin or nicotinic acid—Use of this type of medicine with a statin may increase the risk of developing muscle problems
- Oral contraceptives/birth control pills—Some statin drugs may increase the blood levels of the hormones in birth control pills, increasing the risk of side effects.
- Nefazodone (eg, Serzone)
Be Cautious With Certain Conditions
- Alcohol abuse
- Epilepsy that is not well controlled
- Electrolyte or metabolic enzyme deficiencies or disorders
- Liver disease or persistently high levels of liver enzymes—Statin drugs may make liver problems worse.
- Low blood pressure
- Organ transplant with therapy to prevent transplant rejection
- Kidney failure
- Recent major surgery or trauma, which may increase the risk of problems that may lead to kidney failure
- Impending surgery, including dental surgery or emergency treatment—Be sure to tell the doctor or dentist treating you that you are taking a statin drug.
Avoid Excessive Alcohol
Avoid Grapefruit Juice
Do Not Stop On Your Own
Mind Your Meals with Lovastatin
Possible Side Effects
Common Side Effects
- Muscle aches, cramps, stiffness, tenderness, or weakness, especially if accompanied by unusual tiredness and/or fever
- Memory loss and/or confusion
- Symptoms of high blood sugar (eg, increased urination, extreme thirst, hunger, fatigue)
- Brown urine
- Ankle, feet, or leg swelling
- Chest pain
- Skin rash
- Constant or worsening stomach pain
- Unusual tiredness or weakness
- Jaundice (yellowing of the eyes or skin)
- Stomach pain
- Decreased sexual ability
- Trouble sleeping
Family Doctor.org http://familydoctor.org/
United States Food and Drug Administration http://www.fda.gov/
Canadian Medical Association http://www.cma.ca/
Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/
Atorvastatin. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/. Updated June 28, 2010. Accessed March 23, 2011.
Controlling cholesterol with statins. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm048496.htm. Updated February 22, 2010. Accessed June 25, 2012.
Statins. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 18, 2012. Accessed June 25, 2012.
Wood D. Type 2 diabetes. EBSCO Health Library website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/healthLibrary/. Updated September 20, 2011. Accessed March 6, 2012.
1/30/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php : Mills EJ, Rachlis B, Wu P, Devereaux PJ, Arora P, Perri D. Primary prevention of cardiovascular mortality and events with statin treatments: a network meta-analysis involving more than 65,000 patients. J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008;52:1769-1781.
3/6/2012 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php: FDA announces safety changes in labeling for some cholesterol-lowering drugs. US Food and Drug Administration website. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm293623.htm. Published February 28, 2012. Accessed March 6, 2012.
- Reviewer: Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 06/2012 -
- Update Date: 06/25/2012 -