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First Comprehensive Paper on Statins’ Adverse Effects Released

Posted Feb 02 2009 10:46pm

A paper co-authored by Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and director of UC San Diego’s Statin Study group cites nearly 900 studies on the adverse effects of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins), a class of drugs widely used to treat high cholesterol.

The result is a review paper, currently published in the on-line edition of American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs, that provides the most complete picture to date of reported side effects of statins, showing the state of evidence for each.  The paper also helps explain why some people have a higher risk than others for such adverse effects.

“Muscle problems are the best known of statin drugs’ adverse side effects,” said Golomb.  “But cognitive problems and peripheral neuropathy, or pain or numbness in the extremities like fingers and toes, are also widely reported.” A spectrum of other problems, ranging from blood glucose elevations to tendon problems, can also occur as side effects from statins.

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