Statin Drugs

We just saw a report that unleashed a positive link between statins and depression. More recently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a set of safety warnings to be introduced in statin drug labels.

As per the guidelines, liver enzyme tests should be undertaken prior to the onset of statin therapy and following clinical advice thereafter. Also, the labels will now incorporate data regarding patients experiencing memory loss and confusion. Additionally, risks related to increased blood sugar levels will also be mentioned on the labels. The scientists also urged health care practitioners to analyze the new recommendations seen in the lovastatin label.

“We want health care professionals and patients to have the most current information on the risks of statins, but also to assure them that these medications continue to provide an important health benefit of lowering cholesterol,” remarked Mary Parks, M.D., director for the Division of Metabolism and Endocrinology Products in the Office of Drug Evaluation II in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

Statins are the most commonly used cholesterol lowering drugs, which are known to aid in lowering individuals’ bad cholesterol levels. They are generally consumed along with diet and exercise. Medications such as Mevacor (lovastatin), Lescol (fluvastatin), Lipitor (atorvastatin), Livalo (pitavastatin), Crestor (rosuvastatin), ltoprev (lovastatin extended-release), Pravachol (pravastatin), and Zocor (simvastatin) are some generally used statins. Combination drugs include Vytorin (simvastatin/ezetimibe), Advicor (lovastatin/niacin extended-release) and Simcor (simvastatin/niacin extended-release).

The team believed that the side-effects of statins should not be ignored and reported immediately to professionals.