Statins have wide range of unintended adverse effects

June 18, 2010

Statins appear to have no significant association with a large number of diseases, but they may have a wide range of unintended adverse effects, according to research.

BMJ. [online] May 20, 2010. http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/abstract/340/may19_4/c2197. Accessed June 1, 2010

Statins appear to have no significant association with a large number of diseases, but they may have a wide range of unintended adverse effects, according to researchers from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom. They conducted a prospective open cohort study of more than 2 million patients aged 30 to 84, including 225,922 (10.7 percent) of whom were new users of statins, to quantify the unintended effects of statins according to type, dose, and duration of use. The researchers found statin use was linked to a decreased risk of esophageal cancer, but an increased risk of moderate or serious liver dysfunction, acute renal failure, moderate or serious myopathy, and cataract. The adverse effects were similar across all types of statins with the exception of liver dysfunction risk, which was highest for fluvastatin. All increased risks were highest in the first year and persisted during treatment.