Cholesterol-lowering drugs have been found to have a dangerous side effect
Medical News Today: Stronger Statin Doses Tied To Kidney InjuryHigh doses of potent drugs of the latest generation for lowering cholesterol levels in the blood, such as simvastatin, atorvastatin and rosuvastatin, increase the risk of acute kidney inflammation by 34 percent in the first four months of administration compared with less potent statins, and the likelihood of developing this negative side effect in patients who are not chronic renal patients remains at for the next two years.
The results of a study conducted by specialists from the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada) are published in the British Medical Journal (Dormuth et al., Use of high potency statins and rates of admission for acute kidney injury: multicenter, retrospective observational analysis of administrative databases).
The effect was revealed thanks to a meta-analysis of a huge array of data obtained for more than 11 years, while the usual clinical trials of the drugs in question did not provide for such large-scale studies and did not find any negative effects found.
The authors analyzed information on more than two million patients over the age of 40 who do not suffer from chronic kidney disease who started taking statins between January 1, 1997 and April 30, 2008. The data were taken from medical information databases of seven Canadian provinces, as well as the UK and the USA.
It was found that daily intake of 10 milligrams or more of rosuvastatin, or 20 milligrams or more of atorvastatin, or 40 milligrams or more of simvastatin during the first four months by 34 percent, compared with less potent drugs, increases the risk of hospitalization with acute kidney inflammation in patients who do not suffer from chronic kidney disease. At the same time, a high probability of such a development of events persists for two years of taking high doses of potent statins. No such effect was observed in chronic renal patients.
The mechanism underlying the revealed phenomenon is not yet clear. The authors intend to continue the study of the effect of potent statins on kidney function, in particular, to compare the effect at different dosage levels of drugs.
Statins are a group of drugs that lower the level of total cholesterol and low–density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL, "bad cholesterol") in the blood. The mechanism of action is associated with blocking the biosynthesis of cholesterol in the liver. It is prescribed as a prevention of cardiovascular diseases, primarily atherosclerosis.
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