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Arch Hellen Med, 25(3), May-June 2008, 329-333


Statins and myopathy

Department of Internal Medicine, "Polikliniki" General Hospital of Athens, Athens, Greece

Statins are an efficacious and well-tolerated class of lipid-altering agents that have been shown to reduce the risk of initial and recurrent cardiovascular events. Lower LDL-C goals are recommended for patients with multiple risk factors for developing coronary heart disease. The widening definition of patients who could benefit from LDL-cholesterol lowering therapy has the potential to increase the overall use of these medications. However, statins are associated with the adverse effect of myopathy. Although the incidence of adverse effects is relatively low, the fact that millions of patients receive statins means that cases of myopathy could be seen in any given practice. Physical therapists must be aware of this potential side effect and the risk factors involved for the overall safety and quality of life of these patients. The appropriate identification of muscle symptoms in a patient on statin therapy and consultation with a physician may ultimately lead to reversal of symptoms. A heightened awareness of the potential risk of statininduced myopathy coupled with improved patient education about the signs and symptoms of myopathy is recommended, in order to ensure the safe use of these beneficial drugs.

Key words: Cardiovascular disease, Co-enzyme Q10, Myopathy, P450 cytochrome, Statins.

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