News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Muscle damage risk from cholesterol-lowering drug rare

16 May 2014

Serious muscle damage risk from widely used cholesterol lowering drug very low in general population: Otago research

New Zealanders taking a higher dose of simvastatin, one of the statin drugs used to prevent heart attacks and strokes, have a greater risk of rhabdomyolysis than people taking a lower dose according to new University of Otago research. However the condition, in which breakdown of muscle tissue can lead to acute kidney failure, is still very rare in both groups.

In a new study published in the journal International Journal of Cardiology, the researchers found that people taking 40mg of simvastatin daily were about five times as likely to develop rhabdomyolysis when compared with people taking 20mg daily.

In absolute terms, the risks were about 11 per 100,000 person-years in people taking 40mg simvastatin and 2 per 100,000 person-years in those taking 20mg.

Study lead investigator Dr Lianne Parkin says recent meta-analyses have clearly shown that the benefits of statins in preventing major cardiovascular events far outweigh any serious adverse effects associated with their use.

“However, these meta-analyses were based on highly selected participants in randomised controlled trials and there was very little information about the risk of rhabdomyolysis in people taking the doses of simvastatin that are recommended for use in New Zealand,” Dr Parkin says.

“While previous research has found a greater risk of serious muscle damage in people taking higher doses of statins, our study is the largest investigation to date of rhabdomyolysis in a general population of simvastatin users and the first to provide separate estimates of risk for 40mg and 20mg simvastatin.”

The researchers used routinely collected health and prescription medicine data to conduct a study based on 313,552 people of all ages who were dispensed simvastatin at any time between 2005 and 2009. Other factors, including age, sex, medical conditions, and other prescription drugs, were taken into account in the analyses.

“Statins are one of the most widely used classes of drugs,” says Dr Parkin, “and it is reassuring to have found a very low risk of rhabdomyolysis in New Zealanders using simvastatin. The greater risk associated with the use of 40mg simvastatin is one of several factors which patients and their doctors might consider when discussing the balance of benefits and risks of cholesterol-lowering treatment, and the most appropriate dose and type of statin to be used.”

The research was funded by Medsafe and the Health Research Council of New Zealand.

Publication details:
Parkin L, Paul C, Herbison GP. Simvastatin dose and risk of rhabdomyolysis: Nested case-control study based on national health and drug dispensing data.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Scoop Review Of Books: The Typewriter Factory

I finished reading Don’t Dream It’s Over not long after it came out last August. I even started writing a review, which took something of an ‘I’m sorry people, but it’s already over’ approach. I’ve been pretty negative about journalism as it’s practiced in the mainstream (or MSM, or corporate media or liberal media or whatever terminology you prefer) for quite some time (see for example Stop the Press), and I believe the current capitalist media model is destructive and can’t be reformed. More>>

Sheep Update: Solo World Shearing Record Broken In Southland

Southland shearer Leon Samuels today set a new World solo eight-hours strongwool ewe-shearing after a tally of 605 in a wool shed north of Gore. More>>

ALSO:

Howard Davis Review: Dick Frizzell At The Solander Gallery

One of the most influential and celebrated contemporary Pop artists working in New Zealand, Dick Frizzell is mostly known for his appropriation of kitsch Kiwiana icons, which he often incorporates into cartoon-like paintings and lithographs. Not content with adhering to one particular style, he likes to adopt consciously unfashionable styles of painting, in a manner reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein. More>>

Old Music: Pop Icon Adam Ant Announces NZ Tour

Following his recent sold out North American and UK tours, Adam Ant is celebrating the 35th anniversary of the release of his landmark KINGS OF THE WILD FRONTIER album with a newly-remastered reissue (Sony Legacy) and Australasian tour. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books:
Looking Back

Writing a memoir that appeals to a broad readership is a difficult undertaking. As an experienced communicator, Lloyd Geering keeps the reader’s interest alive through ten chapters (or portholes) giving views of different aspects of his life in 20th-century New Zealand. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Purple (and Violet) Prose

This is the second recent conjoint publication by Reeve and Stapp; all to do with esoteric, arcane and obscure vocabulary – sesquipedalian, anyone – and so much more besides. Before I write further, I must stress that the book is an equal partnership between words and images and that one cannot thrive without the other. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news