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March 10, 2015

Statin IntoleranceReconciling Clinical Trials and Clinical Experience

Author Affiliations
  • 1New York University School of Medicine, New York, New York
  • 2Academic Visitor, Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
JAMA. 2015;313(10):1011-1012. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.1335

Since their introduction in 1987, statins have accumulated an extensive amount of data in randomized clinical trials and clinical use. The studies included in the Cholesterol Treatment Trialists’ (CTT) Collaboration meta-analyses have shown that statins are clearly effective in reducing the risk of major atherosclerotic cardiovascular events1 and that the cardiovascular benefits outweigh the risks of treatment. Several statins are available in generic form and are therefore cost-effective. However, for a significant number of patients statin therapy is discontinued because of intolerance, ie, adverse events perceived to be caused by the statin, most commonly muscle pain, aching, or weakness, usually without significant elevations in levels of creatine kinase.2

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