Lupus-like syndrome associated with statin therapy

Dermatology. 2004;208(3):276-7. doi: 10.1159/000077320.


Statins are among the most widely prescribed drugs. An increasing number of lupus-like syndrome has recently been reported with these lipid-lowering agents. We describe a new case associated with simvastatin therapy. The presence of anti-dsDNA antibodies in the serum is for the first time reported confirming that statins may also induce a systemic autoimmune reaction. Statin-induced lupus-like syndrome is characterized by the long delay between the beginning of therapy and the skin eruption. Antinuclear antibodies may persist for many months after drug discontinuation. The causal relationship may be therefore difficult to establish, and probably many cases are unrecognized. Early diagnosis may avoid unnecessary immunosuppressive therapy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / blood
  • DNA / immunology
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / adverse effects*
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / chemically induced*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Simvastatin / adverse effects*


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • DNA
  • Simvastatin