Statins' dosage in patients with renal failure and cyclosporine drug-drug interactions in transplant recipient patients

Int J Cardiol. 2005 May 11;101(1):9-17. doi: 10.1016/j.ijcard.2004.04.005.


Dyslipidemia is frequent in patients with renal failure and in transplant recipient patients. This lead to a wide use of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors (statins) in patients with impaired renal function or in patients treated with cyclosporine as post-transplantation immunosuppressive therapy. As a result, it is crucial for those patients' physicians to be aware of how to handle these drugs when renal function is impaired and/or when cyclosporine is co-administered. Most statins have an extensive hepatic elimination and the renal route is usually a minor elimination pathway. However, pharmacokinetic alterations have been described for some of these drugs in patients with renal insufficiency. Cyclosporine is a widely used immunosuppresive therapy in solid organ transplant patients and drug-drug interactions are likely to occur when statins and cyclosporine are administered together. Those interactions may theoretically result in increased statins and/or cyclosporine serum levels with potential muscle and/or renal toxicity. As a result, caution is warranted if concurrent administration is performed. In this review, we synthesized the data from the literature on (1) the pharmacokinetics and dosage adjustment of atorvastatin, fluvastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin, and simvastatin in patients with renal failure and (2) the potential drug-drug interactions between these drugs and cyclosporine in transplant recipient patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cyclosporine / adverse effects*
  • Cyclosporine / pharmacokinetics
  • Drug Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / administration & dosage*
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / pharmacokinetics
  • Hyperlipidemias / drug therapy
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / adverse effects*
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / pharmacokinetics
  • Kidney Transplantation / immunology*
  • Renal Insufficiency / physiopathology*
  • Transplantation*


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Cyclosporine