Introduction: Statin monotherapy is generally well tolerated, with a low frequency of adverse events. The most important adverse effects associated with statins are myopathy and an asymptomatic increase in hepatic transaminases, both of which occur infrequently. Because statins are prescribed on a long-term basis, their possible interactions with other drugs deserve particular attention, as many patients will typically receive pharmacological therapy for concomitant conditions during the course of statin treatment.
Areas covered: This review summarizes the pharmacokinetic properties of statins and emphasizes their clinically relevant drug interactions and related adverse reactions.
Expert opinion: Avoiding drug-drug interactions and consequent adverse drug reactions is essential in order to optimize compliance, and thus improve the treatment of patients at high cardiovascular risk. The different pharmacokinetic profiles among statins should be carefully considered, in order to understand the possible spectrum of drug interactions. The growing trend toward earlier statin treatment for the prevention of cardiovascular disease means that physicians must anticipate future polypharmacy when their patients require additional medications for comorbid conditions.