Managing statin-induced muscle toxicity in a lipid clinic

O. Blaier, M. Lishner, A. Elis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


What is known and objective: Muscle toxicity is the most significant adverse effect related to statins. The aim of the study was to analyse the clinical course and achievement of LDL-C target levels in patients with statin-induced muscle toxicity. Methods: All patients who were referred to the lipid clinic because of statin-induced muscle toxicity, or developed it during follow-up, or did not reach LDL-C target levels because of its previous occurrence, and attended the clinic for at least three follow-up visits, were eligible. Files were reviewed for demographic and clinical parameters, coronary heart disease risk level, the severity of muscle injury, the type of statin and dose that caused the adverse effects, the clinical approach and outcome, and whether the LDL-C target level was achieved. Results: The study group consisted of 54 patients. Twenty-three (43%) patients complained of myalgia, 23 (43%) had asymptomatic serum creatine kinase (CK) level elevation, five (9%) had myopathy and three (5%) had rhabdomyolysis. Fifty of the patients (93%) continued statin therapy and 43 (80%) achieved the LDL-C target level. What is new and conclusion: We show that for the majority of patients with statin-induced muscle toxicity, statin therapy can be safely and effectively continued. In cases of asymptomatic CK levels <3-5 upper limit of normal (ULN), statin treatment should not be interrupted. When CK levels >3-5 ULN or when various symptomatic muscle adverse reactions are present, statins rechallenge, after a recovery period, should be individualized either by a low dose of a potent statin or by a less potent statin. An additional lipid medication is advised if the target levels are not achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)336-341
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2011


  • LDL-C
  • creatine kinase
  • lipid clinic
  • muscle toxicity
  • statins


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