In a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association investigators report that treatment with high-dose statins increased the risk of diabetes by 12%.
Statins are designed to lower LDL levels in the blood, the “loser cholesterol”. Yes there are increased risks with increased dosages of statin therapy but it is important to discuss with your healthcare team the risk/benefits of being on statin therapy. What is more important with your current condition is an necessary question to discuss with your healthcare team.
The study showed this increased risk with stating therapy of about 80mg. Your healthcare team have to understand what is your baseline risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes mellitus when making a decision about high-dose statin therapy. It is also important to monitor Hemoglobin A1C levels with statin therapy.
The FDA in the US has restricted liptor use stating that physicians should limit using the 80-mg dose unless the patient has already been taking the drug for 12 months and there is no evidence of muscle damange.
In addition, the FDA is requesting that additional changes be made to the drug’s label. The label will be changed to include the new dosing recommendations, as well as warnings not to use the drug with various medications, including itraconazole (Sporanox, Jannsen Pharmaceutica), ketoconazole (Nizoral by Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical), posaconazole (Noxafil, Merck), erythromycin, clarithromycin, telithromycin (Ketek, Sanofi-Aventis), HIV protease inhibitors, nefazodone, gemfibrozil, cyclosporine, and danazol.
In addition, the 10-mg dose should not be exceeded in patients taking amiodarone, verapamil, and diltiazem, and the 20-mg dose should not be exceeded with amlodipine (Norvasc, Pfizer) and ranolazine (Ranexa, Gilead).
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