State of the Art Comprehensive Review of Individual Statins, Their Differences, Pharmacology, and Clinical Implications

Veronica Azemawah, Mohammad Reza Movahed, Patrick Centuori, Ryan Penaflor, Pascal L. Riel, Steven Situ, Mehrdad Shadmehr, Mehrnoosh Hashemzadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Statins are currently the primary treatment for hyperlipidemia, particularly for the treatment of high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), as many studies have proven benefit in a variety of populations. The benefits of statin treatment for high cholesterol have been proven in many trials. Forefront among different adverse events is statin-induced myopathy, which still eludes complete understanding, and may range anywhere from muscle soreness or fatigue to potentially extremely rare occurrence of rhabdomyolysis. As most adverse events are rare and not life-threatening, in high-risk patients, a high-dose statin should be started initially as data suggests that clinicians rarely up titrate statin therapy after initial prescription leading to under-treatment of many patients requiring high-dose statin therapy. As we will discuss in this paper, musculoskeletal side effects are the main concern and reason for discontinuing statin therapy. The occurrence and true association of other adverse events in patients on statin such as new onset of diabetes, hepatic toxicity, or cognitive impairment are rare, controversial, and not proven. In placebo-controlled studies, abnormal liver function occurs to a similar degree in statin- and placebo-treated patients. This led to FDA removal of the requirement to monitor liver function tests in patients on statin therapy. The combination of statins with other compounds such as ezetimibe or PCSK9 inhibitors has shown some additional benefits in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia. The goal of this manuscript is to conduct a comprehensive review about most commonly used statins and compare data on their history, structures, benefits, adverse effects, and clinical outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-639
Number of pages15
JournalCardiovascular Drugs and Therapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • Atherosclerosis
  • Cholesterol
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Hyperlipidemia
  • Low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C)
  • PCSK9 inhibitors
  • Rhabdomyolysis
  • Statins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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