Description: “Statins” are group of cholesterol medications that all work in the same way and thus cause a similar set of side effects in susceptible patients. Since their introduction in the 1980s, statins, also known as “HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors,” have emerged as the one of the best-selling medication classes to date, with numerous trials demonstrating powerful efficacy in preventing cardiovascular disease – the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. (Advances in Clinical Chemistry, “Biochemistry of Statins,” Jan 2016).
Serious Side Effects: Myopathy, Liver Damage, Cognitive Issues
Statin side effects can be severe, even life-threatening. Following are serious potential side effects of statins:
Understand Your Risks with the Rxight® Genetic Test
The Rxight® DNA testing program from MD Labs, a CLIA-certified pharmacogenetic testing service, analyzes your unique genetic makeup to determine how your body metabolizes over 200 clinically relevant prescription and over-the-counter pharmacological agents across dozens of pharmacological classes, including statins. The testing is done by your pharmacist’s taking a non-invasive DNA sample via a cheek swab. Each patient receives a Personalized Medication Review®, a detailed analysis of your results detailing which medications are potentially dangerous for you and which may not provide benefit due your unique genetically determined metabolism of these pharmacological agents.
How Does Pharmacogenetic Testing Work?
Pharmacogenetics is the study of the way genetic variants affect drug metabolism. You experience side effects in part because of genetic variants that affect how the medicine is assimilated. Prescribers frequently use a traditional “trial and error” method to slowly find dosages that reduce symptoms and minimize unpleasant side effects or serious adverse reactions – a process which can take months if not years, and which can result in potentially serious adverse reactions. In this way, pharmacogenetic testing with Rxight® helps clinicians select medications and doses associated with better therapeutic value and fewer side effects (and reducing patient non-compliance), rather than relying on a potentially protracted and deleterious trial and error approach.
Contributors to this Article:
Michael Sapko, MD, PhD; Deborah Kallick, PhD, Medicinal Chemistry