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The Pharmacogenomics of Statins in Assessing Individual Potential for Adverse Effects

A September 2016 article in Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine (Joseph Kitzmiller, et al) discussed the pharmacogenomics of statins as applied to individual susceptibility to side effects from statin pharmacotherapy. Statins are the most commonly prescribed medications for treatment and prevention of atherosclerotic disease in the U.S. and Europe. Adverse effects from statins – including myopathy (experienced in 1 out of 10 of patients), liver toxicity, and central nervous system toxicity – are a significant factor in patient non-compliance and discontinuation of therapy, the article states.

 
Pharmacogenomics can provide significant insight into an individual’s risk of statin adverse effects. According to the article, genetic polymorphism affect statin pharmacokinetics directly, affecting risk of statin toxicity in susceptible patients, particularly with concomitant use of medications that inhibit CYP3A metabolism. The article notes that there is a “paucity of research investigating CPY3A polymorphism and statin toxicity,” callings for future pharmacogenetic research incorporating a multi-polymorphism and multigene arrays to perform a better risk-benefit analysis of statin pharmacotherapy.

 

Rxight®  pharmacogenetic testing assesses the patient’s potential for side effects from clinically relevant and commonly prescribed agents (including atorvastatin (Lipitor)), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor Altocor, Altoprev), pitavastatin (Livalo), pravastatin (Pracachol), rosuvastatin (Crestor) and simvastatin (Zocor). With Rxight® the patient and their prescriber can evaluate the likelihood of side effects, preferably before statin therapy commences, and thus find a safe dose or alternative medication.

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