Statins are recommended as first-line therapy for cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately, a proportion of patients cannot tolerate these drugs because of muscle-related side-effects. This review summarizes the definition of statin-related muscle disorders, aetiological factors, and recommended management strategies.
A number of consensus groups have defined and classified statin-related muscle disorders, whereas others have suggested diagnostic and management strategies. Mechanisms behind statin-related muscle toxicity have been identified. Therapeutic and clinical investigation pathways have been reviewed and algorithms defined. New drugs have become available to reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels that are not associated with causing muscle side-effects.
Statin-related muscle side-effects are common. Secondary causes of muscle disease unmasked by statin therapy should be identified. Most patients can be managed by adjustment of standard treatment protocols.