American Heart Association releases statement on cholesterol-lowering drug statins
“Health care providers and their patients who take statins need to be aware that these medications could interact with their other heart disease medications, such as medications to control blood pressure, treat abnormal heart rhythms and others,” Barbara Wiggins, writing committee chair for the new scientific statement published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, said.
Wiggins, who is also a clinical pharmacy specialist in cardiology at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, stated that every patient is different. Each patient will take to disparate medications in unique ways, so while many drug combinations are safe, patients and prescribers alike should take caution.
“Patients need to be aware that interactions can occur and should speak to their health care providers about any unusual side effects or concerns,” Wiggins said.
Statins are usually given to patients with hardening of the arteries, atherosclerosis, or those at risk for the disease. The writing committee for the new statement looked at different combinations of the drug and identified specific doses at which certain heart disease medications can be used safely with statins.
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