Which medications in the drug class Lipid-Lowering Agents, Statins are used in the treatment of Hypertriglyceridemia?

Updated: Jul 23, 2021
  • Author: Mary Ellen T Sweeney, MD; Chief Editor: Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP  more...
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Lipid-Lowering Agents, Statins

3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors are competitive inhibitors of 3-hydroxy-3-methyl Co-A reductase, an enzyme that catalyzes the rate-limiting step in cholesterol biosynthesis, resulting in upregulation of LDL receptors in response to the decrease in intracellular cholesterol. The HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors are indicated for the secondary prevention of cardiovascular events and for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia and mixed dyslipidemia.

HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors are indicated for patients with primary and familial hypercholesterolemia, as well as combined hyperlipidemia, as an adjunct to other lipid-lowering treatments. Their main differences lie in their metabolism and therapeutic half-life and in their drug interactions.

FDA warnings

On March 1, 2012, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued updates to the prescribing information concerning interactions between protease inhibitors (such as those used to treat hepatitis C or human immunodeficiency virus infection) and certain statin drugs, notably that the combination of these agents taken together may raise the blood levels of statins and increase the risk for myopathy. [57] The most serious form of myopathy, rhabdomyolysis, can damage the kidneys and lead to kidney failure, which can be fatal. [57]

Two days earlier, on February 28, 2012, the FDA approved important safety label changes for statins, including removal of routine monitoring of liver enzymes from drug labels. [58] Information about the potential for generally nonserious and reversible cognitive side effects and reports of increased blood sugar and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels were added to the statin labels. In addition, the lovastatin label was extensively updated with new contraindications and dose limitations when this agent is taken with certain medicines that can increase the risk for myopathy. [58]

On June 8, 2011, the FDA recommended limiting the use of the highest approved dose of simvastatin (Zocor) (80 mg) due to the increased risk of myopathy. [59] The agency also required changes to the simvastatin label to add new contraindications (should not be used with certain medications) and dose limitations for using simvastatin with certain medicines. [59]

Atorvastatin (Lipitor)


Lovastatin (Mevacor)



Rosuvastatin (Crestor)

Simvastatin (Zocor)


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