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Statin Intolerance: A Review and Update.

OBJECTIVE: To review the evidence of existing literature on the management of statin intolerance.

METHODS: We searched for literature pertaining to statin intolerance and treatments in PubMed. We reviewed articles published between 2005 and 2022.

RESULTS: Statin-associated myalgia is the most common adverse effect of statin therapy and the most common reason for statin discontinuation. The risk factors for statin intolerance include unexplained muscle pain with other lipid-lowering therapy, unexplained cramps, a history of increased creatine kinase levels, a family history of muscle symptoms, and a family history of muscle symptoms with lipid therapy. Vitamin D repletion and coenzyme Q supplementation may help alleviate the musculoskeletal effects of statins. Trials of different types of statins and different dosing regimens are recommended to improve tolerability. The use of statins in individuals who perform regular exercise requires closer attention to muscular symptoms and creatine kinase levels; however, it does not preclude the use of statins.

CONCLUSION: Management of the adverse effects of statin therapy and improving statin tolerability are key to achieving optimum cardiovascular benefits. Identifying statin-associated adverse effects and managing them appropriately can reduce unnecessary statin discontinuation and subsequently provide longer cardiovascular protection.

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