Medications for Scleroderma, Arthritis, Autoimmune and Rheumatic Diseases

Author: Janey Willis. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer

Statins are a class of drugs that lower the level of cholesterol in the blood by reducing the production of cholesterol by the liver. Recent findings have shown statins to offer some relief to patients with scleroderma and other rheumatic diseases. (Also see What is Scleroderma?, Medical Overview, and Medications for Scleroderma, Arthritis, Autoimmune and Rheumatic Diseases)

Statins May Help, Not Hinder, Heart Bypass Recovery. The results of this review call for active efforts to counsel patients and surgeons about the benefits of statins that definitely outweigh the risks of their rare potential side effects. New York Times, 01/12/2016.

A review of the effects of statins in systemic sclerosis (SSc). Statins seemed safe and well tolerated in SSc, although larger longer–term multi–site randomized trials are needed to further determine the role of statins as adjunctive treatment. PubMed, Semin Arthritis Rheum, 11/02/2015.

Study Questions Statin, Memory Loss Connection. Statin and non-statin lipid-lowering drug (LLD) use was found to be associated with acute memory loss in the weeks following treatment initiation. MedPage Today, 06/08/2015.

Is statin-induced myositis part of the polymyositis disease spectrum? Statin medications have recently been shown to cause not only a toxic myopathy but also an immune-mediated necrotizing myositis. PubMed, Curr Rheumatol Rep, 2014 Aug;16(8):433. (Also see Polymyositis)

How a daily statin tablet could slow march of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Statins have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects on the nervous system and previous research using simvastatin in people with early-stage MS found reductions in brain lesions, suggesting the statin was affecting the disease process. Mail Online, 03/19/2014. (Also see Multiple Sclerosis)

Frequency of development of connective tissue disease (CTD) in statin-users versus nonusers. Statins have pleiotropic properties that may affect the development of (CTD). Statin use was associated with a lower risk of CTD. PubMed, Am J Cardiol, 09/15/2013. (Also see Connective Tissue Disease)

Statins Have Few Side Effects, But Should More People Be Taking Them? Statins lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation and may be responsible for saving thousands of lives. Should everyone be taking the wonder drug? Time Healthland, 07/10/2013.

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