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)

The effect of statin use on mortality in systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases (SARD). In this study, statin initiation was shown to reduce overall mortality in patients with SARD after adjusting for relevant determinates of cardiovascular disease risk. PubMed, J Rheumatol, 2018 Dec;45(12):1689-1695.

Statin–related myopathies. Statin–induced immune–mediated necrotising myopathy represents a novel disease mechanism and clinically mimics forms of myositis. PubMed, Pract Neurol, 2018 Apr;18(2):97-105. (Also see Myopathy and Myositis)

Statins Inhibit Cytokines in a Dose–Dependent Response in Patients with Systemic Sclerosis (SSc). Statins, particularly simvastatin, appear to have an immunosuppressive effect in reducing all cytokine secretion levels from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of SSc in a dose–dependent manner. PubMed, Inflammation, 10/04/2018. (Also see Cytokines)

Statins could help to fight infectious diseases such as typhoid as well as lower cholesterol, reveals new research. Statins are given to patients to lower cholesterol to avoid heart and brain attacks and a study finds the drug could protect against the bacteria which causes typhoid. Mail Online, 08/22/2017.

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.

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