New analysis of a previously conducted clinical trials casts doubt on the effectiveness of statin drugs, specifically rosuvastatin, in the prevention of blood clots. Rosuvastatin is available in name brand form as Crestor and is among the most widely prescribed of all statin drugs.
According to a ScienceDaily.com report on a fresh perspective from nearly 30 previous trials of statin drugs found that they are barely effective at preventing blood clots, if at all. Researchers at University of Oxford initially cast doubts on the results of a 2009 study called JUPITER which said the statin drug rosuvastatin cut the risk of blood clots in half among people taking them.
Believing the study included far too few participants, Oxford researchers decided to look at other trials – 29 in all – and found that people taking statin drugs faced a nine-tenths percent risk of suffering a blood clot, compared with just a 1 percent risk among people not taking the drugs. Further troubling from the new analysis was that researchers also saw no difference among people taking low doses of statin drugs versus those taking higher doses.
ScienceDaily.com cites the study authors’ conclusion based on their findings: “This study provides a more detailed assessment of the potential effects of statins (or higher dose statins) on venous thromboembolic events than has previously been possible. We were unable to confirm the large proportional reduction in risk suggested by some previous studies,” authors wrote.
Still, the study believes that some patients may actually see a reduced risk of suffering a thromboembolic event while taking a higher dose of a statin drug but they were unable to identify those people in the study.
The Food and Drug Administration has previously warned about certain risks associated with the highest doses of rosuvastatin (Crestor). People who suffer from hypothyroidism, impaired kidney function, or are over the age of 65 are more likely to develop myopathy or rhabdomyolysis while taking this statin drug at the highest doses available. Asian-Americans face twice the risk compared to Caucasian patients.
Statin drugs are typically prescribed to reduce cholesterol as a means of preventing blood clots, heart attack, and stroke that could lead to death. Drugs like Crestor and any in the statin class already carry a risk of causing myopathy (severe muscle damage) and should be taken with caution and at the lowest possible effective dose to reduce the risks of these side effects