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      Immune-Mediated Necrotizing Myopathy Manifesting after Five Years of Statin Therapy


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          Immune-mediated necrotizing myopathy (IMNM) is an increasingly common and serious condition in which autoantibodies attack muscle fibers causing clinically significant muscle weakness, fatigue, and myalgias. Recognizing the clinical presentation of IMNM is difficult but necessary, as rapid intervention decreases morbidity. We present a case of a 53-year-old female with IMNM induced by statin therapy with confirmed anti-3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase antibodies present on serologic testing. The patient's statin therapy was halted, and the patient was provided with one dose of methylprednisolone and ongoing therapy with mycophenolate. She showed subsequent slow improvements in her muscle weakness and myalgias. It is important for clinicians to be aware of the possible consequences of statin therapy, as these drugs are generally regarded as benign in the medical community. Clinicians should also be aware that statin-induced myopathy can occur at any time during statin therapy. The condition does not necessarily correlate with beginning a new statin medication, as demonstrated in this case in which the patient was on chronic statin therapy before developing symptoms. Continued clinician education and building the fund of medical knowledge regarding this disease are vital to enable clinicians to recognize this disease and act promptly to reduce patient morbidity and improve outcomes.

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          Most cited references27

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          Statin safety: a systematic review.

          A systematic review of cohort studies, randomized trials, voluntary notifications to national regulatory authorities, and published case reports was undertaken to assess the incidence and characteristics of adverse effects in patients treated with 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors, or statins. For statins other than cerivastatin, the incidence of rhabdomyolysis in 2 cohort studies was 3.4 (1.6 to 6.5) per 100,000 person-years, an estimate supported by data from 20 randomized controlled trials. Case fatality was 10%. Incidence was about 10 times greater when gemfibrozil was used in combination with statins. Incidence was higher (4.2 per 100,000 person-years) with lovastatin, simvastatin, or atorvastatin (which are oxidized by cytochrome P450 3A4 [CYP3A4], which is inhibited by many drugs) than pravastatin or fluvastatin (which are not oxidized by CYP3A4). In persons taking simvastatin, lovastatin, or atorvastatin, 60% of cases involved drugs known to inhibit CYP3A4 (especially erythromycin and azole antifungals), and 19% involved fibrates, principally gemfibrozil. The incidence of myopathy in patients treated with statins, estimated from cohort studies supported by randomized trials, was 11 per 100,000 person-years. For liver disease, randomized trials reported fewer hepatobiliary disorders in patients allocated statins than in those allocated placebo. The notification rate of liver failure to regulatory authorities was about 1 per million person-years of statin use. Randomized trials show no excess of renal disease or proteinuria in statin-allocated participants, and the decline in glomerular filtration rate was smaller with statins than with placebo. Evidence from 4 cohort studies and case reports suggests that statins cause peripheral neuropathy, but the attributable risk is small (12 per 100,000 person-years). No change in cognitive function was found in randomized trials of statins in elderly patients.
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            Statin-Associated Autoimmune Myopathy

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              Statin-induced myopathy: a review and update.

              Statin-induced myopathy is an important cause of statin intolerance and the most common cause of statin discontinuation. Observational studies estimate that 10 - 15% of statin users develop statin-related muscle side effects ranging from mild myalgia to more severe muscle symptoms with significant CPK elevations. This article reviews the epidemiology, clinical features, risk factors and mechanisms of statin-induced myopathy and provides an evidence-based algorithm for managing patients with statin myopathy. There are multiple risk factors for statin-induced myopathy that are both patient-related (age, genetics, co-morbidities) and drug-related (statin metabolism via the CYP system, drug-drug interactions and statin drug transport). Management options for statin-intolerant patients include statin switching, especially to low-dose, non-daily doses of long-acting statins, such as rosuvastatin and atorvastatin, and other non-statin lipid-lowering agents, such as ezetimibe and colesevelam, and possibly red yeast rice. In conclusion, statin-induced myopathy is a significant clinical problem that contributes considerably to statin therapy discontinuation. However, there exist multiple and effective management options for statin intolerant patients.

                Author and article information

                Case Rep Rheumatol
                Case Rep Rheumatol
                Case Reports in Rheumatology
                24 April 2023
                : 2023
                : 1178035
                1Department of Internal Medicine, Methodist Dallas Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA
                2Department of Internal Medicine, Golden Cross Academic Clinic, Dallas, TX, USA
                Author notes

                Academic Editor: Syuichi Koarada

                Author information
                Copyright © 2023 Nathan G. DeRon Jr. et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                : 24 February 2023
                : 19 March 2023
                : 13 April 2023
                Case Report


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