Michael W Whitehouse, Desley E Butters
School of Medicine, Griffith University, Gold Coast Qld, AUSTRALIA.
Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs have been over-sold to the medical profession and over-prescribed by physicians, without due concern for their long-term disabling side-effects. These include acute renal failure, development of cataracts, diabetes, liver dysfunction and disabling myopathy. Most were predictable and have been well-documented: yet there has been little reduction in statin usage. The situation is made worse by more recent a) claims for off-label efficacy e.g. as anti-inflammatory agents and b) availability in some countries (e.g. UK) as over-the-counter medications.  Is it now time to carefully reconsider the need for such over-prescribing, with the promise of yet more to come (OTC availability, the ‘polypill’)?
Key words: Statins, Adverse effects, Cholesterol, Coenzyme Q, Dolichol, Polyisoprenoids.