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Statins: Pharmacokinetics, Pharmacodynamics and Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

[ Vol. 17 , Issue. 3 ]


Gabriella Ricci, Marco Matteo Ciccone, Paola Giordano and Francesca Cortese*   Pages 213 - 221 ( 9 )


Cardiovascular diseases secondary to atherosclerosis are the primary causes of early death and disability worldwide and dyslipidaemia represents one of the most important modifiable risk factors. Among lipid abnormalities that define it, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) is the primary target of therapy, since multiple randomized controlled trials have shown the positive impact of its reduction on atherosclerosis development. For their ability to lower LDL-C levels, statins are the most studied drugs in cardiovascular disease prevention, of proven utility in slowing the progression or even determining regression of atherosclerosis. In addition, they have ancillary proprieties, with positive effects on the mechanisms involved in the development of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, the so-called “pleiotropic mechanisms”. Although sharing the same mechanism of action, the different chemical and pharmacological characteristics of each kind of statins affect their absorption, bioavailability, plasma protein binding properties, excretion and solubility. In this overview, we analysed pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic mechanisms of this class of drugs, specifying the differences among the molecules, along with the economic aspects. Detailed knowledge of characteristics and differences of each kind of available statin could help the physician in the correct choice, based also on patient's clinical profile, of this essential tool with a demonstrated high cost-effectiveness both in primary than in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease.


Hydroxymethyl glutaryl coenzyme A reductase, statins, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, statins.


Cardiovascular Diseases Section, , Cardiovascular Diseases Section, Department of Emergency and Organ Transplantation (DETO), University of Bari, Bari, Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, University of Bari, Bari, Cardiovascular Diseases Section

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