Statin intolerance management: a systematic review

Alejandra Meza-Contreras, Camila Wenczenovicz, Kim Ruiz-Arellanos, Elissa A.Kinzelman Vesely, Renzo Mogollon, Victor M. Montori

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: Statin intolerance is a key barrier to the effective prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). Experts do not agree on what it is and how to respond to this problem clinically. Objective: To characterize the range of expert recommendations about the care of patients with statin intolerance. Methods: Systematic review registered in PROSPERO that searched on April 1 2022 in PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, Cochrane, online textbooks, and specialty textbooks for expert reviews (e.g., review articles and book chapters), systematic reviews, or clinical practice guidelines published in the past 5 years without language restriction. Authors working in duplicate extracted definitions, management recommendations, and supportive evidence cited. Results: We identified 26 eligible articles, none of which described a systematic method to summarize the evidence or to develop and grade recommendations. Of these, 14 (54%) offered a definition of statin intolerance. A sequenced approach to management of statin intolerance was suggested in 24 (92%) articles describing 12 different approaches without supporting evidence of efficacy. Investigating for other causes was the most common first step. All authors suggested rechallenging after a washout period with either the same or other statin. Few considered nonlipid approaches to reducing ASCVD risk and none recommended involving patients in shared decision making. Conclusion: We found substantial variability in the definition and management of statin intolerance among experts. Few focused on ASCVD risk reduction and none promoted the participation of patients in shared decision making about how to address the threat of ASCVD with or without statins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)430-436
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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