Statin Drugs may Reduce Chance of Subsequent
July 30th 2005
Statins May help
Researchers have evidence that patients who have had strokes caused by a
burst blood vessel can reduce their chance of another stroke by taking
cholesterol lowering Statin Drugs. The research is published in the
August journal of Stroke and is titled Effects of Acute Treatment With
Pravastatin on Cerebral Vasospasm, Autoregulation, and Delayed Ischemic
Deficits After Aneurysmal Subarachnoid Hemorrhage. The research was
conducted by neurologists at the University of Cambridge and at Duke
The British study took 80 stroke patients and gave half the group
pravastatin (Pravachol) for 14 days. Doctors began administering the
pravastatin within 72 hours after the first stroke. They found that
patients who got the statin were 32 percent less likely to develop
vasospasm than those who got the placebo.
The British team also found that the incidence of disability and death
was substantially lower in the patients getting the statin drugs. The
statin group was 83% less likely to have paralysis and 75% less likely
to die in the hospital.
Similar results were recorded in the US by a team led by Dr. John R.
Lynch of Duke University Medical Center. The American team gave 39
people either a placebo or simvastatin (Zocor). One quarter of the
patients who received
Zocor had a vasospasm incident compared to 60% who had the placebo
over the 14 day trial.
Further studies are
needed. It is possible the pharmaceutical companies will sponsor future
studies. It is hoped a optimum dosage is determined. "Much higher
doses, up to 10 times higher, might be better," Lynch said. "But that
might cause adverse side effects, such as muscle breakdown and liver
damage." 80 milligram dosages might work better.
Statins may be
helpful in other types of
strokes as well. Other studies have indicated
that statins given to coronary heart disease patients have reduced a
risk of stroke by 20%. There has been no treatment-related complication
was observed with the latest study.
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Keywords and misspellings: Zorcor statens statans