According to a study published in Canadian Medical Association Journal the combination ofs clarithromycin and cholesterol lowering statins could be fatal and lead to hospialtization. Statins are class of of medicines which are prescribed to lower cholesterol levels in the blood and help reduce the risk of angina, heart attacks and stroke.
Previous studies on statins have shown that the way in which statins are metabolised by the body can get metabolised by the body can be affected by the use of other medications resulting in adverse effects on the health.
The US Food and Drug Adminstration has warned people not to use drugs that inhibit the engyme CYp3A4 alongside statins which are metalbolised by this enzyme as most of the statins are metabolised by the engyme CYP3A.
Clarithromycin is an antibiotic which is prescribed to treat bacterial infections of the skin and respiratory systems. It is believed that clarithromycin could inhibit certain amino acids potentially involves in the metabolism of statins such as rosuvastatina and prasvatatin.
The Institute of Clinical Evaluative Sciences conducted a study on 104041 statin users aged 66 or older from Ontario, Canada. Each participant had a prescription for either clarithromycin or the antibiotic azitheromycin. The team found that the co-prescription of Clarithromycin and a statin was linked to an increased rate of mortality and acute kidney injury or high levels of potassium. The author of the study said that these adverse events could represent statin toxicity. However, the Inhibiting qualities of the CYP3A of clarithromycin cannot be explained in the increased risk of toxicity said the author.
The author also urges caution saying ‘the findings of the study indicated that unintended adverse may still occur. The toxicity can be prevented by the use of the azithromycin or another antibiotic that does not interact with statins can be considered.
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