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Perth – A few months after statin treatment began, a cohort study saw an increase in the prescribing of antibiotics commonly used to treat skin and soft tissue infections. "Sequence Symmetry Analysis" in British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology (2019, doi: 10.1111 / bcp.14077) suggests that statins increase the risk of infection.
Sequence symmetry analysis is a relatively new means of detecting drug side effects. The study assumes that side effects of medicines (such as diarrhea) often trigger the prescribing of new medicines needed to treat side effects (such as diarrhea drugs). This analysis is particularly suitable for side effects that do not occur immediately after initiation of treatment and are therefore not recognized in the authorization studies.
Humphrey Ko of Curtin University in Perth and his associates used sequence symmetry analysis to investigate the impact of statins on the risk of skin infections. On the one hand, researchers could expect the risk to be reduced as statins say they have an anti-infective effect. For example, they are designed to protect against pneumonia with S. aureus. On the other hand, the risk of infection could be increased because statins are known to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. Who, therefore, did not investigate the prescribing of antibiotics dicloxacillin and fluloxacillin that are widely used against S. aureus, but also the prescription of antidiabetic drugs.
The researchers conducted an investigation into more than 228,000 veterans insured by state health insurance in Australia. As expected, several months after the start of statin treatment, there was an increase in the prescription of diabetes medication. The risk, specially adjusted Sequence Ratio (ASS), was increased by 19%. The number of dicloxacillin and flucloxacillin prescriptions has increased even more. The researchers found an ASA of 1.40 (95% confidence interval 1.29 to 1.52), an increase of 40%.
This could, of course, be the first consequence of increased diabetes. However, Ko can prove that antibiotic prescriptions have increased in veterans who have not received diabetes medication. This suggests that statins increase the risk of infection regardless of diabetic diagnosis. ASA at 91 was 1.39 (1.27 to 1.53). Because the two antibiotics are often used in skin and soft tissue infections, Ko believes statins are particularly at increased risk for these infections. © Heat / equilibreplus.com