Statins safety warning with antibiotics

The call follows the publication of a Canadian study showing that co-prescribing a statin metabolised by the enzyme CYP3A4 — such as atorvastatin or simvastatin — with macrolides clarithromycin or erythromycin doubled the risk of hospitalisation with rhabdomyolysis, compared with azithromycin.

The study of 145,000 patients found 30-day all-cause mortality was 50% higher in those taking statins and clarithromycin or erythromycin, while acute kidney injury increased by 78%.