. . . .There's a story in today's Los Angeles Times regarding rhabdomyolysis and renal failure with high doses of Zocor® and higher risk in those of Chinese descent.
This is consistent with what I have been saying here and elsewhere for a long time.
Many lethal drug reactions are due to issues related to drug metabolites or drug metabolism.
Increased risk for some of these reactions can be predicted by knowledge of drug metabolism and in some cases pharmacogenetics.
Knowledge of an individual's pharmacogenetics is not necessary for communicating risk information. Instead knowledge of the individual's ethnic background is often sufficient to indicate a higher probability of risk.
Companies and the FDA have known of this for years (in some cases nearly 20 years) and have been remiss in not including such information in labeling.
Failure to include such information in labeling in my opinion means the drug is misbranded.
March 19, 2010 @ 2:06 PM. . . .
Indeed. However (post 2008), it is the rather unusual patient who ends up on such a high dose of statins, that this becomes a truly-vexing issue -- excepting of course, where genetic factors (as Salmon mentions) elevate the cholesterol markedly, and ethnic (again, other genetic) factors then magnify the statin-risk presented. All of that said, one-sixth of the planet faces the genetic marker problem, as Merck seeks to expand beyond the US and Western Europe, with Zocor.
For some learned background on just how little we really know about all of this, take a look here.
Good stuff, Salmon!