Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Statins Do Not Interfere with Rituximab Treatment for Lymphomas, Mayo Clinic Study Finds

A medication review recently performed at our clinic identified a potential drug interaction with concurrent use of atorvastatin (Lipitor) and rituximab may result in decreased rituximab efficacy and impaired CD20 detection, according to Micromedex Online.

I had encountered the same interaction early last year and investigated further into this theoretically troublesome combination.

Micromedex Online (accessed June 2, 2010) states:

"Use caution when prescribing atorvastatin to patients who receive rituximab, as concomitant use of atorvastatin may cause interference with antilymphoma activity of rituximab. Atorvastatin may also interfere with the detection of CD20 binding to lymphocytes used to diagnose lymphomas (Winiarska et al, 2008)."

*However, upon further review of the reference Micromedex states in noting the theoretical major interaction between statins and rituximab, a further study has since been done by Grzegorz Nowakowski, M.D., Mayo Clinic hematologist, and others presented Dec 8/2008 at the 50th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology in San Francisco. The results of this study "can provide reassurance to oncologists and their patients that statins will not reduce the effectiveness of rituximab and may in fact improve outcomes of some patients with lymphomas."

Conclusion: "This study shows we should not be concerned of the patient being on Lipitor (atorvastatin) while being treated with rituximab."

Please see the following link for more information:

I will also be contacting the makers of Micromedex to inform them of this conflicting information.


Mark July 23, 2010 at 7:40 AM  

Thanks for that, very useful for stemming the rising tide of interaction reaction among us.

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Pharmacy History

"The earliest known compilation of medicinal substances was ARIANA the Sushruta Samhita, an Indian Ayurvedic treatise attributed to Sushruta in the 6th century BC. However, the earliest text as preserved dates to the 3rd or 4th century AD.
Many Sumerian (late 6th millennium BC - early 2nd millennium BC) cuneiform clay tablets record prescriptions for medicine.[3]

Ancient Egyptian pharmacological knowledge was recorded in various papyri such as the Ebers Papyrus of 1550 BC, and the Edwin Smith Papyrus of the 16th century BC.

The earliest known Chinese manual on materia medica is the Shennong Bencao Jing (The Divine Farmer's Herb-Root Classic), dating back to the 1st century AD. It was compiled during the Han dynasty and was attributed to the mythical Shennong. Earlier literature included lists of prescriptions for specific ailments, exemplified by a manuscript "Recipes for 52 Ailments", found in the Mawangdui tomb, sealed in 168 BC. Further details on Chinese pharmacy can be found in the Pharmacy in China article."

From Wikipedia:

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