- Statins are oral medications most commonly prescribed to lower cholesterol. Their anti-inflammatory properties make them of interest for possible use in MS. Atorvastatin (Lipitor ®) and simvastatin (Vytorin®, Zorcor®) are among the statins presently being studied as potential treatments for RRMS.
- An initial pilot trial of simvastatin in an uncontrolled study showed it was safe and reduced MRI activity at six months.
- A number of studies are ongoing, primarily in CIS and RRMS. Studies are either alone or in combination with the interferons, Copaxone, or other agents approved for use in MS.
- The effects of statins combined with interferons are controversial. In one study, combination of Rebif with atorvastatin (Lipitor ®) increased MRI and clinical disease activity, suggesting that statins may block the therapeutic effects of interferons. However, two other studies did not support this, and more data are needed.