PITTSBURGH--(EON: Enhanced Online News)--Statins, commonly used across the world to treat high cholesterol, have been linked to a number of side effects including muscle ache and damage. Now for the first time, researchers in the USA and Japan have reported a case in which statin use may have caused bladder muscle damage resulting in underactive bladder with permanent urinary retention.
“It is a frustrating diagnosis that is currently lacking effective pharmacological treatment.”
In the study, a 69-year-old woman without any prior urological history, presented urinary retention two months after taking cerivastatin for high cholesterol levels. Her history revealed that the patient did not have any prior urologic dysfunctions such as diabetes or pelvic surgery, and she was on no other medication that had reported side effects of urinary retention. Neurology consultation exposed no abnormalities. With the discontinuation of cerivastatin, the patient reported modest improvement in symptoms. Medical treatment consisted of clean intermittent catheterization (insertion of a small tube into the urethra) four times a day. A trial of bethanecol and doxazosin did not improve her retention and thirty-six months later, she still required catheterization on a daily basis. The findings of this case support the potential risk of permanent bladder smooth muscle damage due to statins that can induce underactive bladder.
“This report should not scare people of statins, but physicians should be aware of the possibility of bladder smooth muscle dysfunction that may manifest itself as underactive bladder and urinary retention. More research is needed to further evaluate the relationship of retention with cerivastatin and other statins,” stated Dr. TeruhikoYokoyama of Kawasaki Medical School, one of the authors of this study.
“Underactive bladder is a common health care problem disproportionally affecting elderly patients,” says Dr. Vikas Tyagi, President of the Underactive Bladder Foundation. “It is a frustrating diagnosis that is currently lacking effective pharmacological treatment.”
Cerivastatin (Baycol) was initially approved by the FDA in 1997 to lower cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular disease. In August 2001, cerivastatins were voluntarily withdrawn from the U.S. market due to incidences of fatal rhabdomyolysis, a condition where skeletal muscle tissue deteriorates.
Full citation: Yokoyama, T. and Chancellor M.B. (2013), Statin-Associated Underactive Bladder . Luts: Lower Urinary Track Symptoms. Doi:10.1111/luts.12025
About the Underactive Bladder Foundation
The Underactive Bladder Foundation (Pittsburgh, PA) is a patient-focused charity that provides support for health professionals and organizations in this area of healthcare. The UAB foundation seeks to facilitate research by raising awareness and supports multidisciplinary meetings, the next of which will meet in Washington, D.C. on February 20th and 21st 2014. For further company details, visit www.underactivebladder.org