The available antihyperlipidaemic drugs are generally safe and effective, major systemic adverse effects are uncommon. However, because of their complex mechanisms of action, careful monitoring is required to identify and correct potential drug interactions. Bile acid sequestrants are the most difficult of these agents to administer concomitantly, because their nonspecific binding results in decreased bioavailability of a number of other drugs, including thiazide diuretics, digitalis preparations, β-blockers, coumarin anticoagulants, thyroid hormones, fibric acid derivatives and certain oral antihyperglycaemic agents. Although the incidence is low, nicotinic acid may cause hepatic necrosis and so should not be used with drugs that adversely affect hepatic structure or function. With the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, relatively new agents for which clinical data are still being accumulated, the major problems appear to be rhabdomyolysis, associated with the concomitant use of cyclosporin, fibric acid derivatives or erythromycin, and mild, intermittent hepatic abnormalities that may be potentiated by other hepatotoxic drugs. Fibrates also have the potential to cause rhabdomyolysis, although generally only in combination with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, and are subject to binding by concomitantly administered bile acid sequestrants. The major interaction involving probucol is a possible additive effect with drugs or clinical conditions that alter the prolongation of the QTc interval, increasing the potential for polymorphic ventricular tachycardia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)