Research: Mixing statins with Interferons do not add up

R
PURPOSE: The efficacy of statins in combination with interferon therapy in patients with multiple sclerosis
(MS) is reviewed. METHODS: A systematic literature search was conducted
through September 2011 to identify randomized controlled trials that
evaluated the effect of combination statin-interferon therapy compared
with interferon therapy alone in patients with MS. Trials had to report
at least one of the following outcomes of interest: clinical relapse
rate, disease progression, or Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS)
score. 
RESULTS: Four unique trials were
included in the analysis (n = 463 subjects; range of follow-up, 9-24
months). All trials evaluated patients
with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS). Most trials enrolled patients taking
interferon beta therapy either twice or three times weekly. The mean
baseline EDSS scores ranged from 1.2 to 3.4. Evaluated statins included
simvastatin and atorvastatin. No significant difference was found
between the statin and control groups in the incident rate ratio for
clinical relapse (0.72; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.17 to 3.11),
risk of relapse (relative risk [RR], 0.99; 95% CI, 0.53 to 1.85],
disease progression (RR, 1.31; 95% CI, 0.73 to 2.36), or difference in
the change in the EDSS score from baseline (weighted mean difference,
-0.06; 95% CI, -0.30 to 0.19). 
CONCLUSION A meta-analysis revealed that
the addition of statins to interferon therapy did not significantly
influence the relapse risk, disease progression, or EDSS scores in
patients with RRMS.
The
conclusions say it all. There is no good evidence that statins really
make an influence on RRMS by themselves and appear to add nothing when
used as an add-on to beta interferon.

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