Statins Against Drug-Induced Nephrotoxicity

Simin Dashti-Khavidaki1, Azadeh Moghaddas2, Behrooz Heydari2, Hossein Khalili1, Mahboob lessan-Pezeshki2, Mahbooh Lessan-Pezeshki1

1Tehran University of Medical Sciences
2Tehran University of Medical Sciences,


Drug-induced nephrotoxicity (DIN) accounts for up to 60% of hospital acquired acute kidney injury with considerable morbidity and mortality. Several efforts have been made to reduce drug-induced nephrotoxicity; however, DIN remains a matter of concern. Statins with their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects may have the potential to protect kidney against DIN. The present review evaluated all of the available in vitro and in vivo studies that examined the use of statins as renoprotective agents against nephrotoxic drugs. Materials for this review were obtained by searching Medline, PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane central register of controlled trials, and Cochrane database of systematic reviews. Key words used as search terms included “statin”, “3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase inhibitors, “HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors”, “nephroprotective”, “renoprotective”, “drug-induced renal diseases”, “drug-induced nephrotoxicity”, “drug-induced renal toxicity”, “drug-induced nephropathy”, “drug-induced renal side effects”, and “contrast-induced nephropathy”. This search was performed without time limitation. Only English language articles were included in this review. This review concluded that chronic statin user may be less prone to contrast-induced nephropathy (CIN) compared with statin non-users. Short-term high dose statin administration may also reduce the incidence of CIN in statin naïve patients. This renoprotective effect of statins against CIN is seen in low risk patients with normal kidney function or mild kidney dysfunction, but probably not in patients with moderate to severe renal dysfunction.  Based on available animal data, statins may protect kidney against gentamicin-, cisplatin- and cyclosporine-induced nephrotoxicity, however, theses animal results have not yet been confirmed by human data.


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J Pharm Pharm Sci, 16 (4): 588-608, 2013

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