GPs ignore NICE lipid advice

GPs are ignoring NICE recommendations on statins because of concerns about tolerability of high-dose simvastatin, a survey suggests.

Credit: iStockphoto

Of 500 GPs questioned, 40% said they would not routinely increase simvastatin doses to 80mg for patients who do not reach lipid targets on a 40mg dose. Of these, 72% cited tolerability concerns as a reason for not switching patients.

NICE guidelines on lipid modification recommend that doctors should consider switching such patients to simvastatin 80mg or a drug of similar efficacy.

Over two thirds of the GPs questioned believed that more than 10% of patients on simvastatin 80mg experienced side-effects severe enough to affect their compliance with treatment.

Last week, GP reported findings suggesting that the 80mg dose of simvastatin increased patients’ risk of myopathy.

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