Review-SI 2016; 2016:e00126

Science Insights, 19 March 2016
Volume 2016
Doi: 10.15354/si.16.re126
Review (Narrative)
Atorvastatin and Kidney: the Pros and Cons of the Cholesterol Killer
Abel Hawkes, PharmD*; Karen Lynn Kristoff, PhD*,∆
Author Affiliations
*: Cardiovascular Institute, Department of Medicine, The Sages Pharmaceutics, Grahamstown, 6139, South Africa
∆: Correspondence to: Dr. Karen Lynn Kristoff,,  Email:


Atorvastatin, one of the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors, takes effect on regulating the level of cholesterol. It is beneficial in most of the cases like preventing stoke and coronary heart disease. Whereas it has been noted that atorvastatin can the breakdown of the tissues in the skeletal muscle thus leading to the kidney failure. Atorvastatin itself or in combination with other drugs can result in toxin effect on non-targeted organs. We should be cautious when prescribe this drug with thorough evaluation and careful consideration. Individualized or personalized usage of atorvastatin should be an evidence-based manner. Kidneys, as the outlet of the wastes from cellular metabolism, have been shown that function as the causing aspect of many other diseases due to the problem of its blood vessels narrowing which eventually results in piling up of the disease-causing wastes. The fact that the kidney is not able to function normally and extract the waste in the body like cholesterol means that the cholesterol in the body blood vessel will be deposited on the wall. Even atorvastatin functions as the killer of cholesterol, it still should be cautious when prescribe this drug to patients with reduced renal function, especially to those with chronic kidney disease, because of its nephritic toxic effect.

KeywordsHMG-CoA reductase inhibitor; Atorvastatin; Cholesterol; Kidney; Toxicity