Introduction: Statins are the first line of therapy to reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) in order to decrease cardiovascular events. Pitavastatin is the latest statin to be introduced to the market. Areas covered: In this article, the authors review the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of pitavastatin. The authors also review a recent cardiovascular outcome study. Expert opinion: Pitavastatin produces dose-dependent reductions in LDL-C at lower doses than other statins. The maximum approved dose of 4 mg reduces LDL-C by about 40–49% in different patient groups and is equivalent to atorvastatin 20 mg in this effect. Pitavastatin undergoes minimal metabolism so drug–drug interactions are less likely than with many other statins, but it can interact with some drugs that inhibit drug transporters. Compared with other statins, it has been associated with greater increases in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and it was found to be less likely to cause new onset diabetes. In a recent study in Japanese patients with stable coronary artery disease, pitavastatin 4 mg was more effective than pitavastatin 1 mg in reducing cardiovascular events. Therefore, the highest dose may be preferred in high-risk patients.
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