Journal article

Statins can induce myasthenia gravis

Jesse Gale, Helen V Danesh-Meyer

JOURNAL OF CLINICAL NEUROSCIENCE | ELSEVIER SCI LTD | Published : 2014

Abstract

The 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors, or statins, are commonly prescribed for prevention of cardiovascular morbidity. A rare side effect of statin medication is the induction of autoimmune illnesses, including myasthenia gravis (myasthenia). Here we present two patients with seropositive myasthenia that developed 4 weeks after initiation of atorvastatin, increasing the total reported patients to seven. Reviewing recent literature we highlight the connections between statins, auto-immunity and myasthenia. Statins may favour T-cell phenotypes that reduce cell-mediated immunity but could increase antibody-mediated humoral immunity.