Secondary Dyslipidemia: Inadvertent Effects of Drugs in Clinical Practice

Yaakov Henkin, Jackson A. Como, Albert Oberman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Objective.—To examine the available literature on commonly prescribed drugs and their effects on blood lipid and lipoprotein levels. Data Sources.—The review was based on searches of English-language articles from 1975 to 1990 by Medlars II and MEDLINE programs, the Index Medicus for 1980 to 1990, and references from identified articles. Relevant journals published within the last 6 months were also examined. Study Selection.—More than 500 articles were identified for inclusion. Articles were selected on the basis of appropriateness of design to demonstrate significant results, determined by consensus when necessary. Data Extraction.—Studies were classified according to type (observational or interventional), length of follow-up, and type of controls. Quanitative analysis of lipid, lipoprotein, and apoprotein changes induced by drugs was computed as the percentage of change observed during the course of the study (interventional) or compared with the controls at a given time (observational). Data Synthesis.—Steroid hormones that have strong progestogenic and androgenic properties, retinoids, cyclosporine A, and phenothiazines are potentially atherogenic. Steroid hormones with dominant estrogenic properties, several anticonvulsants, biguanides, high-dose ketoconazole, and aminosalicylic acid are potentially antiatherogenic. Corticosteroids appear to elevate all the lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Oral estrogens, retinoids, and corticosteroids also can elevate triglyceride levels. Other drugs with questionable effects on lipoprotein metabolism are reviewed. Conclusion.—Although the long-term implications of drug-induced lipoprotein changes are still undefined, physicians need to consider these effects in clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)961-968
Number of pages8
JournalJAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association
Issue number7
StatePublished - 19 Feb 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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