Effects of statin therapies on individuals taking antipsychotics: a systematic review

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Patients taking antipsychotics to treat severe mental illness may develop adverse effects such as dyslipidaemia. We aimed to provide an update to a previous systematic review showing statin therapy lowering lipid levels in individuals taking antipsychotics, while further identifying any safety concerns or changes in BMI or blood pressure. In August 2022, we searched MEDLINE, Embase, PsycINFO, PubMed and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials for studies on the effects of statins on lipid profile measures for individuals with severe mental illness taking first- or second-generation antipsychotic medications. Data extraction was performed in a masked duplicate fashion. On the basis of article type, the risk of bias in each study was assessed using ROBINS-I or RoB-2. The GRADE criteria were used for certainty assessment. Our initial search returned 396 articles, of which 6 were included in our analysis. Five of them (83.3%) identified a significant change between baseline and posttreatment lipids. Of the articles recording blood pressure, BMI or weight and significant safety concerns, no significant changes were found. The certainty assessment for this systematic review was rated as moderate. A meta-analysis was not performed. We found that studies continue to demonstrate the use of statin therapy in dyslipidaemia prevention and treatment and, in relation, decrease cardiovascular disease risk through significantly reduced LDL-C levels. Patients at risk of developing dyslipidaemias secondary to antipsychotic treatment should be considered for lipid-lowering therapy with a statin. The limited number of studies included and their heterogeneity demonstrate areas for improvement for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-487
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2023


  • antipsychotic medications
  • cardiovascular prevention
  • dyslipidaemia
  • severe mental illness
  • statins


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