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There are interactions between lipid metabolism and hepatitis C virus (HCV) which are still in study. The response to standard double or triple drug combination in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) is not ideal. This review focuses on the possibility of associating a statin to the treatment of these patients to improve outcomes. Statins inhibit not only 3- hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA reductase activity, but also the production of some farnesylated and geranyl-geranylated compounds, involved in signal transduction pathways and in HCV replication. Their effect is synergistic with that of interferon. Based on promising experimental studies, statins have been applied alone or in combination with standard therapy in several clinical trials. Their results range from no antivirus effect to a significant increase of the rate of sustained virological response (SVR). Statins are, in general, safe drugs. However, sometimes they can cause adverse effects, especially in liver, muscle or kidney. Only few patients develop an increase of aminotrasferases; this is believed to be related to lipid lowering, which is class characteristic, transient and often dose-related. The real liver toxicity of statins is rare. It is widely accepted today that statins are relatively safe drugs for the treatment of CHC, and as adjuvant, it is hoped that they will improve the treatment response.
Chronic hepatitis C, fluvastatin, hepatitis C virus, statins, sustained virological response