(usually as a calcium salt) is a novel member of the medication
class of statins
. Like the other statins, it is an inhibitor of HMG-CoA reductase
, the enzyme
that catalyses the first step of cholesterol
synthesis. It has been available in Japan since 2003, and is being marketed under licence in South Korea
and in India
. It is likely that pitavastatin will be approved for use in hypercholesterolaemia
(elevated levels of cholesterol in the blood) and for the prevention of cardiovascular disease
outside South and Southeast Asia as well.
Like the other statins, pitavastatin is indicated for hypercholesterolaemia
(elevated cholesterol) and for the prevention of cardiovascular disease
Common statin-related side-effects (headaches, stomach upset, abnormal liver function tests
and muscle cramps) were similar to other statins.
Metabolism and interactions
Most statins are metabolised in part by one or more hepatic cytochrome P450
enzymes, leading to an increased potential for drug interactions
and problems with certain foods (such as grapefruit
juice). Pitavastatin appears to be a substrate of CYP2C9
, and not CYP3A4
(which is a common source of interactions in other statins).
Pitavastatin (previously known as itavastatin, itabavastin, nisvastatin, NK-104 or NKS-104) was discovered in Japan
by Nissan Chemical Industries, Ltd.
and developed further by Kowa Pharmaceuticals