Also Known As: Baycol, Cerivastatin, Lipobay
Cerivastatin (brand names: Baycol, Lipobay) is a synthetic member of the class of statins used to lower cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular disease. It was marketed by the pharmaceutical company Bayer A.G. in the late 1990s, competing with Pfizer's highly successful atorvastatin (Lipitor). Cerivastatin was voluntarily withdrawn from the market worldwide in 2001, due to reports of fatal rhabdomyolysis.
During post-marketing surveillance, 52 deaths were reported in patients using cerivastatin, mainly from rhabdomyolysis and its resultant renal failure. Risks were higher in patients using fibrates, mainly gemfibrozil (Lopid), and in patients using the highest (0.8 mg/day) dose of cerivastatin. Bayer A.G. added contraindication about the concomitant use of cerivastatin and gemfibrozil to the package 18 months after the drug interaction was found. Frequency of deadly incidents of rhabdomyolysis with cerivastatin was 16 to 80 times higher than with other statins. Another 385 nonfatal cases of rhabdomyolysis were reported. This put the risk of this (rare) complication at 5-10 times that of the other statins. Cerivastatin also induced myopathy in a dose-dependent manner when administrated as monotherapy, but that was revealed only after Bayer was sued and unpublished company documents were opened.