Could simvastatin be considered as a potential therapy for chronic lung diseases? A debate on the pros and cons

Alaa S. Tulbah, Hui Xin Ong, Paolo Colombo, Paul M. Young, Daniela Traini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Simvastatin (SV) is a drug from the statin class, currently used orally as an anti-cholesterolemic drug. It inhibits the 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-Coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase to reduce cholesterol synthesis. Recently, it has been found that SV also has several other protective pharmacological actions unrelated to its anti-cholesterol effects that might be beneficial in the treatment of chronic airway diseases.

Areas covered: This review summarizes the evidence relating to SV as a potential anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and muco-inhibitory agent, administered both orally and via pulmonary inhalation, and discusses its pro and cons. Evidence could potentially be used to support the delivery of SV as inhaled formulation for the treatment of chronic respiratory diseases.

Expert opinion: The use of SV as anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and muco-inhibitory agent for drug delivery to the lung is promising. Inhaled SV formulations could allow the delivery profile to be customized and optimized to take advantage of the rapid onset of action, low systemic side effect and improved physico-chemical stability. This treatment could potentially to be used clinically for the localized treatment of lung diseases where inflammation and oxidative stress production is present.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1407-1420
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Opinion on Drug Delivery
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Simvastatin
  • anti-inflammatory
  • anti-oxidant
  • muco-inhibitory
  • stability
  • respiratory diseases


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