Statin formulations suggested for adults with swallowing difficulties

Karoline Brennan, Senior Medicines Information Pharmacist, North West Medicines Information CentrePublished

A range of statins are suitable for adults with swallowing difficulties.

Licensed medicines in suitable formulations

Simvastatin 20mg/5ml and 40mg/5ml oral suspensions

Available as licensed products. They do not require fridge storage and have an expiry of one month after opening.

Atorvastatin chewable tablets

Available as licensed products and may be suitable for some patients.

Licensed medicines used in an unlicensed manner

Atorvastatin, rosuvastatin and simvastatin tablets

Can be crushed and/or dispersed in water or crushed and given with soft food. They are film-coated and may taste bitter or unpleasant.

Pravastatin tablets

Can be crushed and/or dispersed in water or crushed and given with soft food. They are uncoated.

Fluvastatin capsules

May be opened, although 20mg capsules are small and fiddly, and dispersed in water or given with soft food. Note: Fluvastatin modified-release tablets must not be crushed and are not suitable in swallowing difficulties.

Special-order medicines

In view of the licensed simvastatin oral suspensions available, special-order preparations are unlikely to be required.