Association of Statin Therapy With Risk of Epilepsy in 2 Propensity Score–Matched Cohorts

Lakshya U. Trivedi, Carlos A. Alvarez, Ishak A. Mansi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Studies have suggested that statins may have a neuroprotective effect against epilepsy. However, evidence from rat models and case reports have suggested an opposite effect. Overall data are limited. Objective: To examine the association between statin use and epilepsy risk in a general population and in a healthy population (individuals with no severe comorbidities). Methods: Patients were Tricare beneficiaries from October 2003 to March 2012. Based on patients’ characteristics during baseline phase (fiscal year [FY] 2004-2005), 2 propensity score (PS)-matched cohorts of statin users and nonusers were formed: (1) a PS-matched general cohort and (2) a PS-matched healthy cohort. Our outcome was defined using inpatient or outpatient ICD-9 codes for epilepsy during the follow-up phase (FY 2006 to March 2012) in the cohorts of statin users and nonusers. Results: The study included a total of 43 438 patients (13 626 statin users and 29 812 nonusers). The PS-matched general cohort matched 6342 statin users to 6342 nonusers; the odds ratio (OR) of epilepsy in this cohort during follow-up was 0.91; 95% CI = 0.67-1.23. The PS-matched healthy cohort matched 3351 statin users to 3351 nonusers; OR in the PS-matched healthy cohort during follow-up was 1.08; 95% CI = 0.64-1.83. Conclusions: This study did not demonstrate a significant beneficial or deleterious effect of statin use on risk of being diagnosed with epilepsy. Clinicians should not withhold statins, whenever indicated, in patients with epilepsy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)546-553
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Pharmacotherapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018


  • epilepsy
  • neuroprotection
  • statins

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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