Could simvastatin be considered as a potential therapy for chronic lung diseases?

Introduction: Simvastatin (SV) is a drug from the statin class, currently used orally as an anti-cholesterolemic drug. It acts 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 will summaries the evidences of SV as a potential anti- inflammatory, anti-oxidant and muco-inhibitory agent, administered both orally and via pulmonary inhalation, and discuss its pro and cons. These evidences 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 localised treatment of lung diseases where inflammation and oxidative stress production is present.