Sometimes, repurposing a medication can help solve problems totally unrelated to the original intent of that medication. A great example is the hair loss remedy Rogaine, which was initially intended to be a blood pressure medication!
A recent research study suggests that Simvastatin, a medication commonly used to treat heart patients, might help you get rid of venous ulcers. Remember, though, this is just one isolated study, and it is not necessarily reflective of the entire treatment possibilities of venous ulcers.
Chronic ulceration of the legs is a painful and distressing condition which affects 1% of the adult population and 3.6% of people older than 65 years. Furthermore it is an expensive problem resulting in the loss of 2 million working days and treatment costs of $3 billion per year in the U.S. These non-healing ulcers are debilitating and greatly reduce your quality of life. The most common cause is venous disease and, hence, the term “venous ulcers.”
Compression is considered a standard component of treatment for venous ulcers. The objective of this research project was to assess whether Simvastatin would help heal venous ulcers in addition to routine compression.
100% of patients who received the Simvastatin saw their ulcers measuring under 5 cm disappear completely and more quickly, compared to just 50% of those who received the placebo (“pretend medication”). 67% of the Simvastatin group with ulcers larger than 5 cm were healed, compared to none in the placebo group. The conclusion of the study is that Simvastatin, taken in 40 mg doses daily, along with standard wound care and compression, can result in greatly improved healing rates and shorter healing times. Also, the patient’s quality of life is much improved with the addition of Simvastatin, compared to just offering compression for management of venous ulcers.
Don’t forget: the vein condition that is the underlying cause for ulcers can be handled right in your doctor’s office! There’s generally no need for inpatient surgery or treatments.
While Simvastatin could possibly help cure your venous ulcers, more research into this option is required. It might just someday provide the extra help you need to get those legs back into shapely shape! Stay tuned for more research study results to come.