Pitavastatin is just another statin drug, meaning it is a reductase inhibitor, designed to reduce cholesterol by the blocking of the mevalonate pathway. It was developed in Japan in 2003 at about the same time Crestor was being developed and marketed in the United States.
Because pitavastatin was developed based partially upon a slight variation from other statins in how it is metabolized in the human body, the original expectations were that it might be a useful alternative when certain side effects preclude the use of other statins.
Unfortunately, the pharmacologic minutiae of just how a drug is metabolized has little or nothing to do with the side effect profile of the statin class of drugs. Such cognitive side effects as amnesia, confusion, disorientation, forgetfulness and dementia are based on glial cell inhibition - the brain's mechanism for producing the cholesterol vital for memory function.
This is a direct result of mevalonate pathway blockade and will be as true for pitavastatin as any other statin. The same can be said for lack of energy, myopathy, neuropathy and the spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases associated with statin use and based upon the inevitable reduction of CoQ10 from statin blockade.
Pitavastatin must do this just like all the other statins. Similarly, the interference with neuropeptide synthesis and glycoprotein formation due to dolichol interference is a consequence of all statins. Neuropeptides are called the molecules of emotion by neuroscientist Candace Pert, and are responsible for the emotional and behavioral changes, such as depression, aggressiveness, rage and homicidal ideation observed with statin use. Pitavastatin is no exception.
Pitavastatin is currently primarily used in China, Korea, Japan and India. Pitavastatin is marketed under the trade names Livalo and Pitava.
Duane Graveline MD MPH
Former USAF Flight Surgeon
Former NASA Astronaut
Retired Family Doctor