Pleiotropy (drugs)

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In pharmacology, pleiotropy refers to a drug's actions, usually unanticipated, other than those for which the agent was specifically developed.[1] It may include adverse effects which are detrimental ones,[1] but is often used to denote additional beneficial effects.[2]

For example, statins are HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors that primarily act by decreasing cholesterol synthesis, but which are believed to have other beneficial effects, including acting as antioxidants and stabilizing atherosclerotic plaques.[1]

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  1. ^ a b c Davignon J (June 2004). "Beneficial cardiovascular pleiotropic effects of statins". Circulation. 109 (23 Suppl 1): III39–43. doi:10.1161/01.CIR.0000131517.20177.5a. PMID 15198965. 
  2. ^ Rod Flower; Humphrey P. Rang; Maureen M. Dale; Ritter, James M. (2007). Rang & Dale's pharmacology. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone. ISBN 0-443-06911-5.