Approximately 95% of statin-treated patients tolerate this form of cholesterol management without any adverse effects. However, given their efficacy in reducing low density lipoproteins and cardiovascular events large numbers of patients are selected for statin therapy. Therefore muscle complications are, in fact, quite common. Limited understanding of the underlying pathophysiology has hampered physicians' ability to identify patients at risk for developing statin myotoxicity. A growing number of published case reports/series have implicated statins in the exacerbation of both acquired and genetic myopathies. A clinical management algorithm is presented which outlines a variety of co-morbidities which can potentiate the adverse effects of statins on muscle. In addition, a rational approach to the selection of those patients most likely to benefit from skeletal muscle biopsy is discussed. Ongoing work will define the extent to which statin-intolerant patients represent carriers of recessive metabolic myopathies or pre-symptomatic acquired myopathies. The expanding importance of pharmacogenomics will undoubtedly be realized in the field of statin myopathy research within the next few years. Such critical information is needed to establish more definitive management and diagnostic strategies.