Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Cholesterol Drug Paired With Statin Lowers Cholesterol

Date:
April 29, 2003
Source:
American Heart Association
Summary:
Combining a new drug that impairs cholesterol absorption in the gut with a drug that impedes cholesterol production in the liver may deliver a one-two punch to lower bad cholesterol, researchers report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

DALLAS, April 29 – Combining a new drug that impairs cholesterol absorption in the gut with a drug that impedes cholesterol production in the liver may deliver a one-two punch to lower bad cholesterol, researchers report in today's rapid access issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Combining the cholesterol absorption-blocking drug ezetimibe and the cholesterol-lowering drug atorvastatin was significantly more effective at reducing concentrations of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, the so-called "bad" cholesterol, than either drug alone in a short-term multicenter study.

The 2001 National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) guidelines put optimal LDL at less than 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) in high-risk people. This means millions of Americans with diabetes, coronary heart disease or multiple risk factors are now recommended to reach this more aggressive target. "With the guidelines getting more and more aggressive, it is getting harder and harder to reach desirable levels," says lead investigator Christie M. Ballantyne, M.D., director of the Center for Cardiovascular Prevention at Methodist DeBakey Heart Center and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. "It is very hard to do that with a single drug. That is why it is great to have another option. This is the first new class of drugs in 15 years – since the introduction of statins – to effectively lower cholesterol."

The most potent and widely used class of cholesterol-lowering agents, statins, block cholesterol production in the liver. This study examined one drug in the statin class known as atorvastatin. Even at maximum dose, atorvastatin may fail to lower cholesterol to target levels in more than 25 percent of patients with high cholesterol. It can also be toxic to the liver at high doses.

In this study, researchers added the cholesterol absorption-blocker to examine whether this mechanism may complement a statin. Researchers studied 628 adults with high cholesterol. Their LDL cholesterol at the beginning of the 12-week study ranged from 145-250 mg/dL and their triglyceride levels were 350 mg/dL or less.

After a washout phase during which previous cholesterol-lowering agents were eliminated from their bodies, participants were randomly assigned to one of 10 treatment groups. On a daily basis, they received either a placebo or atorvastatin alone (10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg or 80 mg), or ezetimibe alone (10 mg), or ezetimibe (10 mg) plus atorvastatin (10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg or 80 mg) for 12 weeks.

Researchers report that ezetimibe plus atorvastatin lowered LDL cholesterol levels an additional 12 percent on average beyond what atorvastatin alone could provide. Any dose of atorvastatin plus ezetimibe reduced LDL 50 percent to 60 percent depending on the atorvastatin dose.

Combination therapy also was superior to statins alone in raising high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol – the so-called "good cholesterol," and in reducing levels of triglycerides and C-reactive protein (CRP). Adding ezetimibe did not increase side effects when compared with those of patients on atorvastatin, Ballantyne says. All drug regimens were well tolerated.

"Getting patients to the recommended targets has been a problem that physicians have been facing," he notes. "Using the most aggressive treatment available doesn't always work. "Atorvastatin helps; it just is not sufficient to get everyone to target by itself."

Ballantyne says increasing the dose of a statin isn't always effective. In the current study, he says, "the starting dose of atorvastatin (10 mg) plus ezetimibe gives you as much LDL cholesterol and triglyceride reduction as the maximum dose of atorvastatin (80 mg)."

Co-investigators are John Houri, M.D.; Alberto Notarbartolo, M.D.; Lorenzo Melani, M.D.; Leslie J. Lipka, M.D., Ph.D.; Ramachandran Suresh, Ph.D.; Steven Sun, Ph.D.; Alexandre P. LeBeaut, M.D.; Philip T. Sager, M.D.; and Enrico Veltri, M.D., for the Ezetimibe Study Group.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Heart Association. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Heart Association. "New Cholesterol Drug Paired With Statin Lowers Cholesterol." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 April 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030429083627.htm>.
American Heart Association. (2003, April 29). New Cholesterol Drug Paired With Statin Lowers Cholesterol. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030429083627.htm
American Heart Association. "New Cholesterol Drug Paired With Statin Lowers Cholesterol." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030429083627.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law

AP (July 22, 2014) — Two federal appeals courts issued conflicting rulings Tuesday on the legality of the federally-run healthcare exchange that operates in 36 states. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Why Do People Believe We Only Use 10 Percent Of Our Brains?

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — The new sci-fi thriller "Lucy" is making people question whether we really use all our brainpower. But, as scientists have insisted for years, we do. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Scientists Find New Way To Make Human Platelets

Newsy (July 22, 2014) — Boston scientists have discovered a new way to create fully functioning human platelets using a bioreactor and human stem cells. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

Gilead's $1000-a-Pill Drug Could Cure Hep C in HIV-Positive People

TheStreet (July 21, 2014) — New research shows Gilead Science's drug Sovaldi helps in curing hepatitis C in those who suffer from HIV. In a medical study, the combination of Gilead's Hep C drug with anti-viral drug Ribavirin cured 76% of HIV-positive patients suffering from the most common hepatitis C strain. Hepatitis C and related complications have been a top cause of death in HIV-positive patients. Typical medication used to treat the disease, including interferon proteins, tended to react badly with HIV drugs. However, Sovaldi's %1,000-a-pill price tag could limit the number of patients able to access the treatment. TheStreet's Keris Lahiff reports from New York. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins