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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2008 Apr 22;51(16):1564-72. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2008.03.003.

Lipid-altering efficacy and safety of ezetimibe/simvastatin coadministered with extended-release niacin in patients with type IIa or type IIb hyperlipidemia.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.



This study evaluated the safety and lipid-altering efficacy of ezetimibe/simvastatin (E/S) coadministered with extended-release niacin (N) in patients with type IIa or IIb hyperlipidemia.


Current guidelines recommend consideration of combination drug therapy to achieve optimal low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) lowering and broader lipid-altering effects when treating hypercholesterolemic patients at high risk for atherosclerotic cardiovascular events.


In this 24-week multicenter, randomized, double-blind study, 1,220 type IIa or IIb hyperlipidemic patients were randomized to treatment with E/S (10/20 mg/day) + N (titrated to 2 g/day), or N (titrated to 2 g/day), or E/S (10/20 mg/day). Changes from baseline in LDL-C (primary) and other secondary variables were assessed in the completers and modified intent-to-treat populations.


Coadministered E/S with N resulted in significantly greater reductions in LDL-C, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, triglycerides, apolipoprotein B, and lipid/lipoprotein ratios, compared with either agent alone (p < 0.001). The combination increased levels of apolipoprotein A-I and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol significantly more than E/S (p < 0.001), and reduced high-sensitivity C-reactive protein levels significantly more than N (p = 0.005). A significantly greater percentage of patients discontinued the study in the N (25.0%) and N + E/S (23.3%) groups, compared with E/S (9.6%, p < 0.001) because of clinical adverse experiences (primarily flushing). Incidences of other clinical and laboratory adverse experiences (liver-, muscle-, and gastrointestinal-related) were similar for all groups.


Combination treatment with E/S plus N showed superior lipid-altering efficacy compared with N or E/S in type IIa or IIb hyperlipidemia patients and was generally well tolerated aside from N-associated flushing. This combination offers an effective, broad, lipid-altering therapy with improvements in lipid effects beyond LDL-C in these patients. (To Evaluate Ezetimibe/Simvastatin and Niacin [Extended Release Tablet] in Patients With High Cholesterol.


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