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J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 1997 Jul;30(1):142-7.

Crossover trial of simvastatin versus pravastatin in patients with primary hypercholesterolemia.

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  • 1Second Department of Medicine, Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine, Japan.


The effects of simvastatin and pravastatin administered alone at initial doses of 5 and 10 mg/day, respectively, on normalization of abnormal lipid metabolism in patients with hypercholesterolemia were evaluated by a crossover method. Patients whose serum levels of total cholesterol (TC) were > or = 220 mg/dl were randomly divided into two groups, and one of the groups (group S-P: 17 patients) was treated with simvastatin first and then with pravastatin whereas the other group (group P-S: 19 patients) was treated with pravastatin first and then with simvastatin. Simvastatin or pravastatin was replaced with the other drug after 8-week administration in each group. These drugs were administered for 8 weeks each. Simvastatin and pravastatin significantly reduced the following serum lipids as compared with the levels in the observation period: TC by 23.2 +/- 8.1% and 18.1 +/- 10.9%, triglyceride (TG) by 13.0 +/- 24.7% and 5.8 +/- 47.1%, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) by 31.3 +/- 10.1% and 23.1 +/- 14.3%, respectively. TC and LDL-C levels were significantly (p < 0.001) lower and decreased to significantly (p < 0.001) greater degrees after simvastatin treatment than after pravastatin treatment. TC was normalized in 77.8% of the patients (28 of 36) after simvastatin treatment and in 68.9% of the patients (23 of 36) after pravastatin treatment. LDL-C was normalized in 63.9% of the patients (23 of 36) after simvastatin treatment and in 44.4% of the patients (16 of 36) after pravastatin treatment. The percentage of patients whose LDL-C was normalized by simvastatin was significantly (p < 0.05) higher as compared with pravastatin. Results of this trial, which was conducted by a crossover method, show that the initial dose of simvastatin reduces serum cholesterol and LDL-C more potently than the initial dose of pravastatin in patients with hypercholesterolemia.

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