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J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther. 1996 Apr;1(2):101-106.

A Comparison of the Tolerability and Efficacy of Lovastatin 20 mg and Fluvastatin 20 mg in the Treatment of Primary Hypercholesterolemia.

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  • 1Merck and Co., Inc., West Point, Pennsylvania, USA



To compare the cholesterol-lowering potency of fluvastatin and lovastatin, a randomized, prospective, open-label parallel study was conducted in patients eligible for drug therapy by National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines. The study was conducted at eight centers in the United States.


Patients were required to follow a cholesterol-lowering diet and were withdrawn from all lipid-lowering agents for 4 seeks prior to study entry. Patients were randomized to receive lovastatin 20 mg of fluvastatin 20 mg daily for 6 weeks. The two treatment groups were comparable with respect to demographic and clinical characteristics. Baseline lipid levels in the two groups were comparable. Lovastatin was significantly more effective than fluvastatin in lowering total cholesterol (-;19.5% vs -12.8%, P <.001) and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (-27.6% vs -18.2%, P <.001). Changes in high-density lipoprotein and triglyceride levels were comparable in the two groups. The differences in cholesterol lowering were similar in the three strata of coronary heart disease risk factor status as defined by the second NCEP Adult Treatment Panel. Both treatments were well tolerated.


Across the three chronic heart disease risk strata, lovastatin appears to be significantly more potent than fluvastatin, on a per milligram basis, in lowering cholesterol levels.

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