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Am J Cardiol. 2002 Mar 15;89(6):672-8.

Long-term safety and efficacy of a once-daily niacin/lovastatin formulation for patients with dyslipidemia.

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Veterans Affairs Healthcare System, Long Beach, California 90822, USA.


Combination therapy is increasingly recommended for patients with multiple lipid disorders, especially those at high risk for coronary events. We investigated the long-term safety and effectiveness of a new drug formulation containing once-daily extended-release niacin and lovastatin. A total of 814 men and women (mean age 59 years) with dyslipidemia were enrolled in a 52-week multicenter, open-label study. We used 4 escalating doses (niacin/lovastatin in milligrams): 500/10 for the first month, 1,000/20 for the second, 1,500/30 for the third, and 2,000/40 for the fourth month through week 52. Dose-dependent effects were observed for all major lipid parameters. At week 16, mean low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides were reduced by 47% and 41%, respectively; mean high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol was increased by 30% (all p <0.001). LDL/HDL cholesterol and total/HDL cholesterol ratios were also decreased by 58% and 48%, respectively. These effects persisted through week 52, except for the mean increase in HDL cholesterol, which had increased to 41% at 1 year. Lipoprotein (a) and C-reactive protein also decreased in a dose-related manner (by 25% and 24%, respectively, on 2,000/40 mg; p <0.01 vs baseline). Treatment was generally well tolerated. The most common adverse event was flushing, which caused 10% of patients to withdraw. Other adverse events included gastrointestinal upset, pruritus, rash, and headache. Drug-induced myopathy did not occur in any patient. The incidence of elevated liver enzymes to >3 times the upper limit of normal was 0.5%. Once-daily niacin/lovastatin exhibits substantial effects on multiple lipid risk factors and represents a significant new treatment option in the management of dyslipidemia.

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