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Am J Cardiol. 2002 Nov 15;90(10):1084-91.

Efficacy and safety of ezetimibe added to ongoing statin therapy for treatment of patients with primary hypercholesterolemia.

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Chul du Chuq, Ste-Foy, Quebec, Canada.


Ezetimibe is a lipid-lowering drug that inhibits the intestinal absorption of dietary and biliary cholesterol by blocking passage across the intestinal wall. The efficacy and safety of adding ezetimibe to ongoing statin therapy in patients with primary hypercholesterolemia was evaluated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. The study group included 769 adults (aged > or =18 years) with primary hypercholesterolemia who had not achieved National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Adult Treatment Panel II goals with dietary alteration and statin monotherapy. Patients receiving a stable dose of a statin for > or =6 weeks were randomized to receive concurrent treatment with placebo (n = 390) or ezetimibe (n = 379), 10 mg/day, in addition to continuing their open-label statin for 8 weeks. The primary efficacy variable was the percent change in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol from baseline with statin monotherapy to end point after intervention (secondary variables: high-density lipoprotein [HDL] cholesterol and triglycerides). Ongoing statin therapy plus ezetimibe led to changes of -25.1% for LDL cholesterol (HDL cholesterol +2.7%; triglycerides -14.0%) compared with LDL cholesterol -3.7% (p <0.001), HDL cholesterol +1.0% (p <0.05), and triglycerides -2.9% (p <0.001) for placebo added to ongoing statin therapy. Among patients not at LDL cholesterol goal at on-statin baseline, 71.5% receiving statin plus ezetimibe versus 18.9% receiving statin plus placebo reached goal at end point (odds ratio 23.7; p <0.001). The co-administration of statin and ezetimibe was generally well tolerated. Adding ezetimibe to ongoing statin therapy led to substantial additional reduction in LDL cholesterol levels, facilitating attainment of NCEP goals. Ezetimibe offers a new therapeutic option for patients receiving statins who require further reduction in LDL cholesterol.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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