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J Intern Med. 2009 May;265(5):568-80. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2796.2008.02062.x. Epub 2008 Dec 28.

Ezetimibe monotherapy for cholesterol lowering in 2,722 people: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.

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1
Health Economics and Decision Science, School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK. a.pandor@sheffield.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To study the evidence on the efficacy and safety of ezetimibe monotherapy for the treatment of primary (heterozygous familial and non-familial) hypercholesterolaemia.

DESIGN:

Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs).

METHODS:

Eleven electronic bibliographic databases covering the biomedical, scientific and grey literature were searched from inception and supplemented by contact with experts in the field. Two reviewers independently determined the eligibility of RCTs, with a minimum treatment duration of 12 weeks, which compared ezetimibe monotherapy (10 mg per day) with placebo.

RESULTS:

In the absence of data from clinical outcome trials, surrogate endpoints such as changes in lipid concentrations were used as indicators of clinical outcomes. A meta-analysis of eight randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials (all 12 weeks) showed that ezetimibe monotherapy was associated with a statistically significant mean reduction in LDL cholesterol (from baseline to endpoint) of -18.58%, (95% CI: -19.67 to -17.48, P < 0.00001) compared with placebo. Significant (P < 0.00001) changes were also found in total cholesterol (-13.46%, 95% CI: -14.22 to -12.70), HDL cholesterol (3.00%, 95% CI: 2.06-3.94) and triglyceride levels (-8.06%, 95% CI: -10.92 to -5.20). Ezetimibe monotherapy appeared to be well tolerated with a safety profile similar to placebo.

CONCLUSIONS:

In a meta-analysis restricted to short-term trials in hypercholesterolaemia, significant potentially favourable changes in lipid and lipoprotein levels relative to baseline occurred with ezetimibe monotherapy. Further long-term studies with cardiovascular and other clinical outcome data are needed to assess the efficacy and safety of ezetimibe more fully.

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