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Int J Clin Pract. 2008 Dec;62(12):1959-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-1241.2008.01938.x.

Lipid-modifying efficacy and tolerability of extended-release niacin/laropiprant in patients with primary hypercholesterolaemia or mixed dyslipidaemia.

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Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, NJ 07065, USA.



Improving lipids beyond low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) lowering with statin monotherapy may further reduce cardiovascular risk. Niacin has complementary lipid-modifying efficacy to statins and cardiovascular benefit, but is underutilised because of flushing, mediated primarily by prostaglandin D(2) (PGD(2)). Laropiprant (LRPT), a PGD(2) receptor (DP1) antagonist that reduces niacin-induced flushing has been combined with extended-release niacin (ERN) into a fixed-dose tablet.


Dyslipidaemic patients were randomised to ERN/LRPT 1 g (n = 800), ERN 1 g (n = 543) or placebo (n = 270) for 4 weeks. Doses were doubled (2 tablets/day; i.e. 2 g for active treatments) for 20 weeks. ERN/LRPT 2 g produced significant changes vs. placebo in LDL-C (-18.4%), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C; 20.0%), LDL-C:HDL-C (-31.2%), non-HDL-C (-19.8%), triglycerides (TG; -25.8%), apolipoprotein (Apo) B (-18.8%), Apo A-I (6.9%), total cholesterol (TC; -8.5%), TC:HDL-C (-23.1%) and lipoprotein(a) (-20.8%) across weeks 12-24. ERN/LRPT produced significantly less flushing than ERN during initiation (week 1) and maintenance (weeks 2-24) for all prespecified flushing end-points (incidence, intensity and discontinuation because of flushing). Except for flushing, ERN/LRPT had a safety/tolerability profile comparable with ERN.


Extended-release niacin/LRPT 2 g produced significant, durable improvements in multiple lipid/lipoprotein parameters. The improved tolerability of ERN/LRPT supports a simplified 1 g-->2 g dosing regimen of niacin, a therapy proven to reduce cardiovascular risk.


[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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