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J Lipid Res. 2009 Oct;50(10):2117-23. doi: 10.1194/jlr.P900004-JLR200. Epub 2009 Apr 20.

Changes in cholesterol absorption and cholesterol synthesis caused by ezetimibe and/or simvastatin in men.

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Institute of Clinical Chemistry and Pharmacology, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany.


This study evaluates changes in cholesterol balance in hypercholesterolemic subjects following treatment with an inhibitor of cholesterol absorption or cholesterol synthesis or coadministration of both agents. This was a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, four-period crossover study to evaluate the effects of coadministering 10 mg ezetimibe with 20 mg simvastatin (ezetimibe/simvastatin) on cholesterol absorption and synthesis relative to either drug alone or placebo in 41 subjects. Each treatment period lasted 7 weeks. Ezetimibe and ezetimibe/simvastatin decreased fractional cholesterol absorption by 65% and 59%, respectively (P < 0.001 for both relative to placebo). Simvastatin did not significantly affect cholesterol absorption. Ezetimibe and ezetimibe/simvastatin increased fecal sterol excretion (corrected for dietary cholesterol), which also represents net steady state cholesterol synthesis, by 109% and 79%, respectively (P < 0.001). Ezetimibe, simvastatin, and ezetimibe/simvastatin decreased plasma LDL-cholesterol by 20, 38, and 55%, respectively. The coadministered therapy was well tolerated. The decreases in net cholesterol synthesis and increased fecal sterol excretion yielded nearly additive reductions in LDL-cholesterol for the coadministration of ezetimibe and simvastatin.

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