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Clin Ther. 1993 Jan-Feb;15(1):57-64.

Long-term experience with pravastatin in clinical research trials.

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  • 1Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Princeton, New Jersey.


Pravastatin is a new lipid-lowering drug belonging to the class of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA (HMG-CoA) reductase inhibitors. Since 1986, more than 15,000 patients have received pravastatin in sponsored clinical research trials with more than 21,000 cumulative patient-years of exposure to the drug. Analysis of long-term follow-up data from 1142 patients participating between 1986 and 1990 in six core randomized clinical trials in the United States confirms the favorable safety profile of pravastatin. Rash, gastrointestinal complaints, musculoskeletal pain, and elevations in liver transaminase levels, whether or not attributed to treatment, were the most common reasons for patients withdrawing from these trials. Ophthalmologic monitoring revealed no adverse effects on the crystalline lens. Safety assessments continue for two core trials in more than 400 patients with up to 7 years of continuous follow-up. The effects of pravastatin on serum cholesterol levels are not influenced by the age, sex, weight, or initial cholesterol level of the patient. Vitamin E, A, and D metabolism remain normal during treatment. Combination therapy with pravastatin and bile-acid-binding resins or niacin is well tolerated, with additive effects on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. There is limited experience with the combination of pravastatin and gemfibrozil or cyclosporine. An ongoing arteriosclerosis research program with more than 21,000 patients enrolled will further define the long-term safety of pravastatin and its effects on atherosclerosis progression, as well as its role in the primary and secondary prevention of coronary heart disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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