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A multicenter, randomized, double-blind clinical trial comparing the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol-lowering ability of lovastatin 10, 20, and 40 mg/d with fluvastatin 20 and 40 mg/d.

Author(s): Davidson MH, Palmisano J, Wilson H, Liss C, Dicklin MR

Affiliation(s): Radiant Research-Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60610, USA. michaeldavidson@radiantresearch.com

Publication date & source: 2003-11, Clin Ther., 25(11):2738-53.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial

BACKGROUND: The available statin drugs have similar pharmacodynamic properties but are not equal in low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C)-lowering efficacy. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to compare the effects of lovastatin and fluvastatin in lowering LDL-C. METHODS: This was a prospective, randomized, double-blind study of patients aged >20 years with primary hypercholesterolemia conducted at 44 clinical sites across the United States. After a 6-week National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Step I diet lead-in period in patients taking lipid-lowering drugs at screening, patients were randomized to receive lovastatin 10, 20, or 40 mg/d or fluvastatin 20 or 40 mg/d (the doses available at the time the study was conducted) for 6 weeks. Patients not taking lipid-lowering drugs at screening and who had been following the Step I diet for at least 6 weeks proceeded to the treatment phase. All patients received instruction for a Step I diet, which they followed throughout the treatment phase. After the treatment period, total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), LDL-C, and triglycerides were measured, and TC:HDL-C and LDL-C:HDL-C ratios were calculated. RESULTS: A total of 838 patients (476 men, 362 women; mean [SD] age, 59 [12] years) were included in the study. Lovastatin 20 and 40 mg/d significantly reduced mean LDL-C compared with the same dosages of fluvastatin. TC and the LDL-C:HDL-C ratio decreased more with lovastatin than with fluvastatin at a given dose level. Approximately 50% of patients treated with lovastatin 20 and 40 mg/d compared with approximately 25% treated with fluvastatin 20 and 40 mg/d reached NCEP Adult Treatment Panel II LDL-C goals. CONCLUSION: In this small study population of patients with primary hypercholesterolemia taking lipid-lowering drugs, short-term (6-week) treatment with lovastatin was more efficacious than fluvastatin in lowering cholesterol levels and reaching LDL-C treatment goals.

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