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Comparison of the effects of pravastatin and lovastatin on sleep disturbance in hypercholesterolemic subjects.

Author(s): Ehrenberg BL, Lamon-Fava S, Corbett KE, McNamara JR, Dallal GE, Schaefer EJ

Affiliation(s): Department of Neurology, New England Medical Center, Boston, Mass. 02111, USA.

Publication date & source: 1999-02-01, Sleep., 22(1):117-21.

Publication type: Clinical Trial; Randomized Controlled Trial

We have studied the effects of two cholesterol-lowering medications, lovastatin and pravastatin, on different sleep parameters in hypercholesterolemic subjects. These medications are 3-hydroxy-methylglutaryl coenzyme A inhibitors. Only subjects who had complained of sleep disturbance while on previous treatment with lovastatin were enrolled. Sixteen subjects (11 men and 5 women) underwent a randomized, double-blind, three-way crossover treatment with lovastatin, pravastatin, and placebo. Each phase of the study lasted 4 weeks. A placebo wash-out period of 4 weeks separated each treatment phase. At the end of each treatment phase, subjects were admitted to the sleep laboratory for 2 consecutive nights. No statistical differences were detected during treatment with lovastatin, pravastatin, and placebo for sleep parameters such as total sleep time, total awake time, wake time after sleep onset, efficiency of sleep, and percent of different phases of sleep. Our study suggests that lovastatin and pravastatin do not have a significant effect on sleep parameters in hypercholesterolemic subjects that could explain their complaints of insomnia. Nevertheless, the subjects did have moderate sleep disturbances that could account for insomnia and most likely predate the use of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors.

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