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Lipitor (Atorvastatin Calcium) - Description and Clinical Pharmacology



LIPITOR is a synthetic lipid-lowering agent. Atorvastatin is an inhibitor of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase. This enzyme catalyzes the conversion of HMG-CoA to mevalonate, an early and rate-limiting step in cholesterol biosynthesis.

Atorvastatin calcium is [R-(R*, R*)]-2-(4-fluorophenyl)-ß, δ-dihydroxy-5-(1-methylethyl)-3-phenyl-4-[(phenylamino)carbonyl]-1H-pyrrole-1-heptanoic acid, calcium salt (2:1) trihydrate. The empirical formula of atorvastatin calcium is (C33H34 FN2O5)2Ca•3H2O and its molecular weight is 1209.42. Its structural formula is:

Atorvastatin calcium is a white to off-white crystalline powder that is insoluble in aqueous solutions of pH 4 and below. Atorvastatin calcium is very slightly soluble in distilled water, pH 7.4 phosphate buffer, and acetonitrile; slightly soluble in ethanol; and freely soluble in methanol.

LIPITOR Tablets for oral administration contain 10, 20, 40, or 80 mg atorvastatin and the following inactive ingredients: calcium carbonate, USP; candelilla wax, FCC; croscarmellose sodium, NF; hydroxypropyl cellulose, NF; lactose monohydrate, NF; magnesium stearate, NF; microcrystalline cellulose, NF; Opadry White YS-1-7040 (hypromellose, polyethylene glycol, talc, titanium dioxide); polysorbate 80, NF; simethicone emulsion.


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Mechanism of Action

LIPITOR is a selective, competitive inhibitor of HMG-CoA reductase, the rate-limiting enzyme that converts 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A to mevalonate, a precursor of sterols, including cholesterol. Cholesterol and triglycerides circulate in the bloodstream as part of lipoprotein complexes. With ultracentrifugation, these complexes separate into HDL (high-density lipoprotein), IDL (intermediate-density lipoprotein), LDL (low-density lipoprotein), and VLDL (very-low-density lipoprotein) fractions. Triglycerides (TG) and cholesterol in the liver are incorporated into VLDL and released into the plasma for delivery to peripheral tissues. LDL is formed from VLDL and is catabolized primarily through the high-affinity LDL receptor. Clinical and pathologic studies show that elevated plasma levels of total cholesterol (total-C), LDL-cholesterol (LDL-C), and apolipoprotein B (apo B) promote human atherosclerosis and are risk factors for developing cardiovascular disease, while increased levels of HDL-C are associated with a decreased cardiovascular risk.

In animal models, LIPITOR lowers plasma cholesterol and lipoprotein levels by inhibiting HMG-CoA reductase and cholesterol synthesis in the liver and by increasing the number of hepatic LDL receptors on the cell surface to enhance uptake and catabolism of LDL; LIPITOR also reduces LDL production and the number of LDL particles. LIPITOR reduces LDL-C in some patients with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (FH), a population that rarely responds to other lipid-lowering medication(s).

A variety of clinical studies have demonstrated that elevated levels of total-C, LDL-C, and apo B (a membrane complex for LDL-C) promote human atherosclerosis. Similarly, decreased levels of HDL-C (and its transport complex, apo A) are associated with the development of atherosclerosis. Epidemiologic investigations have established that cardiovascular morbidity and mortality vary directly with the level of total-C and LDL-C, and inversely with the level of HDL-C.

LIPITOR reduces total-C, LDL-C, and apo B in patients with homozygous and heterozygous FH, nonfamilial forms of hypercholesterolemia, and mixed dyslipidemia. LIPITOR also reduces VLDL-C and TG and produces variable increases in HDL-C and apolipoprotein A-1. LIPITOR reduces total-C, LDL-C, VLDL-C, apo B, TG, and non-HDL-C, and increases HDL-C in patients with isolated hypertriglyceridemia. LIPITOR reduces intermediate density lipoprotein cholesterol (IDL-C) in patients with dysbetalipoproteinemia.

Like LDL, cholesterol-enriched triglyceride-rich lipoproteins, including VLDL, intermediate density lipoprotein (IDL), and remnants, can also promote atherosclerosis. Elevated plasma triglycerides are frequently found in a triad with low HDL-C levels and small LDL particles, as well as in association with non-lipid metabolic risk factors for coronary heart disease. As such, total plasma TG has not consistently been shown to be an independent risk factor for CHD. Furthermore, the independent effect of raising HDL or lowering TG on the risk of coronary and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality has not been determined.


LIPITOR, as well as some of its metabolites, are pharmacologically active in humans. The liver is the primary site of action and the principal site of cholesterol synthesis and LDL clearance. Drug dosage, rather than systemic drug concentration, correlates better with LDL-C reduction. Individualization of drug dosage should be based on therapeutic response [see Dosage and Administration (2) ].


Absorption: LIPITOR is rapidly absorbed after oral administration; maximum plasma concentrations occur within 1 to 2 hours. Extent of absorption increases in proportion to LIPITOR dose. The absolute bioavailability of atorvastatin (parent drug) is approximately 14% and the systemic availability of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitory activity is approximately 30%. The low systemic availability is attributed to presystemic clearance in gastrointestinal mucosa and/or hepatic first-pass metabolism. Although food decreases the rate and extent of drug absorption by approximately 25% and 9%, respectively, as assessed by Cmax and AUC, LDL-C reduction is similar whether LIPITOR is given with or without food. Plasma LIPITOR concentrations are lower (approximately 30% for Cmax and AUC) following evening drug administration compared with morning. However, LDL-C reduction is the same regardless of the time of day of drug administration [see Dosage and Administration (2) ].

Distribution: Mean volume of distribution of LIPITOR is approximately 381 liters. LIPITOR is ≥98% bound to plasma proteins. A blood/plasma ratio of approximately 0.25 indicates poor drug penetration into red blood cells. Based on observations in rats, LIPITOR is likely to be secreted in human milk [see Contraindications, Nursing Mothers (4.4) and Use in Specific Populations, Nursing Mothers ].

Metabolism: LIPITOR is extensively metabolized to ortho- and parahydroxylated derivatives and various beta-oxidation products. In vitro inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase by ortho- and parahydroxylated metabolites is equivalent to that of LIPITOR. Approximately 70% of circulating inhibitory activity for HMG-CoA reductase is attributed to active metabolites. In vitro studies suggest the importance of LIPITOR metabolism by cytochrome P450 3A4, consistent with increased plasma concentrations of LIPITOR in humans following co-administration with erythromycin, a known inhibitor of this isozyme [see Drug Interactions ]. In animals, the ortho-hydroxy metabolite undergoes further glucuronidation.

Excretion: LIPITOR and its metabolites are eliminated primarily in bile following hepatic and/or extra-hepatic metabolism; however, the drug does not appear to undergo enterohepatic recirculation. Mean plasma elimination half-life of LIPITOR in humans is approximately 14 hours, but the half-life of inhibitory activity for HMG-CoA reductase is 20 to 30 hours due to the contribution of active metabolites. Less than 2% of a dose of LIPITOR is recovered in urine following oral administration.

Specific Populations

Geriatric: Plasma concentrations of LIPITOR are higher (approximately 40% for Cmax and 30% for AUC) in healthy elderly subjects (age ≥65 years) than in young adults. Clinical data suggest a greater degree of LDL-lowering at any dose of drug in the elderly patient population compared to younger adults [see Use in Specific Populations, Geriatric Use ].

Pediatric: Pharmacokinetic data in the pediatric population are not available.

Gender: Plasma concentrations of LIPITOR in women differ from those in men (approximately 20% higher for Cmax and 10% lower for AUC); however, there is no clinically significant difference in LDL-C reduction with LIPITOR between men and women.

Renal Impairment: Renal disease has no influence on the plasma concentrations or LDL-C reduction of LIPITOR; thus, dose adjustment in patients with renal dysfunction is not necessary [see Dosage and Administration, Dosage in Patients with Renal Impairment , Warnings and Precautions, Skeletal Muscle ].

Hemodialysis: While studies have not been conducted in patients with end-stage renal disease, hemodialysis is not expected to significantly enhance clearance of LIPITOR since the drug is extensively bound to plasma proteins.

Hepatic Impairment: In patients with chronic alcoholic liver disease, plasma concentrations of LIPITOR are markedly increased. Cmax and AUC are each 4-fold greater in patients with Childs-Pugh A disease. Cmax and AUC are approximately 16-fold and 11-fold increased, respectively, in patients with Childs-Pugh B disease [see Contraindications ].

TABLE 3. Effect of Co-administered Drugs on the Pharmacokinetics of Atorvastatin
Co-administered drug and dosing regimen Atorvastatin

Dose (mg) Change in AUC * Change in Cmax *
† Cyclosporine 5.2 mg/kg/day, stable dose 10 mg QD for 28 days ↑ 8.7 fold ↑10.7 fold
† Lopinavir 400 mg BID/ ritonavir 100 mg BID, 14 days 20 mg QD for 4 days ↑ 5.9 fold ↑ 4.7 fold
† Ritonavir 400 mg BID/ saquinavir 400mg BID, 15 days 40 mg QD for 4 days ↑ 3.9 fold ↑ 4.3 fold
† Clarithromycin 500 mg BID, 9 days 80 mg QD for 8 days ↑ 4.4 fold ↑ 5.4 fold
† Itraconazole 200 mg QD, 4 days 40 mg SD ↑ 3.3 fold ↑ 20%
† Grapefruit Juice, 240 mL QD ‡ 40 mg, SD ↑ 37% ↑ 16%
Diltiazem 240 mg QD, 28 days 40 mg, SD ↑ 51% No change
Erythromycin 500 mg QID, 7 days 10 mg, SD ↑ 33% ↑ 38%
Amlodipine 10 mg, single dose 80 mg, SD ↑ 15% ↓ 12 %
Cimetidine 300 mg QD, 4 weeks 10 mg QD for 2 weeks ↓ Less than 1% ↓ 11%
Colestipol 10 mg BID, 28 weeks 40 mg QD for 28 weeks Not determined ↓ 26% §
Maalox TC® 30 mL QD, 17 days 10 mg QD for 15 days ↓ 33% ↓ 34%
Efavirenz 600 mg QD, 14 days 10 mg for 3 days ↓ 41% ↓ 1%
† Rifampin 600 mg QD, 7 days (co-administered) ¶ 40 mg SD ↑ 30% ↑ 2.7 fold
† Rifampin 600 mg QD, 5 days (doses separated) ¶ 40 mg SD ↓ 80% ↓ 40%
† Gemfibrozil 600mg BID, 7 days 40mg SD ↑ 35% ↓ Less than 1%
† Fenofibrate 160mg QD, 7 days 40mg SD ↑ 3% ↑ 2%

* Data given as x-fold change represent a simple ratio between co-administration and atorvastatin alone (i.e., 1-fold = no change). Data given as % change represent % difference relative to atorvastatin alone (i.e., 0% = no change). † See Sections 5.1 and 7 for clinical significance. ‡ Greater increases in AUC (up to 2.5 fold) and/or Cmax (up to 71%) have been reported with excessive grapefruit consumption (≥ 750 mL – 1.2 liters per day). § Single sample taken 8–16 h post dose. ¶ Due to the dual interaction mechanism of rifampin, simultaneous co-administration of atorvastatin with rifampin is recommended, as delayed administration of atorvastatin after administration of rifampin has been associated with a significant reduction in atorvastatin plasma concentrations.
TABLE 4. Effect of Atorvastatin on the Pharmacokinetics of Co-administered Drugs
Atorvastatin Co-administered drug and dosing regimen

Drug/Dose (mg) Change in AUC Change in Cmax
80 mg QD for 15 days Antipyrine, 600 mg SD ↑ 3% ↓ 11%
80 mg QD for 14 days * Digoxin 0.25 mg QD, 20 days ↑ 15% ↑ 20 %
40 mg QD for 22 days Oral contraceptive QD, 2 months
- norethindrone 1mg
- ethinyl estradiol 35µg

↑ 28%
↑ 19%

↑ 23%
↑ 30%

* See Section 7 for clinical significance.


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Carcinogenesis, Mutagenesis, Impairment of Fertility

In a 2-year carcinogenicity study in rats at dose levels of 10, 30, and 100 mg/kg/day, 2 rare tumors were found in muscle in high-dose females: in one, there was a rhabdomyosarcoma and, in another, there was a fibrosarcoma. This dose represents a plasma AUC (0–24) value of approximately 16 times the mean human plasma drug exposure after an 80 mg oral dose.

A 2-year carcinogenicity study in mice given 100, 200, or 400 mg/kg/day resulted in a significant increase in liver adenomas in high-dose males and liver carcinomas in high-dose females. These findings occurred at plasma AUC (0–24) values of approximately 6 times the mean human plasma drug exposure after an 80 mg oral dose.

In vitro, atorvastatin was not mutagenic or clastogenic in the following tests with and without metabolic activation: the Ames test with Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli, the HGPRT forward mutation assay in Chinese hamster lung cells, and the chromosomal aberration assay in Chinese hamster lung cells. Atorvastatin was negative in the in vivo mouse micronucleus test.

Studies in rats performed at doses up to 175 mg/kg (15 times the human exposure) produced no changes in fertility. There was aplasia and aspermia in the epididymis of 2 of 10 rats treated with 100 mg/kg/day of atorvastatin for 3 months (16 times the human AUC at the 80 mg dose); testis weights were significantly lower at 30 and 100 mg/kg and epididymal weight was lower at 100 mg/kg. Male rats given 100 mg/kg/day for 11 weeks prior to mating had decreased sperm motility, spermatid head concentration, and increased abnormal sperm. Atorvastatin caused no adverse effects on semen parameters, or reproductive organ histopathology in dogs given doses of 10, 40, or 120 mg/kg for two years.


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Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease

In the Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial (ASCOT), the effect of LIPITOR on fatal and non-fatal coronary heart disease was assessed in 10,305 hypertensive patients 40–80 years of age (mean of 63 years), without a previous myocardial infarction and with TC levels < 251 mg/dL (6.5 mmol/L). Additionally, all patients had at least 3 of the following cardiovascular risk factors: male gender (81.1%), age >55 years (84.5%), smoking (33.2%), diabetes (24.3%), history of CHD in a first-degree relative (26%), TC:HDL >6 (14.3%), peripheral vascular disease (5.1%), left ventricular hypertrophy (14.4%), prior cerebrovascular event (9.8%), specific ECG abnormality (14.3%), proteinuria/albuminuria (62.4%). In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, patients were treated with anti-hypertensive therapy (Goal BP <140/90 mm Hg for non-diabetic patients; <130/80 mm Hg for diabetic patients) and allocated to either LIPITOR 10 mg daily (n=5168) or placebo (n=5137), using a covariate adaptive method which took into account the distribution of nine baseline characteristics of patients already enrolled and minimized the imbalance of those characteristics across the groups. Patients were followed for a median duration of 3.3 years.

The effect of 10 mg/day of LIPITOR on lipid levels was similar to that seen in previous clinical trials.

LIPITOR significantly reduced the rate of coronary events [either fatal coronary heart disease (46 events in the placebo group vs. 40 events in the LIPITOR group) or non-fatal MI (108 events in the placebo group vs. 60 events in the LIPITOR group)] with a relative risk reduction of 36% [(based on incidences of 1.9% for LIPITOR vs. 3.0% for placebo), p=0.0005 (see Figure 1)]. The risk reduction was consistent regardless of age, smoking status, obesity, or presence of renal dysfunction. The effect of LIPITOR was seen regardless of baseline LDL levels. Due to the small number of events, results for women were inconclusive.

Figure 1: Effect of LIPITOR 10 mg/day on Cumulative Incidence of Non-Fatal Myocardial Infarction or Coronary Heart Disease Death (in ASCOT-LLA)

LIPITOR also significantly decreased the relative risk for revascularization procedures by 42%. Although the reduction of fatal and non-fatal strokes did not reach a pre-defined significance level (p=0.01), a favorable trend was observed with a 26% relative risk reduction (incidences of 1.7% for LIPITOR and 2.3% for placebo). There was no significant difference between the treatment groups for death due to cardiovascular causes (p=0.51) or noncardiovascular causes (p=0.17).

In the Collaborative Atorvastatin Diabetes Study (CARDS), the effect of LIPITOR on cardiovascular disease (CVD) endpoints was assessed in 2838 subjects (94% white, 68% male), ages 40–75 with type 2 diabetes based on WHO criteria, without prior history of cardiovascular disease and with LDL < 160 mg/dL and TG < 600 mg/dL. In addition to diabetes, subjects had 1 or more of the following risk factors: current smoking (23%), hypertension (80%), retinopathy (30%), or microalbuminuria (9%) or macroalbuminuria (3%). No subjects on hemodialysis were enrolled in the study. In this multicenter, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial, subjects were randomly allocated to either LIPITOR 10 mg daily (1429) or placebo (1411) in a 1:1 ratio and were followed for a median duration of 3.9 years. The primary endpoint was the occurrence of any of the major cardiovascular events: myocardial infarction, acute CHD death, unstable angina, coronary revascularization, or stroke. The primary analysis was the time to first occurrence of the primary endpoint.

Baseline characteristics of subjects were: mean age of 62 years, mean HbA1c 7.7%; median LDL-C 120 mg/dL; median TC 207 mg/dL; median TG 151 mg/dL; median HDL-C 52 mg/dL.

The effect of LIPITOR 10 mg/day on lipid levels was similar to that seen in previous clinical trials.

LIPITOR significantly reduced the rate of major cardiovascular events (primary endpoint events) (83 events in the LIPITOR group vs. 127 events in the placebo group) with a relative risk reduction of 37%, HR 0.63, 95% CI (0.48, 0.83) (p=0.001) (see Figure 2). An effect of LIPITOR was seen regardless of age, sex, or baseline lipid levels.

LIPITOR significantly reduced the risk of stroke by 48% (21 events in the LIPITOR group vs. 39 events in the placebo group), HR 0.52, 95% CI (0.31, 0.89) (p=0.016) and reduced the risk of MI by 42% (38 events in the LIPITOR group vs. 64 events in the placebo group), HR 0.58, 95.1% CI (0.39, 0.86) (p=0.007). There was no significant difference between the treatment groups for angina, revascularization procedures, and acute CHD death.

There were 61 deaths in the LIPITOR group vs. 82 deaths in the placebo group (HR 0.73, p=0.059).

Figure 2: Effect of LIPITOR 10 mg/day on Time to Occurrence of Major Cardiovascular Event (myocardial infarction, acute CHD death, unstable angina, coronary revascularization, or stroke) in CARDS

In the Treating to New Targets Study (TNT), the effect of LIPITOR 80 mg/day vs. LIPITOR 10 mg/day on the reduction in cardiovascular events was assessed in 10,001 subjects (94% white, 81% male, 38% > 65 years) with clinically evident coronary heart disease who had achieved a target LDL-C level <130 mg/dL after completing an 8-week, open-label, run-in period with LIPITOR 10 mg/day. Subjects were randomly assigned to either 10 mg/day or 80 mg/day of LIPITOR and followed for a median duration of 4.9 years. The primary endpoint was the time-to-first occurrence of any of the following major cardiovascular events (MCVE): death due to CHD, non-fatal myocardial infarction, resuscitated cardiac arrest, and fatal and non-fatal stroke. The mean LDL-C, TC, TG, non-HDL, and HDL cholesterol levels at 12 weeks were 73, 145, 128, 98, and 47 mg/dL during treatment with 80 mg of LIPITOR and 99, 177, 152, 129, and 48 mg/dL during treatment with 10 mg of LIPITOR.

Treatment with LIPITOR 80 mg/day significantly reduced the rate of MCVE (434 events in the 80 mg/day group vs. 548 events in the 10 mg/day group) with a relative risk reduction of 22%, HR 0.78, 95% CI (0.69, 0.89), p=0.0002 (see Figure 3 and Table 5). The overall risk reduction was consistent regardless of age (<65, > 65) or gender.

Figure 3: Effect of LIPITOR 80 mg/day vs. 10 mg/day on Time to Occurrence of Major Cardiovascular Events (TNT)

TABLE 5. Overview of Efficacy Results in TNT
Endpoint Atorvastatin
10 mg
80 mg
HR * (95%CI)
First major cardiovascular endpoint 548 (10.9) 434 (8.7) 0.78 (0.69, 0.89)
Components of the Primary Endpoint

  CHD death 127 (2.5) 101 (2.0) 0.80 (0.61, 1.03)
  Non-fatal, non-procedure related MI 308 (6.2) 243 (4.9) 0.78 (0.66, 0.93)
  Resuscitated cardiac arrest 26 (0.5) 25 (0.5) 0.96 (0.56, 1.67)
  Stroke (fatal and non-fatal) 155 (3.1) 117 (2.3) 0.75 (0.59, 0.96)

First CHF with hospitalization 164 (3.3) 122 (2.4) 0.74 (0.59, 0.94)
First PVD endpoint 282 (5.6) 275 (5.5) 0.97 (0.83, 1.15)
First CABG or other coronary revascularization procedure ‡ 904 (18.1) 667 (13.4) 0.72 (0.65, 0.80)
First documented angina endpoint ‡ 615 (12.3) 545 (10.9) 0.88 (0.79, 0.99)
All-cause mortality 282 (5.6) 284 (5.7) 1.01 (0.85, 1.19)
Components of All-Cause Mortality

  Cardiovascular death 155 (3.1) 126 (2.5) 0.81 (0.64, 1.03)
  Noncardiovascular death 127 (2.5) 158 (3.2) 1.25 (0.99, 1.57)
    Cancer death 75 (1.5) 85 (1.7) 1.13 (0.83, 1.55)
    Other non-CV death 43 (0.9) 58 (1.2) 1.35 (0.91, 2.00)
    Suicide, homicide, and other traumatic non-CV death 9 (0.2) 15 (0.3) 1.67 (0.73, 3.82)

HR=hazard ratio; CHD=coronary heart disease; CI=confidence interval; MI=myocardial infarction; CHF=congestive heart failure; CV=cardiovascular; PVD=peripheral vascular disease; CABG=coronary artery bypass graft
Confidence invervals for the Secondary Endpoints were not adjusted for multiple comparisons

* Atorvastatin 80 mg: atorvastatin 10 mg † Secondary endpoints not included in primary endpoint ‡ Component of other secondary endpoints

Of the events that comprised the primary efficacy endpoint, treatment with LIPITOR 80 mg/day significantly reduced the rate of non-fatal, non-procedure related MI and fatal and non-fatal stroke, but not CHD death or resuscitated cardiac arrest (Table 5). Of the predefined secondary endpoints, treatment with LIPITOR 80 mg/day significantly reduced the rate of coronary revascularization, angina, and hospitalization for heart failure, but not peripheral vascular disease. The reduction in the rate of CHF with hospitalization was only observed in the 8% of patients with a prior history of CHF.

There was no significant difference between the treatment groups for all-cause mortality (Table 5). The proportions of subjects who experienced cardiovascular death, including the components of CHD death and fatal stroke, were numerically smaller in the LIPITOR 80 mg group than in the LIPITOR 10 mg treatment group. The proportions of subjects who experienced noncardiovascular death were numerically larger in the LIPITOR 80 mg group than in the LIPITOR 10 mg treatment group.

In the Incremental Decrease in Endpoints Through Aggressive Lipid Lowering Study (IDEAL), treatment with LIPITOR 80 mg/day was compared to treatment with simvastatin 20–40 mg/day in 8,888 subjects up to 80 years of age with a history of CHD to assess whether reduction in CV risk could be achieved. Patients were mainly male (81%), white (99%) with an average age of 61.7 years, and an average LDL-C of 121.5 mg/dL at randomization; 76% were on statin therapy. In this prospective, randomized, open-label, blinded endpoint (PROBE) trial with no run-in period, subjects were followed for a median duration of 4.8 years. The mean LDL-C, TC, TG, HDL, and non-HDL cholesterol levels at Week 12 were 78, 145, 115, 45, and 100 mg/dL during treatment with 80 mg of LIPITOR and 105, 179, 142, 47, and 132 mg/dL during treatment with 20–40 mg of simvastatin.

There was no significant difference between the treatment groups for the primary endpoint, the rate of first major coronary event (fatal CHD, non-fatal MI, and resuscitated cardiac arrest): 411 (9.3%) in the LIPITOR 80 mg/day group vs. 463 (10.4%) in the simvastatin 20–40 mg/day group, HR 0.89, 95% CI (0.78, 1.01), p=0.07.

There were no significant differences between the treatment groups for all-cause mortality: 366 (8.2%) in the LIPITOR 80 mg/day group vs. 374 (8.4%) in the simvastatin 20–40 mg/day group. The proportions of subjects who experienced CV or non-CV death were similar for the LIPITOR 80 mg group and the simvastatin 20–40 mg group.

Hyperlipidemia (Heterozygous Familial and Nonfamilial) and Mixed Dyslipidemia (Fredrickson Types IIa and IIb)

LIPITOR reduces total-C, LDL-C, VLDL-C, apo B, and TG, and increases HDL-C in patients with hyperlipidemia and mixed dyslipidemia. Therapeutic response is seen within 2 weeks, and maximum response is usually achieved within 4 weeks and maintained during chronic therapy.

LIPITOR is effective in a wide variety of patient populations with hyperlipidemia, with and without hypertriglyceridemia, in men and women, and in the elderly.

In two multicenter, placebo-controlled, dose-response studies in patients with hyperlipidemia, LIPITOR given as a single dose over 6 weeks, significantly reduced total-C, LDL-C, apo B, and TG. (Pooled results are provided in Table 6.)

TABLE 6. Dose Response in Patients With Primary Hyperlipidemia (Adjusted Mean % Change From Baseline) *
Placebo 21 4 4 3 10 -3 7
10 22 -29 -39 -32 -19 6 -34
20 20 -33 -43 -35 -26 9 -41
40 21 -37 -50 -42 -29 6 -45
80 23 -45 -60 -50 -37 5 -53
* Results are pooled from 2 dose-response studies.

In patients with Fredrickson Types IIa and IIb hyperlipoproteinemia pooled from 24 controlled trials, the median (25th and 75th percentile) percent changes from baseline in HDL-C for LIPITOR 10, 20, 40, and 80 mg were 6.4 (-1.4, 14), 8.7 (0, 17), 7.8 (0, 16), and 5.1 (-2.7, 15), respectively. Additionally, analysis of the pooled data demonstrated consistent and significant decreases in total-C, LDL-C, TG, total-C/HDL-C, and LDL-C/HDL-C.

In three multicenter, double-blind studies in patients with hyperlipidemia, LIPITOR was compared to other statins. After randomization, patients were treated for 16 weeks with either LIPITOR 10 mg per day or a fixed dose of the comparative agent (Table 7).

TABLE 7. Mean Percentage Change From Baseline at Endpoint (Double-Blind, Randomized, Active-Controlled Trials)
(Daily Dose)
Study 1

LIPITOR 10 mg 707 -27 * -36 * -28 * -17 * +7 -37 *
Lovastatin 20 mg 191 -19 -27 -20 -6 +7 -28
95% CI for Diff †
-9.2, -6.5 -10.7, -7.1 -10.0, -6.5 -15.2, -7.1 -1.7, 2.0 -11.1, -7.1
Study 2

LIPITOR 10 mg 222 -25 ‡ -35 ‡ -27 ‡ -17 ‡ +6 -36 ‡
Pravastatin 20 mg 77 -17 -23 -17 -9 +8 -28
95% CI for Diff †
-10.8, -6.1 -14.5, -8.2 -13.4, -7.4 -14.1, -0.7 -4.9, 1.6 -11.5, -4.1
Study 3

LIPITOR 10 mg 132 -29 § -37 § -34 § -23 § +7 -39 §
Simvastatin 10 mg 45 -24 -30 -30 -15 +7 -33
95% CI for Diff †
-8.7, -2.7 -10.1, -2.6 -8.0, -1.1 -15.1, -0.7 -4.3, 3.9 -9.6, -1.9
* Significantly different from lovastatin, ANCOVA, p < 0.05 † A negative value for the 95% CI for the difference between treatments favors LIPITOR for all except HDL-C, for which a positive value favors LIPITOR. If the range does not include 0, this indicates a statistically significant difference. ‡ Significantly different from pravastatin, ANCOVA, p < 0.05 § Significantly different from simvastatin, ANCOVA, p < 0.05

The impact on clinical outcomes of the differences in lipid-altering effects between treatments shown in Table 7 is not known. Table 7 does not contain data comparing the effects of LIPITOR 10 mg and higher doses of lovastatin, pravastatin, and simvastatin. The drugs compared in the studies summarized in the table are not necessarily interchangeable.

Hypertriglyceridemia (Fredrickson Type IV)

The response to LIPITOR in 64 patients with isolated hypertriglyceridemia treated across several clinical trials is shown in the table below (Table 8). For the LIPITOR-treated patients, median (min, max) baseline TG level was 565 (267–1502).

TABLE 8. Combined Patients With Isolated Elevated TG: Median (min, max) Percentage Change From Baseline

-12.4 (-36.6, 82.7) -41.0 (-76.2, 49.4) -38.7 (-62.7, 29.5) -51.8 (-82.8, 41.3)
-2.3 (-15.5, 24.4) -28.2 (-44.9, -6.8) -34.9 (-49.6, -15.2) -44.4 (-63.5, -3.8)
3.6 (-31.3, 31.6) -26.5 (-57.7, 9.8) -30.4 (-53.9, 0.3) -40.5 (-60.6, -13.8)
3.8 (-18.6, 13.4) 13.8 (-9.7, 61.5) 11.0 (-3.2, 25.2) 7.5 (-10.8, 37.2)
-1.0 (-31.9, 53.2) -48.8 (-85.8, 57.3) -44.6 (-62.2, -10.8) -62.0 (-88.2, 37.6)
-2.8 (-17.6, 30.0) -33.0 (-52.1, -13.3) -42.7 (-53.7, -17.4) -51.5 (-72.9, -4.3)

Dysbetalipoproteinemia (Fredrickson Type III)

The results of an open-label crossover study of 16 patients (genotypes: 14 apo E2/E2 and 2 apo E3/E2) with dysbetalipoproteinemia (Fredrickson Type III) are shown in the table below (Table 9).

TABLE 9. Open-Label Crossover Study of 16 Patients With Dysbetalipoproteinemia (Fredrickson Type III)

Median % Change (min, max)

Median (min, max) at Baseline (mg/dL) LIPITOR 10 mg LIPITOR 80 mg
Total-C 442 (225, 1320) -37 (-85, 17) -58 (-90, -31)
Triglycerides 678 (273, 5990) -39 (-92, -8) -53 (-95, -30)
IDL-C + VLDL-C 215 (111, 613) -32 (-76, 9) -63 (-90, -8)
non-HDL-C 411 (218, 1272) -43 (-87, -19) -64 (-92, -36)

Homozygous Familial Hypercholoesterolemia

In a study without a concurrent control group, 29 patients ages 6 to 37 years with homozygous FH received maximum daily doses of 20 to 80 mg of LIPITOR. The mean LDL-C reduction in this study was 18%. Twenty-five patients with a reduction in LDL-C had a mean response of 20% (range of 7% to 53%, median of 24%); the remaining 4 patients had 7% to 24% increases in LDL-C. Five of the 29 patients had absent LDL-receptor function. Of these, 2 patients also had a portacaval shunt and had no significant reduction in LDL-C. The remaining 3 receptor-negative patients had a mean LDL-C reduction of 22%.

Heterozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia in Pediatric Patients

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study followed by an open-label phase, 187 boys and postmenarchal girls 10–17 years of age (mean age 14.1 years) with heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) or severe hypercholesterolemia, were randomized to LIPITOR (n=140) or placebo (n=47) for 26 weeks and then all received LIPITOR for 26 weeks. Inclusion in the study required 1) a baseline LDL-C level ≥ 190 mg/dL or 2) a baseline LDL-C level ≥ 160 mg/dL and positive family history of FH or documented premature cardiovascular disease in a first or second-degree relative. The mean baseline LDL-C value was 218.6 mg/dL (range: 138.5–385.0 mg/dL) in the LIPITOR group compared to 230.0 mg/dL (range: 160.0–324.5 mg/dL) in the placebo group. The dosage of LIPITOR (once daily) was 10 mg for the first 4 weeks and uptitrated to 20 mg if the LDL-C level was > 130 mg/dL. The number of LIPITOR-treated patients who required uptitration to 20 mg after Week 4 during the double-blind phase was 80 (57.1%).

LIPITOR significantly decreased plasma levels of total-C, LDL-C, triglycerides, and apolipoprotein B during the 26-week double-blind phase (see Table 10).

TABLE 10. Lipid-altering Effects of LIPITOR in Adolescent Boys and Girls with Heterozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia or Severe Hypercholesterolemia (Mean Percentage Change From Baseline at Endpoint in Intention-to-Treat Population)
Apolipoprotein B

The mean achieved LDL-C value was 130.7 mg/dL (range: 70.0–242.0 mg/dL) in the LIPITOR group compared to 228.5 mg/dL (range: 152.0–385.0 mg/dL) in the placebo group during the 26-week double-blind phase.

The safety and efficacy of doses above 20 mg have not been studied in controlled trials in children. The long-term efficacy of LIPITOR therapy in childhood to reduce morbidity and mortality in adulthood has not been established.

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