Efficacy and tolerability of low-dose simvastatin and niacin, alone and in combination, in patients with combined hyperlipidemia: A prospective trial

Evan A. Stein, Michael H. Davidson, Carlos A. Dujovne, Donald B. Hunninghake, Ronald B. Goldberg, D. Roger Illingworth, Robert H. Knopp, Valery T. Miller, Philip Frost, Jonathan L. Isaacsohn, Yale B. Mitchel, Michael R. Melino, Deborah Shapiro, Jonathan A. Tobert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Combination lipid-lowering therapy may be desirable in patients with elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, high triglycerides, and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. This study was conducted to determine the lipid-lowering efficacy of the combination of low-dose simvastatin and niacin in patients with combined hyperlipidemia and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Methods and Results: In this multicenter, prospective, randomized trial, 180 patients with hyper cholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridernia and/or low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol were randomized to combination simvastatin (10 mg/day) and niacin (0.75 g/day) or to either drug alone for 9 weeks. The dose of niacin was doubled (from 0.75 g/day to 1.5 g/day) in both the combination and niacin arms for the remaining 8 weeks. The combination of simvastatin, 10 mg/day, and niacin, 1.5 g/day, reduced total. low-density lipoprotein, and very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides by 248, 29%, 45%, and 31%, respectively, while increasing high-density lipoprotein cholesterol by 31%. The addition of niacin to simvastatin did not enhance the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol-lowering effect of simvastatin; however, the combination was more effective than either monotherapy at raising high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and lowering very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (P < .05). More patients discontinued treatment because of an adverse event in the niacin (P < .03) and combination groups (P = .06) than the simvastatin group. Conclusions: Treatment of patients with combined hyperlipidemia and/or low high-density lipoprotein with combination low-dose simvastatin and niacin resulted in large reductions in total, low-density lipoprotein, and very low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and increases in HDL cholesterol. Although the combination was well tolerated in the current trial, its safety needs to be evaluated in larger trials of longer duration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-116
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1996

Keywords

  • HMG-CoA-reductase inhibitor
  • Hypercholesterolemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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