Although statins are effective in reducing cardiovascular risk, combination therapy may be required to meet recommended target LDL-C levels. However, the utility of current combination therapies with niacin or bile acid sequestrants is limited by side effects and compliance. Ezetimibe, as a selective cholesterol absorption inhibitor, represent a new class of pharmaceutical agents. The combination of ezetimibe with statins has shown a 16-21% increase in the percentage of patients achieving their ATP III LDL-C goal. Randomized, double-blind studies have shown that coadministration of ezetimibe with simvastatin is well tolerated, causing dose-dependent reduction in LDL-C and total cholesterol levels, with no apparent effect on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol or triglycerides. Even in diabetes mellitus type 2 patients; the addition of ezetimibe 10 mg to simvastatin 20 mg is more efficacious than doubling the dose of simvastatin in lowering lipid parameters. Similarly the coadministration of ezetimibe and rosuvastatin, has shown a mean incremental reduction in LDL-C of -16%, compared with rosuvastatin alone, while there was no apparent effect on HDL-C or triglycerides. Ezetimibe and fenofibrate co-administration has shown also improvement in the lipid/lipoprotein profile. The combination therapy with ezetimibe and statin or fibrate may be an effective therapeutic option for patients with dyslipidemia.
Christina Chrysohoou, 46Paleon Polemiston Str., 16674 Athens, Greece.