Combination therapy is increasingly recommended for patients with multiple lipid disorders, especially those at high risk for coronary events. We investigated the long-term safety and effectiveness of a new drug formulation containing once-daily extended-release niacin and lovastatin. A total of 814 men and women (mean age 59 years) with dyslipidemia were enrolled in a 52-week multicenter, open-label study. We used 4 escalating doses (niacin/lovastatin in milligrams): 500/10 for the first month, 1,000/20 for the second, 1,500/30 for the third, and 2,000/40 for the fourth month through week 52. Dose-dependent effects were observed for all major lipid parameters. At week 16, mean low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides were reduced by 47% and 41%, respectively; mean high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol was increased by 30% (all p <0.001). LDL/HDL cholesterol and total/HDL cholesterol ratios were also decreased by 58% and 48%, respectively. These effects persisted through week 52, except for the mean increase in HDL cholesterol, which had increased to 41% at 1 year. Lipoprotein (a) and C-reactive protein also decreased in a dose-related manner (by 25% and 24%, respectively, on 2,000/40 mg; p <0.01 vs baseline). Treatment was generally well tolerated. The most common adverse event was flushing, which caused 10% of patients to withdraw. Other adverse events included gastrointestinal upset, pruritus, rash, and headache. Drug-induced myopathy did not occur in any patient. The incidence of elevated liver enzymes to >3 times the upper limit of normal was 0.5%. Once-daily niacin/lovastatin exhibits substantial effects on multiple lipid risk factors and represents a significant new treatment option in the management of dyslipidemia.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine