Tags: multiple | cholesterol | meds | statin

Multiple Cholesterol Drugs Work Best

Tuesday, 03 July 2012 01:49 PM EDT

Taking two or even three cholesterol-lowering drugs for at least two decades is more effective than taking a single statin medicine alone.
That’s the key finding of a new study, by Loyola University Health System heart-disease specialists, who determined patients who underwent intensive long-term therapy involving multiple drugs had dramatically lower levels of LDL “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides. They also had higher HDL “good” cholesterol and less fatty buildup in the carotid artery than people taking just a single statin.
The findings, presented at the National Lipid Association 2012 Annual Scientific Sessions, build on previous studies that have found short-term benefits of taking a combination of two or three cholesterol drugs to lower LDL, boost HDL and reduce the risk of clogged arteries (atherosclerosis).
"These findings are the first to illustrate the benefits of long-term intensive combination lipid [cholesterol] therapy for 20 years in patients with atherosclerotic disease," said lead researcher Dr. Binh An P. Phan, a Loyola cardiologist.
For the study, researchers compared the experiences of nearly 70 patients with extremely high cholesterol who received either a single statin with those who were given combination therapy over a 20-year period. One group took the statin medication lovastatin (Mevacor) plus a medication called colestipol that binds to cholesterol. A second group took colestipol plus niacin. A third group took a placebo.
For the first 11 years of the study, the combo treatment included lovastatin, niacin and colestipol. After 11 years, the regimen was changed to either lovastatin or simvastatin (Zocor), plus niacin.
By the end of the study, combination-therapy patients had LDL “bad” cholesterol levels of 85 milligrams per deciliter, while the single-medication group had an LDL levels of 103. Those taking multiple statins also had significantly higher levels of HDL “good” cholesterol, lower levels of triglycerides and less fatty buildup in their carotid arteries.

© HealthDay

Taking two or three cholesterol-lowering drugs is more effective than a single statin medicine alone.
Tuesday, 03 July 2012 01:49 PM
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