We know that, Ezetimibe/simvastatin is a drug combination used for the treatment of dyslipidemia. It is a combination of ezetimibe (known as Zetia in the United States and Ezetrol elsewhere) and the statin drug simvastatin (known as Zocor in the U.S.). The combination preparation is marketed by Merck & Co. under the trade names Vytorin and Inegy. Ezetimibe reduces blood cholesterol by acting at the brush border of the small intestine and inhibiting the absorption of cholesterol, leading to a decrease in the delivery of intestinal cholesterol to the liver.
Simvastatin is an HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor or statin. It works by blocking an enzyme that is necessary for the body to make cholesterol.
Driving "bad" LDL cholesterol down to extremely low levels with a combination drug appears to significantly reduce heart attacks and strokes in high-risk patients with clogged arteries, a new study found.
Patients experienced fewer heart attacks and strokes when taking Vytorin, a drug that combines a cholesterol-lowering statin called simvastatin with a non-statin medication called ezetimibe, said principal investigator Dr. Christopher Cannon, a cardiologist at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and a professor at Harvard Medical School.
Vytorin reduced LDL cholesterol levels in patients to just under 54 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) of blood. That's far below where cholesterol levels ended up with statin therapy alone -- 69 mg/dL, according to the researchers.
This is the first study to show that reducing bad cholesterol by combining statins with non-statin cholesterol-lowering drugs can better prevent heart attacks and strokes than treatment with a statin alone, according to Cannon.
"There is a lot of evidence that demonstrates that low cholesterol is better, and our findings suggest that even lower is even better," Cannon said.
Findings from the study were presented Monday at the American Heart Association annual meeting in Chicago. Study results presented at meetings are generally considered preliminary until they've been published in a peer-reviewed journal.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Vytorin in 2004, but up to now studies have failed to prove that either the combination drug or its non-statin component, ezetimibe, help prevent heart attacks and strokes.