Statins as the cornerstone of drug therapy for dyslipidemia: Monotherapy and combination therapy options

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Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol reduction with statin treatment remains the cornerstone of lipid-lowering therapy to reduce risk of coronary heart disease. Combination therapy with a statin poses advantages in certain settings and may allow use of lower doses of multiple drugs rather than maximum doses of a single drug. Bile-acid sequestrants or the cholesterol-absorption inhibitor ezetimibe can be added to a statin to achieve greater LDL cholesterol reductions. Niacin or fenofibrate can be added to a statin for treatment of mixed dyslipidemia. Differences in statin efficacy in reducing LDL cholesterol and meeting recommended LDL cholesterol targets as well as differences among these agents in beneficial effects on other lipid parameters can affect whether and how these agents are prescribed in monotherapy and combination therapy.

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