Short-term Efficacy and Tolerability of Combination Therapy with Lovastatin and Acipimox in Chinese Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Mixed Dyslipidemia

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In type 2 diabetes, it is not uncommon to find an elevated serum triglyceride and/or reduced high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels; elevated total cholesterol levels often occur as well. To evaluate the short-term efficacy and tolerability of combination therapy with lovastatin and acipimox in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes who have mixed dyslipidemia, an open-label 6-month trial was conducted. All patients had type 2 diabetes (n = 33) with total cholesterol ≥6.2 mmol/L and fasting triglyceride ≥2.8 mmol/L, which had been confirmed twice and persisted for at least 12 weeks after introduction of diet control. After a 4-week run-in period, they were given lovastatin 40 mg daily at night for 12 weeks. Acipimox 250 mg three times a day was then added for a further 12 weeks. After 12 weeks of treatment with lovastatin alone, improvement was observed in total cholesterol (21% reduction), triglyceride (32% reduction), low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (5.5% reduction), HDL cholesterol (11.6% elevation), apolipoprotein A-I (4.6% elevation), and apolipoprotein B (20.5% reduction). The addition of acipimox to lovastatin for an additional 12 weeks further reduced serum total cholesterol, triglyceride, LDL cholesterol, and apolipoprotein B, but this additional decrease was not statistically significant. However, HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein A-I levels were significantly increased by the addition of acipimox (a 14.2% and 9.0% elevation, respectively). Serum creatine phosphokinase increased slightly after 12 weeks of lovastatin but decreased to a concentration similar to baseline after 12 weeks of combination treatment. No patients reported muscle pain or weakness or other side effects. Combination treatment with lovastatin and acipimox appears to be a safe and effective therapy in patients with type 2 diabetes and mixed dyslipidemia, and has particular benefit in elevating serum HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein A-I levels.

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