Extended-release niacin/lovastatin: the first combination product for dyslipidemia

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Many clinical studies have demonstrated that lipid-altering drug treatments, including the use of statin and niacin monotherapy, can be effective in the primary and secondary prevention of coronary heart disease, but only in a minority of patients relative to placebo. Since statins and niacin have entirely different mechanisms of action and predominantly different effects on blood lipid levels, the combined use of both a statin and niacin may confer complementary benefits on multiple lipid parameters, produce a more global improvement in lipid blood levels and result in greater reductions in coronary heart disease risk factors than the administration of either agent alone. This may be of particular importance in patients with complex dyslipidemias, such as those with Type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome. This review summarizes the efficacy and safety of extended-release niacin/lovastatin (Advicor®, Kos Pharmaceuticals Inc.), the first combination product approved for the management of dyslipidemia.

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