In a 2-year carcinogenicity study in rats at dose levels of 10, 30, and 100 mg/kg/day, 2 rare tumors were found in muscle in high-dose females: in one, there was a rhabdomyosarcoma and, in another, there was a fibrosarcoma. This dose represents a plasma AUC (0–24) value of approximately 16 times the mean human plasma drug exposure after an 80 mg oral dose.
A 2-year carcinogenicity study in mice given 100, 200, or 400 mg/kg/day resulted in a significant increase in liver adenomas in high-dose males and liver carcinomas in high-dose females. These findings occurred at plasma AUC (0–24) values of approximately 6 times the mean human plasma drug exposure after an 80 mg oral dose.
In vitro, atorvastatin was not mutagenic or clastogenic in the following tests with and without metabolic activation: the Ames test with Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli, the HGPRT forward mutation assay in Chinese hamster lung cells, and the chromosomal aberration assay in Chinese hamster lung cells. Atorvastatin was negative in the in vivo mouse micronucleus test.
In female rats, atorvastatin at doses up to 225 mg/kg (56 times the human exposure) did not cause adverse effects on fertility. Studies in male rats performed at doses up to 175 mg/kg (15 times the human exposure) produced no changes in fertility. There was aplasia and aspermia in the epididymis of 2 of 10 rats treated with 100 mg/kg/day of atorvastatin for 3 months (16 times the human AUC at the 80 mg dose); testis weights were significantly lower at 30 and 100 mg/kg and epididymal weight was lower at 100 mg/kg. Male rats given 100 mg/kg/day for 11 weeks prior to mating had decreased sperm motility, spermatid head concentration, and increased abnormal sperm. Atorvastatin caused no adverse effects on semen parameters, or reproductive organ histopathology in dogs given doses of 10, 40, or 120 mg/kg for two years.
In the Anglo-Scandinavian Cardiac Outcomes Trial (ASCOT), the effect of atorvastatin calcium tablets on fatal and non-fatal coronary heart disease was assessed in 10,305 hypertensive patients 40–80 years of age (mean of 63 years), without a previous myocardial infarction and with TC levels ≤251 mg/dL (6.5 mmol/L). Additionally, all patients had at least 3 of the following cardiovascular risk factors: male gender (81.1%), age >55 years (84.5%), smoking (33.2%), diabetes (24.3%), history of CHD in a first-degree relative (26%), TC: HDL >6 (14.3%), peripheral vascular disease (5.1%), left ventricular hypertrophy (14.4%), prior cerebrovascular event (9.8%), specific ECG abnormality (14.3%), proteinuria/albuminuria (62.4%). In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, patients were treated with anti-hypertensive therapy (Goal BP <140/90 mm Hg for non-diabetic patients; <130/80 mm Hg for diabetic patients) and allocated to either atorvastatin calcium tablets 10 mg daily (n=5168) or placebo (n=5137), using a covariate adaptive method which took into account the distribution of nine baseline characteristics of patients already enrolled and minimized the imbalance of those characteristics across the groups. Patients were followed for a median duration of 3.3 years.
The effect of 10 mg/day of atorvastatin calcium tablets on lipid levels was similar to that seen in previous clinical trials.
Atorvastatin calcium tablets significantly reduced the rate of coronary events [either fatal coronary heart disease (46 events in the placebo group vs. 40 events in the atorvastatin calcium tablets group) or non-fatal MI (108 events in the placebo group vs. 60 events in the atorvastatin calcium tablets group)] with a relative risk reduction of 36% [(based on incidences of 1.9% for atorvastatin calcium tablets vs. 3.0% for placebo), p=0.0005 (see Figure 1)]. The risk reduction was consistent regardless of age, smoking status, obesity, or presence of renal dysfunction. The effect of atorvastatin calcium tablets was seen regardless of baseline LDL levels. Due to the small number of events, results for women were inconclusive.
Figure 1: Effect of Atorvastatin Calcium Tablets 10 mg/day on Cumulative Incidence of Non-Fatal Myocardial Infarction or Coronary Heart Disease Death (in ASCOT-LLA)
Atorvastatin calcium tablets also significantly decreased the relative risk for revascularization procedures by 42% (incidences of 1.4% for atorvastatin calcium tablets and 2.5% for placebo). Although the reduction of fatal and non-fatal strokes did not reach a pre-defined significance level (p=0.01), a favorable trend was observed with a 26% relative risk reduction (incidences of 1.7% for atorvastatin calcium tablets and 2.3% for placebo). There was no significant difference between the treatment groups for death due to cardiovascular causes (p=0.51) or noncardiovascular causes (p=0.17).
In the Collaborative Atorvastatin Diabetes Study (CARDS), the effect of atorvastatin calcium tablets on cardiovascular disease (CVD) endpoints was assessed in 2838 subjects (94% white, 68% male), ages 40–75 with type 2 diabetes based on WHO criteria, without prior history of cardiovascular disease and with LDL≤160 mg/dL and TG≤600 mg/dL. In addition to diabetes, subjects had 1 or more of the following risk factors: current smoking (23%), hypertension (80%), retinopathy (30%), or microalbuminuria (9%) or macroalbuminuria (3%). No subjects on hemodialysis were enrolled in the study. In this multicenter, placebo-controlled, double-blind clinical trial, subjects were randomly allocated to either atorvastatin calcium tablets 10 mg daily (1429) or placebo (1411) in a 1:1 ratio and were followed for a median duration of 3.9 years. The primary endpoint was the occurrence of any of the major cardiovascular events: myocardial infarction, acute CHD death, unstable angina, coronary revascularization, or stroke. The primary analysis was the time to first occurrence of the primary endpoint.
Baseline characteristics of subjects were: mean age of 62 years, mean HbA1c 7.7%; median LDL-C 120 mg/dL; median TC 207 mg/dL; median TG 151 mg/dL; median HDL-C 52 mg/dL.
The effect of atorvastatin calcium tablets 10 mg/day on lipid levels was similar to that seen in previous clinical trials.
Atorvastatin calcium tablets significantly reduced the rate of major cardiovascular events (primary endpoint events) (83 events in the atorvastatin calcium tablets group vs. 127 events in the placebo group) with a relative risk reduction of 37%, HR 0.63, 95% CI (0.48, 0.83) (p=0.001) (see Figure 2). An effect of atorvastatin calcium tablets was seen regardless of age, sex, or baseline lipid levels.
Atorvastatin calcium tablets significantly reduced the risk of stroke by 48% (21 events in the atorvastatin calcium tablets group vs. 39 events in the placebo group), HR 0.52, 95% CI (0.31, 0.89) (p=0.016) and reduced the risk of MI by 42% (38 events in the atorvastatin calcium tablets group vs. 64 events in the placebo group), HR 0.58, 95.1% CI (0.39, 0.86) (p=0.007). There was no significant difference between the treatment groups for angina, revascularization procedures, and acute CHD death.
There were 61 deaths in the atorvastatin calcium tablets group vs. 82 deaths in the placebo group (HR 0.73, p=0.059).
Figure 2: Effect of Atorvastatin Calcium Tablets 10 mg/day on Time to Occurrence of Major Cardiovascular Event (myocardial infarction, acute CHD death, unstable angina, coronary revascularization, or stroke) in CARDS
In the Treating to New Targets Study (TNT), the effect of atorvastatin calcium tablets 80 mg/day vs. Atorvastatin calcium tablets 10 mg/day on the reduction in cardiovascular events was assessed in 10,001 subjects (94% white, 81% male, 38% ≥65 years) with clinically evident coronary heart disease who had achieved a target LDL-C level <130 mg/dL after completing an 8-week, open-label, run-in period with atorvastatin calcium tablets 10 mg/day. Subjects were randomly assigned to either 10 mg/day or 80 mg/day of atorvastatin calcium tablets and followed for a median duration of 4.9 years. The primary endpoint was the time-to-first occurrence of any of the following major cardiovascular events (MCVE): death due to CHD, non-fatal myocardial infarction, resuscitated cardiac arrest, and fatal and non-fatal stroke. The mean LDL-C, TC, TG, non-HDL, and HDL cholesterol levels at 12 weeks were 73, 145, 128, 98, and 47 mg/dL during treatment with 80 mg of atorvastatin calcium tablets and 99, 177, 152, 129, and 48 mg/dL during treatment with 10 mg of atorvastatin calcium tablets.
Treatment with atorvastatin calcium tablets 80 mg/day significantly reduced the rate of MCVE (434 events in the 80 mg/day group vs. 548 events in the 10 mg/day group) with a relative risk reduction of 22%, HR 0.78, 95% CI (0.69, 0.89), p=0.0002 (see Figure 3 and Table 9). The overall risk reduction was consistent regardless of age (<65, ≥65) or gender.
Figure 3: Effect of Atorvastatin Calcium Tablets 80 mg/day vs. 10 mg/day on Time to Occurrence of Major Cardiovascular Events (TNT)
TABLE 8: Overview of Efficacy Results in TNT
Atorvastatin 10 mg (N=5006)
Atorvastatin 80 mg (N=4995)
HR * (95%CI)
First major cardiovascular endpoint
0.78 (0.69, 0.89)
Components of the Primary Endpoint
0.80 (0.61, 1.03)
Non-fatal, non-procedure related MI
0.78 (0.66, 0.93)
Resuscitated cardiac arrest
0.96 (0.56, 1.67)
Stroke (fatal and non-fatal)
0.75 (0.59, 0.96)
SECONDARY ENDPOINTS †
First CHF with hospitalization
0.74 (0.59, 0.94)
First PVD endpoint
0.97 (0.83, 1.15)
First CABG or other coronary revascularization procedure ‡
0.72 (0.65, 0.80)
First documented angina endpoint ‡
0.88 (0.79, 0.99)
1.01 (0.85, 1.19)
Components of All-Cause Mortality
0.81 (0.64, 1.03)
1.25 (0.99, 1.57)
1.13 (0.83, 1.55)
Other non-CV death
1.35 (0.91, 2.00)
Suicide, homicide, and other traumatic non-CV death
1.67 (0.73, 3.82)
HR=hazard ratio; CHD=coronary heart disease; CI=confidence interval; MI=myocardial infarction; CHF=congestive heart failure; CV=cardiovascular; PVD=peripheral vascular disease; CABG=coronary artery bypass graft
Confidence intervals for the Secondary Endpoints were not adjusted for multiple comparisons
* Atorvastatin 80 mg: atorvastatin 10 mg
† Secondary endpoints not included in primary endpoint
‡ Component of other secondary endpoints
Of the events that comprised the primary efficacy endpoint, treatment with atorvastatin calcium tablets 80 mg/day significantly reduced the rate of non-fatal, non-procedure related MI and fatal and non-fatal stroke, but not CHD death or resuscitated cardiac arrest (Table 8). Of the predefined secondary endpoints, treatment with atorvastatin calcium tablets 80 mg/day significantly reduced the rate of coronary revascularization, angina, and hospitalization for heart failure, but not peripheral vascular disease. The reduction in the rate of CHF with hospitalization was only observed in the 8% of patients with a prior history of CHF.
There was no significant difference between the treatment groups for all-cause mortality (Table 8). The proportions of subjects who experienced cardiovascular death, including the components of CHD death and fatal stroke, were numerically smaller in the atorvastatin calcium tablets 80 mg group than in the atorvastatin calcium tablets 10 mg treatment group. The proportions of subjects who experienced noncardiovascular death were numerically larger in the atorvastatin calcium tablets 80 mg group than in the atorvastatin calcium tablets 10 mg treatment group.
In the Incremental Decrease in Endpoints Through Aggressive Lipid Lowering Study (IDEAL), treatment with atorvastatin calcium tablets 80 mg/day was compared to treatment with simvastatin 20–40 mg/day in 8,888 subjects up to 80 years of age with a history of CHD to assess whether reduction in CV risk could be achieved. Patients were mainly male (81%), white (99%) with an average age of 61.7 years, and an average LDL-C of 121.5 mg/dL at randomization; 76% were on statin therapy. In this prospective, randomized, open-label, blinded endpoint (PROBE) trial with no run-in period, subjects were followed for a median duration of 4.8 years. The mean LDL-C, TC, TG, HDL, and non-HDL cholesterol levels at Week 12 were 78, 145, 115, 45, and 100 mg/dL during treatment with 80 mg of atorvastatin calcium tablets and 105, 179, 142, 47, and 132 mg/dL during treatment with 20–40 mg of simvastatin.
There was no significant difference between the treatment groups for the primary endpoint, the rate of first major coronary event (fatal CHD, non-fatal MI, and resuscitated cardiac arrest): 411 (9.3%) in the atorvastatin calcium tablets 80 mg/day group vs. 463 (10.4%) in the simvastatin 20–40 mg/day group, HR 0.89, 95% CI (0.78, 1.01), p=0.07.
There were no significant differences between the treatment groups for all-cause mortality: 366 (8.2%) in the atorvastatin calcium tablets 80 mg/day group vs. 374 (8.4%) in the simvastatin 20–40 mg/day group. The proportions of subjects who experienced CV or non-CV death were similar for the atorvastatin calcium tablets 80 mg group and the simvastatin 20–40 mg group.
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