Lovastatin (Page 4 of 11)

Efficacy of Lovastatin in Post-menarchal Girls with Heterozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia

In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 54 girls 10 to 17 years of age who were at least 1 year post-menarche with heFH were randomized to lovastatin (n=35) or placebo (n=19) for 24 weeks. Inclusion in the study required a baseline LDL-C level of 160 to 400 mg/dL and a parental history of familial hypercholesterolemia. The mean baseline LDL-C value was 218.3 mg/dL (range: 136.3 to 363.7 mg/dL) in the lovastatin group compared to 198.8 mg/dL (range: 151.5 to 283.1 mg/dL) in the placebo group. The dosage of lovastatin (once daily in the evening) was 20 mg for the first 4 weeks, and 40 mg thereafter.

Lovastatin significantly decreased plasma levels of total-C, LDL-C, and apolipoprotein B (see Table VI).

TABLE VI Lipid-lowering Effects of Lovastatin in Post-menarchal Girls with Heterozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia (Mean Percent Change from Baseline at Week 24 in Intention-to-Treat Population)

*data presented as median percent changes

DOSAGE N TOTAL-C LDL-C HDL-C TG. * Apolipoprotein B
Placebo 18 +3.6 +2.5 +4.8 -3.0 +6.4
Lovastatin 35 -22.4 -29.2 +2.4 -22.7 -24.4

The mean achieved LDL-C value was 154.5 mg/dL (range: 82 to 286 mg/dL) in the lovastatin group compared to 203.5 mg/dL (range: 135 to 304 mg/dL) in the placebo group.

The safety and efficacy of doses above 40 mg daily have not been studied in children. The long-term efficacy of lovastatin therapy in childhood to reduce morbidity and mortality in adulthood has not been established.

Air Force/Texas Coronary Atherosclerosis Prevention Study (AFCAPS/TexCAPS)

The Air Force/Texas Coronary Atherosclerosis Prevention Study (AFCAPS/TexCAPS), a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, primary prevention study, demonstrated that treatment with lovastatin decreased the rate of acute major coronary events (composite endpoint of myocardial infarction, unstable angina, and sudden cardiac death) compared with placebo during a median of 5.1 years of follow-up. Participants were middle-aged and elderly men (ages 45 to 73) and women (ages 55 to 73) without symptomatic cardiovascular disease with average to moderately elevated total-C and LDL-C, below average HDL-C, and who were at high risk based on elevated total-C/HDL-C. In addition to age, 63% of the participants had at least one other risk factor (baseline HDL-C <35 mg/dL, hypertension, family history, smoking and diabetes).

AFCAPS/TexCaps enrolled 6,605 participants (5,608 men, 997 women) based on the following lipid entry criteria: total-C range of 180 to 264 mg/dL, LDL-C range of 130 to 190 mg/dL, HDL-C of ≤45 mg/dL for men and ≤47 mg/dL for women, and TG of ≤400 mg/dL. Participants were treated with standard care, including diet, and either lovastatin 20 to 40 mg daily (n= 3,304) or placebo (n= 3,301). Approximately 50% of the participants treated with lovastatin were titrated to 40 mg daily when their LDL-C remained >110 mg/dL at the 20-mg starting dose.

Lovastatin reduced the risk of a first acute major coronary event, the primary efficacy endpoint, by 37% (lovastatin 3.5%, placebo 5.5%; p<0.001; Figure 1). A first acute major coronary event was defined as myocardial infarction (54 participants on lovastatin, 94 on placebo) or unstable angina (54 vs. 80) or sudden cardiac death (8 vs. 9). Furthermore, among the secondary endpoints, lovastatin reduced the risk of unstable angina by 32% (1.8 vs. 2.6%; p=0.023), of myocardial infarction by 40% (1.7 vs. 2.9%; p=0.002), and of undergoing coronary revascularization procedures (e.g., coronary artery bypass grafting or percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty) by 33% (3.2 vs. 4.8%; p=0.001). Trends in risk reduction associated with treatment with lovastatin were consistent across men and women, smokers and non-smokers, hypertensives and non-hypertensives, and older and younger participants. Participants with ≥2 risk factors had risk reductions (RR) in both acute major coronary events (RR 43%) and coronary revascularization procedures (RR 37%). Because there were too few events among those participants with age as their only risk factor in this study, the effect of lovastatin on outcomes could not be adequately assessed in this subgroup.

Figure 1
(click image for full-size original)

Atherosclerosis

In the Canadian Coronary Atherosclerosis Intervention Trial (CCAIT), the effect of therapy with lovastatin on coronary atherosclerosis was assessed by coronary angiography in hyperlipidemic patients. In the randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial, patients were treated with conventional measures (usually diet and 325 mg of aspirin every other day) and either lovastatin 20 to 80 mg daily or placebo. Angiograms were evaluated at baseline and at two years by computerized quantitative coronary angiography (QCA). Lovastatin significantly slowed the progression of lesions as measured by the mean change per-patient in minimum lumen diameter (the primary endpoint) and percent diameter stenosis, and decreased the proportions of patients categorized with disease progression (33% vs. 50%) and with new lesions (16% vs. 32%).

In a similarly designed trial, the Monitored Atherosclerosis Regression Study (MARS), patients were treated with diet and either lovastatin 80 mg daily or placebo. No statistically significant difference between lovastatin and placebo was seen for the primary endpoint (mean change per patient in percent diameter stenosis of all lesions), or for most secondary QCA endpoints. Visual assessment by angiographers who formed a consensus opinion of overall angiographic change (Global Change Score) was also a secondary endpoint. By this endpoint, significant slowing of disease was seen, with regression in 23% of patients treated with lovastatin compared to 11% of placebo patients.

In the Familial Atherosclerosis Treatment Study (FATS), either lovastatin or niacin in combination with a bile acid sequestrant for 2.5 years in hyperlipidemic subjects significantly reduced the frequency of progression and increased the frequency of regression of coronary atherosclerotic lesions by QCA compared to diet and, in some cases, low-dose resin.

The effect of lovastatin on the progression of atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries has been corroborated by similar findings in another vasculature. In the Asymptomatic Carotid Artery Progression Study (ACAPS), the effect of therapy with lovastatin on carotid atherosclerosis was assessed by B-mode ultrasonography in hyperlipidemic patients with early carotid lesions and without known coronary heart disease at baseline. In this double-blind, controlled clinical trial, 919 patients were randomized in a 2 x 2 factorial design to placebo, lovastatin 10 to 40 mg daily and/or warfarin. Ultrasonograms of the carotid walls were used to determine the change per patient from baseline to three years in mean maximum intimal-

medial thickness (IMT) of 12 measured segments. There was a significant regression of carotid lesions in patients receiving lovastatin alone compared to those receiving placebo alone (p=0.001). The predictive value of changes in IMT for stroke has not yet been established. In the lovastatin group there was a significant reduction in the number of patients with major cardiovascular events relative to the placebo group (5 vs. 14) and a significant reduction in all-cause mortality (1 vs. 8).

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