Rosuvastatin 5 and 10 mg/d: a pilot study of the effects in hypercholesterolemic adults unable to tolerate other statins and reach LDL cholesterol goals with nonstatin lipid-lowering therapies

Charles J Glueck, Dawit Aregawi, Mahlia Agloria, Qasim Khalil, Magdalena Winiarska, Jitender Munjal, Srikanth Gogineni, Ping Wang
Clinical Therapeutics 2006, 28 (6): 933-42

BACKGROUND: Patients with high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) might not tolerate 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase inhibitors ("statins") because of adverse effects (AEs) and might not respond well enough to nonstatin lipid-lowering therapies (LLTs) to meet LDL-C goals.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to assess the acceptability, effectiveness, and safety profile of rosuvastatin 5 and 10 mg/d in consecutively referred patients with primary high LDL-C who were unable to tolerate other statins because of myalgia and, subsequently in some cases, unable to reach LDL-C goals with nonstatin LLT.

METHODS: This prospective, open-label pilot study was conducted in consecutively referred male and female patients aged 38 to 80 years with primary high LDL-C (mean, 177 mg/dL) at The Cholesterol Center, Jewish Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio. Patients were instructed in the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III (NCEP ATP III) therapeutic lifestyle changes diet. Rosuvastatin 5 mg/d was administered to patients categorized by NCEP ATP III risk stratification as moderately high risk, and rosuvastatin 10 mg/d was administered to patients categorized as high or very high risk. End points included acceptability (assessed using patient-initiated discontinuation of rosuvastatin), effectiveness (absolute and percentage reductions in LDL-C and triglycerides), and safety profile (aspartate and alanine aminotransferases [AST and ALT, respectively] >3 times the laboratory upper limit of normal [xULN] or elevations in creatine kinase [CK]>10xULN).

RESULTS: A total of 61 patients were enrolled (41 women, 20 men; mean [SD] age, 60 [10] years; 5-mg/d dose, 25 patients; 10-mg/d dose, 36 patients). Myalgia, a predominant AE, had caused 50 patients to previously discontinue treatment with atorvastatin; 30, simvastatin; 19, pravastatin; 5, fluvastatin; 2, ezetimibe/simvastatin; and 1, lovastatin. Eighteen patients subsequently failed to reach LDL-C goals with nonstatin LLT(s) alone (colesevelam, 10 patients; ezetimibe, 8; niacin extended release, 2; and fenofibrate, 1). After a median treatment duration of 16 weeks, rosuvastatin 5 mg/d+diet was associated with a mean (SD) decrease from baseline in LDL-C of 75 (34) mg/dL (mean [SD] %Delta, -42% [18%]) (P<0.001 vs baseline). After a median treatment duration of 44 weeks, rosuvastatin 10 mg/d+diet was associated with a mean (SD) decrease from baseline in LDL-C of 79 (49) mg/dL (mean [SD] %Delta, -42% [24%]) (P<0.001 vs baseline). Of the 61 patients, 1 receiving the 10-mg/d dose discontinued rosuvastatin treatment because of unilateral muscular pain after 4 weeks; no AST or ALT levels were >3xULN, and no CK levels were >10xULN.

CONCLUSION: In these 61 hypercholesterolemic patients unable to tolerate other statins and, subsequently in some cases, unable to meet LDL-C goals while receiving nonstatin LIT monotherapy, these preliminary observations suggest that rosuvastatin at doses of 5 and 10 mg/d+diet was well tolerated, effective, and had a good safety profile.

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