Comparison of the efficacy and tolerability of pitavastatin and atorvastatin: an 8-week, multicenter, randomized, open-label, dose-titration study in Korean patients with hypercholesterolemia

Sang Hak Lee, Namsik Chung, Jun Kwan, Doo-Il Kim, Won Ho Kim, Chee Jeong Kim, Hyun Seung Kim, Si Hoon Park, Hong Seog Seo, Dong Gu Shin, Yung Woo Shin, Wan-Joo Shim, Tae Hoon Ahn, Kyeong Ho Yun, Myeong-Ho Yoon, Kwang-Soo Cha, Si-Wan Choi, Seong Wook Han, Min Su Hyon
Clinical Therapeutics 2007, 29 (11): 2365-73

BACKGROUND: Although previous studies have examined the efficacy of pitavastatin, its tolerability and effects on lipid concentrations have not been compared with those of atorvastatin in a multicenter, randomized study.

OBJECTIVE: This trial compared the efficacy and tolerability of pitavastatin and atorvastatin in hypercholesterolemic Korean adults.

METHODS: This 8-week, multicenter, randomized, open-label, dose-titration study was conducted at 18 clinical centers in Korea between May 2005 and February 2006. After a 4-week dietary lead-in period, patients with hypercholesterolemia were randomized to receive either pitavastatin 2 mg/d or atorvastatin 10 mg/d. Patients who had not reached the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) goal by week 4 received a double dose of the assigned medication for an additional 4 weeks. Efficacy was evaluated in terms of achievement of the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III LDL-C goals and changes from baseline in other lipids and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP). The tolerability profile was assessed by physical and electro-cardiographic examinations, laboratory tests, and recording adverse reactions at all visits.

RESULTS: A total of 268 patients were randomized to treatment, and 222 (82.8%) completed the study (149 women, 73 men; mean age, 59 years; mean weight, 63.5 kg). At the end of the study, there was no significant difference between the pitavastatin and atorvastatin groups in the proportion of patients achieving the LDL-C goal (92.7% [102/110] vs 92.0% [103/112], respectively). In addition, there were no significant differences between groups in terms of the percent changes from baseline in LDL-C, total cholesterol, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), or hs-CRP. Twenty-six of 136 patients (19.1%) taking pitavastatin reported 35 treatment-emergent adverse reactions; 33 of 132 patients (25.0%) taking atorvastatin reported 39 treatment-emergent adverse reactions. Elevations in creatine kinase were observed in 6 patients (4.4%) in the pitavastatin group and 7 patients (5.3%) in the atorvastatin group. There were no serious adverse drug reactions in either group.

CONCLUSIONS: In these adult Korean patients with hypercholesterolemia, pitavastatin and atorvastatin did not differ significantly in terms of the proportions of patients achieving the LDL-C goal; reductions in LDL-C, total cholesterol, and triglycerides; or increases in HDL-C. Both drugs were well tolerated.

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