Effectiveness of combined statin plus omega-3 fatty acid therapy for mixed dyslipidemia

Philip Barter, Henry N Ginsberg
American Journal of Cardiology 2008 October 15, 102 (8): 1040-5
Combination therapy for the treatment of dyslipidemia and reduction of cardiovascular risk has been demonstrated to beneficially modify the lipid profile in multiple randomized clinical trials. As reported in the updated National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol remains the primary treatment target, although the comprehensive management of dyslipidemia in high-risk patients includes the modification of secondary lipid parameters such as triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Although statin therapy is the standard intervention for lowering LDL cholesterol, combination therapy has demonstrated added benefits on secondary lipid parameters and enhances statin-mediated reductions in LDL cholesterol. The benefits of modifying these secondary targets on all-cause or cardiovascular event-related mortality are currently under investigation in several clinical trials. Prescription omega-3 fatty acid (Lovaza) is a formulation of 2 highly purified omega-3-acid ethyl esters, eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. The recently completed Combination of Prescription Omega-3 With Simvastatin (COMBOS) study confirmed that prescription omega-3 fatty acid administered in combination with simvastatin achieves statistically significant improvements across a range of lipid indicators beyond the LDL primary target, including triglycerides, non-high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and lipoprotein particle size. In conclusion, several classes of drugs, including omega-3 fatty acids, can be used in combination with statins to achieve more global improvements in lipid profiles.

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