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Efficacy and Safety of Lomitapide in Hypercholesterolemia.

BACKGROUND: Despite extensive use of statins, patients with hypercholesterolemia, especially homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (HoFH), do not achieve recommended targets of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C). There is an urgent need for novel options that could reduce proatherogenic lipoprotein cholesterol levels. Lomitapide, a microsomal triglyceride transport protein (MTP) inhibitor, was approved three years ago as an orphan drug for the treatment of patients with HoFH.

OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to systematically evaluate the efficacy and safety of lomitapide and to provide guidance for clinicians.

METHODS: We searched the PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane library databases and to identify valid studies published before 31 October 2016 that included lomitapide-treated patients who did or did not undergo lipid-lowering therapy. We assessed the quality of different studies. Data were extracted and evaluated for quality by two reviewers.

RESULTS: Studies reporting lomitapide therapy included one randomized controlled trial, three single-arm studies, and five case reports. In patients with HoFH, lomitapide reduced levels of LDL-C, total cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, and triglycerides with or without other lipid-lowering therapy, including apheresis. In non-HoFH patients with moderate hypercholesterolemia and hypertriglyceridemia, lomitapide also showed favorable effects on changes in LDL-C and triglycerides. However, both HoFH and non-HoFH patients experienced a reduction in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and apolipoprotein A-1 (ApoA-1). The most common adverse event was gastrointestinal disorder, and others included liver transaminase elevation and hepatic fat accumulation. Long-term use of lomitapide was associated with an increased risk of progressing to steatohepatitis and fibrosis.

CONCLUSIONS: Lomitapide improved most lipid parameters but not HDL-C or ApoA-1 in patients with HoFH and in non-HoFH patients, and gastrointestinal disorders were the most common adverse event. The possible benefits of lomitapide should be further evaluated and viewed against its possible long-term side effects.

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