AIMS - To assess the efficacy and safety of ezetimibe/simvastatin (E/S) plus extended-release niacin (N) in hyperlipidaemic patients with diabetes mellitus (DM), metabolic syndrome (MetS) without DM (MetS/non-DM) or neither (non-DM/non-MetS).
METHODS - A subgroup analysis of a double-blind, 64-week trial of 1220 randomized patients who received E/S (10/20 mg) + N (to 2 g) or E/S (10/20 mg) for 64 weeks, or N (to 2 g) for 24 weeks then E/S (10/20 mg) + N (2 g) or E/S (10/20 mg) for 40 additional weeks. The evaluable populations of this analysis included n = 765 patients at 24 weeks and n = 574 at 64 weeks. Among those receiving N, only those who attained the 2-g dose were included in the analysis.
RESULTS - E/S+N improved levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, other lipids and lipoprotein ratios compared with N and E/S at 24 weeks and E/S at 64 weeks. The combination increased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and apolipoprotein AI comparably to N and more than E/S. E/S+N reduced high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) levels more effectively than N and similarly to E/S. E/S+N was generally well tolerated. Discontinuations due to flushing with N and E/S+N were comparable and greater than E/S in all subgroups. Fasting glucose trended higher for N vs. E/S. Glucose elevations from baseline to 12 weeks were highest for patients with DM (24.9 mg/dl for N, 21.2 mg/dl for E/S+N, 17.5 mg/dl for E/S); fasting glucose then declined to pretreatment levels at 64 weeks in all subgroups. New-onset DM was more frequent among MetS patients than those without MetS during the first 24 weeks and trended higher among those assigned to N-containing regimens [n = 5(5.1%) for N, n = 2(1.7%) for E/S, n = 21(8.8%) for E/S+N]; during the 24-64 week extension study, diabetes was diagnosed in five additional patients in the E/S(cumulative incidence of 5.9%) and one in the E/S+N (cumulative incidence of 9.2%). Treatment-incident elevations in uric acid levels were increased among subjects assigned to N-containing regimens, but there were no effects on symptomatic gout.
CONCLUSION - Combination E/S+N is a safe treatment option for hyperlipidaemic patients including those with DM and MetS, but requires monitoring of glucose and potentially uric acid levels.
© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.