ANCHOR LEAD: EARLY RESULTS INDICATE THAT A COMBINATION CHOLESTEROL LOWERING MEDICATION MAY NOT BE HELPFUL, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
If some is good, more must be better, right? Not so in the case of a combination medication for lowering cholesterol, where two drugs that work by different mechanisms were formulated together. Early results seem to suggest that the carotid artery, a big blood vessel in the neck, actually got thicken with treatment. Rick Lange, a cardiologist at Johns Hopkins, says the results must be interpreted cautiously.
LANGE: In this particular study it just addressed the carotid thickening, It didn’t assess the overall clinical outcome, and in the next two to three years we’ll have additional studies in thousands of patients in which the combination of drugs has been tested to see in fact whether it lowers the risk of heart attack or stroke. This combination can be extremely effective in people that can’t tolerate the higher dose of a statin or Zetia by itself may be effective in people who can’t tolerate a statin but if you can achieve the results, that is, lower your cholesterol with one rather than two medications, you’re always better off with one rather than two medications. :32
I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.