View Full Version : Cholesterol lowering drugs
04-22-2005, 06:03 AM
I saw an ad last night on tv for another cholesterol lowering drug. Part of the ad says 'this drug has not been shown to prevent heart disease or heart attacks'. Now I always thought the whole point of lowering cholesterol is to prevent heart disease and attacks. So if the drug won't prevent heart disease or attacks, what's the point in taking it?
Qadgop the Mercotan
04-22-2005, 07:52 AM
I'd wager that it's just not been shown by specific studies that using the drug which was advertised results in a reduction in morbidity and mortality. Some other drugs in the same class have been demonstrated to have this effect, and the presumption is that this drug, which works by the same mechanism, will also have this effect.
At least that's my educated guess, not knowing the drug you're talking about.
04-22-2005, 08:09 AM
Note that you should never try to lower your cholestorol without first determining that you actually have a problem. Some people already have a very low cholestorol and lowering that could be dangerous. A friend of mine had hers tested and she didn't even register. They said she was ok, but should definitely stay away from anything that would lower it further.
So before you take anything, get that value tested and it would be very wise to consult your doctor for the best medicine available, possible problems with other medical conditions or medication, and so on.
I also remember some findings that lowering your cholestorol quickly has shown to be more dangerous than having a high-cholestorol.
04-22-2005, 01:24 PM
My cholesterol is fine :) I had it tested last year. The only reason I was asking is that it seems like an anomaly and I know that I've noticed the warning on more than one cholesterol lowering drug's advertisement. QtM, your explanation sounds very logical, but then why can they not say that in the ad? I'm pretty sure the ad was for Crestor, but I know the Zocor ad says the same thing.
Link to info on Crestor (http://www.crestor.com/#important)
04-22-2005, 06:44 PM
Lots of medical trials have been done on cholesterol medications. One of the earlier ones, with Zocor, was the SSSS trial.
Looking at this trial, there was definite and strong beenfit for patients, age 35-70, with moderate hypercholesterolemia (5.5-8.0 mM) who also had symptomatic coronary heart disease (for a median time of 5.4 years).
This trial did not show or study benefit for patients without heart disease or who did not have moderate hypercholesterol as defined above.
Many other trials have been done since, on simvastatin and lots of other similar medicines such as Crestor and Lipitor. This body of evidence shows cholesterol is a definite risk factor for heart disease, being on this type of medicine lowers cholesterol, being on this medicine reduces cardiac morbidity in patients who already have heart disease, etc. A warning would imply that the benefits on someone whith no heart disease, no risk factors for heart disease, mild or absent hypercholesterolemia, etc. would be different. For a specific drug, you could look p the specific studies -- and see if the population in the study matches the profile of a specific patient. If the patient is 18 years old, none of the studies may be relevant.
04-22-2005, 11:13 PM
There is also the fact that there is a presumption that the reason meds which have lowered cholesterol and been shown to reduce morbidity and/or mortality from heart attacks is because of the cholesterol lowering effect. But, it may turn out not to be completely the case. Certainly some of the effect is now felt to be from statin immunomodulatory effects.
To presume that because Crestor lowers cholesterol that it will for sure reduce heart disease goes beyond available data. Even if it is very likely true.
04-25-2005, 05:08 PM
This study (http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/172/9/1187), published today, goes a fair way to settling the question of class effect versus specific drug effect.
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