Ezetimibe coadministered with simvastatin in patients with primary hypercholesterolemia

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2002 Dec 18;40(12):2125-34. doi: 10.1016/s0735-1097(02)02610-4.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy and safety of ezetimibe administered with simvastatin in patients with primary hypercholesterolemia.

Background: Despite the availability of statins, many patients do not achieve lipid targets. Combination therapy with lipid-lowering agents that act via a complementary pathway may allow additional patients to achieve recommended cholesterol goals.

Methods: After dietary stabilization, a 2- to 12-week washout period, and a 4-week, single-blind, placebo lead-in period, patients with baseline low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) > or =145 mg/dl to < or =250 mg/dl and triglycerides (TG) < or =350 mg/dl were randomized to one of the following 10 groups administered daily for 12 consecutive weeks: ezetimibe 10 mg; simvastatin 10, 20, 40, or 80 mg; ezetimibe 10 mg plus simvastatin 10, 20, 40, or 80 mg; or placebo. The primary efficacy variable was percentage reduction from baseline to end point in direct LDL-C for the pooled ezetimibe plus simvastatin groups versus pooled simvastatin groups.

Results: Ezetimibe plus simvastatin significantly improved LDL-C (p < 0.01), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) (p = 0.03), and TG (p < 0.01) compared with simvastatin alone. Ezetimibe plus simvastatin (pooled doses) provided an incremental 13.8% LDL-C reduction, 2.4% HDL-C increase, and 7.5% TG reduction compared with pooled simvastatin alone. Coadministration of ezetimibe and simvastatin provided LDL-C reductions of 44% to 57%, TG reductions of 20% to 28%, and HDL-C increases of 8% to 11%, depending on the simvastatin dose. Ezetimibe 10 mg plus simvastatin 10 mg and simvastatin 80 mg alone each provided a 44% LDL-C reduction. The coadministration of ezetimibe with simvastatin was well tolerated, with a safety profile similar to those of simvastatin and of placebo.

Conclusions: When coadministered with simvastatin, ezetimibe provided significant incremental reductions in LDL-C and TG, as well as increases in HDL-C. Coadministration of ezetimibe with simvastatin was well tolerated and comparable to statin alone.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Azetidines / therapeutic use*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Ezetimibe
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypercholesterolemia / blood
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy*
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Simvastatin / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Azetidines
  • Lipids
  • Simvastatin
  • Ezetimibe