Combination Therapy of Rosuvastatin and Ezetimibe in Patients with High Cardiovascular Risk

Clin Ther. 2017 Jan;39(1):107-117. doi: 10.1016/j.clinthera.2016.11.014. Epub 2016 Dec 19.


Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of rosuvastatin/ezetimibe combination therapy in Korean patients with high cardiovascular risk.

Methods: This was a 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter study. A total of 337 patients were screened. After a 4-week run-in period, 245 of these patients with high or moderately high risk as defined by the National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines were randomly assigned. Patients received 1 of 6 regimens for 8 weeks as follows: (1) rosuvastatin 5 mg, (2) rosuvastatin 5 mg/ezetimibe 10 mg, (3) rosuvastatin 10 mg, (4) rosuvastatin 10 mg/ezetimibe 10 mg, (5) rosuvastatin 20 mg, or (6) rosuvastatin 20 mg/ezetimibe 10 mg. The primary outcome variable was percentage change in the level of LDL-C at week 8 of drug treatment. Secondary outcome variables included percentage changes of other lipid variables and achievement rates of LDL-C targets. Tolerability analyses were also performed.

Findings: The percentage change of LDL-C ranged from -45% to -56% (mean, -51%) in the monotherapy groups and from -58% to -63% (mean, -60%) in the combination therapy groups. The percentage change was greater in the pooled combination therapy group than in the counterpart (P < 0.001 for the pooled groups); this difference was more obvious for regimens with a lower statin dose. The percentage reductions of total cholesterol and triglycerides were greater in the combination groups than in the monotherapy groups. The LDL-C target achievement rates were 64% to 87% (mean, 73%) in the monotherapy groups and 87% to 95% (mean, 91%) in the combination groups (P = 0.01 for the pooled groups). The rates were significantly greater in patients receiving the combination therapy than in the monotherapy at lower doses of rosuvastatin. The proportions of patients with various adverse events were not significantly different between the groups.

Implications: Rosuvastatin/ezetimibe combination therapy has better efficacy and target achievement rates than rosuvastatin monotherapy in patients with high cardiovascular risk.

Keywords: LDL; cardiovascular diseases; cholesterol; drug combinations; ezetimibe; rosuvastatin calcium.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anticholesteremic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Ezetimibe / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors / therapeutic use
  • Hypercholesterolemia / drug therapy*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Rosuvastatin Calcium / administration & dosage*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Anticholesteremic Agents
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Reductase Inhibitors
  • Triglycerides
  • Rosuvastatin Calcium
  • Cholesterol
  • Ezetimibe