In a nutshell
This study looked at the effectiveness of a combination of bempedoic acid (Nexletol) and ezetimibe (Ezetrol) in lowering cholesterol. It found that this treatment combination significantly lowered cholesterol levels.
High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke. Statins are the most commonly used treatment to lower cholesterol. However, some patients cannot tolerate statins and for some patients, statins are not sufficient. For these patients, an alternative treatment is a combination of bempedoic acid and ezetimibe (Nexlizet). Both bempedoic acid and ezetimibe have been studied individually but this combination has not been fully studied.
Methods & findings
This article looked at 3 studies involving a total of 388 patients. 49.2% of these patients were treated with a combination of bempedoic acid and ezetimibe. The rest of the patients received a placebo or another cholesterol-lowering drug such as ezetimibe alone. Cholesterol levels were measured after 3 months of treatment.
Total cholesterol levels were reduced by 15.78% and low-density lipoprotein (LDL; "bad" cholesterol) cholesterol levels were reduced by 29.14%. There was no effect seen on triglyceride levels and a slight increase (by 1.63%) in high-density lipoprotein (HDL; "good" cholesterol).
There was a slight increase (by 16%) in overall side effects in the combination group compared to the control group. However, patients in the combination group had a 17% lower risk of stopping treatment compared to control treatments. They also had a 66% lower risk of having major cardiac events such as a heart attack or stroke compared to control treatments.
The bottom line
This study showed that a combination of bempedoic acid and ezetimibe is effective at lowering cholesterol.
The fine print
This study looked at the effect of this treatment after 12 weeks. More studies are needed to measure these results over a longer time.
Published By :
Clinical drug investigation
Dec 23, 2020