Ezetimibe is a lipid-lowering drug indicated for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia as co-administration with HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors (statins) or as monotherapy. The primary objectives of this study were to evaluate the pharmacodynamic effects and safety of the co-administration of ezetimibe and the new statin rosuvastatin. A secondary objective was to examine the potential for a pharmacokinetic interaction between ezetimibe and rosuvastatin.
This was a randomized, evaluator (single)-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study in healthy hypercholesterolemic subjects (untreated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol [LDL-C] > or = 130 mg/dL [3.37 mmol/L]). After the outpatient screening and NCEP Step I diet stabilization periods, 40 subjects were randomized to one of the 4 following treatments: rosuvastatin 10 mg plus ezetimibe 10 mg (n = 12); rosuvastatin 10 mg plus placebo (matching ezetimibe 10 mg) (n = 12); ezetimibe 10 mg plus placebo (matching ezetimibe 10 mg) (n = 8); or placebo (2 tablets, matching ezetimibe 10 mg) (n = 8). All study treatments were administered once daily in the morning for 14 days as part of a 16-day inpatient confinement period. Fasting serum lipids were assessed pre-dose on days 1 (baseline), 7, and 14 by direct quantitative assay methods. Safety was evaluated by monitoring laboratory tests and recording adverse events. Blood samples were collected for ezetimibe and rosuvastatin pharmacokinetic evaluation prior to the first and last dose and at frequent intervals after the last dose (day 14) of study treatment. Plasma ezetimibe, total ezetimibe (ezetimibe plus ezetimibe-glucuronide) and rosuvastatin concentrations were determined by validated liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometric detection (LC-MS/MS) assay methods.
All active treatments caused statistically significant (p < or = 0.02) decreases in LDL-C concentration versus placebo from baseline to day 14. The co-administration of ezetimibe and rosuvastatin caused a significantly (p < 0.01) greater reduction in LDL-C and total cholesterol than either drug alone. In this 2-week inpatient study with restricted physical activity there was no apparent effect of any treatment on high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) or triglycerides. The co-administration of ezetimibe and rosuvastatin caused a significantly (p < 0.01) greater percentage reduction in mean LDL-C (-61.4%) than rosuvastatin alone (-44.9%), with a mean incremental reduction of -16.4% (95%CI -26.3 to -6.53). Reported side effects were generally mild, nonspecific, and similar among treatment groups. There were no significant increases or changes in clinical laboratory tests, particularly those assessing muscle and liver function. There was no significant pharmacokinetic drug interaction between ezetimibe and rosuvastatin.
Co-administration of ezetimibe 10 mg with rosuvastatin 10 mg daily caused a significant incremental reduction in LDL-C compared with rosuvastatin alone. Moreover, co-administering ezetimibe and rosuvastatin was well tolerated in patients with hypercholesterolemia.