Anti-Cholesterol Drugs: A Background
As the waistlines in America grows, so does the risk of heart disease and high cholesterol. With a nearly 30 million prescriptions written for anti-cholesterol medication each year, it's hard to ignore the extremely dangerous levels of which our country exists in.
The cholesterol cure-all for the pharmaceutical industry came in the form of a kind of drugs called statins. Initially, statins were prescribed in a pharmaceutical regimen designed to fight high cholesterol. Enzymes, which are inhibited by statins lowering cholesterol, stimulate bad cholesterol, also known as LDL, in the liver and thus create an increase of LDL clearance from the blood stream.
Results are almost immediate; within a week, the first results of the drug are apparent, but after only four to six weeks, the drugs effect is maximized. It is considered a popular option because the LDL levels are usually reduced anywhere from 30 percent to 50 percent.
Recently, drug manufacturer Merck and chemical research company Schering-Plough announced a new medication to combat high cholesterol. Zetia, known chemically as Ezetimibe, is an anti-hyperlipidemic medication which is used to lower cholesterol levels. Available as an alternative to statin therapy is Zetia. It acts by decreasing cholesterol absorption in the intestine. Zetia has also been combined with statin therapy in a single pill marketed as Vytorin.
At the beginning of 2008, a report was released showing the adverse affects of Zetia, where growth of plaque occurred, was released by a national newspaper. The ENHANCE trial from the two companies ended in the middle of 2006, with results not scheduled for relase until nearly a year later in March 2007. After the news reported several missed deadlines from the companies, they agreed to publish the results.
Additionally, the American College of Cardiology stated in their press release for the ENHANCE study that, 'The results of the trial show no benefit from the combination of ezetimibe (Zetia) and simvastatin (sold together as Vytorin) over simvastatin alone in terms of affecting the rate of atherosclerosis(fatty plaque) progression.' They went on to say that, 'this study deserves serious thought and follow-up.'
The evidence of some less scrupulous actions continues. A congressional investigation into the company's' actions was announced. The delayed results and the questionable study surrounding Zetia have led many to question its worth on the pharmaceutical market.
If you or anyone you know has taken Zetia and is concerned about possible Zetia side effects or lower Zetia effectiveness, it may be in your best interest to contact a Zetia law firm or a Zetia lawyer for counsel on Zetia and a possible Zetia lawsuit.
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