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Clinical Study shows Niacin better than Zetia/Vytorin

The results of a cholesterol study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, found that a prescription version of the drug Niacin used in different forms for half a century, reduced artery plaque buildup significantly better in eight months than ezetimibe, the active ingredient in both Vytorin and Zetia, other cholesterol lowering drugs. A on ulatrsound results, the clinical subjects that were taking Niacin experienced significant reduction of plaque. In contrast, the subjects that were taking ezetimibe saw no change in plaque buildup.

Furthermore, ezetimibe is a more expensive drug than Niacin, which is a relatively inexpensive vitamin. The form of Niacin used in the study was Niaspan, a slow-release form of Niacin, made by Abbott Laboratories.

Dr. Peter S. Kim, President, MERCK Research Laboratories stated, “Nothing from this study changes the well established understanding that lowering LDL cholesterol is the primary target of therapy according to the guidelines. ZETIA and VYTORIN . . . are effective in reducing LDL cholesterol.”

In addition to this study, a 2008 study of Vytorin, which combined a statin made by MERCK with Zetia had already called into question the effectiveness of Vytorin and Zetia in the efficient treatment of heart disease.

Allen Taylor, lead author of the study and Cardiologist at Washington D.C. Hospital Center, says, “The question is whether ezetimibe works at all.” “Niacin has been around for 50 years. It’s a well-understood drug, and in this trial it was a clear superior choice.”

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